CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Great Start to 2014 in Frigid Minnesota
With subzero temperature outside, Minnesota native Caleb Truax faced Ossie Duran in front of his fellow Minnesota fans in Minneapolis. For the first three rounds, there was little action with both fighters trying to probe for weakness but finding little to take advantage. In the fourth round, Duran used his double jab to move inside Truax with the idea of pounding the body whereas Truax boxed on the outside to minimize Duran. The Duran jab caused Truax’s nose to bleed.
Throughout the fifth round, Truax started to set down on his power shots with solid rights and left hook to the body as he started to push Duran around. If Truax was able to land several shots in the fifth round and in the first part of the sixth round, Duran ended the round with a combination that included a solid hook with Truax trapped on the rope.
After seven rounds, Duran and Truax connected on similar number of punches but Truax needed twice as many punches to get his result. Truax landed a solid upper cut in the eighth round for the most impactful punch of that round. The ninth round was a close affair as both fighters found solid shots that could garner them a round. For Truax, it was a solid upper cut and for Duran, a solid left hook. The tenth round saw both men finding opportunities but neither able to take advantage of the other due to exhaustion. Both fighters connected on similar number of punches but Duran was the more accurate and the judges couldn’t decide which fighter had the advantage and had it a draw. Despite being local judges and Truax being the local hero, the judges saw a close fight and judge accordingly. Ted Atlas had it 96 to 94 for Truax but he had no problem with the decision and neither did I.
In the main event, Argenis Mendez faced Rances Barthelemy for Mendez IBF junior lightweight title. In the opening minute, Barthelemy buckled Mendez’s knee and he continued his assault in the second round. His left hook that was so effective in the first round sent Mendez down for a eight count with a left hook to the body followed by a left hook to the head. Mendez got back up but Barthelemy caught Mendez with another left hook as the bell ranged to end the fight.
There was some controversy as Barthelemy continued to throw punches after the bell ranged but as Ted Atlas noted, it was the responsibility of the referee to be close enough to stop the fight. Promoter and former Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson sounded like he was ready to set up a rematch and the new champion seemed okay with that.