by Joe Kulyeshie
Wednesday, July 26 – Tonight we are live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. David Tua makes his return after a 9 month lay-off. Also Eliseo Castillo battles up-start Johnathan Banks in the main event. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas are ringside.
Let’s get it on!
Heavyweights – David Tua (44-3-1, 38 KO) vs. Edward Gutierrez (15-2-1, 6 KO) – 10 rounds
Set-up: David Tua has been well-rested, fighting only 3 times in the past three and a half years. He says he is excited to be back and has been working on becoming a more well-rounded boxer. Ed Gutierrez is a 40 year old boxer who got a late start. His lost his last two fights against prospect JD Chapman. Tua is a much bigger step-up than Chapman. How long can Gutierrez last?
Gutierrez continually moves to his left to avoid the devastating left hook of Tua. Not more than a handful of punches landed in the round. Very little action besides some pawing jabs. Neither boxer really deserves the round, but Gutierrez seemed to execute his plan better and we’ll give him the round (10-9).
Tua continues to throw the occassional pawing jab. Gutierrez stops moving. Big mistake. Tua knocks him down with a left hook a minute into the round. The difference in the quality of the two fighters is extrememly evident this round. Tua is much faster and stronger. Two point round to Tua (19-18).
Gutierrez again fails to move and is standing face to face against Tua. Tua is able to land his right around the guarad of Gutierrez. Tua appears to just be getting some work in. Gutierrez poses no threat to him. Round to Tua (29-27). Teddy Atlas scores the fight 30-26, Tua.
Tua snaps back Gutierrez’s head with a jab 30 seconds in. A solid right uppercut lands for Tua with a minute left. Tua starts to let his hands go and doubles up his left hook 15 seconds later. Finally a left hook to the head followed by a left hook to the body crumples Gutierrez who does not get back up.
Tua KO over Gutierrez
Tua appeared to just be gettng some work in after a nine month layoff. Tua got what he wanted out of the night–a small stepping stone back into the wide open heavyweight division.
Teddy and Joe discuss the Gatti-Baldomir fight. They agree Baldomir is just a steady, dependable boxer with excellent timing. Teddy thanks Gatti for 5 years of great match-making, but believes he should hang up the gloves soon before he is permanently damaged.
Super Middleweights – Peter Quillen (5-0, 4 KO) vs. William Prieto (2-0, 0 KO) – 4 rounds
Set-up: Quillen is the local prospect. Prieto turned pro on July 1st and will be fighting in his third professional fight. He took the fight on one day’s notice. Does Quillen have real power or has his management built him up against weak opponents?
Quillen looks to be the bigger man. Prieto is moving and dancing around the ring. Prieto starts to dance with his hands down at his sides. Quillen floors Prieto with a big right hand. Prieto was knocked loopy and will not beat the ten count.
Quillen KO over Prieto
Quillen certainly has real power. Didn’t get much of a chance to see if he is technically sound.
Teddy and Joe discuss the upcoming Roy Jones, Jr pay-per-view fight. Teddy says Jones was a great talent, but never had great technique. Now that his speed and power have diminished, he has paid the price in the ring with three consecutive losses. Both wonder whether Prince Badi Ajamu is worthy of headlining a pay-per-view card.
Teddy and Joe also discuss the upcoming Vivian Harris-Stevie Johnston fight. It comes down to whether Harris will be mentally able to handle Johnston coming at him for the entire fight. If Harris is mentally focused, he should be able to beat the “long in the tooth” Johnston.
Winky Wright and Gary Sheffield are shown ringside.
Lightweights – Cindy Serrano (10-0-1, 7 KO) vs. Tawnyah Freeman (7-2, 3 KO) – 6 rounds
Set-up: Cindy Serrano is coming of a 7 1/2 month layoff. She is a local favorite and receives a big ovation as she enters. Tawnyah Freeman is the larger woman and took the fight on short notice. Can Serrano’s technical skills overcome her size disadvantage?
Serrano proves to be the quicker, sharper puncher. However, Freeman is able to land some wide, looping punches. But not enough, round to Serrano (10-9).
A Serrano left briefly staggers Freeman. Freeman throws one punch at a time while Serrano attacks in combinations. Freeman is game and the fight is competitive, but the round again goes to Serrano (20-18).
The fighters trade punches for the last 45 seconds of the round. Serrano is able to land many more of her punches in the flurry and takes the round (30-27). Teddy has it scored the same way. Freeman isn’t getting blown out, but Serrano’s technical ability is allowing her to score more often and make Freeman miss.
Freeman has her best round of the fight. Her jab keeps Serrano away and unable to land as often as previous rounds. Serrano lands the two best punches of the round at the bell. Serrano steals the round (40-36).
The boxers trade punches for the first 30 seconds. Both women are throwing about the same amount of punches, it appears that Serrano is landing a higher percentage of her shots. Another close round to Serrano (50-45). Teddy has scored the last two rounds to Freeman, and has the fight 48-47, Serrano.
Freeman comes out firing as though she needs a knockout to win. Unfortunately, she gets the worst of it. Freeman is much the aggressor, but Serrano is able to land more often. Round to Serrano (60-54). Teddy has his final card at 58-56, Serrano.
Let’s go to the cards:
59-55, 59-55, 60-54
Serrano UD over Freeman
Serrano was by far the crisper puncher, able to throw combinations and make Freeman miss. She landed 152 punches to 74 for Freeman. Freeman acquitted herself well. She just was lacking the polish that Serrano has. I’ve seen Serrano in person and she has the potential to be devastating against woment her size.
Fight 4 – The Main Event
Cruiserweights – Eliseo Castillo (20-1-1, 15 KO) vs. Johnathan Banks (11-0, 8 KO) – 10 rounds
Set-up: Castillo has beaten Michael Moorer and faced Wladimir Klitschko. A small heavyweight, he says he is a natural cruiserweight and looks to make some noise in that division. Banks trains in the Kronk Gym and is taking a huge step up in competition. Banks has won seven in a row by knockout, but has not been past the fifth round. Has Banks bitten off more than he can chew?
Castillo immediately lands two thumping body shots. A straight right from Castillo one minute in knocks Banks to the canvas. Banks gets up, but is knocked back down with a right cross in close. Banks gets up and holds on the rest of the round. Somehow he survives. Castillo appears just too strong and fast. Banks may not be ready for this level of opponent. HUGE Round to Castillo (10-7).
Banks stays conservative as he tries to recover. Castillo is naturally a defensive counter-puncher. With both guys looking to counter, we get a very dull, tentative round. Round barely to Castillo (20-16).
Banks has been able to survive two knockdowns and comes out much more confident. Banks begins to throw more. Castillo is not very active and is unable to counter Banks new-found offense. Round to Banks (26-29).
One minute into the round, Banks lands a multi-punch combination started with a straight left and punctuated by a right cross. Castillo is knocked down and does not get up! Shocking ending to the fight!
Banks KO over Castillo
Banks looked completely over-matched in the first round. However, Castillo did nothing offensively from then on. I’m stunned by the way the fight turned.
Lightweights – Jorge Teron (10-0-1, 8 KO) vs. Armando Cordoba (21-25-2, 16 KO) – 6 rounds
Set-up: Local prospect Jorge Teron is looking to avenge the only blemish on his record: a draw with Cordoba. Cordoba is 0-7-1 in his last 8 fights and took this fight on 2 days notice.
Teron is the much taller, longer man, but Cordoba is able to land the cleaner, sharper punches in a close round. Round to Cordoba (10-9).
Teron seems willing to trade punches with Cordoba even though Cordoba is getting the better of it. Teron does land a nice combination with 45 seconds to go. Teron finishes strong in the final minute after Cordoba had the better of it for the first two. Teron may have done the more damage, and gets the close round (19-19).
Teron is more active, lands more and gets the round (29-28). Teddy has the fight 30-27, Teron.
Cordoba lands a right with 1:15 to go. Teron lands a right hook-left hook combination with 30 seconds to go. An even round where Teron is more active and able to score more. Cordoba is unable to land like he did earlier in the fight. Round to Teron (39-37). Teddy has it 40-36, Teron.
Cordoba lands a straight right with 40 seconds to go. That was the best punch of the round. Cordoba appears to be tiring while Teron remains the more active man, landing the greater volume of punches. Round to Teron (49-46).
Cordoba comes out more aggressively and presses the action. There’s not much left on his punches, but enough to get the round (56-58). Teddy’s final scorecard reads 59-55, Teron.
58-56, 58-56, 58-56
Teron UD over Cordoba
Teron is nice and long and showed some good speed at times. Cordoba was Teron’s first step up in competition, and he answered that blemish. Teron has work to do, but showed real skills at times. The fight would have been real interesting had Cordoba had longer to prepare.
That does it for the show.