What started out a pedestrian title defense for the mighty mite from Mexico turned into a savage back and forth battle. Chiquita got a wake-up call in round two, when he was hit by a crushing right hand delivered at warp 10. He went down like a shot of tequila, but got right up and seemed to shrug it off. He battled back gamely in the third and fourth rounds to more than hold his own against the gutsy kid from Thailand. Beginning in the fifth round, Gonzalez boxed with new determination and resolve. This grim-faced, mini-assassin appeared to be on a search and destroy mission, leaving his over-whelmed foe with nowhere to hide. Launching an impressive whirlwind offensive assault, highlighted by winging head shots and a crippling body attack, Gonzalez dropped Sorjaturong in the fifth and sixth rounds.
The end seemed quite near after the sixth round when the doctor went to the challenger's corner to see if he was in any kind of condition to continue after the punishment he had absorbed. The end was near, just not the way anyone expected (at least I didn't.)
Saman, his right eye swollen to a slit, came out blasting to start the seventh round. He appeared to be in do-or-die mode, banking every thing on one final all-out assault. It paid off big! The Thai-battler unleashed his shotgun right which sent Humberto crashing backward down to the canvas for the second time that night. Chiquita appeared to be okay, neatly ducking under the bottom rope to get up and wiping the spurting blood from his face. Saman took up right where he left off. The hunted became the hunter, and Sorjaturong blasted Humberto out with a right hand -- "again and again and again," as announcer, Tom Kelly yelled at the exciting ending to this war.
The closing moment of the round was a classic as Gonzalez staggered into Referee, Lou Filippo's arms. Saman rejoiced -- smiling, throwing punches into the air -- and leaping for joy.
Saman Sorjaturong is a young, talented fighter with a bright future ahead of him. His comeback victory, after absorbing a tremendous pounding showed that a Holyfield-sized heart is contained in his 107 « pound body.
Chiquita Gonzalez is by no means washed-up, even though he has been through his share of ring wars. His defeat seemed to be a combination of:
Looking Ahead to Bigger and Better Fights (Paydays) -- There was much talk before the fight of Gonzalez jumping up to 112 pounds to fight Yuri Arbachakov for his WBC title.
Pressure to Knock Samon Out -- Fernando Paramo interviewed Chiquita before the fight and asked him if he was "going to make it four [kayos] in a row?" (The first three fights on the card having all ended in knockouts).
Over Confidence -- I'm sure Humberto thought he had Samon right where he wanted him. If a rematch is made between these two talented rivals, I believe Chiquita will use the same strategy he employed against Carbajal in their second and third fights, and gain his revenge. Time may tell.
Bowe won the first contest because Evander fell into his fight. The smaller Holyfield trading bombs with the bigger, stronger Bowe was not my idea of a well-thought out game plan. However, after the full twelve rounds had gone by I wouldn't have been surprised if Commander Vander had won or if the bout had been declared a draw.
The second meeting proved to be "the case of the too heavy, Heavy." Bowe seemed to grow complacent as Champ, and apparently considered eating to be some new form of training.
Holy, sporting a new manager, Emanuel Steward, went into the fight with a new-found confidence about him. He even, uncharacteristically, smiled in the ring prior to the introductions. This time Holyfield made Bowe fight his fight and as the bout progressed it seemed as if Riddick was in awe of the ex-champ whom he had dethroned! When the decision was announced it came as no surprise that Evander was once again Heavyweight Champion of the World.
The rubber match is for Bowe's dubious WBO title, but you get the feeling these two would fight for the last slice of pizza and pocket the change. These two tough heavies both have something to prove and both want a shot at the ultimate challenge (and a lot more than pocket change).
What will be the outcome? My heart says Evander kayos Bowe late. Holy's will is unbelievable, his determination and fortitude unquestionable. No fighter is in better physical condition, and now Evander should know how to handle his bigger and stronger foe. But -- my head says Bowe kayos Holyfield late. Bowe isn't about to replay his mistakes from the second fight. This time he will be in shape and he won't be in awe of his challenger. Riddick has a big plus in his corner with the ring-wise, Eddie Futch calling the shots.
"Youth will be served." "A big good man beats a good small man." You pick the cliche, but I feel that Big Daddy will get his revenge! The Power will simply be too much for the game Holyfield. So who will win? Tune in and see, it ought to be a beaut!
The fight was held at the 20,000-seat United Center. Close to 10,000 people showed up to see Chavez. While many in attendance were of Latino decent, you cannot deny the drawing power that Julio has amongst his fans. The legendary boxer has certainly worked his way up. It also has taken Julio many years to build up his superstar drawing power. Back in the middle and late 1980's, a young Julio Cesar Chavez was pounding his way to a championship opportunity. He did not get a title shot until his 44th fight when he won the vacant WBC super featherweight title against Mario Martinez. In 1987 Julio won the WBA lightweight title from Edwin Rosario in a great battle. By this time he should have been known all around the country? But was he? No. Before the fight Julio could and did walk down New York City streets without anyone recognizing him.
It was a long road for Julio, no easy route. Chavez became famous in 1990 when he came from behind and knocked out Meldrick Taylor in the 12th round. This is the fight that elevated Julio to superstar status. While he was considered the best in boxing before that, he still was obscure outside of Mexico. Chavez was slowly building his fan support in the states and all of Chavez' fights in Las Vegas were sell outs or close to it. Chavez would not stop there. Julio Cesar Chavez made his history, surpassing the heavyweights in 1993. Juilio Cesar Chavez fought to the largest boxing crowd in history. On February 20, 1993 when 130,000 fans in Mexico City saw Chavez destroy Greg Haugen in five rounds. Julio Cesar Chavez was the biggest draw of the day. Half a year later on September 10,1993 over 78,000 fans fill the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas to see Julio go the distance with Pernell Whitaker. That fight was the largest indoor boxing audience in history.
Chavez has broken the audience records for single fights, two years later he continues to sell out his championship fights and record numbers of pay per view broadcasts are part of his drawing power. Chavez is winding down his illustrious career and probably has fewer that four fights left before he retires. These fights will be against number one contenders or other champions and it is safe to predict that Chavez will sell out these fights as well. Perhaps Chavez can break some more records. But no matter what, Julio will be remembered as one of the all time greatest boxing champions.
This is what was happening in July of 1978. I know it is August, but this article deals with turning back the clock! World middleweight champ Rodrigo Valdes made his first defense of his title by going against unheralded Hugo Corro, Corro defeated him easily and is the new champ. Valdes wanted an easy first defense and when he realized that Corro wanted his title, he couldn't do anything to stop Corro.
World Flyweight champion Miguel Canto retained his title by unanimous decision over Shoji Oguma in 15 rounds. Canto's record is now 60-2-2.
In other action, Sean O'Grady knocks out former world bantam champ Romeo Anaya in 3 rounds. That was O'Grady's 50th kayo in 55 wins, his only loss to date was from Danny Lopez.
WBC Bantam champ Wilfredo Gomez stops challenger Jose Antonio Lopez in 7th round, Gomez now wants Carlos Zarate.
WBC Feather champ Danny Lopez retains his portion of the title by knocking out Jose DePaula in the 6th round.
Sugar Ray Leonard ran his record to 10-0 with a 3rd round kayo of Bobby Haymon. It was a controversial stoppage though. Leonard ended the round with a hard right to the temple as the bell rang. Referee Harry Cecchini grabbed hold of Haymon and signaled the end. It went in the books as a kayo at 3:00 of the 3rd round.
Ring magazine ran a poll on the All-Time Puerto Rican fighters, this is how the top-ten were rated:
FLYWEIGHT BANTAMWEIGHT Champ: Miguel Canto, Mexico** Champ: Jorge Lujan, Panama* 1. Gutty Espadas, Mexico* 1. Carlos Zarate, Mexico** 5. Al Sandoval, Los Angeles*** 2. Wilfredo Gomez, Puerto Rico*** FEATHERWEIGHT JR. LIGHTWEIGHT Champ: vacant Champ: Samuel Serrano, PR* 1. Danny Lopez, Los Angeles** *** 1. Alexis Arguello, Nicaragua** 2. Eusubio Pedroza, Panama* 2. Alfredo Escalera, PR*** LIGHTWEIGHT JR. LIGHTWEIGHT Champ: Roberto Duran, Panama Champ: Wilfredo Benitez, PR 1. Andy Ganigan, Hawaii*** 1. Saensak Muangsurin, Thailand** 2. Antonio Cervantes, Columbia* 5. Bruce Curry, Los Angeles*** WELTERWEIGHT JR. MIDDLEWEIGHT Champ: Carlos Palomino, Mexico** Champ: Eddie GAO, Nicaragua* 1. Jose Cuevas, Mexico* 2. Rocky Mattioli, Australia** 2. Pete Ranzany, Sacremento*** 6. Billy Backus, Syracuse*** MIDDLEWEIGHT LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT Champ: Hugo Corro, Argentina Champ: vacant 2. Marvin Hagler, Brockton*** 1. Victor Galindez, Argentina* 3. Alvaro Lopez, Stockton*** 4. Mate Parlov, Yugoslavia** HEAVYWEIGHT Champ: Leon Spinks, St. Louis* 1. Muhammad All, Chicago*** 2. Ken Norton, San Diego**
I just finished watching him outgun 23-year old Gary Kirkland, a youthful club fighter who had a lot of guts and no reverse gear, but who just did not have the tools to answer Camacho's vaunted speed and footwork.
Kirkland, who claimed he was intending to "mug" Camacho, consistently took the fight to Hector, but his punches were slow and light-handed, his style was tentative, and he often left his hands hanging in space after a combination, almost begging the lightning-fisted Camacho to punish him with counters. Camacho may not have huge power, but the "Macho Man" has throughout his career demonstrated an admirable ability to soak up punishment (most notably against Chavez and Trinidad), so it was unlikely that Kirkland's wide body shots were going to slow him down or stop him.
I felt bad for the kid, who, in addition to his lack of big fight experience, also had to suffer through what appeared to be relatively amateurish corner help. They were slow with the Enswell on his badly-battered eyes, in the brief time we were allowed to observe them on TV offered little useful strategic advice, and, at one point, booted Kirkland's mouthpiece and tried to stuff it into his mouth unwashed. If ever a fighter needed sage guidance against a more technically proficient foe, this was the instance, but Kirkland was forced to try to get by on guts and braggadocio alone. Not nearly enough, I'm afraid.
Some warning signs for the Macho Man: he had his man in serious trouble in Rounds 4 and 8, but was unable to finish him, despite Kirkland's lack of defensive skill. This is a definite danger-sign for someone looking to fight Pernell Whitaker. Also, Camacho appeared to react to Kirkland's clowning in Round 7, pouring on a wild flurry of punches. A pro like Hector should be immune to this kind of amateurish strategy. Whittaker also loves to taunt, and, unlike Gary, will be able to exploit an emotional overreaction.
It's been quite some time, since I've seen this much blood, which gushed freely from Kirkland's busted nose for most of the fight. It made a very powerful argument for mandatory AIDS testing. Camacho had Kirkland's blood all over him for most of the fight, and the presence of the HIV virus in such a situation could have proven lethal.
Was anyone else impressed with Steve Smoger's handling of the fight? He seemed to be in quite, unobtrusive control of everything, alerting the ringside doctor to possible problems, and making a finely-timed stoppage that gave Kirkland the chance to fight his way out of trouble without unduly endangering him. Maybe Smoger is ready to move up alongside Steele and Mills as big-name "star" refs.
In the end, it was Macho by a nose.
We won't go into the lamentable, economically-motivated and athletically-suspect match being negotiated against Sugar Ray Leonard. Let's all pray that Leonard, reputed to have retired with much of his wealth comfortably intact, will see the folly of this latest comeback and preserve his reputation as an all-time great without dragging his good name through a laughable circus like Camacho-Leonard.
-- Michael Dokes after knocking out James Pritchard, April 28, 1988.
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