I’ve been getting a kick out of the live blogging thang, so if anyone — literally, a single soul — wants to join me at a live blog Saturday night for the welterweight (147 lbs.) Andre Berto-Luis Collazo bout, just speak it. You and me’ll watch this fight together, even if nobody else joins us.
Now, some Friday night results.
I didn’t catch the entire James McGirt, Jr. bout, but seeing it in pieces at the bar Friday night, I have to say that it looked to me like the middleweight (160 lbs.) prospect looked like he was losing. Angel Hernandez was wading inside on ‘im and doing some work. That’s what the judges decided, too. I saw that Teddy Atlas thought McGirt deserved to win, so I readily admit I have no clue. I guess what is worrying is that McGirt at this point is having a rough time with very average to mediocre opposition. He’s got some size, some good genes and father/trainer Buddy, but there’s something missing. He doesn’t seem to make the right decisions about spacing and freezes up when he’s getting hit, but there’s something else lacking that is a little intangible to me. Congrats to Hernandez — he was deservedly happy to get the decision, easily the biggest win of his career, and on national television.
Junior middleweight (154 lbs.) Eromosele Albert just slaughtered Germaine Sanders in the main event. I would’ve stopped the fight in the 8th, but Sanders showed his survival skills — skipping away, taking blows well — when Albert kept charging in, getting on the inside and landing considerable volumes of punches more. Albert didn’t wow me or anything; his talent maxes out as a guy who fights hard and is good enough to test a quality opponent but nothing more. But he did his job with an inferior opponent in front of him and won the easy decision.
As far as pro debuts by Olympians go, featherweight (126 lbs.) Gary Russell’s was the least impressive I’ve seen among the 2008 crew as he scored a 3rd round knockout. His punches were wide, his hands were low, his power was passable and his size for the weight was transparently little. He’s got some speed, to be sure, and maybe Antonio Reyes was less roadkill-y than your usual pro debut opponent, but then, he was only 3-2 with no knockouts, unless you count the two he suffered. He got a broken jaw for his bravery. You can’t judge Russell off one fight, be it “win impressively” or “win unimpressively as he tries too hard to impress,” but as much as I wanna root for the local guy — he’s from my backyard near D.C. — he needs to sharpen his pro game.
Lightweight (135 lbs.) Marvin Quintero forced Nick Casal to quit after the 3rd round in what was a slugfest for two rounds, but Casal said after taking a thrashing in the 3rd that his legs were gone. His corner was incredulous about him wanting to stop, but he’s a former prospect whose career hasn’t gone the way he wanted and he was taking a whoopin’. Is Quintero going much of anywhere? Probably not. His defense is terrible, but he wants to slug it out and obviously has the power, volume and accuracy to win some fights like this one. He’ll make fun TV fights until he hits his ceiling.
Featherweight Orlando Cruz knocked out Leonilo Miranda with a picture-perfect straight left in the 5th round of a fight I had Miranda winning in a clean sweep before then. Miranda was all wild power. Cruz was all slow and steady precision. Cruz’ amateur background showed, because he could box whereas Miranda threw crazy punches from crazy angles that had force behind them, except for a pretty nice long jab he threw early then abandoned when he got Cruz in some trouble. Miranda somehow managed to get up after he got knocked down, but always-great Steve Smoger wisely stopped it when Miranda was woozy. Cruz nonetheless didn’t bowl me over — he was getting outworked and hurt by an opponent whose boxing skills were very rough.
All in all? A few entertaining rounds of Friday night boxing by some fighters who either aren’t meant for big things or have a lot of work to do before they get to any big things.