Paul Williams vs. Verno Phillips Round by Round

Paul Williams vows to campaign simultaneously in four weight divisions, which is absolutely amazing.

Here comes Verno to the ring.

Next is Williams.

and here we go

Round 1
phillips shows movement. williams throws a lot as usual. body and head. phillips unfazed. phillips has to back up a little. but he is circling. big accidental clash of heads. someone is bleeding. phillips doing a good job of in and out left and right. williams is the man bleeding. nice right from williams. decent round. neither man controlled completely. both men trying to work their respective game plan.

Uatu: Williams 10-9

Round 2
phillips right to body. phillips cleary shows he knows what he is doing in there. williams with a decent shot. williams forces phillips back. he manages to dodge most of it. nice two way action. williams is working phillips back. phillips lands a combo. phillips lands two more. phillips gets in a solid right. the cut is bleeding nicely. the last 15 seconds are fought in the phone booth so it's impossible to type every punch. both men doing some serious swinging with phillips up against the ropes. williams goes to the body to close.

Uatu: Phillips 10-9

Round 3
phillips is trying that left but not much luck. this is a good scrap being fought at a high level. williams really pressing and throwing hard to the body. perhaps the cut has him urgent. both men land nice shots. williams really trying to work the body with strafing hooks. phillips still bringing it though. williams throws about 7 unanswered. the ref stops the fight to check on the cut. time in. phillips back to the circling.

Uatu: Williams 10-9

Round 4
lederman has all 3 williams.
williams has phillips trapped in the corner and throws a few hard shots. phillips does a good job of blocking everything though. phillips loses his balance for a moment of drama. williams starting to land some hard leather. williams is controlling the ring. williams throwing frequently but not quite as haphazardly as he did against margarito. philllips blocking a lot but he can't get them all. phillips falls but no knockdown. both men are making a concerted effort to go to the body. have to give it to williams. phillips is game but williams physicality and frequency are getting the nod.

Uatu: Williams 10-9

Round 5
every round has looked the same style wise. williams does the stalking. phillips does the moving. eventually they get to places in each other's range. phillips sneaks in a 1-2. for the most part williams forces phillips back. half way through they are in the phone booth again. no real serious punches land though. both men are showing grit and defense. they have thrown a similar amount of punches. it will be interesting down the stretch to see if anyone tires from this pace. there were a ton of punches thrown both ways that round but many blocked.

Uatu: Williams 10-9

Round 6
williams on his toes a little more. a little of the stick and move with the jab. phillips gets backed into the corner. kellerman wants to see a different style from phillips. agreed. this has been a good showing but it has been to williams favor. williams is digging the body. four puncher from williams. williams may have stunned phillips. the veteran gets through it with no problem

Uatu: Williams 10-9

Round 7
it was a nice left to the head that got phillips. phillips on the bike to start. lederman has it 6-0. both men go down in heap but it's a slip. williams being so tall it was quite a tangled fall. it's easier said than done. but phillips corner is yelling not to back straight up. that is probably good advice. phillips got hit with some big body shots there. phillips is still throwing hard in spots. when he throws big his guard comes open though.

Uatu: Williams 10-9

Round 8
phillips begins with the usual movement. williams catches up eventually. williams uncorks maybe 9 unanswered. none land head, some decent body work. a brief period of inactivity ensues. some grabbing in the middle. this is a slower round so far. back to the phone booth but neither are throwing. just some leaning both ways. is either man tiring perhaps? left from phillips. paul misses with a right uppercut. williams goes off with some double hooks. williams ends the round with 7 straight punches, maybe 2 land. but they are hard to the body. as many have been.

Uatu: Williams 10-9

What!? The fight has been stopped. HBO says due to the cut. HBO claims it was a savage beating, but honestly, Phillips looks absolutely fine.

But interestingly, Lederman says it was PHILLIPS'S corner that created the stoppage. Was it the doctor, the corner, the fighter?

Buffer says that the ref stopped the fight on the advice of the physician.
TKO end of Round 8, Paul the Punisher Williams

Uatu would never want to see a fighter hurt, so if that's the call, then who is he to argue. Fight over.

Williams rates his performance at the top since he won.
The headbutt let him know it was time to go to work.

Kellerman asks him about his 3 ko's straight at different classes.
Does he want to call anyone out?
He says no. He lets his team make the decisions.

Can he still make 147?
He says he came in today at 153, so yes he can make it.

Decent fight. Not exactly one for the ages, but it was worth watching. Phillips gave it a shot. Williams is just too big and sturdy and active with hard shots, especially to the body. He isn't necessarily going to win every fight, but between 147-160 there isn't anyone who is going to have an easy night with Williams. He could beat anyone with his style and size.

Chris Arreola vs. Travis Walker: Round By Round

HBO Boxing After Dark in HD brings the fighting viewers a double header tonight.

From Ontario, California.

Bob Papa and Max Kellerman handling the duties.

Arreola 254, Walker 231.

No messing around. Here comes Walker to the ring. He is met with quite a few boos. They show some highlights of his previous fights. Kellerman sells Walker as having a fighter's mentality. Let us hope so.

Arreola Witherspoon highlights. And the Nightmare is in the ring too.

Both men look like tough customers.

And away we go...

Round 1
Walker comes at Arreola immediately. Nice overhand by Arreola. Nightmare fighting with back on ropes exclusively. Big uppercut from walker. walker is dropping some bombs and a grasp. back in the middle. arreola doing very little. just keeping his hands up. walker's jab isn't very stiff. counter right from walker. left to the body from walker. this is looking doubtful to go the distance. both men looking to explode.

Uatu: Walker 10-9

Round 2
a little sloppy from both men technique wise. some brawling in the middle. walker hits with the hard straight right in the middle and arreola goes to a knee! walker doesn't look unbeatable but it doesn't look like you can slide by this guy if you aren't serious. there's a lot a talk of conditioning. walker is at his best, arreola not. arreola has his first moments. big cheers. arreola landing all kinds of power from both hands. and down goes walker! arreola trying to win it all! really giving it a go! walker down again! ten seconds. walker holding on for life. he gets out!

Uatu: Arreola 9-7?

Round 3
combo from arreola. huge left hook from arreola. down goes walker! and that's it. a nice barnburner that was sweet while it lasted.

Chris Arreola by KO in Round 3

Nice power from Arreola, and nice resilliance as well. He is a nice prospect and has a good fan base. It is doubtful that fighting like this is going to get you anything but decked repeatedly by the Klitschkos though. So, if this really isn't Arreola at his best, and if he will train that much harder against a Klitschko, who knows, maybe there's a chance.

Kellerman interviews.
Chris says Walker was just a very strong guy.
He says walker hit him right on the button, and walker is a strong motherf'er.
he says he was thinking "sh_t"
Arreola says he saw walker jabbing lazy so he came back over the top. he was looking for the hook and there it was, right on the button.

He says he needs to be in better shape for the Klitschkos. he wasn't concerned with his weight for this fight. he says he is already thinking about his weight for the next fight. he will be back in the gym on Monday.

afterwards papa says arreola needs to work on his language. funny

Paul Williams-Verno Phillips and Chris Arreola Live Round By Round Updates Tonight

Sure, there are plenty of great sporting events on Thanksgiving weekend. But if you're like us, it wouldn't be complete without some boxing.

HBO obliges us with Boxing After Dark tonight, with Paul Williams and Chris Arreola sharing a card just like the last time they fought - and hopefully in a little tougher this time around. Williams takes on former world champion Verno Phillips, while Arreola squares off against 28-1 Travis Walker.

If you can't watch the fights, bookmark our main page at www.boxingwatchers.com and scope out live round by round updates by the most powerful BoxingWatcher of them all, Uatu. The fun begins at 10 pm EST tonight.


Replay: Steve Molitor vs. Celestino Caballero

Uatu caught the ShoBox OnDemand replay of this junior featherweight unification fight.

Caballero was impressive and is fun to watch too.
First of all, he is huge for 122. He is listed at 5'11". A fighter like Jeff Lacy is listed only at 5'10" for 168! Paul Williams, "the most feared man or avoided man on the planet" or whatever they call him, is listed a mere two inches taller than Caballero for 147. Whether that is a legit height for Caballero is beside the point, because either way this guy is extremely tall for his height.

So, you would think that Caballero is super dried-out for his fights, and would be very sparse in punch output, and wouldn't hit hard. And you might think that he stays behind a jab and keeps away from the other fighter and uses his range to rack up a points victory.

Neither could be farther from the truth.
Caballero stalked Molitor the entire time, he came forward the entire time, he threw a nice amount of punches, and he hit hard. He was winging hard shots to the body and some nice straight shots too.

THIS guy, might actually be or become the most avoided fighter.
Do you think Israel Vazquez, listed at 5' 41/2" or Rafael Marquez, listed at 5'5", want any part of this guy considering the type of fight it would be and the small amount of money he will bring in along with that? Doubtful.

Franchise Thoughts: Things I'm Thankful for in Boxing This Year

I should probably be out helping to stimulate the ailing economy right now, but until BoxingWatchers.com turns into a profitable side gig, I have to stay at the keyboard. At this time of year, it's a bit of a cliche (okay, more than a bit) to cook up a list of things to be thankful for, but here in the U.S., it got that way for a reason. It's just the right time of the year to do it.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the boxing-related people, places and things making me give thanks as 2008 comes to a close:

  • Manny Pacquiao - Aside from his status as my favorite boxer (Disclaimer: the staff members of BoxingWatchers.com are all part Filipino!), the new episodes of 24/7 are showing once again that he's just a compelling personality. The wide range of opinions about whether he can and will beat Oscar De La Hoya are adding to my anticipation for Dec. 6.
  • Freddie Roach - He seems to be taking the high road more often than not after his perceived snub at De La Hoya's hands, and he sure is doing his all to show his confidence in Manny. You sometimes forget he is battling through ongoing health concerns to continue on in the sport he loves.
  • Affliction - Yes, their stuff is a bit pricey, and I have to pick shirts carefully to avoid scaring my small children. As long as they keep sponsoring fighters and fight cards, I'll keep supporting them.
  • Bernard Hopkins - His domination of Kelly Pavlik was something to see. If his other performances over the past three or four years were carried out in the same way, I'd probably be a huge B-Hop fan.
  • Volume punchers - I like to think I'm sophisticated enough as a boxing fan to appreciate some of the subtler aspects of the sport. That being said, it's sometimes fun to see guys throw 100-plus punches a round and just try to overwhelm the other boxer.
  • Boardwalk Hall - My ultimate goal is still to be in Vegas for a fight weekend in 2009. Still, it's nice to have a venue within driving distance that puts on championship fights, and it's possible to get a decent seat there without draining your entire bank account.
  • David Haye - Quite possibly positioned to give the heavyweight division a jolt of electricity - win or lose, actually. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but said jolt is long overdue.
  • Versus - With ESPN cutting back on its boxing content in 2009 (so long Wednesday Night Fights), Versus is at least trying to give fans in the U.S. more fights on cable. It will also soon be home to The Contender, which I'm likely to watch despite the presence of Tony Danza.
  • Tavoris Cloud - My favorite discovery of 2008, in the sense that I did not know who he was before this year. He's still raw but immensely entertaining, and he sure doesn't get cheated any time he throws a punch.
  • Emanuel Steward - Almost singlehandedly keeps the HBO crew from cheerleading too much for one particular boxer at times. I don't always agree with him, but I do appreciate his insight.
  • Ricky Hatton - As my brother Uatu has mentioned on numerous occasions, he's great for boxing because of the atmosphere he brings to his fights. And as an added bonus, he looked great in his most recent fight.


Margarito-Mosley Back On Again for Jan. 24

First it was a done deal. Last week it was apparently off. Now it looks as though Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley will face off in one of the first big boxing matches of 2009.

ESPN's Dan Rafael says the Margarito-Mosley fight will take place on Jan. 24 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Cash-strapped boxing fans should also be pleased to hear the bout will be aired on HBO, not pay-per-view.

According to Rafael, it was HBO who stepped in and made more money available for Margarito, who was unhappy with the initial financial arrangement. It was a strange stance from the welterweight champion, who spent years feeling like other boxers were avoiding him and enjoyed a reputation as someone who would fight anyone, anywhere.

Facing Mosley, who's looked pretty formidable over the last two years despite his advancing age, should help Margarito save some face. The Tijuana Tornado's next step also looks like it's decided, as Bob Arum told ESPN that he will move forward with a summer rematch with Miguel Cotto regardless of the outcome of the Mosley fight.


And When He Looked, His Moon Had Turned to Gold

Uatu is happy to have Hatton back in the win column. He is not a fan of his per se, but he adds so much energy to a fight and promotion because of the fan support he gets, that it is always great to have him around and in big fights.

Uatu is actually a fan of the "There's Only One Ricky Hatton" song being sung over and over soccer style, and his entrance to Blue Moon is Uatu's personal favorite entrance of any fighter.
Hatton and his fans made the weigh in for Hatton-Mayweather more exciting than some actual fights! That band in the stands multiplies the entertainment factor all by itself.

Hatton is guaranteed at least one more superfight in his future. Whichever fight he ends up taking, presumably the winner of Oscar-Manny, it is sure to bigger than this fight with Paulie, and it has a chance of being close to as big as his fight with Floyd. So that means even more Mancunians in Vegas to look forward to.

Quick Thoughts on Dream Match 24/7 Episode #2

That was the best episode of 24/7 or Countdown that has been shown in awhile. Some of the previous episodes had been kind of stale.

There was some legit sparring footage, even though it wasn't complete, some of the other fighters had refused to show sparring footage at all, so that was nice.

And even though the fame of Manny has been shown before, to Uatu's knowledge, this was the first interview with his parents, and his crew of hangers-on are a funny addition as well.

HBO has also shown Oscar's family before, including his relationship with his father, but this may have been the first focus on his mother's extended side, his family still in Mexico.

Add in a sprinkle of Angelo Dundee, a bit of Freddie Roach not liking Nacho, and you have yourself an entertaining episode.

So far, 24/7 has just added strength to Uatu's early prediction of a Manny win. He just looks way too fast for Oscar. He has enough power to keep Oscar honest to go with that speed, and he will have the superior cardio. Oscar still has the equalizer in the left hook, but if Manny is too fast to be found with it, it could be a long and frustrating night for the Golden Boy. Oscar's power could be a factor though. Juan Manuel Marquez did sort of wobble Manny, and Oscar would presumably hit harder than him. JMM though may have a level of crispness and accuracy in his punches that not even Oscar can match.


Round by Round: Hatton v. Malignaggi

It's time for the main event between Ricky Hatton and Paul Malignaggi. The Ricky Hatton followers are in full effect tonight. Their band music and chants can be heard loud and clear. Malignaggi comes to the ring first to a chorus of boos from the pro-Hatton crowd.

Hatton now enters. It is said that he had to trim 40 pounds for this fight due to his bad habits between fights. Hatton does not enter to his trademark remake of "Blue Moon" but trades to a song made for him called "Ricky Fatton." He is wearing large pads to make him look 50 pounds heavier. As he enters the ring, "Ricky Fatton" ends and "Blue Moon" comes on.

David Beckham is in attendance.

Malignaggi is 25-1 with five KO's and Hatton is 44-1 with 31 KO's. The intros are finished and it's time to fight.

Round One
Hatton starts off establishing the jab. Malignaggi lands a jab and dips away from the counter punch. Malignaggi is using good movement and getting out of the way. He lands a jab and a right hook. Hatton hasn't landed anything big yet. Hatton catches Malignaggi with an uppercut on the inside, but Malignaggi responds with two good jabs. Hatton misses with a jab. Hatton has clinched a few times in this round.

Spartan117: 10-9 Malignaggi
Uatu: 10-9 Malignaggi

Round Two
Hatton throws a combo but Malignaggi dodges all of it. Malignaggi lands a jab and feints away. Malignagge tags Hatton with a right hook as Hatton comes forward. Malignaggi lands another jab followed by a right hook. Hatton lands a big left that snaps the head of Malignaggi. Hatton lands a right as they break from a clinch. Malignaggi gets tagged with a huge right hand and has to hold on. Hatton lands a left-right combo and Malignaggi looks hurt. He gets his legs back and makes it out of the round.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round Three
Malignaggi goes back to the jab. Hatton is throwing big bombs but missing with most of them. Malignaggi starts to throw the double jab. Hatton lands as Malignaggi tries to duck away. A cut is opened on the bridge of the nose of Malignaggi. It doesn't look like anything serious. There is a lot of clinching in this round and a lot of punches being thrown in the clinch. Malignaggi is the one starting the clinching rather than Hatton, who was expected to hold. Hatton lands a big left hook and the crowd cheers.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round Four
Malignaggi lands another jab, but Hatton is coming through them and tagging Malignaggi with stronger shots. Hatton is chasing Malignaggi while he is backing up. Hatton lands a good left hook - he's really landing the stronger shots. The crowd starts to boo because of the clinching. Malignaggi throws a big left uppercut but misses by a lot. Malignaggi has been holding like crazy.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round Five
Hatton comes forward with his jab and Malignaggi clinches so he doesn't take punishment. Malignaggi doesn't look like he has any way of slowing Hatton down. Ricky leads with his jab and tries to follow with more but his opponent clinches again. Hatton lunges with an uppercut but Malignaggi dodges. Hatton is choosing his punches wisely. His hand speed looks good. Hatton lands a right hook as they fight out of a clinch. Malignaggi needs to do more if he wants to win this fight.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round Six
Hatton comes right out and lands a stiff jab and a right hook. Malignaggi lands a jab. He is now using more movement and clinching less, but he is throwing one jab and that's about it. Hatton lands two good lefts that look like they hurt Malignaggi. Now Malignaggi clinches again. Hatton is trying to get in and trade but Malignaggi either dips away or holds.

Spatan117: 10-9 Malignaggi
Uatu: 10-9 Malignaggi

Round Seven
Hatton comes forward again. Malignaggi lands a good right uppercut. Hatton is now throwing big combos and landing a lot of lefts. Malignaggi is taking the most punches in this round. Malignaggi goes back to work with the double jab; Hatton answers with a good jab. Hatton measures up a power right but Malignaggi dodges. Hatton doesn't look like he's getting tired, and he lands a big left hand before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round Eight
Malignaggi is using better movement in the beginning of this round. He lands a great right hand and Hatton staggers. Hatton comes forward again but Malignaggi clinches. Hatton backs him up with a big left hand. The two clinch again. Hatton is fighting out of clinches well. Hatton rocks Malignaggi with a left and uppercut. He looks shaken up. Malignaggi recovers to land a left-right combo.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round Nine
There is a bruise under Malignaggi's eye. Hatton lands a good left hook and Malignaggi sticks his tongue out. The ref stops the clock to fix the tape on Hatton's gloves. Hatton comes back throwing haymakers. Hatton continues to land the left, while Malignaggi keeps clinching to stop the punishment. Hatton comes forward with a right that scores. Malignaggi's legs look a little shaky.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round 10
Malignaggi is sticking to his jab and not throwing any right hands. Hatton tags him with a good combo. Hatton looks like he wants to end the fight. Malignaggi looks more tired at this point, and he goes back to clinching. Hatton is doing his best to push him away so he can get back to boxing. Malignaggi is not doing anything to score. He is clinching now more than ever.

Spartan117: 10-9 Hatton
Uatu: 10-9 Hatton

Round 11
Malignaggi is now really running away from Hatton. Hatton comes forward and lands two big left hands. Malignaggi isn't doing anything except clinching. Malignaggi's trainer, Buddy McGirt, is now on the ring apron, and he throws in the towel! Malignaggi pushes his trainer away and complains about his decision.

The winner by TKO at 0:48 of Round 11... Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton.

Hatton laughs in the post-fight interview and says he enjoyed this fight much more than his last one. He says Floyd Sr. got him out of his old bad habits. He gives Malignaggi credit and says he's a tough fighter. Hatton says that he had Malignaggi discouraged early on in the fight. He says he would like to see the winner of De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao.

Malignaggi says that not much surprised him about Hatton. He says Hatton used good movement to get out of the way of his jabs. The British fans start to boo Malignaggi. He applauds the fans and says they make the festivities more fun. Malignaggi says that he was hurt worse in the Cotto fight and he didn't want to see a KO on his record.

Round by Round: Kirkland v. Vera

The fight between James Kirkland and Brian Vera is at middleweight.  Kirkland is the favorite being known for his knockout power.  Vera is 16-1 and hails form Texas, while James Kirkland is 23-0 with 20 KOs.  

Round 1
Vera is the more active boxer early in the 1st.  Kirkland is landing good counter punches.  Kirkland lands a great straight and is now dictating the pace.  Kirkland has been known to throw more than 100 punches in the first round of his fights and also for swinging wildly.  He's really throwing haymakers tonight.  Vera lands a couple right hooks.  Kirkland is landing the cleaner punches in the 1st.

Spartan117: 10-9 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-9 Kirkland

Round 2
Vera stumbles backward after a left body shot from Kirkland.  Kirkland capitalizes and lands a straight left that knocks Vera down.  Vera gets up and shakes it off.  Vera lands 2 big right hands but Kirkland fights through.  Vera is going for a KO and throwing right hand after right hand.  A cut is opens over the right ear of Vera from a headbutt.  Kirkland goes back to his jab.  Vera goes down again in the closing seconds of the round.  Vera makes it up and complains that he thought it was a slip.  Looked like a knockdown to me.

Spartan117: 10-7 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-7 Kirkland

Round 3
Vera's legs look weak.  He's really relying on that big right hand.  Kirkland lands a huge combination of left and right hooks.  Vera somehow fights through.  Kirkland is landing good shots but Vera is still fighting forward.  Vera is also landing but his punches are doing a fraction of what Kirkland is bringing.  

Spartan117: 10-9 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-9 Kirkland

Round 4
Kirkland after being well rested comes out throwing for the knockout.  Vera comes forward and lands two big hooks upstairs.  Kirkland shows that he has a good chin.  Kirkland lands another great combo.  Compubox shows that 60% of the punches thus far have been power shots from both fighters.  Vera is getting crushed with a lot of them but taking them well.  Kirkland is measuring Vera up to land a big left.  Vera lands a huge right hand.  The crowd is really into this fight.  

Spartan117: 10-9 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-9 Kirkland

Round 5
Kirkland lands a stiff jab.  Kirkland has Vera against the ropes and pours the punches on.  Vera nods and says he can take his punches.  Kirkland is landing the majority of the punches but Vera keeps landing single big right hands that twist the neck of Kirkland.  Vera's legs are very clumsy.  He looks tired.  Kirkland lands a big left uppercut with Vera against the ropes.  Somehow Vera fights on.  His trainer should consider throwing in the towel if this keeps up.

Spartan117: 10-9 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-9 Kirkland

Round 6
Kirkland has being throwing most of his punches in the first minute of the round.  He's now beginning to throw to the body.  Vera keeps forcing the straight right hand.  Vera is using good movement but his hands are low.  Kirkland lands a big hook to the body and Vera stumbles.  Kirkland lands an enormous uppercut followed by a right hook but Vera stays up.  

Spartan117: 10-9 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-9 Kirkland

Round 7
Kirkland really wants to close this fight.  Vera fights on and lands a right straight.  Kirkland comes back with a bigger left hand.  Kirkland lands another big left followed by a right hook.  Vera is just taking punishment now but is still throwing for the knockout.  Vera's chin is really amazing.

Spartan117: 10-9 Kirkland
Uatu: 10-9 Kirkland

Round 8:
Kirkland comes out and lands a jab.  Kirkland throws a lunging left power shot and snaps Vera's neck back.  Kirkland puts his hands down and dodges with his upper body then counters with a short right hook and Vera goes down.  Vera takes a huge beating after he gets up against the ropes and the ref stops it.  

James Kirkland wins by TKO

Hatton-Malignaggi: Live Round By Round Updates Tonight

Ticket sales may be lagging at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but the BoxingWatchers would be there to see Ricky Hatton square off against Paul Malignaggi tonight in an interesting contrast of styles if we could. Since we can't, we'll be watching on HBO and sharing our observations live. Where? Right here, of course, or more precisely on the main page at www.boxingwatchers.com.

Spartan117 will be handling the live round by round, so if you can't see the fight in person or on TV, bookmark us and we'll tell you how it's going down. The action begins at 10 pm EST with rising star James Kirkland, followed by Hatton-Malignaggi.


Predictions: Hatton-Malignaggi

The Franchise says...

There will be quite a bit of intrigue Saturday night when Ricky Hatton takes on Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas, but alas, probably not the same atmosphere as the last time The Hitman fought in the States.

That time, of course, was his December 2007 loss to Floyd Mayweather, and at times you would have thought Hatton was fighting at home. I just returned from Vegas on Thursday, and one of the lead sports stories in the Las Vegas paper talked about how only a few hundred Hitman fans waited for his arrival this time compared to a few thousand back then.

Economic woes aside, Hatton is unlikely to meet the same fate he met on that night as Malignaggi has one of the lowest KO percentages of any top boxer you'll ever see (five in 25 victories). What the Magic Man does possess is enough slickness and movement to give Hatton fits as he comes forward - and you know Ricky will be coming forward.

The big question is which Malignaggi will show up. Will it be the guy who breezed to easy decisions in three of his four fights in 2006 and 2007 (with the lone loss to Miguel Cotto - no shame there) ? Or will it be the man who struggled to a split decision win over Lovemore N'dou the last time out, making more news for his in-match haircut than his ring prowess?

If Paulie has his head screwed on straight, and if he can stick to his game plan, and if he can avoid getting suckered into a brawl, and if he can avoid getting discouraged that his shots aren't slowing Hatton down, then he can win this fight. But man, that's a lot of "ifs."

I think Malignaggi may give Hatton more trouble than casual fans might expect, but I don't feel like that's enough reason to pick him to win. After a few rounds of frustration, I'm going with Hatton to grit his way to a close decision.

Uatu says...
Actually, right now, he says nothing. He is going to wait until after the weigh-in just in case there's any Hatton shenanigans on the scales. There's been a mixed bag of internet chat over whether or not Hatton is/was going to be able to make the weight properly.

Spartan117 says...
Malignaggi will be slick enough to get out of Hatton's way. Hopefully this will mean less clinching. We saw how good movement gives Hatton problems when he fought Mayweather. I think Hatton will show more boxing skill with Floyd Mayweather Sr. in his corner, but he'll drift back to his brawling ways. If Malignaggi stays away from slugging it out with Hatton he'll be able to score enough for a unanimous decision. Malignaggi by unanimous decision
Uatu says...
Abracadabra! Voila!
It's Magic time.
The amazing thing about these two malinged-at-times gentlemen is that between the two of them they only have two losses. On top of that, their losses are against two of the top ten fighters in the world. In Hatton's case an all-time great. In Paulie's case, he lost in highly competitive fashion with a gutsy performance against Miguel Cotto. Yet, these two fighters are not thought of as being among the truly elite of the game.
Hatton has been a grabbing, mauling, brawling, and honestly a tad boring of a fighter over the last few years. Paulie has a tiny KO%, bad hands, and has had a few boring fights on his resume as well. So what will happen tonight?
Hatton has a new trainer, but rumors abounded that he may have had some weight issues between fights. At the weigh-in, he still looked ripped and lean. But looking the part and making weight is one thing, having the cardio to go with the weight loss may be another.
One thing about Paulie is that he has always been in 100% good shape for his fights. Uatu thinks that that makes the difference. It is of course possible that Floyd Sr., could make a big difference, but Paulie has incredible toughness and heart to go with the speed and skill, so that results in Malignaggi UD 12.


Live Vegas Odds on Hatton-Malignaggi and De La Hoya-Pacquiao

Normally we poach some odds with a link to a website. But BW's own Franchise is actually in Vegas as we speak! He is staying at the Planet Hollywood Casino, so presumably that's where these odds are from:

Hatton - 250
Paulie +200

Oscar -220
Manny +180

Once again, these aren't the official predictions, but betting strategies.

Paulie +200 is very attractive. It is not inconceivable that Paulie could outbox Hatton all night long. If you consider his inspired performance against Miguel Cotto, and if you consider Cotto to be the superior boxer to Hatton (which Uatu does), then there you go.

Manny +180 is also attractive for similar reasons, in that he has a really good chance of winning.

These are two fights, at least in Uatu's opinion, that will be highly contested and could go either way. So betting both underdogs would be his play. And right now, he is leaning towards actually predicting both men to win anyway.


Another PPV Buyrate Comparison - Bernard Hopkins

B hop is also often looked down upon as a draw. Here are his numbers, some good, some bad:

Pavlik - 190k
winky - 305k
tarver - 350k
taylor II - 410k
taylor I - 370k
oscar - 1million
trinidad - 475k

Floyd Mayweather--Underrated Draw?

Often Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather is somewhat downplayed as a draw. Perhaps he doesn't draw viewers that are proportional to his skill, but take a look at his ppv numbers:

Hatton - 850k
De La Hoya - 2.15million
Baldomir- 325k
Judah - 374k
Gatti - 365k

Now take a look at Manny Pacquiao's numbers. Manny is often portrayed as a huge draw, probably because he is so famous in his home country, in relation to Floyd's relative fame here in the States:

JMM - 400k
MAB - 350 k
Morales I - all three reported between 345-360
II - 345-360
III - 345-360
Diaz - 250

Now, this isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison. There are differences in the date of the fights, sometimes the price of the fights, their weight classes and the most obvious, the opponents in the fights. Still, this is just something to think about. Just a thought that maybe Floyd doesn't get as much credit as he should for being the star that he is. On an absolute basis, Floyd has been the bigger draw. Also, Manny may be a slight bit overrated as a star here in the States.


Round by Round: Taylor v. Lacy

Between the rounds of the Calzaghe-Jones replay, Larry Merchant interviews Jeff Lacy. Lacy says that he learned some of Jermain's techniques from watching his fights with Pavlik, mainly that he throws two or three jabs before his hard right hand. Merchant asks him if he wants to beat up Taylor, his old Olympic partner. Lacy says that this fight is business and they have to put their past to the side for now.

Merchant now sits down with Taylor. Taylor says that after his losses to Pavlik, he was able to take some time off and get his love for boxing back. He says he had mixed feelings seeing Hopkins beat Pavlik the way he did. Taylor says that it showed that styles make fights. He adds that he will have to beat Lacy and look good doing it to get his career back where he wants it.

After a long wait, the fighters enter the ring. Tonight's fight between Taylor and Lacy is at 168 pounds. Lacy is 24-1 with 17 KOs and Taylor is 27-2 with 17 KOs. Lacy comes out to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, while Taylor enters to "Put On" by Young Jeezy.

The intros are finished and it's time for the fight.

Round One:
Taylor throws the first punch and it's a jab that Lacy blocks. Not much action for the first 30 seconds. Lacy throws a jab and follows with a straight right. Taylor blocks them. Taylor lands two solid shots upstairs and Lacy backs slightly. Taylor counter-punches and lands with a right hook. Taylor is landing the cleaner shots so far. Taylor is tagging Lacy as soon as he comes in.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Two:
Both fighters are using a lot of movement, lots of toe bouncing. Lacy stays active and throws two head shots; one lands. Lacy lands a double jab and a hard right. Both trade hard haymakers but most get blocked by both fighters. Lacy is taking the majority of clean punches in this round as well. Lacy comes forward and throws a hard straight right but Taylor blocks it. Taylor lands a good jab. Taylor lands a great right hook before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Three:
Lacy starts to work the body, forcing Taylor to back up. Lacy blocks two hooks from Taylor. Lacy backs Taylor in the corner but Taylor gets away. Lacy chases Taylor around the ring trying to land power shots but Taylor gets away again. Taylor lands a solid uppercut. Taylor is using good footwork. Taylor lands a huge left jab and right cross that wobble Lacy. Lacy grapples to stay alive, but he still doesn't have his legs back. Lacy uses enough defense to make it out of the round.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Four:
Lacy looks OK now and throws a left and right to the head of Taylor. Taylor blocks both of them. Taylor unleashes a six-punch combo to the head and body, though Lacy blocks most of it. Taylor has Lacy on the defensive. Lacy now comes in leading with the jab. Despite being wobbled in the last round, Lacy is not backing off. Taylor lands a huge left and right combo that brings the crowd to its feet. Lacy grapples to stay on his feet. Lacy doesn't stop throwing but Taylor blocks everything coming in.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Five:
Neither fighter does much in the first 30 seconds. Lacy puts the pressure on Taylor and lands a good right hook. Lacy lands a right hand counter and Taylor goes down. Taylor shakes his head and the ref calls it a slip, but it looked like a clear knockdown to me. Taylor is clinching now. Lacy keeps the punch output high and lands solid shots while Taylor is against the ropes. Taylor fights back and lands a good left and right combo. Lots of clinching going on now. Lacy fights back and lands a huge right hand that sends Taylor backpedaling across the ring. The bell stops the action.
Spartan117: 10-9 Lacy
Uatu: 10-9 Lacy

Round Six:
Taylor lands a jab at the start of the round. Taylor starts to clinch again. Taylor goes back to the jab. Lacy lands a nice left hook. The fight is now less technical and gets closer to a brawl. Even more clinching now. Taylor comes in with a wide right hook that misses. Lacy comes into a left straight by Taylor. The fighters go back to clinching but they now do a better job of fighting out of it.

Spartan117: 10-9 Lacy
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Seven:
Lacy isn't throwing a lot of combinations. He's coming in with the jab and follows with the straight right every time. Taylor is still throwing combinations and good counter-punches. Lacy comes into a huge Taylor uppercut and the crowd reacts. Lacy fights through it. Lacy comes into another straight. Lacy lands a good right. Lacy continues to get hit while coming forward.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Eight:
Lacy has been fighting with the same style the whole fight now: come forward with the jab and follow with a straight right. Taylor is doing well by hitting Lacy with hard shots every time he comes forward. Taylor throws and lands a great combination to the head of his opponent. Lacy loads up a left hook but misses. Taylor's defense looks very good as he blocks Lacy's shots. Taylor lands a big right-left combo right before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Nine:
Taylor sticks to his game plan of landing while Lacy is open as he comes forward. Lacy's mouthpiece comes out but it looked like it fell out after a clinch. Lacy is getting peppered with flurries as his defense looks like it is worsening. Lacy lands a hard right hook as they fight out of a clinch. Taylor snaps the head of Lacy around with a great combo right before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round 10:
Lacy remains active after taking most of the punishment in the fight. Taylor lands a stiff jab and follows with another big hook. Lacy has no answers for Taylor's tactics. Taylor continues to clinch. Lacy's head keeps taking more and more abuse. I'm surprised he's still staying in there.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round 11:
The ref stops the action to cut extra tape off of Lacy's gloves. Lacy comes back into the fight throwing big, lunging haymakers. Taylor blocks and moves. Taylor lands a strong left hook. Lacy fires back but his punches are getting more wild and desperate. Taylor snaps the neck of Lacy with a great right hand. Lacy fights on but still has no defense.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round 12:
Lacy knows that he needs a KO to win and comes out in the 12th throwing bombs. Taylor backs up and doesn't want to get KO'ed. Taylor now lands a left hook. Both fighters are swinging away halfway through the round. Taylor lands another left-right combo. Taylor shows that he is the more technical boxer in this fight. The fans come to their feet for the last 10 seconds of the fight as the fighters give it their all and try for the knockout. Both fighters land some big shots right before the bell rings.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Spartan117 scores it 118-110 and Uatu scores it 119-109, both for Taylor.

The judges score it 119-109, 118-110 and 119-109, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor.

Haye Scores Five Knockdowns of Barrett En Route to 5th-Round KO

David Haye passed his first test at heavyweight with flying colors.

As our own Uatu predicted, opponent Monte Barrett was able to pick himself up off the mat more than once. But after getting knocked down twice in the third round and once in the fourth, the fifth time proved too much and led to a fifth-round KO victory for Haye.

The AP report said that Haye was also on the canvas twice, once on a push in the second round and again in the fifth, though it was ruled a slip. The win moves the former cruiserweight champion to 22-1 with 21 KO's and gives him a legitimate win at heavyweight as he attempts to chase the Klitschko brothers for their titles.

Vitaly Klitschko was ringside for the fight and would make more sense as an immediate match-up as he is coming off an October win over Samuel Peter. Haye would have to wait longer to face Wladimir Klitschko because he will be in action on Dec. 13 against Hasim Rahman.

Live Round By Round Taylor-Lacy Updates Tonight

It's time for the BoxingWatchers to snap into action again. Tonight we'll turn our eyes toward Tennessee, where Jermain Taylor and Jeff Lacy will put aside their friendship for a bout with serious career implications for both men.

If you don't have tickets to the fight and can't get to an HBO-equipped TV, bookmark our main page at www.boxingwatchers.com and follow along with live round by round updates and scoring from the staff.

And don't forget it's a late start tonight. The broadcast begins at 10:15 pm EST, which is... well, it is whatever it is wherever you are. Come back and see us then.


BoxingWatchers.com U.K. Haye vs. Barrett Challenge!

The BoxingWatchers are a pretty tight-knit group, because we're all family. We're also all located (most of the time) in the same U.S. state, making it hard for us to see every fight we'd like to write about.

Case in point: Saturday's heavyweight debut for David Haye, taking on Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett. Normally we'd be all over a fight like that, but alas, it won't be televised in the States.

So now we're issuing a challenge to all of our readers in the U.K. We're asking one of you to step up and become one of the BoxingWatchers for a day. We'd love it if someone who was going to watch the fight anyway would do a live round-for-round report right here on the site.

If giving a running account of the Haye-Barrett fight and sharing it with the hundreds or perhaps thousands of readers who will visit the site on Saturday sounds like fun, don't wait. Email us at bw_staff@yahoo.com and let us know.

Predictions: Taylor vs. Lacy, Haye vs. Barrett

The Franchise says...

Much has been made about the fact that Jermain Taylor and Jeff Lacy, who will face each other Saturday night in Nashville, are buddies dating back from the time when they roomed together as Olympic teammates. Normally, that would cause some concern that they might not go at each other tooth and nail, that they may hold back a little.

But things are a little different for this particular pair of friends turned foes because the stakes are so high. The loser won't necessarily fade into obscurity, but he will face a severe uphill climb to get back in the limelight again.

The powerful Lacy was once one of the sport's next big things, but that ended when he was completely outclassed by Joe Calzaghe in March of 2006. Though he's since gone 3-0, none of the wins were knockouts and both Vitali Tsypko and Epifanio Mendoza gave him all he could handle.

Taylor's career took a wrong turn when he couldn't put Kelly Pavlik away early in their first fight and ended up getting knocked out a few rounds later. He boxed well in their rematch but still lost, and he's now been off for nine months for the first time in his career.

Assuming the inactivity doesn't slow Taylor too much, he should be able to give Lacy fits with his movement and boxing skills. He certainly has the defensive edge, and while he won't be throwing as many punches as Calzaghe did, he probably hits harder.

Lacy's best bet is to lay it all out there and hope he can set up something big, and preferably early in the fight because he faded late against Mendoza. Otherwise he runs the risk of getting outboxed over 12 rounds, which is what I think will happen as Taylor wins by decision.

Across the pond (does anyone actually say that in real life?), David Haye will make his long-awaited heavyweight debut against an opponent who's no stiff, Monte Barrett. Two Gunz has been in against a few current and former champs, including Wladimir Klitschko, Hasim Rahman and Nikolay Valuev.

It should be noted that he lost to all of them. My brother Uatu pointed out in his last post that Barrett will give Haye a true taste of what it's like to be hit by a heavyweight. If Haye can pass that test, I think he'll prove to have the sharper , quicker punches, with power that translates to the heavyweight division.

The biggest surprise to me would be if this one goes the distance. During the early rounds, we'll find out that either Haye is a pretender at heavyweight, or Barrett is outgunned. I'm betting it's the latter, so my pick is Haye by early to mid-round KO.

Uatu says...

Jeff Lacy has not looked impressive, other than sporting the greatest physique in boxing, in years now. Jermain Taylor has been fighting a who's who of the greatest fighters of the era: Hopkins twice, Pavlik twice and Winky Wright, plus you can toss in other decent names like Cory Spinks, Raul Marquez and Kassim Ouma. Everyone remembers the Lacy-Calzaghe fight, but despite that fight, Taylor has always been in tougher and more frequently than Lacy. Lacy hasn't been as active against tough competition, and then he had the unfortunate injury that set him back even further. Lacy won't be much bigger, and the only way he can win is to land a huge punch. Uatu doesn't think that he will. Taylor will win by convincing decision.

Barrett will keep it worth watching for a while. He will get knocked down, will get up, and will keep on trying. Haye will eventually wear him out, and will win by KO or TKO in the 7th or 8th. That's the prediction, but don't count Barrett out.

Just for the heck of it: Brock Lesnar by KO over Randy Couture.


Uatu Speaks: Thoughts on David Haye vs. Monte Barrett

This is one fight where any outcome is possible. Nothing would surprise Uatu. Why? Because you should not sleep on Monte Barrett. This guy can bring it.

Two Gunz has incredible heart. Although he has been knocked down, he gets up. He got up five times against Wladimir Klitschko! He got up twice against Nikolay Valuev as well. He may not have won those fights, but he still showed something.

Most impressively, he rose from the deck against Joe Mesi and proceeded to whip Mesi down the stretch. He may have lost the decision, but if you asked yourself the question, "Who would I rather be at the end of the fight?" you would have rather been Barrett.

Barrett has taken on a lot of name fighters during his career, which is not something that David Haye can claim. Barrett has also taken on some of the world's biggest punchers, so it is unlikely that Haye will hit him with something he has never felt before.

In fairness, Barrett has lost to some fighters that people had thought he should not have. But that doesn't change the fact that he can win this fight.

So that's why any outcome wouldn't be a surprise, as Haye has also been knocked out. So Barrett KO, Haye KO, decision either way could happen. Now, the safe pick is to go with Haye. He is the draw, the bigger name, the man supposedly on the rise and the one to electrify the heavyweight division. But this is also his first foray into the land of the giants, a place that Barrett knows well. If Haye blows Barrett out in the early rounds, he probably won't get a lot of credit for it. And even though this fight is viewed by Haye as just a stepping stone to greater things, it is still an interesting fight.


Franchise Thoughts: The Future of Boxing - Top Boxers Under 27

There's been something of a mini-renaissance for older boxers during the last few months. At age 43, Bernard Hopkins took apart the much younger Kelly Pavlik. Roy Jones Jr. nearly had one final big moment at 39 with his first round knockdown of Joe Calzaghe - no spring chicken himself at 36.

Clearly though, while the 35-and-over crowd can still put on a show and sell tickets, its time is coming to a close. Calzaghe's win could spell the end for him, Jones and Hopkins too. Oscar De La Hoya has been increasingly noncommittal, but he may call it a career after he fights Manny Pacquiao.

A loss to Antonio Margarito in January might mean it's the last time we see Shane Mosley in the ring. Even fighters on the good side of 35 like Floyd Mayweather Jr. (already retired, at least for now) and Ricky Hatton (who's spoken of fighting just a few more times) are wrapping up their careers.

Thinking about the departure of the old guard is enough to send a boxing fan into depression... except that there's quite a wave of young talent that will be ready to take the proverbial torch when it's passed. Even better, it's spread throughout almost the entire range of weight classes.

To prove it to myself, and you if necessary, I compiled a list of boxers who I think represent the immediate future of the sport. These are young guys I fully expect we'll be watching in title fights well into the 2010's.

What is young? It's an arbitrary line no matter where you draw it, but I wanted to make sure no one on the list would turn 30 until the next decade is at least a few years old. Thus, everyone here is currently under 27.

I'm going by the weight classes the boxers are most associated with at the present time since it's too hard to forecast who might move up or down going forward. I started at super featherweight since my knowledge of the lower divisions is spotty at best.

And you'll notice the glaring omission of heavyweights, because despite the fact that it's trendy to bash the big guys, the truth is that there really is a lack of talented young fighters over 200 pounds. The only heavyweight under 27 ranked in the top 20 on BoxRec.com is Eddie Chambers, so nothing more really needs to be said.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the best of boxing's next wave:

130 pounds: Robert Guerrero - He shares a nickname with Kelly Pavlik, and like the other Ghost, he's more likely to hunt you down and knock you out than elude you. Unhappiness with his promotion has led to nine months of inactivity, but the powerful lefty should be a handful once he resumes his career.

Honorable Mention: The record of Edwin Valero is the stuff internet legends are made of: 24 fights, 24 KO victories. Oh yeah, and 19 of those knockouts came in the first round. Unfortunately, Valero still has problems getting cleared to fight in most U.S. states as the result of health concerns stemming from a 2001 motorcycle accident. That means the unofficial son of MaxBoxing.com's Dougie Fischer may never get a true chance at stardom, which would be a shame.

135 pounds: Juan Diaz - The Baby Bull fights in a crowd-pleasing though possibly career-shortening style. His loss to Nate Campbell earlier this year showed how he could be beaten, but it took a combination of skill and guts most fighters don't have to pull it off. With 34 pro wins under his belt, it's hard to believe Diaz is only 25.

Honorable Mention: Hard-hitting Colombian Breidis Prescott stole the thunder from Amir Khan in September with a thrilling first-round KO. His competition thus far has been underwhelming, but he's someone to watch. Undefeated American Anthony Peterson gets props here too.

140 pounds: Timothy Bradley - Desert Storm had an impressive year, defeating tricky Brit Junior Witter in his home country, then unexpectedly headlining a Showtime card and beating Edner Cherry. He's built like a tank but actually is more boxer than brawler.

147 pounds: Andre Berto - The Reggie Bush look-alike is already a world champion at 25 and is fun to watch because he can punish opponents as the aggressor or the counter-puncher. Unless you count Steve Forbes - and I don't - he hasn't faced anyone yet who's truly made him dig down deep.

154 pounds: James Kirkland - Golden Boy believes in Kirkland, as they signed the undefeated southpaw to a deal last month. The Texas native has been running through opponents with four consecutive fights that did not make it out of the second round.

Honorable Mention: It's hard to pick just one since there are several good choices in this division. That being the case, I'll give some love to Alfredo Angulo, Joel Julio and Joe Greene.

160 pounds: Kelly Pavlik - Don't forget he's only 26. Yes, Hopkins exposed some holes in his game. No, I don't think anyone he'll be facing at middleweight in the near future will be able to take advantage of them the way The Executioner did.

Honorable Mention: Though he was knocked out in March by Brian Vera, Ireland's Andy Lee has already bounced back with a win. Emanuel Steward still thinks he has a bright future.

168 pounds: Andre Dirrell - My brother thinks his nickname could already be stale, but Dirrell deserves to be called The Matrix because he tries things that need to be seen to be believed. Even though he only has 17 pro fights on his record, he looks ready for top competition as soon as his next fight. Seeing him in against the Jermain Taylor-Jeff Lacy winner would be dynamite.

175 pounds: Chad Dawson - At 26, Bad Chad is already soaring up pound-for-pound lists, and the top contenders in his division are aging rapidly. He's got pretty much every offensive weapon a boxer could want except for one-punch KO power. If my name was Joe Calzaghe, I'd be thinking retirement looks a lot more pleasant than fighting Dawson.

Honorable Mention: If I had to name one boxer who fought like a force of nature, Tavoris Cloud would be my pick. The undefeated Floridian is raw, but he tries to take your head off with every power shot. No one who's been scheduled for more than four rounds with Cloud has made it the distance yet.

200 pounds: Johnathon Banks - The pickings get a little slim at cruiserweight, but it's still not as bad as it is at heavyweight. We'll know a little bit more about the 20-0 Banks soon, as he's slated to face Enzo Maccarinelli for two of the alphabet belts in early December.


Betting Odds on Jermain Taylor vs. Jeff Lacy

Just out of curiousity, Uatu took a look at http://www.docsports.com/ to check out the betting odds on Saturday's Jermain Taylor - Jeff Lacy fight on HBO. Usually, Uatu likes to take underdogs at a good price when he thinks the odds are longer than the real chances of the underdog winning. Normally taking the favorite is not worth it. Although he will reserve his official pick until later this week, he wanted to take a look at the odds for the opposite reason this time, because he is confident in Bad Intentions in this fight.

http://www.superbook.com/ had the best odds for Taylor.
Taylor -490
Lacy +430

So Taylor is a heavy favorite in this fight. Uatu was hoping for closer odds than this. Apparently, the oddsmakers have the same view of this fight. So, Uatu likes the play of taking Taylor, but not putting a whole lot of money on it, because Taylor is such a big favorite.


Abraham Gets Past Marquez, Wants Sturm Next

In a fight we were unable to cover here at BoxingWatchers.com, Arthur Abraham successfully defended his IBF middleweight title Saturday with a sixth-round TKO of Raul Marquez at the Jako Arena in Bamberg, Germany. The AP report stated that Marquez's corner called off the fight after their fighter got hit with two solid rights to the eye in the sixth round.

With WBC and WBO middleweight king Kelly Pavlik headed back to 160 pounds following his loss to Bernard Hopkins, speculation has increased that he and Abraham could be back on track to face each other in 2009. But King Arthur apparently has the lone remaining middleweight titleholder on his mind: WBA champ (and personal favorite of Spartan117's dad) Felix Sturm.

"I say here in front of 10,000 I am ready to box him," Abraham told the AP. "I can't say anything else."

That should delight fans in Germany. Sturm is a native son and Abraham also calls the country home. Pavlik isn't available in early 2009 anyway, as he appears set to face mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio in February.

Assuming Abraham and Pavlik both get by their next opponents, that could set up a unification bout for all the middleweight gold in the second half of 2009. The undefeated Abraham has fought just once outside of Europe, but he has stopped his last six foes and made eight successful title defenses since he won the IBF belt by knocking out Kingsley Ikeke in December 2005.


Round by Round: Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr.

The undercard is over and Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr. are getting ready to head to the ring. The tale of the tape has them basically even in height, weight and reach. Calzaghe is three years younger than Jones.

Jones comes to the ring first. He promised to come out to a song he recorded himself, but it is hard to hear over the crowd. Calzaghe is up second. His current period of inactivity is the longest of his career.

We've got two national anthems to do, of course. Michelle Cleary handles the "Star-Spangled Banner." Michael Buffer is handling the introductions. Jones is in black and orange, Calzaghe is wearing blue and white.

And we're ready to go!

Round One

Calzaghe tries a quick jab and a lunging left. Both men jabbing but not landing. Joe backs Roy into the corner and Jones covers up. Soft left by Calzaghe. Jones finally tries a power shot but has to back away. Joe throws a flurry to the body and head in the corner. Counter right to the body by Roy. Jones is able to duck some shots back in the center of the ring. Jones lands a right hand and Calzaghe goes down! The announcers think he's hurt but he's standing in there.

Franchise: 10-8 Jones
Spartan117: 9-9

Round Two

Blood is coming from Joe's nose. Calzaghe tries some roughhousing as they tie up. Joe goes back to the jab. Both men swinging and missing right now. Calzaghe flurries to the body but Roy shakes his head. Joe still attempting to push the pace. Sharp right by Jones as he backs up. Another big flurry by Joe in the corner; a few landed but many were blocked.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Jones

Round Three

Calzaghe backs up Jones and lands a left upstairs that is quickly answered. Back in the corner again, Jones laughs but he is getting hit. Nice straight right by Jones. Joe landing some clean shots to the body even though Jones acts like they don't hurt. Roy is doing a lot of covering up and not throwing too many punches. Both men doing a lot of showboating as the round ends.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Four

Joe goes right back to the body to begin this frame. Both men land jabs as they jockey for position. Good right by Calzaghe. Big flurry by Joe in the corner. Quick snapping right hand by Jones. They tie up with nothing landing. Body-head combo by Calzaghe. Roy landing some counter but eating a lot more coming back. Right-left combo to the head by Roy but Joe shakes it off.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Five

Lots of dancing to start this frame. Roy looks a little more active now. A straight left sets up a flurry by Calzaghe. Thudding body shot by Joe answered upstairs by Roy. The ref breaks them up as they wrestle. Hard right by Jones but Calzaghe slips away from the follow-up. Nice exchange both ways along the ropes and Jones' left eye is starting to swell. That was an entertaining round with Calzaghe landing quantity and Jones answering with power.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Six

Left hands back up Jones right away. He covers up and picks his spots. Roy flicks a jab and they tie up. Calzaghe resumes his body attack. Lots of feinting in the center of the ring. Good counter right by Jones. Shots land both ways in the corner. Now they work out into the center where Roy has had more success. Jones is still trying to counter but Calzaghe not giving him much. There's a nice uppercut by Roy that was the best punch of the round.

Franchise: 10-9 Jones
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Seven

Roy tries to dig in and stand his ground in the opening seconds here. They wrestle in the corner to no avail. Goob jabs by Roy. Calzaghe hasn't done much so far this round. Now he scores with a left and flurries away. The announcers think Roy is hurt as he backs into the corner. Jones' left eye is bloody and his counter shots aren't bothering Calzaghe as much. Joe mocks Roy's dancing as the round ends.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Eight

It didn't look like Roy's corner could get the cut completely stopped. Both men look like they want to showboat again. Joe whacks him with a right upstairs. Calzaghe stalking as Jones backs away. Joe flurries in the corner and Roy's eye is a mess. Nice shots in close by Jones. Calzaghe scores with the straight left. The final 30 seconds see more flashy combos by Joe while Roy looks for one big shot that isn't coming right now.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Nine

There's an extended look at Jones' eye but they are letting him continue. Joe comes in and Roy counters. Jones almost needs a KO because of the condition of that cut. He turns a little more aggressive now. Roy digs to the body as they wrestle in the center of the ring. The grappling continues in the corner and Roy is having trouble with the volume flying at him. Joe is taking part of this round off though. Nice exchange with both men landing. They both shake their heads at each other as the bell rings.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round 10

Calzaghe throws an immediate combo to the body as the announcers criticize Jones' corner for their handling of his cut. Jones comes forward but doesn't throw. Roy still has some snap on his short shots but they aren't coming frequently. Joe isn't doing as much but still probably enough to win the round. The ref has turned very busy keeping them apart. Roy covering up because he is having trouble seeing the punches coming.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round 11

More dancing than boxing right now. Calzaghe attacks the body and head effectively. Jabs keep coming at Roy's left eye. Not sure it's smart for Joe to taunt Roy so much, but it's not hurting him. Calzghe lands to the body and ducks away. The crowd is booing a little as that round sort of petered out.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round 12

Unless the ringside judges saw a much different fight, Jones needs a KO to win. He's looking for the home run shot but doesn't have an opening right now. Calzaghe not taking too many risks and landing the occasional punch. Roy is backing with his hands down. He covers and Calzaghe flurries; the crowd tries to spur Jones on. Calzaghe dances again and Jones tries to load up the right. Body shots both ways. Nothing big lands at the bell and we'll head to the cards.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

The judges score the fight 118-109, 118-109 and 118-109, all for the winner... and still undefeated Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion of the world... Joe Calzaghe.

Max Kellerman asks Calzaghe about the first-round knockdown, and Joe admits he was stunned by a good shot. He says he always comes back harder when he's on the canvas, and he says it was an honor to fight Jones. Calzaghe thanks his fans for their support too. Kellerman asks why he'd fight with with his hands down, but Joe says he can fight many styles and it's hard for his opponents to deal with that.

What's the future? Calzaghe says he'll have to sit down and think about it instead of making a final decision tonight. Kellerman asks about Chad Dawson, but Joe kind of deflects the question.

Now it's Roy's turn. He says he could have gone two different ways after the knockdown, and by throwing big punches, he got out of his game a bit. Jones says it was a good right hand that caused the cut over his eye.

Roy sneaks in a shout-out to Obama and claims he was game to the end of the fight. He's not ready to say this is his last fight, as he'll regroup and talk to his team.

Judah vs. E. Johnson Round by Round

The last fight on the undercard is Zab Judah vs Ernest Johnson. This is Judah's first fight since his loss to Joshua Clottey. Johnson is 18-2 with 7 KOs. Judah is 36-6 with 25 KOs.

Rd 1: Johnson starts with the action with a jab. Both fighters are feeling eachother out in the first minute. Judah still looks as fast as he used to. Johnson gets a body shot in. Zab is looking relaxed and moving well. Johnson throws 2 shots upstairs that are blocked. Judah is the more active fighter in round 1.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 2: Johnson gets busier early in the second round. Zab lands a good straight left that backs Johnson up. Judah is setting up other punches with his jab but hasn't landed much. A small cut has opened over the eye of Johnson most likely from a Judah punch. Johnson lands a good hook. Judah's hand speed is giving Johnson problems.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 3: Judah spends the break on his feet almost in the middle of the ring. His dad, and trainer, is trying to give him advice but Judah doesn't even acknowledge him. Johnson's punch output is low. Judah is upping his and also landing at a higher percentage. Kellerman talks to Yoel Judah about the break between rounds. Yoel says that Zab knows what he has to do. Now a cut has opened over the eye of Judah and it is clearly running into his eye.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 4: The cut over Zab's eye is very bad and the replay shows that it was caused by an accidental headbutt. The cut is clearly bothering Judah. Judah has to make it out of this round in order for it to go to the scorecards. If that is the case Judah will win this fight. The cut is now getting worse. Johnson seems to see this and is increasing his punches. The cut is really gushing. Zab connects with a big uppercut.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 5: Judah remains active despite cuts over his left and right eye. Judah is throwing stiff jabs. Johnson is trying to get inside but Judah's jabs are keeping him away. Zab is winning the rounds on a higher punch percentage but not much happening in this round.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 6: The two fighters begin this round by clincing and wrestling around. Zab's cutman has done a good job stopping his cuts. Judah lands a great uppercut. Judah now works on counterpunches. The two start jawing eachoter. Hard to tell what they are yelling about. Judah is throwing hard wide punches and going for the knockout. Judah's best round so far.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 7: Judah looks like he's getting more comfortable. He's moving around well and landing at will. He might be leaving himself open. Judah is throwing harder punches in this round than in later rounds. Johnson barrels Judah back into the ropes and Judah gets a body shot in the middle of the clinch. Johnson's style is less sound Judah.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 8: Johnson seems to realize that he needs a KO to win this fight and gets more aggressive. Judah is sticking to basics and uses the jab. Not much happening in this round. Zab lands a good left hook that backs Johnson off. Zab did slightly more than Johnson.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 9: Zab is looking better in this fight than the fans have seen in a couple of fights. The ref, Smoger, stops the action for the second time to fix the tape on Zab's gloves. Judah sees that he doesn't have to do a whole log in order to take this fight. Neither fighter has done much of anything in these later rounds. Now Judah goes to work and throws hard hooks and lands.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Rd 10: Johnson gets out and throws big shots to the body but Zab blocks them all. Judah is landing his hard hooks that he has been throwing while looking for the KO. Johnson is throwing shots but they are way off target. Judah is points and smiles to someone in the crowd. Judah simply out classed Johnson tonight.

Spartan117: 10-9 Judah
Franchise: 10-9 Judah

Zab Judah wins by unanimous decision

Judge 1: 99-91
Judge 2: 98-92
Judge 3: 98-92

Spartan17: 110-90 Judah
Franchise: 100-90 Judah

Calzaghe v. Jones Undercard LiveBlog

The first fight on the undercard is Dmitriy Salita vs. Derrick Campos in the junior welterweight class.  

Salita has the better speed and is the most active. Salita has a noticable reach advantage and he is a few inches taller.  According to the commentators he is the favorite in this fight.  Campos looks like a strong puncher.  Both fighters stay active early.  Campos is trying to get in close to land power shots.  Campos is throwing more shots but Salita is landing the harder cleaner shots.  In round 4 it Salita got into some trouble and slipped in the corner.  The ref took a break in the action to clean up some water in that corner.  

Salita stays busy as the fight enters the middle rounds.  A cut opens over the eye of Campos that is said to be caused by a punch.  Campos looks like he wants to turn this fight into a brawl by getting in close and throwing haymakers on the inside.  He's also lowering his shoulder into Salita.  Salita focuses on the body to slow down Campos' advances.  Lederman, the HBO unofficial judge, has had Salita winning every round going into the 6th.

Salita is dominating the fight as we get into the late rounds.  Campos is getting tagged with hard shots to the head and body through all 8 rounds.  Salita got tagged with a big combination late in the 8th but he fought through it.  If Salita had more power this fight would have been over by now.  

Between rounds Calzaghe sas that he is confident tonight that he will get the victory.  Max Kellerman asks "why Roy Jones?"  Calzaghe says that Jones is a great fighter and it's the final battle for him before retirement.  

Back to the fight.  Salita is still landing the punches but his defense has its flaws.  Campos has been getting good shots in.  Salita looks like he will stay undefeated as we go to the scorecards.
Salita wins by unanimous decision.

The second fight is an 8 round fight between Francisco Figueroa vs. Emanuele Augustus at junior welterweight.  Emmanuelle Augustus has an astonishing record of 37-29.  

Figueroa is the faster fighter but Augustus, being the verteran,  has more experience and is the more skilled boxer.  Augustus is pressuring Figueroa.  Figueroa is having trouble finding Augustus with anything big.  

Between rounds Max Kellerman interviews Roy Jones.  Jones says that he has chosen Calzaghe because he is the pound for pound best out there.  Jones says that B-Hop was the best then it went to Calzaghe.  Kellerman asks him for a trade secret, Jones says to check the hand speed.

Augustus is being elusive and also getting in and landing head shots.  The 5th round turns into a circus act.  Augustus starts his "drunken boxing" style and Figueroa mimics him.  Augustus starts to dance to taunt Figueroa and Figueroa matches.  Besides Augustus' unorthodox boxing style the fight has been lackluster.  Neither fighter is doing much to convincingly win rounds on the judges cards.  Leaderman has it even.  Figueroa is landing good counter shots.  In the last round both fighters are trading huge numbers of punches and not taking any breaks.  The crowd is getting into it now.  The last round is almost impossible to score.  

Figueroa wins by split decision

Calzaghe-Jones Live Round By Round Updates Tonight

Economy got you down? The BoxingWatchers hear you, and we're here to help!

We know that as a boxing fan, you'd love to be at Madison Square Garden tonight to watch the fight that's billed as the Battle of the Superpowers, Joe Calzaghe versus Roy Jones Jr. Failing that, you'd prefer to be watching the fight on pay-per-view, ideally in HD.

But we also know life, and yes, money, sometimes get in the way. So if those first two options don't work for you tonight, bookmark our main page at www.boxingwatchers.com and enjoy live round by round updates for Calzaghe-Jones. The fun starts at 9 pm EST, when we'll at least try to feign interest in the undercard.

Predictions: Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr.

The Franchise says...

As my brother Uatu noted during his weigh-in report, these two look just about even from a physical standpoint. One suspects Jones will be the harder puncher, as he's shown more KO power in the past and he's been at or above this weight for some time now.

Bernard Hopkins recently went on record saying he felt Jones would have the faster hands, but loathe as I am to disagree with a master boxer like The Executioner, I wonder if that will be the case. While Roy still possesses gifts other fighters will never have, unless he's as close to his peak as he claims, I think Calzaghe will be able to beat him to the punch when they exchange.

The other thing Hopkins provided was a blueprint to beating Calzaghe - and many people felt The Executioner won their fight. The trouble is, Jones has admitted he can't fight the same fight. When asked how he'd deal with his opponent's style, he's pretty much just said he'll come up with something. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Calzaghe has no such problems. Once Jones started looking mortal a few years ago, he had some trouble with volume punching (against Antonio Tarver) and relentless pressure (facing Glen Johnson). Joe can do both of those things, which may be why he feels like Roy's style sets up well for his own.

There are plenty of reasons for both men to be highly motivated, so I expect the fight to be spirited and competitive. I give Jones a definite chance to win, especially if he can recapture enough of his old magic to turn back the clock a few years. As Hopkins showed, it's certainly possible.

I just don't think it's likely. By consistently throwing and landing more punches, I like Calzaghe to win by decision and (probably) ride off into the proverbial sunset with an unblemished professional record.

Spartan117 says...

I wanted to go with Jones a few months ago.  I thought he would see this fight as a must win to help solidify his legacy, but after seeing some of his training camp and interviews leading up to this fight it doesn't seem like he's taking Calzaghe as seriously as he should if he wants the victory.  

As Franchise recalled Jones doesn't really seem to have a solution ready to put into play for Calzaghe's massive punch output.  So if Calzaghe brings his normal game plan of smothering his opponent with a high volume of punches, and we've never seen him not bring that game plan, he'll be able to score points on the judges' cards.  

Calzaghe surely wants to retire with an undefeated record and he will be ready to fight tonight which is why I'm predicting Calzaghe by decision.


Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Joe Calzaghe: Weigh-in Report

Uatu will be performing his Watchers duty today as he watches the weigh-in for the Jones, Jr. Calzaghe fight on hbo.com and on ESPNEWS. A full report will be forthcoming.

This is no comment on their present fighting skills, or the shape that they are in and how that will affect who is to win this fight, or as a comment on what might happen, but just an observation. Facially speaking, at some of press conferences this week, Roy looks old. He actually looks older than Bernard and much older than Calzaghe. Probably just genetics.

Hbo has begun their streaming. Right now it is just a real time camera view of the ring. It looks like they will be doing the weigh-in right on the floor of MSG and the ring is already set up.

It is 4pm and it is supposed to go down at 4:05pm eastern time. No sound yet. There are some people milling about, but it doesn't look like the scene of a weigh-in yet.

This doesn't look like a great set up. There's no way this is going to have the electricity of the Hatton - Mayweather weigh-in, or some of the Pacquiao - Marquez, Morales, Barerra ones, or some of the Hopkins or De La Hoya or Trinidad or Vargas weigh-ins. Is this weigh-in open to the public? Hopefully it is just the camera angle that makes it appear this way, but right now the view makes it look like no one is there.

Sound has turned on. It is 4:05

Buffer is on the mic, and there is crazy amounts of static. It is to the point that he is completely incomprehensible. It is probably only on the webcast. And the problem is fixed.

They have some undercard guy get back on the scale for the commission and he makes weight presumably. There wasn't an announcement of who he was.

Due to the angle, it is uncertan how many people are there. And Buffer is ready to start officially.

First onto the scales: Roy
His physique is ridiculous as expected.
174 1/2 pounds.
He certainly does not look old in that respect.

Joe up next. He gets some cheers.
174 1/2 pounds.
Joe looks fit as well.

They look to be exactly the same height in the pose off.
Roy thanks us all for following his career. He says he is back and ready to go.
Joe says he is excited. He promises an awesome show and says he will still be undefeated.

Roy looks the slightest bit more muscular, but only slightly. They really match up quite well.
Should be an interesting fight.

Not anywhere near the most exciting weigh-in ever, but Uatu is a sucker for all of the weigh-ins. They are always a great way to get pumped up for a big fight.

Zab Judah weighs in at 144 1/2. He is clearly in shape, but he isn't quite as ripped as he has been in the past.

Ernest Johnson is 144.

ESPNNEWS did not do a live broadcast.


Report: Pavlik to Fight Rubio in Youngstown on February 21

It looks like fans of Kelly Pavlik won't have to wait too long to see how he bounces back from his defeat at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. The Ghost's faithful followers won't have to travel too far to see it either.

CJ Vick of Bleacher Report spoke to Jack Loew on Monday, and Pavlik's trainer confirmed that Pavlik will be back in action next February, taking on Marco Antonio Rubio. Loew said the fight will take place in Youngstown at one of two possible venues and will be televised by HBO.

Rubio earned his spot in the bout by eking out a split decision win over Enrique Ornelas on the Pavlik-Hopkins undercard, becoming the mandatory challenger for Pavlik's WBC middleweight belt in the process. He showed a solid all-around game with good movement and a sturdy chin, but nothing that should scare the middleweight champ too much unless his confidence shows long-term effects from the loss.

Still, it's an opportunity Rubio wouldn't even be getting had Pavlik won on October 18. The Ghost's camp had thoughts of having him continue on at super middleweight or higher, but his immediate future looks to be back at 160 pounds.


In-Depth Preview: Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Joe Calzaghe

Birthplace: Hammersmith, England
Height: 5' 11"
Reach: 73"
Current Titles Held: Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight (175 lbs.)
Former Titles Held: WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO Super Middleweight (168 lbs.)
Professional Record: 45-0, 32 KO's.
Record in World Title Fights: 23-0, 11 KO's
Record at 175 lbs.: 1-0
Record in Fights Going 12 Rounds: 12-0

Notable Wins: SD12 Bernard Hopkins, UD12 Mikkel Kessler, UD12 Jeff Lacy
Notable Losses: None

Roy Jones Jr.

Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida
Height: 5' 11"
Reach: 74"
Current Ttiles Held: None
Former Titles Held: IBF Middleweight (160 lbs.), IBF Super Middleweight (168 lbs.), WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO Light Heavyweight (175 lbs.), WBA Heavyweight
Professional Record: 52-4, 38 KO's
Record in World Title Fights: 23-4, 14 KO's
Record in Fights Going 12 Rounds: 12-1

Notable Wins: UD12 John Ruiz, KO1 Montell Griffin, UD12 Bernard Hopkins
Notable Losses: KO9 Glen Johnson, TKO2 Antonio Tarver, DQ9 Montell Griffin


Add this to the list of "dream fights" for boxing fans which would be just a little bit more interesting if both participants were in their respective primes.

The undefeated Calzaghe seems closer to his, coming off a razor thin yet no less impressive decision over Bernard Hopkins. He got up off the canvas in that bout and also shook off some difficult moments in his previous fight against Mikkel Kessler, both times showing a rare ability to adapt on the fly.

Jones clearly isn't the same boxer in 2008 as he was prior to 2004, when his air of invincibility was shattered by consecutive starchings at the hands of Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson. His last three outings have been better though, and he's sporting a new, more carefree attitude that could serve him well.

If Jones can summon up enough of his old magic at age 39, there's no reason this couldn't be a barnburner. Despite his obvious skill, Calzaghe has really only stepped up his level of competition in the last two or three years, and Saturday will be just his second fight in the United States. Neither man should be short on motivation, with Calzaghe wishing to leave the sport with an unblemished record and Jones eyeing a very lucrative rematch with old rival Hopkins.

The hand speed of both boxers allows for fast flurries that dazzle even if they don't land clean. And since neither fighter has shown an abundance of KO power as of late - Calzaghe, especially, has been derided as a slapper - this has the look of a crowd-pleasing contest with an excellent chance to go the distance.

Calzaghe's Winning Strategy: Keep Up the Pressure

Anyone who saw Calzaghe fight Jeff Lacy probably remembers that it looked like a really solid shot from his opponent that night might destroy him. Lacy never got a chance though, as Calzaghe pummeled him by continually getting off first and keeping the volume of punches flowing for 12 rounds.

The Pride of Wales has since shown that he doesn't necessarily have to fight that way to win, but it still might be his best bet against Jones. Roy's difficulties with Antonio Tarver and, to a lesser extent, Glen Johnson showed that at this stage of the game, he doesn't deal well with boxers who will keep leather in his face all night.

Calzaghe got caught and dropped by Hopkins early on, and Jones is more than capable of doing the same. The best way to avoid that is to beat Jones to the punch whenever possible.

If constant pressure isn't the way to go, Calzaghe should know within three or four rounds. Fortunately for him, few current fighters are better at identifying what's not working and coming up with a Plan B should the need arise.

Jones' Winning Strategy: Don't Live in the Past

Once upon a time, Jones was so physically gifted that he didn't need to fight with solid fundamentals to win. Some of his most spectacular KO's have come from sequences you'd never find taught at a gym.

If Jones forgets that he's no longer that fighter, he's in for a long night. Calzaghe has very fast hands, and inconceivable as it may have seemed back in the day, Roy's probably slower to the punch than his opponent.

What Jones does have is a lot more experience against championship-caliber foes. He has to have learned a lot from all of those rounds, and while he's not going to suddenly morph into a master technician, he'll need to employ all the lessons he's learned to hang the first 'L' on Calzaghe.

Also, while the stats say both men are built about the same, Jones' extended time at light heavyweight and above suggests he will be bigger and stronger than Calzaghe and may get the best of things in close.

Roy the bully? Now that would be something different than we're used to seeing from him, and in this case, different is better.


Round by Round: Cristian Mijares vs. Vic Darchinyan

There is a somewhat lengthy delay here between fights [Editor's note: Possibly because of problems with the ring?]. Some interviews are shown with Warren Sapp and Tracey Ullman, plus some previews of upcoming fights. Yawn.

Unbelievable. Oklahoma 49-Nebraska 14 at the half.

And now the fight preview has begun. Showtime does a better job than HBO of actually breaking down strategy in fights. HBO mostly goes the human interest route. Showtime is actually breaking down film of past fights, which is cool. However, it is commonplace in other sports, so why not more in boxing?

Vic lost the coin flip and enters first. He comes out to no music. He gets some minor boos. Now some music plays that is audible barely.

And here comes Mijares. The crowd that is there is a boisterous one and shows itself to be behind Mijares for sure.

Charles says it looks like rain is on the way. Earlier it was mentioned that only lightning would stop the fights.

Mijares enjoys a 3 1/2" reach advantage, and the crowd is already chanting for him. He is all smiles through the introductions and the rules.

And away we go!

Round 1
Southpaws both ways for this fight. Charles mentions the Mijares smirk. Vic D is the aggressor. Not much serious jabbing, mostly probing and feeling out. Left from Vic. Mijares gets a jab in. Another left from Vic, but a haymaker overhand is blocked. Lots of feinting. One-two from Vic, then a clinch. Mijares is not throwing much at all. Down goes mijares! Not sure what happened there. Vic threw a number of hard punches and may have landed to the body - will have to check the replay.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-8

Round 2
Mijares sort of leaned in and got clipped with a hard left uppercut. That's what took him down. Mijares is still not doing much. He may be gun shy. Vic is looking for opportunities to unleash the hard left. Mijares looks shaky as Vic is winding up big time and launching from all angles. Vic looks stronger for sure. Mijares gets in a solid left. Mijares is getting more offensive now in countering. Left to the body from Vic, answered by a nice left from Mijares. There's a clinch, then more posing in the middle. Both men are throwing fake jabs, looking to explode. A solid right hook from Mijares backs Vic up.

Uatu: Mijares 10-9

Round 3
That was a close second round. More posing and feinting to open the third. Right jabs fly from both men. They circle in the middle, then clinch. Left to the body from Mijares. Halfway through and little action. Right to the body from mijares. Mijares dodges Vic. Four punches from Vic followed by two more. Solid left to body from Vic. Some wrestling to end the round. Not much to cheer about that round although there was a "Mexico" chant.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-9

Round 4
The usual circling and light tapping in the middle starts this frame. Body shot by Vic D. Two jabs are blocked by Vic. Mijares throws his first true combos of the night. Nice left from Vic D. Both men are waiting to explode but not pulling the trigger. Vic isn't hesitant, but he is being judicious about jumping in. Smart. Vic is throwing the jab a little harder than before. There's a 1-2-3-4 from Vic with two of them landing. Vic tries the uppercut twice but they don't really score.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-9

Round 5
Round 4 had little to be excited about. Mijares did show somewhat of a combo in the middle part, but not much more than the other rounds. Press row all had it 40-35 up to this point with Vic D sweeping the rounds. He probably took this one too with more of the same.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-9

Round 6
Each round has taken a good 30 seconds before either man has landed. This round continues that trend. Mijares lands a few, but they aren't with the same force of Vic's punches. Vic throws the hard thudding body shots, and even when they are blocked they just look more impressive. Big time left from Vic but Mijares isn't shaken by it. Some in-fighting but Mijares' punches get blocked. Nice mijares jab. Three shots to the head by Vic D that all land. That's probably going to get him this round. Now comes more wrestling. Mijares tries a few shots, but Vic is showing movement and underrated defense and skill. Vic has been impressive.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-9

Round 7
Left to the head from Vic D. All press row scorers have it 60-53 Vic D. Mijares gets in a nice shot to the head. Three punches go body-head from Mijares. Not bad. If he wants to turn the tide, it's time to get going. Mijares is really outworking Vic this round. Vic gets in a nice left to stem the tide. One-two combo from Vic. Mijares is coming forward this round, but Vic gets him on the way in. Nice uppercut or left from Vic - could have gone either way. Mijares had more moments this round than in other recent rounds. Vic had his shots too though after the mid-round point, winning him the round in this judge's eyes.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-9

Round 8
Nothing lands for first 30 seconds. Mijares is picking up the pace. Vic isn't slowing down with the hard stuff either. Vic lands two to the body. Both announcers think that Vic may be looking vulnerable. Uatu says Vic D is still getting it done this round though. Mijares tries hooks to the body but gets a warning for them.

Uatu: Darchinyan 10-9

Round 9
The announcers say Mijares is fighting the wrong fight. Some early aggression from vic. Mijares is jabbing. Press row journalists all have it 79-72. Not much hard punching either way. Some more wrestling and pushing. Middle of the ring punches are getting blocked but Vic is throwing hard. He looks to have really hurt Mijares with a combo. Mijares is looking shaky. Vic is bombing away, but Mijares is grabbing to buy time. Mijares seems to have recovered. He just doesn't have the strength to really scare Vic. With eight seconds to go, Vic goes hard to the head of Mijares! There is no getting up from that one! That was a powerful shot. Mijares was sort of meandering backwards to the ropes in the final seconds and vic kept throwing. The last punch got Mijares dead square, and down he went. Vic lands the monster shot and he wins! It was a nice right jab and huge straight left moving forward that did it.

The winner by KO at 3:00 of Round 9... and new unified WBA, WBC, and IBF super flyweight champion... Vic "The Raging Bull" Darchinyan.

Darchinyan completely proved the naysayers wrong in this one - including one Uatu. He looked to be in the form he showed back when he was destroying people before his first loss.

Vic says he showed he was skillful and smart. He says repeatedly that he kept his promise to win. The judges all had it 79-72 when the end arrived.

Good night of action in both fights. Score one for Showtime.