CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Making a statement in the ring
Throughout the bout, Johnson fought an aggressive fight but in the early rounds, Allan Green jab kept this fight close as both fighters were able to connect on combinations.
Green fought a more methodical fight whereas Johnson pounded Green’s inside. He could not match Johnson’s activities despite Johnson being the older fighter and this proved decisive.
As the fight wore on, Johnson’s right hand found a home over Green left jab as Green held his left hand low consistently. Johnson stopped Green with one of those right hands in the ninth round but Green’s fate was sealed when he could not defend against Johnson’s right hand.
Johnson is now in position for yet another championship run in a division that he has left years ago. For the past decade, he has been fighting as a light heavyweight so for this fight, he had to move down in weight. Johnson is still a threat at 41 years and as he demonstrated, if you have a weakness; he will exploit it.
In the main event, Rafael Marquez fought Juan Manuel Lopez for Lopez’s featherweight title. Marquez moved up in weight to challenge the younger Lopez and this fight started fast as both fighters dispensed with any feeling out process.
What became apparent was that Lopez was not just faster but his punches had more pop as the naturally smaller Marquez could not match Lopez, power punch per power punch.
In the second round, it became a battle of hooks as both fighters exchanged hooks. Marquez best punch in this fight was his left hook but he was unable to uncork his right hand consistently against the southpaw Lopez.
From the fourth round, Lopez took control as he often laced Marquez with sharp combinations whereas Marquez only option was to counter with his left hook. This hook occasionally slowed the Lopez express but in the seventh and eighth rounds, both men exchanged major blows against each other but Lopez punches were the more effective punches.
Marquez injured in his shoulder in one of those exchanges near the end of the eighth round. Marquez could not come out for the ninth round and Lopez won a big fight against a Hall of Fame Fighter.
Zab Judah found himself in a tough fight with Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse.
Matthysse was a tough hard punching challenger and Judah fought cautiously over the first six rounds as he build up a mall lead with occasionally slick boxing but always mindful of his opponent’s power.
In the ninth round, Judah has his best round as his boxing skills allowed him to nail Matthysse with sharp combinations and it looked like he gained control of the fight. But he was right to fear his power as a Matthysee right sent Judah down in the 10th round and while Judah got back up, he spent the rest of the bout fighting for survival.
Matthysse chased Judah as Judah tried to fight back but his punches lacked pop and as the fight ended, what looked like an easy decision became a cliffhanger.
Judah escaped with a narrow split decision with all scores 114-113 but one of those judges scored it in favor of Mattysse. This bout could have gone either way but Mattysee’s domination down the stretch showed that he would be a factor in the junior welterweight division.
Judah’s boxing skills was still present but at the age of 33, it is start to look that age is slowly eroding his skills.
Robert Guerrero began his career in the lightweight division when he faced Vicente Escobedo. The former featherweight and junior lightweight champion now wanted a shot at a third title in another weight class.
In the early part of the fight, Guerrero boxing skills and power dominated as Guerrero knocked Escobedo down twice and what looked like an easy decision became a battle of desperation as he dug deep and started to put Guerrero on the defense.
In the early part of the fight, Escobedo often was on the rope, trying to survive but in the eighth round till the end of the fight; it was Escobedo who attacked.
While Escobedo appeared to tighten the scorecard but Guerrero two knockdowns and superior skills over the first seven rounds build up a big lead. And while Escobedo made the last three rounds close, Guerrero countered enough to win all rounds on at least one judge’s card.
Escobedo is now moving down the junior lightweight whereas Guerrero wants not only a shot at a lightweight title but he wants to fight the best in the division – Juan Marquez.