A quick rundown of what happened last night:
- Bute-Johnson – a very interesting though uncompetitive undercard in which the much taller, longer Jorge “Georgie” was dismantled inside of three minutes, with a chilling one-punch knockout to punctuate the first few seconds of round two. Johnson came out strong against Bute making good use of his jab, staying on the outside, Johnson made have done enough to be even on points for the first round. Beginning with round two Bute started to look faster and more agile with Johnson reverting to the 1-2 combination as his only offense and a stationary shell as his only defense. By the final round Johnson was getting hit with hard combinations as Bute worked unorthodox angles from his southpaw stance. Unanimous decision for Bute.
- Angulo-Kirkland – another uncompetitive undercard left Craig McEwan’s face a bloody mess due to an unintentional headbutt that went unnoticed by the referee. McEwan fought hard but the referee wisely stopped the fight after a flurry of solid punches landed on his badly cut and swollen eye. When Kirkland came out against Angulo it looked like he was going for a first round knockout, clear as day. The commentators didn’t seem to notice until, when backed into a corner by Kirkland’s intimidating onslaught, Angulo put Kirkland out on his feet with a perfect counter straight right hand. For the next minute and a half I cheered and rooted for Kirkland to hang on, not let another fight go out on single mistake. He seemed to be doing a fantastic job, I noticed, as Angulo bashed Kirkland around the ring, mostly hitting his arms and shoulders. Finally, around the 2 minute 30 second mark, Angulo very dramatically tired, which very dramatically inspired Kirkland, whose combinations quickly crescendoed to an intensity beyond even his initial effort. Angulo’s sturdy chin could only handle five or six solid shots from Kirkland’s formidable power before he crumpled to the canvas himself, just before the end of the first round. Angulo mustered his strength and got up before the count ended, concluding one of the best rounds of boxing I’ve ever seen. In any era. The fight continued to be one of the most fan-pleasing variety for several more rounds, concluding with a decisive victory, and successful redemption, for James Kirkland.
Find clips of this fight. Check the stats. People will remember round one of Alfredo Angulo vs. James Kirkland for a long time. This is boxing. This is why we watch.