Friday Night Fights Report - Feb. 27, 2009

The Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida is home to this week's broadcast of Friday Night Fights. Tonight's showcase fight features Glen Johnson versus Daniel Judah in a rematch of a fight from several years ago that ended in a controversial draw.

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas are on hand as usual, with Brian Kenny and Bernardo Osuna in the studio. They will also talk ringside with Jermain Taylor later tonight.

Osuna shares his thoughts on Miguel Cotto following his convincing comeback win against Michael Jennings. He thinks Cotto found his boxing skills again and regained his confidence. As an aside, Kenny is rocking a bright pink shirt with matching tie.

Tonight's first fight is Danny O'Connor and Jamar Saunders in a four-rounder at 140 pounds. Tessitore says O'Connor learned to sew at a young age and makes his own boxing gear, to which Atlas deadpans, "You better be able to fight if you sew your own trunks."

O'Connor is a southpaw but has a nasty right hook that he's able to land a few times in the second round. He spends the second minute of the round mixing hooks to the head and body with some straight lefts, strafing Saunders repeatedly.

He also has some holes on defense, but Saunders isn't able to exploit them too often, and one thinks this will be a fairly easy decision for the judges. One judge surprisingly scores it 38-38, but the other two saw it 40-36, and O'Connor wins by majority decision.

Back in the studio, the guys talk Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz. They both weighed in just under 135, with JMM looking lean and the Baby Bull looking a little soft, though that's how he always looks.

Kenny points out that JMM is ten years older and naturally smaller but is a great fighter with a style that may be troublesome for Diaz. Osuna thinks that Marquez won't have trouble with Diaz's pressure, but he does wonder if and when age will catch up with him. On ESPN's poll, two-thirds of the fans think JMM will win.

There's also talk about the Chris John-Rocky Juarez fight. Juarez is mentioned as a boxer who has always been just a step below the top level at his weight, and Osuna thinks John's skills are apparent even though he has fought almost exclusively in Indonesia.

Next up is undefeated Norberto Gonzalez taking on Antwone Smith in an eight-round welterweight scrap. Gonzalez is 16-0 with 12 KOs and is making his first appearance in the United States, or anywhere outside his native Mexico for that matter.

Gonzalez is very efficient with his movement, backing away just enough to avoid punches while staying close enough to string together combinations. He's busy enough to win the first round.

Smith gets a little more active in the second round. Gonzalez stuns Smith with a right, but when he closes in to try to press his advantage, Smith catches him with a counter right and sends him down. Gonzalez pops right back up and is landing bombs again as an entertaining round comes to a close.

Blood starts to flow from the left eye of Gonzalez in the third round, and the next two frames are fought pretty evenly. Gonzalez is able to use his boxing skills and movement a little more obviously in the fifth, and Atlas has him up by a point.

The sixth round sees Smith land some flush shots that reopen the original cut and start a new one on the opposite side. But Gonzalez responds with a mean right-left combo, and it turns into an all-out slugfest that gets the fans into it in the final minute.

The pace slows just a bit in the seventh, setting up what could be a fun ending to a fight that could definitely be up for grabs. Nothing crazy happens in the last round, and though Smith goes down in the closing seconds, it's correctly ruled a slip. We'll go to the scorecards.

All three judges score it 78-74, all to the winner by unanimous decision, Antwone Smith.

Back to BK and Osuna for one more segment. They revisit the Cotto fight again with Osuna saying Joshua Clottey will likely be his next opponent on June 13.

They talk Pavlik-Rubio as well, and Osuna makes the interesting comment that Pavlik has a "Mexican" style the way he comes forward and works the body. He also says he's been told Arthur Abraham is not likely to come to the U.S. to fight Pavlik at this point.

A video package provides some more background on Glen Johnson, a true warrior who also comes across as a very real, down to earth human being.

Posted by The Franchise

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