Joseph Agbeko came out on the winning end of a wild, dirty brawl, spoiling Vic Darchinyan’s move up to bantamweight on Showtime Saturday night. Darchinyan fought the totally wrong fight for the first six rounds, swinging wildly rather than being precise, i.e., reverting to the “old” version of himself, and after, he acknowledged his “bad tactic.” Agbeko, for his part, was more precise and sharper defensively than expected, which is not to say he wasn’t swinging crazily himself. He just was more precise more often, and it was the difference, helping him bust up Darchinyan’s face badly.
- Middleweight Felix Sturm defeated Khoren Gevor in Germany. I watched most of the fight, and many of the rounds were very, very close — Sturm, sharper and more accurate, Gevor, busier — so I wouldn’t have disagreed with either fighter getting the decision. Scores of 115-113 for Sturm were reasonable, but 117-111 was a good deal wider than I might have expected. There are some who are calling this a “robbery.” That’s B.S., unless the first four rounds were all Gevor, and reportedly they weren’t. There are plenty of people who watched that fight, based on my skimming of the bulletin boards and elsewhere, who thought Sturm DESERVED the win. A robbery is what happens when somebody clearly deserved the win and didn’t get it. That didn’t happen. Sturm may be in line for a fight with divisional king Kelly Pavlik, but based on this showing, Sturm’s chances of beating him don’t look so good. He wasn’t busy enough. Pavlik is definitely busy, and his punches mean more than Gevor’s ever could.
- On the undercard of Darchinyan-Agbeko, lightweight Antonio DeMarco scored a 9th round TKO over Anges Adjaho. It was a fight where DeMarco was far too cautious, and he’s swung significantly toward being a boxer instead of a brawler. He was a brawler who needed a little boxing, and he’s overdone it. He was probably losing the fight due to an abundance of caution, even though he hurt Adjaho numerous times when he let his hands go — although Adjaho’s skill level was fairly high, and he confused DeMarco somewhat by way of explaining DeMarco’s patience. The finishing sequence featured DeMarco hurting Adjaho with a straight left, and as Adjaho went to take a knee, DeMarco was chasing and already throwing a punch. One grazed the back of Adjaho’s head, and he protested to the ref. Then, he layed down on the ground and got counted out. Then he suddenly startled back to life and protested again. Adjaho screwed himself big time. He was clearly acting, I thought, and he lost the fight because of it. The replays showed the punch landed BEFORE Adjaho’s knee touched the ground, and the ref is to be commended massively for making the right call. DeMarco is now in line for a shot at Edwin Valero’s alphabet title, and Valero will destroy him. I don’t see any other possible conclusion.
- Also on the Darchinyan-Agbeko undercard, albeit untelevised, cruiserweight Steve Cunningham beat Wayne Braithwaite, reportedly with ease. That will put him in line for a shot at Tomasz Adamek, the cruiserweight champion who won that label by beating Cunningham, and a beltholder with whom Cunningham put together one of the best fights of 2008.
- Speaking of Adamek, he knocked out Bobby Gunn in the 4th in a fight broadcast on mainevents.com that I didn’t watch. I’m surprised it went that long, honestly. There are no indicators that Gunn was ever in the fight.
- As messy as Agbeko-Darchinyan was, it was clean enough I would’ve eaten off it compared to the featherweight bout between Cristobal Cruz and Jorge Solis. Solis was deducted four points for intentional low blows — two separate occasions, two points each — and it certainly contributed to Cruz’ decision win. Cruz, for his part, was apparently deducted a point for a head butt, and they spent a lot of time throwing each other on the ground, hitting on the break, etc. I found the two point deductions rather than one point deductions questionable, but they were in Cruz’ home town, so he gets the benefit of the doubt. It was a close fight, although I must note I missed the first four rounds, same as with Sturm-Gevor. Of the eight
rounds I scored, I had Cruz and Solis literally exchanging winning rounds every other round. (I thought Solis won the 7th, but it ended up being a 9-8 round for Cruz because of the point deductions.) Anyway, interesting that Cruz won the rematch of a fight from many years ago — Cruz has had a really interesting rise in the sport, apparently a journeyman for years before pulling out a series of upsets. I can’t say the fight itself was enjoyable, because it was ugly as hell, but it wasn’t boring, I guess.
- Someone named Sebastian Zbik will be a mandatory challenger to one of Pavlik’s middleweight belts after winning on the Sturm-Gevor undercard… Selcuk Aydin knocked out Jackson Bonsu to become a mandatory challenger for Andre Berto’s welterweight belt, but somehow there was ANOTHER eliminator for his title belt on the Agbeko-Darchinyan undercard, and someone named Ivan Kirpa got the nod, plus Luis Collazo is already a mandatory challenger for Berto’s belt; alphabet sanctioning organizations can’t stop coming up with ways to innovate stupidity… Lovemore beat Philip in a welterweight battle of Ndou/N’dous.