Erik Morales finally looked his age this weekend against Danny Garcia. Morales’ precision and timing were sufficient to control Garcia through the early rounds but both fell apart as the fight wore on and his stamina deteriorated. Garcia is no world-class champion but he was good enough all around to keep the best guys honest. In the undercard, James Kirkland demonstrated his ability to facilitate controversial fights as he fought ineffectively for about ten rounds before coming on strong at the end. The fight concluded in some of the most bizarre circumstances I’ve ever heard of in boxing as Kirkland scored at knockdown at the bell and while Carlos Molina was being counted, his corner committed a fight-ending foul. The judges were informed that the fight was ruled a disqualification because Molina’s corner entered the ring during the count. While Kirkland did manage a knockdown, he was still down by several points on any judge’s scorecard. This controversy will only serve to further muddle the already conflicted reputation of puncher James Kirkland.
While not much of interest has transpired in boxing in recent weeks, two of the most exciting matchups in months for me included Hank Lundy vs. Dannie Williams and Edgar Santana vs. Manny Perez.
ESPN billed the Hank Lundy-Dannie Williams fight as a big punchers’ brawl. For once, Friday Night Fights delivered. Some of the rounds between these two knockout kings could be nominated for round of the year, especially round 3. Both winging power shots without restraint, Lundy came out ahead on points with superior precision and control of his hooks. Both men are legitimate gate keepers in the division and should always provide entertaining fights with competent ability.
The Santana-Perez fight was a perfect model for demonstrating the scientific method of boxing. The bigger Santana tried to physically impose himself in the early rounds with sheer athleticism in single big shots. By round 5, however, Perez’ fundamentals and gradual come-forward style overwhelmed Santana’s less robust skill set. Perez deservedly won the NABF Junior Welterweight title in a ten-round decision through grit and boxing skill.
Finally, the passing of Bert Sugar and Angelo Dundee have been great losses to the boxing community and both will be remembered as pioneers and experts of the game.