The CBZ Newswire

Froch Cheats Defeat with a Knockout Victory

by on Apr.28, 2009, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

By Tom Donelson

Jermain Taylor knocked Froch down in the third round and appeared thirty seconds from winning a title in a second weight division.  He was unable to finish off his opponent but through the fifth round, he was easily winning the fight.  He would regret not finishing off Froch. Froch is one of those fighters who gets stronger as a fight wears on and that was the case here.  In the first five rounds, Taylor jab and variety of punches reddened the British fighter face.    Froch looked a tab bit slower and he never got into rhythm.  Down by five rounds, Froch began his own comeback as he started to connect with his own right.  His jab began to bother Taylor and Taylor own jab started to decrease in volume. From this point of the fight, it became a Froch fight as he started to move forward while connecting on his own punches and forcing Taylor fight toe to toe.  Both fighters had their moments over the second half of the fight.

In the seventh round, Taylor jab retook the momentum but in the eighth round, Froch started off fast and won the first two minutes before Taylor came back to stun Froch as the bell ranged with a devastating left hook.

The tenth round saw Froch reach back and take command of the fight for good.  Throwing combinations, he even successfully looped his right over Taylor guard.  Like a freight train, Froch could not be deterred and in the eleventh, he set the pace even though Taylor nailed him with several good rights over the last minute but as the bell ranged to end the round, Froch was the fresher fighter.

Regardless, Froch was three minutes of losing his first defense of his version of the Super Middleweight title. Two of the judges had Taylor way ahead and all Taylor had to do was to say on his feet.  Froch attacked with ferocity that only desperation could force.  Within a minute of the round, a Froch right nailed Taylor and sent Taylor reeling. From this point, it was survival time as Froch attacked with everything; knowing that he had to knock out his opponent. With less than a minute, a Froch right sent Taylor down and now Taylor was on survival mode as he tried to hold and run but with 15 seconds left, a Froch combination got through Taylor guard. The rope held Taylor up but Taylor laid helpless against the rope and as the referee ended the fight; Taylor dream of a championship glory died.  Fifteen seconds was the difference between a championship belt and back to ground zero in a career that took yet another detour from the top.

Allan Green began the evening against Carlos De Leon, Jr.  De Leon, the son of the former Cruiserweight champion, came into the fight with a feared left hook but Green had fought the better opponents.  The opening round saw Green jab dominate most of the round but a De Leon double left hook sent a message that this could be a long night for Green.

Those hopes were quickly dashed as a Green left hook sent De Leon to the ground.  De Leon got back up and sent two left hooks in Green direction but Green shook them off and nailed De Leon with a clubbing right.  De Leon was down a second time and this was followed by two more knock downs as the referee decided that hitting the canvas four times was enough to consider this fight over.   For Allan Green, this fight might propel him into championship fight.

Meanwhile in Puerto Rico on the HBO telecast, Lamont Peterson challenged the veteran Willy Blain and essentially dominated the fight as he moved forward and Blain retreated.   At the end of the sixth round, Blain suddenly stopped as he grimaced in pain.  With seconds left, the referee first called the fight but then allowed the fight to continue. It looked like that maybe Blain may have broken his hand and the fight was officially stopped in the early seconds of the seventh round when Blain could no longer continue.

In the main event of the Puerto Rico card, Juan Manuel Lopzez took on  veteran Gerry Penalosa. The undefeated Lopez began the fight by solid boxing as he dominated the early rounds with solid inside work and his punches had the better pop.   At the end of the third round, Penalosa went toe to toe with Lopez but Lopez got the better of the exchanges.

Going into the fifth round, it looked like Penalosa was shooting blanks whereas Lopez shot back with buckshot.  Lopez was the stronger fighter and he was gathering an easy victory by out punching his outmatched opponent.  In the seventh round, Penalosa had his moments but as one HBO announcer noted, those moments were few and far between after a brief Penalosa rally.   In between the eighth and ninth round, Penalosa trainer Freddie Roach, told his fighter that he will give him one more round.    A bitter toe to toe slug fest ensued with Penalosa occasionally counter but he took the brunt of the beating from the younger Lopez.  Lopez showed the boxing world why he might be the best junior featherweight and a future star as Roach told his fighter he had enough.

Spinks win a title again.

Cory Spinks was fighting for the IBF version of the junior Middleweight championship and coming off a two fight losing streaks.  Spinks opponent was fellow Saint Louis native, Deandre Latimore, a young hard slugging prospect.  In Latimore’s previous fight, he upset contender Sechew Powell with a seventh round knockout and this earned him a shot for the IBF version of the title.

For Cory Spinks, this was one of those crossroads fight as he was facing a fighter whose previous nineteen victories included only four fighters with winning records and a lost could be devastating for the Saint Louis native.  Cory “the next generation” Spinks comes from a family of championship fighters as his father Leon defeated Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight championship and Michael Spinks, the great light heavyweight fighter who also won a heavyweight title from Larry Holmes.  Spinks wanted one more title and one more shot at a unified junior Middleweight.  A portion of the title would allow Spinks to get one more big pay day beyond that.

In the first round, Spinks came out firing as he hoped to jumped on the younger fighter; all he did was run right into a Latimore buzz saw and he went down half way through the round.  Latimore punches had more power when contrasted with Spinks punches.  Latimore had his opportunity in the opening stanza to end the fight and throughout the first four rounds, this was Latimore’s fight.

Spinks did not have his legs and found himself fighting a trench battle with a younger harder puncher.  What Spinks had left was guts and guile.  Spinks took his inside game to another level and forced his younger opponent to fight; this appeared to be a suicidal strategy.   Starting in the fifth round, Spinks threw punches and clutch when needed or occasionally move to force Latimore to chase after him. What occurred was that Spinks tired his younger opponent as Latimore punches lost its steam. Those punches that shook Spinks from head to toe simply ricochet off Spinks in the later rounds.  Spinks started to walk the stronger Latimore down and Latimore started to retreat throughout the second half of the fight.  Beginning in the fifth round, the fight turned Spinks way.

This fight ceased to be a boxing match and more of a brawl as both fighters stood toe to toe.  This was a brawl to determine who would be the true champion of Saint Louis and for Spinks; this could easily end up to be his Waterloo.  Both fighters saw their eyes get cut and with blood occasionally spurting; this brawl had Saint Louis fans screaming.  This was not the sharp shooting Spinks fighting a brawler but the brawling Spinks out brawling his younger opponent.  The twelfth round saw Spinks put everything on the line as he did not leave nothing in the ring as he out punched his exhausted opponent.  This fight was close and many of the rounds down the stretch were separated by a significant punch or two.  One judge had it 115-112 for Latimore and the other had 115-112 Spinks.  As the ring announcer announced the score 114-113 and new IBF championship, the fans stood at attention wondering who would be the new champion. As the announcer yelled Cory Spinks, the tears and relief could be seen on Spinks’ face.

For Spinks, his career continued as he once again was a champion.  As for Latimore, his second lost was nothing to be ashamed as he showed that he was a worthy opponent.  He had his opportunity to win the fight but after the fourth round, it was Spinks experience that proved decisive.

In the opening bout, junior welterweight prospect Devon Alexander fought the veteran Jesus Rodriguez. Alexander won his first seventeen fights and now he was going for number eighteen.  Rodriguez proved an exclusive target as he moved his head and proved difficult for Alexander to hit.  Alexander, normally an accurate puncher, often was wild but most of the fight, Rodriguez was contented to play defense. Occasionally a Rodriguez would find a target on left side of Alexander face but for the most part, it was Alexander who was the puncher.

In the eighth round, Alexander finally found rhythm in his attacks and sent Rodriguez to the canvas.  Rodriguez got back up but the Rodriguez that got up looked like a defeated fighter as he looked to his corner as to say, “What do I do now?”

The fight ended with a ninth round TKO as Alexander finally ended the fight.  What this fight showed was that Alexander is a talented fighter with much left to learn and prove before he actually earns a championship shot.  Alexander is a talented fighter but there was time in this fight he proved over anxious as he missed shots that in past fights he nailed.

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