Chris Henry Rallies To Stop A Mystifying Shaun George, Matt Godrey Cruises To Decision An Underskilled Shawn Hawk

As it turns out, I was right when I said the light heavyweight Friday Night Fights undercard bout between Chris Henry and Shaun George would steal the show from the main event. But I didn’t realize it would be because Henry-George would be so goddam weird, and because the main event, between cruiserweights Matt Godfrey and Shawn Hawk, would be so gawdawful boring.

If you didn’t catch it, I don’t recommend watching Henry-George for the excitement of it — more out of the curiosity of the whole thing. In the 1st round, George blasted Henry with every right hand he threw. He wobbled Henry and had him in bad, bad trouble. Couldn’t miss him if he tried. And then, for no reason I can discern, he spent the next five rounds doing nothing, then got knocked down twice in the 6th and finally out. He landed more punches in the 1st round than he landed in the next three and a half. Granted, Henry wobbled him in the 3rd, but that doesn’t explain why he did zippy in the 2nd. Was he tired in the 2nd? If he was, that’s lame. Was his confidence busted by not being able to KO Henry in the 1st? If so, he must’ve started with absolutely no confidence whatsoever. Did he get hurt and we missed it? Maybe, but he didn’t show it. Bewildering. One of the more mystifying performances I’ve seen in a while, worthy of filing under the “what the hell?” category for year-end 2009 awards, which is a fairly thick file. I’d give Henry credit for rallying, but it’s easy to rally against a guy who doesn’t do jack, innit? My kingdom for the guy who scores the first George interview and asks him “Seriously, what was that?”
Hawk, despite his glossy record, was way, way, way out of his league against Godfrey. I think he won the last round in my book on sheer aggression to take his first round on my card, but I stopped scoring any way other than mentally after the ultra-boring opening round, and largely stopped paying attention. I spend a lot of time arguing with FNF’s Teddy Atlas, so let me do that once then agree with him once. First, Atlas jumped on Hawk for not throwing enough punches, but he didn’t throw many punches because his mind was boggled by how much better Godfrey was than him. He just didn’t know what to do with someone who had as many tricks as Godfrey did. Hawk, it seemed to me, was giving an honest effort. Second, Atlas jumped on Godfrey for not backing Hawk up. I’m with Atlas on this one. Godfrey could have, at any point, turned up the offense and Hawk would have gone cross-eyed trying to figure out what to do. When Gofrey unloaded, Hawk turned into a statue. But Godfrey isn’t, apparently, comfortable leading. And since Hawk was so confused, Godfrey didn’t get many chances to respond. Maybe Godfrey would be more entertaining against a high-volume foe, because he’s got some skills, but the trash-talking between Godfrey and studio analyst B.J. Flores hopefully goes no further, because the idea of those two fighting makes me want to drill a hole in my skull and let my brains ooze out slowly. It would be more fun. Godfrey, while he won, failed to capitalize on his big ESPN2 headlining opportunity.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.