A Few Thoughts

By Tom Donelson
Updated: December 21, 2011

Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg

IOWA CITY, IOWA-–This past weekend, I witness the baddest woman on the planet. Cris Cyborg, the Brazilian MMA star, simply destroyed her opponent, Hiroko Yamanaka in sixteen seconds, that’s right, sixteen seconds. At the five second mark, a Cyborg right hand sent Yamanka crashing down. Yamanka made the mistake of getting up and Cyborg simply unleashed a flurry of punches and Yamanka had no way to go but down. Boxing fans may recognize the style and excitement since Ms. Cyborg resembles a young Tyson, mean, fierce and resistance proved futile. There are very few men who could match the devastation Cyborg leaves in her wake. The Octagon and Cyborg are the perfect marriage of destruction and raw power and when Cyborg walks in, her opponent must know that options are limited and the end is near.

Three years ago, Andre Ward was just a prospect and a frequent guest on ShoBox, but no one could have foreseen that in three years, he would be one of the two elite Super Middleweights, with Canadian Lucian Bute the other. Ward went from prospect to becoming one of the best fighters in the world as he entered the Super Six tournament as a decided underdog. Along with fellow prospect Andre Dirrell, Ward wasn’t even considered the best American Super Middleweight since that distinction belonged to Jermaine Taylor, the former Middleweight champion.

The European contingent of Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham were the favorites with Taylor given an outside shot. Taylor stay in the Super Six tournament was short lived as a vicious knockout lost by Arthur Abraham ended his stay. Abraham smashed Taylor for most of the fight before he stopped Taylor in the final round. Taylor dropped out since this lost was one of recent tough losses that had many fearing for his safety.

Dirrell lost a close decision to Froch but Ward stunned everyone by easily beating Mikkel Kessler and stopping him in the eleventh. From that point, he pounded Allen Green, a late substitute for Taylor and had another tough fight with Sakio Biko, who was a substitute for an injured Andre Dirrell. This was followed by a decisive decision over Arthur Abraham concluding with his final victory over Carl Froch. Ward won his fight by adapting his style to his opponent. He boxed and moved against the rugged Abraham but against Green and Froch, he stayed inside on his opponent chest and used his hand speed to grind out easy decision. He can throw any punch from any stance, he can fight inside and outside, but he continues to be underestimated.

Lucian Bute was another fighter who moved front and center. Not competing in the Super Six, he held his own tournament as he beat the best of the rest beginning with a decision victory against Librado Andrade who nearly derailed Bute journey with a big knockdown in the final round that Bute survived barely.(Bute was easily winning the fight before a right sent him down and he found a way to beat the count and win the decision.) From that point, he went from a being a boxer to a devastating boxer-puncher as he started to use his hand speed to pound the body and he has won his last seven fights by knockout. Bute-Ward would be intriguing fight with two fighters who can fight inside, box outside and both have showed they have power and skills to beat the best of the deepest division in boxing. Hopefully, Ward and Bute will not keep us waiting as long as Pacquaio-Mayweather.

Pacquiao showed himself to be human as he escaped with a narrow victory against Juan Manuel Marquez but the fight that everyone wants is still over the horizon. We will have to wait until Mayweather gets out of jail before any hope for the fight actually occurred. Finally Miguel Cotto got his revenge as he pounded Antonio Margarito. There was a time that everyone feared Margarito but after Shane Mosley’s corner discovered plaster placed on his hand and then Mosley promptly dismantle the Mexican slugger. From that point, Margarito was no longer feared and after two consecutive pounding, the end looks near for Margarito but Cotto’s victory allowed him to stay as a PPV star.