A great night of great bouts

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: December 12, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Last Saturday night, boxing was blessed with some good bouts with elite fighters going up against each others.

Showtime is following up with the success of its 168 pound tournament with a smaller but just as impressive tournament among bantamweights. Yonnhy Perez fought the slick boxing Joseph Agebeko while Vic Darchinyan went after his third title in a different weight group against the younger Abner Mares.

There were some interesting side stories. For Mares, he was hoping for a rematch with Perez who he fought to a draw previously, providing Perez got past Agbeko, who was looking for revenge against Perez for a previous decision loss.

Showtime uses of tournament has assured some great fights over the next year among bantamweights and the bantamweight tournament is shorter with a semi-final and including a final plus consolation bout.

This reduces the problem that plagued the Super Middleweight in which injuries depleted the original six fighters over a period of nearly year and half of boxing.

In the opening bout, the hard slugging Vic Darchinyan played counter puncher and the boxer-slugger Abner Mares played brawler. This reversed the conventional wisdom and the first two rounds saw Darchinyan nailing Mares with solid straight left but these punches had little effect on Mares, who continued to plow forward and unleashing solid rights and left hooks to the body.

In the third round, Mares dominated the first two minutes of the round as he forced Darchinyan to the rope but in one exchange, Darchinyan left sent Mares down briefly for a two count before Mares got back up, unshaken.

Later, Mares lost a point for a low blow giving Darchinyan two 10-8 rounds over the first half of the fight. He began the second half of the fight with a flash knockdown of Darchinyan, that gave him one 10-8 round.

Throughout most of the second half of the fight, Mares used his natural bigger size to pummel Vic Darchinyan, who often forced into one punch at a time while defending himself against solid combinations.

Darchinyan’s own strategy was to depend upon his power and experience to dominate over the second half of the fight but Darchinyan began his career two weight divisions lower and at 118, his power does not have the same zing as it did at 112 and 115 pounds.

This proved decisive as he failed to dent Mares charges. Darchinyan did connect repeatedly with those lefts but in the end, he lost to a naturally bigger and younger man. Now he will face Yonnhy Perez in the consolation match.

Meanwhile, Joseph Agbeko used movement and quick combinations to beat Yonnhy Perez, the taller slugger with the bigger punch. Agbeko slipped many of Perez’s slam hammers shots in the first five rounds but in the sixth round, Perez and Agbeko went toe to toe.

This round proved to be the most exciting of the fight as Perez had his chance to turn the fight around but after the seventh round, Agbeko went back to boxing as he won a decision and allowed him to revenge a previous loss at Perez’s hands.

Agbeko fights Mares, who previously drawn with Perez. This will be an exciting match preceded Darchinyan goes against the hard slugging Perez.

Meanwhile on HBO in a card featuring some of the best junior welterweights., we saw another reversal of roles as the bigger Victor Ortiz was satisfied to box Lamont Peterson, who found himself forced to attack against the harder puncher Ortiz.

The fight nearly ended in the second round when Ortiz knocked Peterson down twice and continued to press the action in the fourth round.

From that point, Peterson continued to press forward despite the odd against him but Ortiz boxed and retreated, allowing Peterson to snap solid combinations and get back into the fight.

Ortiz punches had more popped and there was the feeling when Ortiz wanted to press the action, he could force Peterson to retreat. Peterson showed guts and those guts allowed him to salvage a majority draw in a fight that he should have lost.

In the main event, Amir Khan decided to challenge Marcos Maidana, the hardest punching 140 pound. In the first round, Kahn threw accurately every punch in his arsenal and near the end of the round, he sent Maidana down with a solid body shot.

The second round saw Khan to continue his assault and throughout the opening half of the fight, his boxing style dominated the action even though, Maidana did occasionally find a home for his right.

In the seventh round, Maidana had a best round of the fight as he nailed Kahn with several solid rights and nearly ended the fight as he had Khan wobbled the whole fight.

While Kahn recovered in the next round, the most dramatic moment came in the tenth round as Maidana nearly stopped Khan and Khan found himself in survival mode. This continued into the twelfth round as Maidana went for the kill but with the final thirty seconds, Khan countered to slow down the Maidana express.

Khan’s unanimous decision was no surprise as he easily won the fight but what he did show was mental toughness. Going into the fight, the real question was whether Khan could take a punch since his only lost was a first round knock out.

Khan took Maidana best shots and while he was nearly out on his feet, he did not fold. He showed that maybe, he is the best junior welterweight. As for Maidana, he showed why no one really wants to fight him as he can end the fight anytime.

As for Ortiz, he has the potential to be one of the elites but there were times that he preferred to box a lighter punching Peterson, showing that maybe he is not fully recovered from his knockout lost to Maidana.