De La Hoya-Charpentier
by PusboilLast night’s fight between Oscar De La Hoya and "Whoever" was a perfect example of the state of our beloved and misguided sport.
Details of this fight and the other action from yesterday follow below, so I won’t tread any further in the action department. I have two questions about last night’s main event: Number 1 Why did this fight take place?? And Number 2 why in the world would "What’s his name" be ranked as a number one contender?
The answer to both questions is M-O-N-E-Y. Arum and Team DLH both pocketed a nice dollar and I'm sure "Frenchie" made more last night than he has before. The infamous Acaries Bros. are involved with "Jacques Doe" which might help explain question number 2.
One of our most enthusiastic writers wrote in to say "Nothing of note really happened". Kind of shows where we are in terms of boxing action.
Nonetheless, we still have reports from DscribeDC, BoxngRules, and Thomas Gerbasi. Enjoy and look for our new edition around the first of the month, where yours truly will have a report from the Boxing Hall of Fame weekend.
BLAME IT ON RIOS: A QUICK STOPPAGE ENDS WITH A FEW BARS OF "CORTES THE [BUZZ] KILLER"
by DscribeDCFreddie Norwood vs. Genaro Rios
June 13, 1998
Trump Taj Mahal
Atlantic City, NJ
Perhaps it was a mercy stoppage. There was nothing terribly compelling about watching freshly-minted WBA 126-lb. king Freddie "Li'l Hagler" Norwood take out the pesky, but powerless contender Genaro Rios. Rios showed tons of pluck and nerve rising from knockdown after knockdown and remounting his bicycle, but he displayed none of the ring generalship, dominance and effective aggressiveness he exhibited last November in befuddling Wifredo Vazquez in his hotly-contested "loss" to the Puerto Rican titlist.
To be fair, neither did the man who calls himself "Li'l Hagler" show much inclination to close his showcase. Norwood, a compact, technically-sound and explosively powerful boxer has none of his namesake's fluency in moving from southpaw to conventional, nor does he share The Marvelous One's vaunted finishing skills.
The pattern of the fight was set early on, the light-hitting Rios tipping and tapping at a seemingly unfocused Norwood, who followed the endlessly circling challenger in a vain effort to set up decisive shots. Indeed, the only really impressive punches landed in Round One (and they were probably less effective than flashy) were the right- and left-hand body shots Norwood launched to Rios' ribs during mid-ring tie-ups.
The second round was by far Norwood's best, in that he found a home for a crippling left hand, first knocking down Rios at the midpoint with a straight shot, then bouncing a pair of left hooks off his head for a second eight-count. Rios, lucky to weather the storm, barely ducked inside another hook thrown with murderous intentions, and had an apparent third knockdown waved off at the bell by referee Joe Cortes. This round, clearly a 10-7 stanza, set the tone for the next few rounds of the contest. By the end of the third, the initially-flummoxed Norwood bore a look, not of "how?," but, rather of "when?"
As remarkable as Rios' recuperative powers were, -- he seemed to regain his legs almost instantly after every major shot -- he landed little of note for the next couple of rounds. But Norwood, despite his rising confidence and his stalking stance, seemed to have trouble cutting off the ring. Instead, he headhunted and let Rios use the lateral movement that is his stock in trade, to clear his head and crawl back into the fight. This comeback-of-sorts enabled Rios to land some long rights in the sixth, but the length from which he punched and the bad defensive posture in which this leaning-in left him, made it look like simply a matter of time.
The end came near the 1:00 mark of round eight, when Norwood launched what seemed to be a left hook-uppercut hybrid inside, nailing Rios and causing him to dip a right glove to the canvas while walking dizzily toward the ropes. Cortes had seen enough, and waved off the remainder of the contest immediately after corraling Norwood and preventing a finishing onslaught. While it's hard to argue that Rios had dug himself a considerable hole on the scorecards, and, without exception, had eaten all of the fight's hardest punches, an argument could be made that Cortes' stoppage was premature, in that Rios had his back to the referee at the time of the knockout, with Cortes unable to even see the challenger's eyes, give him a count, or ask the kind of questions refs typically use to determine the mental alacrity of embattled fighters. It hardly seemed to matter. Rios' corner, who surely knew after the Vazquez debacle that they had no chance at a decision in this one, did not contest Cortes' action, a cessation which probably only hastened the inevitable.
As for Norwood, he anxiously awaits a hoped-for match with the man he describes as "the Princess," Naseem Hamed. It's an intriguing match-up, but one wonders whether Norwood has the kind of name recognition to make the match worthwhile for Naz, who would surely face one of his biggest tests to date. If the biographical sketches of Norwood are true, therein could lie a real rags-to-riches story, the kind of reformed-bad-boy-on-the-edge-of-thug-life storyline that pushed Johnny Tapia into Bill Gates' tax bracket, and may do the same for a rising star like Angel Manfredy. Can Bob Arum exploit Norwood's stormy history to sell the fighter to the casual fans and create the kind of buzz that would make a Naz match tempting? Who knows?
But query how desirable a Naz fight is for Norwood right now, given the flashes of difficulty he showed handling Rios' movement. Naz can certainly replicate this. And as Naz has demonstrated before, he may go down pretty easily, but he can give as good as he gets in terms of power shots. Perhaps Freddie should watch the Rios tape and work on some of his tactical issues; then and only then should the St. Louis battler see if world domination is in the Cards, or if he'll be left with a case of the St. Louis Blues.
Marketing 101: Oscar demolishes Charpentier
by Thomas GerbasiForget Felix Trinidad. Forget Ike Quartey. And forget Jose Luis Lopez. The guy I want to see Oscar DeLa Hoya fight is the guy who told him it would be a good idea to wear that little outfit into the ring last night.
But all fashion faux paux aside, was anyone really surprised with DeLa Hoya's three round demolition of Frenchman Patrick Charpentier? This was a coronation, nothing more, nothing less. And 50,000 fans definitely got their money's worth. The Golden Boy took apart a pathetic excuse for a number one contender with the first hard shots he threw. And no one cared. They cheered as if they just watched Oscar defeat a tough contender after a brutal war of a match, not a three round exhibition against a guy who threw 111 punches in the fight and landed five. The names are interchangeable, but you can put anyone in with DeLa Hoya and the fight will sell. Does this provide any sort of incentive for Oscar to fight anyone remotely threatening? Nope. And do I buy the defiant "calling out" of the champions by DeLa Hoya while Bob Arum nervously chewed on his tongue in the background? Not really. See, first and foremost, boxing is a business. And Oscar does great business. Regardless of the opponent. And where do boxing fans fit in on the list of consumers? Far behind the screaming girls who scoop up tickets to his fights, order the pay per view telecasts, and buy the T-shirts and posters.
But the thing is, I think DeLa Hoya would beat Trinidad, Quartey, or Lopez. Sure, his chin hasn't been tested by bangers like those three, but Trinidad can be knocked down, and we all know what shape Lopez had Quartey in. So in a battle of bombers, DeLa Hoya's speed just may make the difference. But until Oscar gets in the ring with a legitimate challenger, he can't be considered as the number one fighter in the world. Roy Jones? He has an excuse; he has no one of note to fight. But even Jones has gotten back in the ring, and it looks like he's going to be more active. Prince Naseem Hamed? He's one of the few fighters willing to fight anyone, but all potential opponents want a King's ransom to step into the ring. So that leaves us with Oscar DeLa Hoya. He's got all the physical tools, but does he truly want to fight the best or just make a healthy paycheck?
Time will tell. In the meantime we'll wait, as it has become our custom to do, while DeLa Hoya takes his time with Chavez, Campas, and Carr (Oba Carr???). We'll wait until one day, the Golden Boy decides he's going to take a step forward and either define himself as a true champion or go down as boxing's version of the Spice Girls, all style-no substance.
On the undercard, six footer Cesar Bazan of Mexico proved to be too tall for 5'5 Stevie Johnston in their 12 round WBC Lightweight championship bout. In an extremely difficult fight to score, Bazan eked out a split decision by the scores of 115-113(twice), and 112-116. The fight was waged on the inside, with both men constantly moving and throwing leather throughout. Johnston, who fell to 24-1, was believed to be looking ahead to a unification match with "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Expect a rematch between the new champion, Bazan (32-2-1) and Denver's Johnston, with the winner possibly to meet Mosley.
In other boxing action yesterday, Freddie "Lil Hagler" Norwood remained unbeaten with an eighth round TKO over tough Genaro Rios. Rios, who lost a controversial decision to then champion Wilfredo Vasquez last year, couldn't get out of the way of Norwood's left hand, and after two knockdowns and another thunderous left which turned him around completely, referee Joe Cortez wisely stopped the fight. Norwood's record gets upped to 30-0-1. Is there a Prince in his future? Norwood hopes so. And so should boxing fans. Norwood's style is reminiscent of his namesake, and he showed some power against the solid jawed Rios. It could definitely make for an interesting contest.
De La Hoya-Charpentier
by BoxngRulesEl Paso, Texas: "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya successfully defended his portion of the welterweight title by TKO'ing Patrick Charpentier in the third of this scheduled 12-round bout.
The French Pastry was inexplicably the #1 contendor for Oscar's title but yet only landed 5 punches (out of 111) in the 3 rounds of action. There was a sold-out crowd of 45,000+ to watch this demolition as Charpentier pathetically failed to become the 6th present-time champion from France (the others being WBA Cruiserweight king Fabrice Tiozzo, WBC middleweight champ Hassime Cherifi, WBA Jr. Middleweight kingpin Laurent Boudouani, WBA Jr. Welterweight champ Khalid Rahilou and WBA Lightweight champion Jean-Baptiste Mendy).
This was the fourth defense of the title De La Hoya won from Pernell Whitaker 14 monthes ago. For the record, Oscar, 28-0 (23), dropped the Frenchman, 27-5-1, 3 times in what turned out to be the final round en route to the stoppage by referee Laurence Cole.
The question is when will Oscar take on the Big Boys of the welterweight class (ala Trinidad, Quartey, Lopez)? While his dance card reads the finished-living legend Julio Cesar Chavez, the plodding IBF 154-pound champ Yori Boy Campas, and either still-capable Oba Carr or the inactive and unimpressive Frankie Randall; matches with the best could easily be made and draw in millions.
In an undercard bout, Cesar Bazan of Mexico captured a split decision over WBC Lightweight champion Stevie Johnston in a huge upset to those of us outside of Bazan's hometown-region. While Bazan had all the advantages coming in with heigth and power advantages. He also had the advantage to be in his own backyard with the judges and referee all Mexican.
Both fighters scored at will, with Bazan doing good on the inside. The judges had it 115-113 Bazan (twice) and 116-112 for Johnston. I scored it 114-114 even. Bazan probably could have lost every round but still win a decision in El Paso. Bazan's record now stands at 32-2-1 (24) as Johnston suffered his first pro blemish and slides to 24-1 (13).
In other bouts: Cesar Soto (50-7-2) searched for his second world title shot with a 2-round demolition of ex-champ Juan Polo-Perez (39-18-3). Daniel Santos (16-0-1) remained unbeaten with a fifth-round stoppage of Juan Carlos Rodriguez (32-11-2).
6.14.98 [Return to Top]
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