PAZIENZA W 12 ALLEN
Vinny Pazienza is damn good TV. Purists cringe at his style, and purists may have their point. Vinny has never reminded anyone of Sugar Ray Robinson, or even Roy Jones, boxing's obstinate PFP king. However, boxing skill has never been Pazienza's Modus Operandi. What has made Pazienza a gate attraction is a combination of speed, heart, determination and the quality that he has most, passion. Whereas Jones goes into a fight like a moody artist scoffing at a public he deems unworthy of his services, Pazienza fights in a frenetic style that, while not ascetically perfect, wins you over with a combination of hustle and moxie.
Tonight was not any different. Pazienza was in with a solid pro in Arthur Allen, a fighter out of Pittsburgh with a stiff conventional style and a propensity to slug when he needed to box. The fact that he could not crack an egg with his punches led to his loss against Pazienza, but he made it fun while the fight lasted.
Round one looked like there wasn't going to be a fight at all . Allen looked as stiff as a board, he was pawing with his jab and let Pazienza load up with his trade mark awkward overhand right and score with a big wild left hook. Allen may have thrown more punches but Pazienza was doing most of the damage
Allen picked up the pace in round two, throwing more punches, and putting a little bit of snap in his jab, but he still didn't do nearly enough with Pazienza all over him, loading up, controlling the tempo, and landing an occasional left hook. For Allen ,who instead of using his height advantage,was content to try and slug it out with Pazienza, it wasn't the smartest strategy, but it sure was entertaining.
Rounds three through the first half of round six was Pazienza in his element. Pazienza was controlling the fight with the speed that he brought from his lightweight days, a occasional looping hook from out of the blue that would stun Allen, and his quick jab right hand combination; the most basic part of his attack, and what helps sets his rhythm when he's fighting . Allen however was dead game,although letting Pazienza control the tempo, getting out punched by Pazienza, and not doing anything to seriously hurt Pazienza while slugging it out. What Allen did do effectively however was not let Vinny get a breather, as he cut of the ring better than most fighters and had Vinny throwing punches all of the time. They kept at it much to the satisfaction of the crowd and the TV viewers at home.
The turning point came somewhere in the middle of round six. Pazienza was holding his hands low and clowning in an slick attempt to buy time. Pazienza usually does this when he is tired in order to keep his frenetic fighting pace. Aaron Pryor did somewhat of the same thing in the middle rounds against Alexis Arguello. What had happened was that Allen caught him with a looping right hand and an uppercut, a weapon that Allen underused in this fight. Because of age, a little too much muscle training, and 50 fights, many of the tough variety, Vinny couldn't lie on the ropes to take a breather. He couldn't because Allen could catch him and score points on the ropes. Because he couldn't clown and get a breather in Rounds 7,8, 9 it was becoming clear that Vinny was running out of gas and Allen was almost becoming a stalker,out jabbing Vinny, and scoring well with his uppercut . Now Vinny was the one being out hustled.
Round eight was a good round for both men as action went back and forth with Allen going forward and landing more punches and Pazienza counterpunching and landing the harder punches.
Round ten was one of those rounds that if you didn't see it, tape it the next time it comes on TV . To say it was action packed wouldn't do it justice. Pazienza's need to put an exclamation mark on a 10 round victory and Allen's needing a KO or a huge round to pull the fight off blended into fist flying in a strong candidate for the round of the year in boxing. Out of the 238 punches thrown by both men in round 10, 99 of them landed. In an era where too many fighters pull a Pernell Whitaker in the last round just because either they have a fight won or know they are going to lose, Pazienza and Allen gave all the energy they had during the final 3 minutes. A wonderful end to a very good fight.
Pazienza won the decision 97-93 98-93 96-94. I had it 97-95( 5-3-1) Pazienza, with rounds 1 through 5 to Pazienza, rounds 7-9 Allen, and rounds 6 and 10 too close to call. Is Pazienza the fighter he once was, or the fighter he was four years ago? No. Will it matter in today's super middleweight division? No. Besides Joe Calzaghe, Vinny Pazienza right now can beat any of the super middleweight champs on any given day. IBF champ Swen Otke is by most accounts green( 13-0) and got a gift against Charles Brewer in Germany. Brewer has a style that can give Pazienza problems but he got knocked down twice by light hitting Herol Graham. WBC champ Richie Woodhall has Allen's same style only without Allen's a propensity to slug it out . WBA champ Frankie Liles , hasn't been in fighting shape for a long time.
Robert Allen had nothing to be ashamed of in his performance tonight. However, instead of using his height and reach advantage against the smaller Pazienza, he was content to stand in and trade punches,making for a good fight but putting him on the short end of a decision.
You could make a case for Vinny Pazienza being the James Brown of boxing. James, like Vinnie, might not have had the best technique but Lord he could put on a hell of a show .
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