Friday Night Fights

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: February 4, 2012

Isaac Chilemba, Hungry South African

Isaac Chilemba, Hungry South African

IOWA CITY IOWA, (BASN)—ESPN Friday night featured the veteran Edison Miranda challenging South African veteran Isaac Chilemba in one of those classic boxers versus slugger. Chilemba is a boxer who depends upon his mobility and jab to set up his offense, while Miranda simply depends upon raw power. If anything, Miranda natural power may have hindered his career as fighter as he never truly developed the all-around game that distinguish championship fighter from a mere contender as Miranda has already failed to garner a championship belt in previous attempts. Miranda was moving to light heavyweight to fight Chilemba, who was the natural bigger man in this bout.

The opening round saw Chilemba moving and jabbing as he escape many of Miranda power shots but by the second round, Miranda managed to move closer to his prey but he failed to hurt Chilemba in those moments that he had Chilemba on the rope. Both men often grab each other close and occasionally unleashed punches behind the neck, which led to point deductions.

Over the second half of the fight, Chilemba legs started to make a difference as he maneuvered into positions that allowed him to unleashed combinations and added consistent right hands as Miranda moved into his wheelhouse. As the fight progressed, Miranda failed to throw enough punches and when he got close, he rarely to throw combinations as he allowed Chilemba to grab and hold until the referee came in to break them off.

In the final round, Chilemba boxed as he did in the first nine rounds and in the final thirty seconds, he connected on a solid right when Miranda rushed in. He then finished off the round strongly as he was rewarded with an easy decision.

Magomed Abdusalamov is the man

Magomed Abdusalamov is the man

Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov and his challenger Pedro Rodriguez showed two undefeated pugilists going in different directions. Rodriguez was a natural cruiserweight but he was fighting at 245 pounds and a round of mound in his center whereas Abdusalamov looks the part of a prospect with a chance to make a charge into contender status. If Rodriguez looked the part of a Pillsbury dough boy, Abdusalamov has moved down in weight as he gotten himself into shape. In the first round, Rodriguez connected on right hands after right hand against the southpaw Abdusalamov as he won the first round easily but the second round was different.

Abdusalamov moved into attack mode and simply overwhelmed Rodriguez. Abdusalamov trapped Rodriquez along the rope and he pummeled his opponent with one punch after another. As Rodriguez held his gloves up, Abdusalamov threw solid accurate punches around Rodriguez’s defenses and hurt him. The end came when Abdusalamov released nearly a dozen of unanswered punches before Rodriguez simply melted down into the canvas. This fight may not have proven that Abdusalamov is a legitimate prospect but it does show that Rodriguez is more an opponent than a prospect and he should drop his weight back into cruiserweight division.

Hylon Williams faced Rances Barthelemy in a battle of undefeated junior lightweight prospects. Hylon Williams advantage laid in his fast hands whereas the 5’10″ inches Barthelemy advantages laid in his height and power. From the very beginning of the bout, Williams speed could not overcome Barthelemy aggressive style and height. When Barthelemy stood outside, Williams could not easily move in without getting clipped by Barthelemy’s jab. When both fought inside and Barthelemy gave up his height, Williams could not take advantage with his quicker hands. In the third round, it looked like Williams might get back into the fight as he nailed Barthelemy with fast upper cuts but by the end of the fourth round, the fight returned to the pattern of the first two rounds. For the rest of the fight, Barthelemy simply outworked Williams and while Williams would occasionally connect on solid combinations; he failed to take the fight to Barthelemy. The final round reinforced what the other rounds showed as Barthelemy jabbed Williams at will and controlled the pace of the round. Halfway through the round, solid combinations forced Williams to retreat and Barthelemy took the round. This fight was won in the trenches and by Barthelemy outpunching Williams and outhustling him as well. Barthelemy showed that he is ahead of Williams on the prospect ladders and Williams has to rethink his own tactics in defeat.