Tim has already done an excellent job of surmising all the action of this past weekend but I felt the need to drop some quick thoughts on the fights as well.
Berto – Collazo
I may be in the minority here but I had Collazo narrowly outpointing Berto over the twelve rounds. But, with that being said, I have no objection to the verdict as the fight really was that close and a case could be made for either man. I will applaud the efforts of both men in providing a hell of a battle and a potential early nominee for 2009 FOTY. I think Berto showed grit an determination but I’m worried that he will get slaughtered by the elite 147 pounders. If Collazo is anything it is tough as nails. He has the tools to be a respectable title holder but don’t expect many fighters out there to give him such an opportunity.
Props have to go out to Orlando Cruz for his KO of Leonilo Miranda. Miranda was clearly in control throughout the fight until he eat that perfect straight left from Cruz. Wow. Like Tim pointed out the difference between the two was the fact that Cruz had an amateur background that allowed him to do more in the fight than wing wild shots a la Miranda. Not sold on either fighter but it made for an entertaining scrap.
Speaking of which, consider me not that high on Marvin Quintero but the manner in which he forced Nick Casal to quit was impressive. It was a nice little slugfest but it’s clear that Casal’s heart is no longer in the sport. As for Quintero, don’t expect a Hall of Fame caliber career.
Unlike the big homie Tim, I was somewhat impressed by 08 Olympian Gary Russell’s performance Friday night. I thought he looked increadibly calm and collected in the ring and though Reyes is still green himself Russell was able to dictate the pace and controlled the action most of the night. Sure there are things that need to worked on like keeping those damn hands up, I think he may make some noise in the sport later on down the road. A quick disclaimer, in my coverage of boxing in North Texas I have had the opportunity to get to know Antonio Reyes and his father quite well and with that said it should be noted that Reyes’ training was severly impacted heading into the fight due to his being sick. Would that have made a difference in the fight Friday night? Probably not, there is a reason that Reyes was brought in to fight Russell, and it wasn’t to win. But I know Antonio to be more of a pressure fighter, and his performance on Friday was that of a man with doubts in his head. Whether it was due to his less than ideal training camp, or nerves brought on by the bright lights of television, only he can say but I can honestly say that Antonio did not fight his fight Friday night.