ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — We’re moments away from starting our live blog for the main event and main undercard. The event is in a room that looks almost exactly like a high school gymnasium. Jim Lampley and the rest of the HBO crew are near me, and in recording a segment, Harold Lederman shouted so loud everyone in the “ballroom” aka the gym definitely heard him. So it doesn’t just sound like he’s shouting on TV. He’s shouting, for real.
Your undercard results:
Heavyweight Tony Thompson was very impressive in knocking out Chazz Witherspoon in the 9th. He won most rounds of what was a competitive fight despite each round’s edge to Thompson, using a good jab, a good straight left and a good overhand right when Witherspoon ducked the left. He also countered well off the ropes when Witherspoon cornered him, which made Witherspoon tentative to throw body shots, which had seemed to have had some success in wearing Thompson down. A big left had Witherspoon stumbling and he only stayed up because of the ropes, so the ref scored a knockdown correctly. Witherspoon was in bad shape, and it only took another few fluid connects for the ref to step in. Thompson has arguably been underrated, but I think he deserves top-10 consideration now. Here’s hoping he gets another good payday soon, because he’s a great character guy, a great quote, a nice fighter and an entertaining one.
Carlos Quintana-Jesse Feliciano was a three-round fight in three parts: In the 1st and most of the 2nd, Quintana was completely dominating his no-defense junior welterweight foe. It was the same in the 2nd, until Quintana got overeager and Feliciano scored a flash knockdown. Quintana went back to dominating, and in the 3rd round, opened a very bad cut over Feliciano’s right eye that immediately warranted a doctor’s stoppage. Quintana ought to be in line for a nice-sized fight now. He was supposed to fight Joshua Clottey tonight before the schedule got mixed up. Quintana has skills, and he has flaws – it makes him a potentially nice fighter to watch. Quintana said after that he wants to fight any of the “champions” at 147 or 154, “even Antonio Margarito” and even in Mexico, especially if it’s on HBO. Intriguing, but I wish people would blackball Margarito like he deserves to be for trying to cheat in his last fight.
I didn’t get much of a sense of featherweight Jorge Diaz, because candidly I didn’t think his opponent, Luis Paneto came to fight. He knocked him down on a shot high on the temple in the 1st round, and Paneto seemed to wait right until the count hit 10 to get up.
I liked my first gulp of Jeremiah Wiggins, a junior middleweight prospect who fights out of my region. I’m not sure if Manuel Guzman was better than his record or what, but he gave him ha stern test in a fight Wiggins won by unanimous decision. Wiggins is muscle-bound and played the role of stalker; Gomez played the role of counterpuncher. Wiggins was fairly accurate and landed cleanly when he sat down on his shots, but he also was pretty hittable. There’s some material to work with here, but Gomez struck me as a real test.