Not yet ready for prime time

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 5, 2011

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Lateef Kayode has been a ShoBox regular as he knocked out 14 fighters in 15 victories in a career in which he has yet to taste defeat.

His opponent Friday night, Nicholas Iannuzzi, had only lost one fight in 17 bouts with nine knockouts. Iannuzzi started the bout boxing and over the first three rounds, he moved out of harms way.

Kayode looked amateurish as he chased as opposed to cutting of the ring.

Iannuzzi often escaped and avoided getting trap on the ropes. It wasn’t until the second half of the fight did Iannuzzi slowed down and only then could Kayode actually connect on a series of punches.

In the first five rounds, he found himself often hitting air while being countered but over the second half of the fight, Iannuzzi slowed down enough to be vulnerable to Kayode’s punches.

Kayode’s advantage going into the fight was his power and ability to end a fight with one punch but against Iannuzzi, he could never connect on the punch he needed to end the fight.

Over the last two rounds, Kayode jabbed effectively and landed a few shots but he could not stop Iannuzzi. While Kayode won the fight on his pressure, it was much closer fight than the score card.

Two of the cards had an easy Kayode victory but the reality, the 95- 94 in Kayode favorite was closer to the reality of the fight. In the early rounds, Kayode did not punch enough to win a round but judges gave him the benefit simply because he moved forward.

What this fight showed is that Kayode is not close to a championship fight as he was simply outclassed at times against an opponent he should have beaten easily. Iannuzzi showed that Kayode has much to learn and cutting the ring off is one skill needed.

In the second bout, Cuban Luis Franco hoped to keep his undefeated against what could be described his toughest opponent, Leonilo Miranda, hard slugging Mexican.

In the first round, Leonilo Miranda nearly stopped Franco as he sent the Cuban down (even though the referee called it a slip but there was no doubt that Franco went down as a result of a knockdown and he looked shaken over the next thirty seconds from the effect of the punch.)

Franco used his boxing skills over the next two rounds but he was shaken in the fourth round in a round that he was winning. Over the second half of the fight, Franco’s hand speed allowed him to score but Miranda’s body shots had their effect.

By the eighth round, Franco was reduced to fighting toe to toe and there were times in the bouts, Miranda hurt Franco. Over the last three rounds, Franco depended upon his chin to take Miranda’s best shots and his quick hands to outscore Miranda but Miranda managed to hurt Franco.

For Franco, it was desperation time but he managed to win a split decision.

Like Kayode, Franco was viewed ready for a championship bout but these fights show is that neither fighter is close to championship caliber. Both fighters are solid prospects but being a prospect is not the same as being contender.

It means you need more time to develop.