By Joe Kulyeshie
Wednesday June 28, 2006
Wednesday Night Fights comes to us from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Ca. (the Shark Tank). Heavyweight Dominick Guinn looks to follow up his big win over Audley Harrison with another impressive showing against 27-1 Tony Thompson. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas are ringside to call the action.
140 lbs. – Lorenzo Reynolds (14-0 6KO) vs. Juaquin Gallardo (17-4-1 6KO) – 8 rounds
Set-up: The southpaw Reynolds is the the quicker, stronger, undefeated prospect taking on the more experienced Gallardo who has only had one fight in the past 13 months.
Reynolds ends the round with a nice combo to close a pretty tentative opening round filled with lots of clenching. Both fighters seem to be feeling each other out. Round to Reynolds (10-9).
Reynolds lands a good combo at 2:45. Reynolds superior hand speed starting to take over the fight. Clash of heads at 1:45 leads to a pretty bad cut over Gallardo’s left eye. Apparantly Gallardo regularly suffers cuts sustained from head butts in his fights. Both boxers trade punches the last 30 seconds to close an entertaining round. Reynold controlled the round using his superior speed and size. Round to Reynolds (20-18).
Between rounds the fight is called because of the nasty gash across Gallardo’s left eyebrow. Inexplicably, the ref rules that the cut was caused by a punch though video replays clearly show the clash of heads.
Reynolds TKO over Gallardo.
Gallardo’s team will surely appeal the decision. An inauspicious start to the evening. For the brief duration of the fight, Reynolds showed some real skill, speed and size in a major step up in competition. He’s someone to keep an eye on in the future.
Heavyweight Jason Gavern (10-1-2, 5 KO) vs. Damian Norris (7-1, 6 KO) — 6 Rounds
Set-up: The naturally heavier man Gavern takes on the longer, thinner Norris. Both fighters have taken the fight on short notice. Norris is normally a cruiserweight and is giving up nearly 30 pounds to Gavern. Will Norris be able to stay away from Gavern’s power using his reach and speed advantage?
A slow first round where neither fighter lets their hands go. Gavern lands a much higher connect percentage, but a late flurry by Norris wins him the round (10-9).
A blatant low blow by Norris at 2:15. Norris’ only loss was also by DQ. Norris backs Gavern up against the ropes throughout the round and controls the action. Norris appears to be the more polished boxer, but is he asking for trouble by trading punches on the inside with the larger Gavern? Round to Norris (20-18).
Gavern starts coming forward for the first time and lands good combo. Lots of clenching through the middle of the round. Gavern lands a stinging left with 35 seconds to go. Gavern is the more active fighter and gets more shots through–enough to win the round (29-28 Norris). Teddy’s scorecard matches mine.
While Norris is on the outside he refuses to throw any jabs. Norris lands a nice uppercut with 30 seconds to go. And that’s enough to win a very lackluster round by both fighters (39-37).
First minute goes by with virtually no punches thrown. The lack of preparation by both fighters has really shown the last two rounds. Gavern catches Norris on the top of the head and Norris spends the last minute of the round clenching and running. Round to Gavern (48-47 Norris).
Gavern starts off the round as the more active fighter. Norris continually steps to the inside allowing Gavern to find him without having to work. Both fighers exchange punches the last 10 seconds to end a very close fight where neither man really distinguished themselves. Gavern does just enough to get the draw (57-57). Teddy Atlas again has the same scorecard I do.
On to the judges:
58-56 Norris, 58-56 Gavern, 58-56 Norris
Norris SD over Gavern.
The bigger Gavern never used his size advantage with all the fighting on the inside, and Norris never used his length and speed advantage. The split decision was not unreasonable as several of the rounds could have gone either way, but a draw would have been a fairer decision. I was hoping to see more out of Jason Gavern as he is a former policeman from Scranton, Pa and I am from that area as well. He is supposed to be headlining a card at Genetti Manor in Dickson City, Pa on July 20th. We’ll see if he looks better with time to prepare for a scheduled fight.
Fight 3 – The Main Event!
Heavyweight Dominick Guinn (26-3-1, 18 Ko) vs. Tony Thompson (27-1, 17 KO) – 12 rounds for the vacant WBC Continental Heavyweight Championship and NABO Heavyweight Championship
Set-up: Dominick Guinn is coming off an impressive win over Audley Harrison and is looking to get back into the heavyweight title mix. Tony Thompson is a taller southpaw who has an impressive record, but started his career late and his only notable victory is over Vaughn Bean. Can Dominick Guinn put together back-to-back good performances and get himself back into the heavyweight title mix?
Thompson comes into this fight 12 pounds lighter than his last fight. Though no major punches or combinations are landed, Thompson keeps Guinn to the outside and controls the action. Round to Thompson (10-9). The contrast in quality between this and the previous heavyweight fight is obvious. Virtually no clenching, sharp punches, and solid defense by both men.
Guinn follows trainer Joe Goossen’s advice and constantly moves to his right, the opposite of what you would expect against a southpaw. Much like the first round, there’s little clenching, but very few punches get through. Very close round, we give it to Guinn (19-19).
Another close round without any true highlight moments. Guinn gets inside but does not throw. Thompson is more active and gets the round (29-28).
More punches start to get through the guards of both boxers. Thompson lands a nice 3-punch combo 45 seconds in. Guinn lands a sharp right cross halfway through. Thompson again is more active, landing a few more punches and again gets the round (39-37). Teddy Atlas has the fight scored the same as I do.
Though Thompson scores a 2 punch combo early in the round, Guinn’s improved work to the body begins to open up Thompson’s guard and gets him the round (47-48).
Thompson lands a monster right after a left uppercut to hurt Guinn a minute in. Complete domination by Thompson, surprised Guinn didn’t go down at some point. Big round to Thompson (58-56).
Guinn bounces back from the last round and is more active to start. Thompson lands the sharper punches in the second half of the round and takes it (68-65). Teddy Atlas continues to score the fight the same as I do.
A non-descript round where Thompson throws the crisper punches and gets the round (78-74). Guinn is down 4 points with 4 rounds to go.
Thompson starts doubling his jab to good effect throughout the round. Thompson snaps Guinn’s head back at will with his jab. Guinn is almost completely inactive and seems to be demoralized at this point. Easy round for Thompson (88-83).
Guinn lands a sharp right cross at the midpoint of the round, his first aggressive move in a few rounds. Two minutes in Thompson hurts Guinn with a right. Thompson continues to land against a seriously hurt Guinn. Somehow Guinn makes it through the round without a knockdown. Monster round to Thompson (98-92). Teddy Atlas scores it 10-8 for Thompson.
Between rounds we go live to Guinn’s corner where Joe Goossen is not happy. They could have used a tape delay there!
“Everything is falling apart for Guinn, even his hair.” – Teddy Atlas
One minute and fifteen seconds in and Thompson is out-punching Guinn 30-3. Everything is landing for Thompson. With 30 to go on a break, the referee closely looks over Guinn who shows no desire to want to fight any longer. Guinn is done, Thompson dominates another round (108-101).
Back to Guinn’s corner as a visibly dejected Goossen (who refrains from swearing this time around) tells Guinn to let his hands loose, he’s got nothing to lose. The referee stops in and tells Guin to start fighting.
Thompson comes out very conservatively, obviously protecting his large lead. Guinn throws the occassional wild right. Thompson continues to jab. Thompson’s jab is still better than Guinn’s wild haymakers, final round to Thompson (118-100). Teddy Atlas had it 118-109.
On to the judge’s for a very anti-climactic decision:
119-109, 118-110, 117-111
Thompson Unanimous Decision over Guinn
Thompson completely dominates the second half of the fight and may get himself a decent pay day after this strong performance. He landed the sharper combinations and used his jab extremely effectively the last third of the fight. Only negative was that he couldn’t put away Guinn when it appeared that Guinn was very close to going down. Thompson is big, busy, strong and improving as a boxer. And in a very thin weight class, he could make some waves in the near future.
On the other hand, we may have seen Guinn’s last fight of any importance. By the end, he didn’t look like he wanted to be there, and made little effort to come back. Guinn will have to seriously evaluate where he goes next.
That’s it for this week. On Friday the IBF Jr. Welterweight belt is on the line with Naoufel Ben Rabah vs. Juan Urango.