SAN DIEGO – September 8, 2012 – Boxing fans got far more action in a much tighter package than they ever expected on Saturday night on both sides of the Atlantic, with the anticipation of more great fights from tonight’s champions in the future.
At the Olympic Indoor Arena in Moscow, Russia, Vitali Klitschko (45-2-0, 40 KOs) made a quick night of it against German Manuel Charr (21-1-0, 11 KOs). Klitschko took control from the start, perhaps taking advantage of Charr’s reputation for being a slow starter. He took the offensive, and a small cut opened up on Charr in round two. Klitschko knocked Charr down at the end of the round, but didn’t have a chance for any follow up.
Charr’s small cut turned into a gusher by round four. After being examined by the German ring physician, the fight was stopped at 2:04 of the fourth round. It may have seemed premature to some, but Charr was behind, taking heavy punishment and wasn’t ever in the fight. There seemed no reason to let it continue. Charr was furious and made his displeasure visibly known to the fans.
While the 41-year-old Klitschko hasn’t made his retirement official, he is going to run for the Ukrainian Parliament as head of his own political party. At this age, it seems unlikely Klitschko would return to boxing if his political career takes hold. Perhaps someday a President Ironfist will end up holding a diplomatic meeting with a future President Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.
With this bout as a warm-up for fans, the evening’s action moved to the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. If fans weren’t in their seats at the start of the undercard fight between lightweights Antonio DeMarco and John Molina, they are probably still wondering what happened. The bout was predicted to be an action-packed, but it wasn’t expected that actin would be backed into just 44 seconds. That’s all it took for DeMarco to hit Molina with a powerful straight left that sent Molina back across the ring.
DeMarco moved in to finish Molina off. Molina ended up sitting on the lowest rope, and referee Jack Reiss moved in to stop the fight. Was this the second premature stoppage of the night? Molina should have taken a knee and given himself the chance to continue, though as hard as DeMarco hit Molina, it’s not likely he would have made it into a few more rounds.
After the bout, HBO’s Larry Merchant asked DeMarco (29-2-1, 21 KOs) if he might consider fighting champion Adrian Broner next. “If he wants, I’ll fight him tomorrow,” laughed DeMarco. Broner better lay off the Twinkies if this one comes to pass. DeMarco showed he’s got a killer instinct along with a wickedly accurate punch.
While 80 percent of the experts and fans weighing in expected undefeated former Olympic gold medallist Andre Ward to win his super middleweight fight against Chad Dawson, everyone was resigned to a tactical, workmanlike fight ending in a decision. Ward won, but the exciting manner in which he got his victory has energized boxing fans who can’t wait to see him back in the ring again soon.
Ward scored a tenth round TKO win against Dawson to remain undefeated at 26-0-0, 14 KOs. Ward stunned Dawson in the fourth round, setting him up for a wicked left hook with a strong body shot. Dawson hardly knew what to do tactically to survive the round, but he managed to hold on. Dawson recovered enough to hit Ward hard a few times, and while he didn’t do any serious damage, Ward had to respect Dawson’s potential to hurt him. He took his time and when he had the opportunity in the tenth round to finish off Dawson, he came in and sealed the deal. Unlike Molina in the previous bout, Dawson was smart enough to take a knee, and referee Steve Smoger gave him every chance to continue. But Dawson and his corner knew there was no point, and the fight was over.
“These kind of fights, you gotta take risks,” said Ward after the victory. “Otherwise it could be a snoozer… I love to win. I got a bad rap early in my career. Finishing guys off is the last piece of the puzzle, and I’m on my way to doing that. I feel like against the better competition, I rise to the occasion,” observed Ward.
This is exactly what Ward’s fans have wanted to see ever since he won gold at the Olympic Games eight years ago. Now the fun begins in speculating who might be next for Ward. Could it be Kazahk boxer Gennady Golovkin who got fans excited about him with his own impressive knockout victory last weekend? How about the winner of next week’s bout between Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez?
Dawson, now 31-2-0, dropped from light heavyweight to fight Ward and doesn’t lose his WBC title in the heavier weight class. “I don’t want to take nothing away from Andre Ward… I thought I felt good at 168, but I couldn’t get off,” said Dawson. “I wanted to fight the best, I fought the best… He deserves to be where he is right now.” Dawson said he would return to the light heavyweight division and reign there.
Whatever way it shakes out, Ward went from being a fighter who couldn’t draw enough fans for a pay-per-view bout to an exciting star fans can’t wait to see again. He reminded us why he was named Fighter of the Year in 2011, and so far he’s a strong contender to repeat that honor in 2012.
BOXER BRIEFS: It was a busy night to open the fall boxing season. On Showtime Boxing in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse put on a powerhouse performance, starting slow but steady and finally breaking down Nigerian boxer Ajose Olusegun to win the WBC interim junior welterweight title with a 10th round TKO victory. Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs) is the less flashy fighter compared to the quick Olusegun (30-1, 14 KOs), but slow and steady became bold and brutal and Olusegun could not stand up to the damage being done to him.
Matthysse hit Olusegun hard with a few rights in succession, and referee Russell Mora stopped the fight for the TKO win.
In Orange County, California, another Olympic Games medalist notched a victory. Heavyweight Deontay Wilder, bronze medal winner in Beijing in 2008, made short work of Damon McCreary with a 2nd round TKO victory for his 25th win and 25th consecutive knockout. It seemed a horrible mismatch between the 6-foot-7 Wilder and the 5-foot-11 McCreary, to be fair. Next time Wilder needs to pick on someone his own size.
Another heavyweight booked an impressive win, which he desperately needed to keep his career alive. Polish fighter Tomasz Adamek stopped Travis Walker in their fight in Newark, New Jersey. Walker scored a knockdown against Adamek in round two and it seemed the Pole’s career might be over. But Adamek hung in there, came back and rocked Walker right back. Adamek is now 47-2, 29 KOs, proved he could take a punch and come back, and won the right to fight another day.
“America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon did a perfectly fine job as the ring announcer for the fights in Oakland. Sharply dressed as always, Cannon doesn’t have the rich classic toned voice of a Michael Buffer, but he brings energy and didn’t flub a single line. Well done, Nick.
During the HBO broadcast, announcer Max Kellerman commented that Andre Ward was the last American to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. Let the record reflect that the last American to win Olympic gold in boxing is women’s middleweight champion Claressa Shields of Flint, Michigan. Shields and many of her admirers were watching the broadcast, and caught the misstatement by Kellerman. It was widely commented on among the Twitter crowd. Max, you owe the Flint Hurricane an apology. #London2012 #goldmedal #HELLOMAX
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.
Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.