A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Solomon shows his stuff
Solomon showed good instincts in the fight as he chose to move forward as he saw that Hopkins was not using his jab enough to force Solomon back. The fourth round was close round that Hopkins actually connected on a couple of more punches. The fifth round saw both fighters connecting solid shots but in the last thirty seconds, Solomon connected double left hooks that might have won the round.
In the sixth round, Solomon connected on the more decisive punches just as he did in the fifth round. Solomon advantage laid into the fact that in rounds in which were close, he threw the more decisive punches. In some rounds, Solomon advantage may have been just one or two punches more but those punches had more snap. In the seventh round, Solomon took control as he pushed Hopkins around the round and Hopkins corner knew their fighter was behind the scorecard with just three rounds left.
Over the next two rounds, Solomon continued to press the action while Hopkins seemed content to play defense and not take chances. Going into the last round, Team Hopkins told their fighter, he was losing the fight and one even added, “You are not even breathing heavy.”
The tenth round was essentially the same round as the previous rounds as Hopkins did little to change the fight as he did not attack nor go for knock out. He had to know he was losing big but Hopkins nature was not to attack and throughout the bout, his true nature proved his undoing.
Brad Solomon won an easy decision and the reason was his more aggressive nature. As for Hopkins, this was an opportunity to get back in the championship picture but he opposed a hungrier fighter who wanted to win just a little more.
Cuban Yah Barthelemy, a former gold medal winner, faced a last minute replacement Francis Ruiz and riding a three fight winning streak. Ruiz last fought three weeks ago, losing an unanimous decision but for Barthelemy, this was opportunity to show his potential in a career that so far been disappointment.
Barthelemy began the fight as the aggressor, but over the first two rounds found few open spots to connect on solid shots. In the third round, Barthelemy played the master as he pushed Ruiz around the round and forcing Ruiz to retreat. Halfway through the round, Barthelemy slipped a solid right hook after a left hand missed that sent Ruiz down and for the rest of the round, Ruiz fought to survive the round.
In the fourth round, Barthelemy pressured Ruiz but Ruiz appeared to comeback from the previous round shellacking. During the round, Ruiz even scored a few punch as he steady himself even though Barthelemy still proved the stronger fighter.
Ruiz went from survival mode to try winning the fight against a superior technical fighter as he made the round the closet of the fight at this point. Going into the second half of the fight, Barthelemy held the lead and appeared in control of the fight.
Over the sixth and seventh round, Barthelemy continued to pressure Ruiz, who started to slip some of the punches and avoided the big shots but failed to change the momentum of the fight. In the eighth round, Barthelemy spent much of the fight on the inside as he pounded Ruiz body, hoping that he could slip a big punch upstairs. In the ninth round, Barthelemy snapped Ruiz’s head back with a beautiful straight left that followed those body shots.
Both fighters went after each other for the first twenty seconds before Ruiz retreated and allowed Barthelemy to move forward to dominate the round and seal the victory. There were no surprises with the final decision as Barthelemy won an easy decision as the judges score accurately what occurred in the ring.