They showed Manny Pacquiao’s destruction of Ricky Hatton again and it was just as devastating the second time. The only thing that looked any different was that the knockout punch didn’t look like a left hook. It looked like a cross between a straight left and a left cross. But it was just as nasty of a knockout.
There are some great fights coming up. Andre Berto vs. Juan Urango, Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey, Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye, and then the return of Money May against Juan Manuel Marquez. It’s such a great time to be a boxing fan.
Antonio Tarver vs. Chad Dawson
This round was all about Dawson seeing if Tarver had anything. He let Tarver let his hands go a little bit and his goal was just to time him and make him miss a bit. Near the end of round, he showed off some nice hand speed. Tarver’s hands look fairly slow.
Dawson seems a little bored out there and is picking and choosing when to open up. The hand speed difference is tremendous. Tarver is completely in defensive mode.
Tarver seemed ok to just pepper shots at Dawson as if he was Ali in his prime and could simply sit back against the ropes and toy with Dawson. I don’t think that’s the right strategy.
There has always been something off putting about Antonio Tarver when he runs off at the mouth. Other fighters can play the villain with a wink and a nod to the public; subtle signifiers that say “Hey, this is only promotion. Business, not personal. Just trying to get that paper.” Tarver, when he puts on the black hat, has a habit of taking stuff far. From referencing Roy Jones’ kids in the buildup to their first fight, to giving little respect to the fighters whoâ€™ve beat him; to his Ali-esque levels of cruelty toward Chad Johnson, Tarver always been a tad too harsh, too tacky, too inappropriate for the room.
Tarverâ€™s trash talking has obscured both his talent and his waste of it. His quality victories against Roy Jones almost make you forget him underachieving in all but a handful of fights; eating wrong, training poorly, and fighting as if to get by against opponents he should have destroyed. Against Chad Dawson, a solid, quality fighter who actually fights three minutes a round, his act and his reflexes seemed stale, and the result was a comprehensive beating that seemed to signal the end of his career. Unfortunately, for HBO and those willing to watch on Saturday, it has not: Tarver had a return clause on the contract for the first fight, and the network wants Dawson on their team. Therefore, we have a rematch.
So we have another Antonio Tarver show, although far less tasteless this go-round. Tarver hasnâ€™t said anything too ear grating, but thereâ€™s still time. What there isnâ€™t time for, however, is Tarverâ€™s career. Somewhere in the middle of the fight, Tarver will slip into his intermittent fight-half-a-round style, and Dawson, a young fighter approaching his prime, will make him pay for it. Then Tarver will either take his hat off to his opponent, or tell/badger all with within earshot about how Chad wasnâ€™t any good, offer some excuse about why he didnâ€™t perform, and tell you how great he is in excruciating detail. Pick the latter.
Also, Pick Dawson by 11th round stoppage.
There are two title fights tonight and I’m not sure either one is really all that big of a fight, but when you have guys like Antonio Tarver and Vitali Klitschko fighting, you know it will be interesting.
Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver have been talking major trash to each other and let’s hope that the fight lives up to the hype.
Sam Peter vs. Vitali Klitschko is odd as Klitschko hasn’t fought in years and Peter has to defend his belt in Germany. Craziness has to ensue.
Sam Peter vs. Vitali Klitschko
It’s for Peter’s WBC heavyweight championship.
Either Showtime’s signal is a little hot, or Michael Buffer fell asleep in the tanning booth.
Klitschko is holding his left hand really low. He’s throwing a left hook right hand combination. Peter is trying to get inside, but is getting hit and knocked off balance. Good first round for Klitschko.