On Friday Night Fights, DeMarcus Corley Gets Jobbed A Little And David Lopez Outworks His Opponent A Little


(Photo: DeMarcus Corley on Friday Night Fights [If you didn’t watch the show, I’ll explain in a second])

  • The Tombstone/OK Corral gag sketches, what with the fight being in Tuscon, were funny in a cheesy way. I get the impression that sometimes on FNF, they’re trying to keep things fresh the way people would in a marriage, and last night they ended up in some wacky places. Also, apparently in Tombstone, they reenact the shootout as it was in the movie “Tombstone,” complete with Val Kilmer imitator.
  • As someone who’s visited Tuscon, I can’t imagine having a boxing match, let alone attending one, in a building without air conditioning. But broadcast team Brian Kenny and Teddy Atlas said that was what went down. I pity everyone who endured that.
  • Junior welterweight prospect Karl Dargan impressed me with his 4th round stoppage win. It was just his fourth fight, so it’s always hard to judge much, but sometimes a prospect looks like he has the goods and sometimes he looks like hype. Dargan looked a little more like the former to me. He’s trained by Nazim Richardson, and he’s a former amateur standout, so naturally he was smart as hell. I liked his jab, I liked some of the subtle things he did, and I liked him finishing off an opponent who struck me as a notch above the record-building fodder you sometimes see on FNF. I question Dargan’s power, though, and whether he could keep a big puncher off him. If he can develop that, I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear from this guy in a pretty big way in a couple years.
  • Studio man Robert Flores was fed some bad info about Paul Williams and Winky Wright both having a common win over Shane Mosley. Tonight’s middleweight HBO foes share no such win. Wright beat Mosley twice, so maybe the thinking was that that was good enough for both men. Mosley doesn’t want to fight Williams because he’s such a difficult specimen, and he said it again just the other day.
  • That Atlas picked Williams makes me now worried that Wright will win. Atlas’ picks are the kiss of death.
  • Corley is one of boxing’s great characters. Usually, he just wears women’s underwear into the ring beneath his trunks, but before and after his fight, he wore a giant headpiece replica of the monster from “The Predator.” The Predator? Huh? Is that hot right now? Those Alien Vs. Predator movies didn’t do so well, did they? Still, I say: Yes. The more outlandish someone’s schtick, the more I like it. Corley immediately had me rooting for him, despite my recent calls for him to retire.
  • And then he fought like he shouldn’t be retiring. I had him beating junior welterweight prospect Hector Sanchez 76-75, a rare time where my card and Atlas’ card were identical. The ref’s decision to have Corley’s 1st round cut under his eye examined by the doctor in the 2nd round prompted a totally worthy bit of Corley scoffing, because the cut was going to have no impact on the fight, and it didn’t. In the 3rd, Corley dropped Sanchez hard with a right hook. He got overeager in the follow-up, slipping once and fouling once to give Sanchez recovery time. I alternated giving rounds to each men until the 6th and 7th, which I gave Sanchez, but Corley won the 8th. Corley was more aggressive in the rounds he won, and Sanchez landed crisp uppercuts and hooks in the rounds he won.
  • The judges’ scorecards of 77-74 across the board for Sanchez were ridiculous. Some of those rounds were close, but I don’t see how three judges gave six of eight to Sanchez. The decision itself wasn’t a robbery, but the scorecards made it look like that’s what the judges were trying to do. Corley has eight kids, so he needs the money, and if he fights like this, he can give this level of opposition trouble, and deserves another decent payday; at 34, he slowed down some in the final rounds, but dug deep in the final stanza. Sanchez has some talent, I guess, but he didn’t impress me much. Atlas has some kind of sexual fetish for fighters who don’t fight tall enough for his choosing, but Sanchez gives his height away entirely. 100 percent. Oscar De La Hoya, promoter of Sanchez, said during an interview session from ringside that he thought Corley won. Kudos to Oscar, who gets mealy-mouthed sometimes to say the least, for speaking the truth as he saw it.
  • Junior welterweight Timothy Bradley, coming of a big win last weekend, called in to talk with Flores between bouts. (What’s up with FNF having a thing for Floreses?) He’s a helluva likable kid, Bradley. I know I’ve not been the most complimentary of his skills, but I like his mental make-up a lot. Watching the replay of Kendall Holt knocking him down in the 1st round, Bradley sounded genuinely admiring of Holt’s work: “That was a great shot.” He also admitted that Holt got into his head by trash-talking him during the fighter introductions, and who would admit that kind of thing? Just a likable kid. He said he wanted Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and while I’ve laughed off that idea in the past, there are more than a couple knowledgeable boxing heads who think Bradley is ideally poised for Mayweather’s tune-up bout. Bradley’s credible but undersized and underskilled, which is exactly Mayweather’s M.O.
  • Speaking of Floyd, I liked him in the AT&T commercial. I hadn’t seen it before, so for all I know it’s old. I disagree that Floyd has the “fastest hands boxing has ever seen,” but I do like the old man in the ad’s ability to out-type him when Floyd still has his boxing gloves on. Moderately amusing, that.
  • De La Hoya didn’t answer those questions about what he’ll announce April 14, and I don’t necessarily agree with Atlas and Kenny that he sounded like he was leaning “90/10” toward retirement. As I mentioned before, De La Hoya can be mealy-mouthed, so anyone could read into what he said whatever he wants. He did mention he’d been back in the ring for a charity event, where he allowed a bunch of little kids to just “pummel” him. I like that he said “allowed.” Based on De La Hoya getting knocked out by a much smaller opponent in his last fight, I’d take your average 10-year-old to beat him by 4th round TKO. (I kid, I kid. I like Oscar, but I couldn’t resist.)
  • As for the main event, my DVR cut off mid-way through the 8th round, since the basketball game before FNF went long. All the write-ups of the fight are all over the place as far as who controlled what when, but junior middleweight David Lopez was well ahead of Ossie Duran on my card prior to my DVR FAIL. I had Duran winning the first two rounds, and winning the 8th before things went astray. The first couple rounds were close, but Duran landed the cleaner shots. That changed in the 3rd, when Lopez started putting together combos that froze Duran every time he did it. He could have thrown a 37-punch combo and Duran would have just stood there. It was like that for most of the rest of the rounds until the 7th, when Duran began to get more aggressive in his attack. It didn’t surprise me much that the final scores were fairly close in a Lopez win. Like I said, the write-ups were all over the place. Lopez and Duran are the very definition of “fringe contenders,” if you ask me, but given his 14-fight winning streak and a quality win over Duran, Lopez deserves a shot at a more meaningful fight than what he’s been getting. I can’t say he wows me, but obviously he’s doing something right.

About Tim Starks

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