Paris gets a hometown decision, Lock has a bizarre fight
Vernon Paris did little to create any form of buzz about himself after just barely beating Manuel Perez, a fighter that came up two weight divisions to challenge him. Even worse, on most pundits’ scorecards Paris either lost or battled to a draw, but his hometown of Detroit, Mich., proved too much for Perez to overcome as a majority of the lopsided scorecards announced Paris as the winner. Paris, up until this point, has been a disappointment. The light welterweight has had three wins overturned due to failed drug tests stemming an indulgence in the Bob Marley. Outside the ring, he’s been shot three times.
The fight consisted mostly of swing rounds that could have gone either way–far from the showcase fight this was supposed to be after Paris’ last major network TV showcase, a knockout loss to Zab Judah.
In the co-main event, Cornelius Lock fought Lonnie Smith in a battle of a brawler against a boxer. The fight was very hard to score as Smith netted two knockdowns that were really just slips that the ref missed. For the majority of the fight Lock outboxed Smith, but at times appeared content to sit on the ropes and take a bit too much damage for my liking. The fight was clumsy and awkward, with Lock winning a decision in the end, but it was hardly a noteworthy performance.
Jean Earns IBF light welterweight shot
Dierry Jean knocked out Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis with one solid punch Friday night in a fight that probably went 10 seconds longer than it should have. The thing was neck and neck, with Pendarvis fighting from the outside and seemingly thwarting the efforts of Jean to get inside and attack harshly with pressure until the fourth round. Yet Jean was able to land a single punch that instantly dropped Pendarvis to the floor. Pendarvis, clearly out of it, was allowed to continue. Within 10 seconds the fight was called to an abrupt stop. Jean will now face LaMont Peterson for his IBF title after Peterson fights Lucas Matthysse on May 18.
During the undercard, John Thompson used his length and general boxing ability to outbox Geovanny Rodriguez who until this fight had not fought much outside of his native Puerto Rico. In a fight that started slow, but built up steam like a fast moving train, Rodriguez gradually got stronger as proceedings moved along and Thompson appeared worn. In a dramatic finish, Thompson, who was well ahead on the scorecards, was nearly finished by Rodriguez late in the fight only to survive and get the victory via unanimous decision.
Burns gets lucky
It was one of the biggest head-scratchers in recent memory. In a fight that led some to wonder if the fix was in, UK lightweight star, Ricky Burns, took on Jose Gonzalez for the WBO lightweight title. Gonzalez appeared to win the first seven rounds easily and began to fade in the eighth and ninth only to quit on the stool of the ninth round. After the fight Gonzalez cited a broken right hand that made him no longer able to continue. Yet questions will linger. For Burns, the overwhelming thought is that he is very lucky to have avoided Adrien Broner for the past year or so. It appears he is nowhere in the same league as Broner, and he has a long list of opponents from the states willing to go overseas in attempt to take his title. Burns is a dead man walking.
Knight continues to dominate, Holm retires from boxing, moves to MMA
The two best female boxers were in action on Saturday night as Ava Knight did what she tends to do, dominate. The WBC silver featherweight champion simply proved to be far too much for Linda Soto who took a lopsided beating for 10 rounds. Knight, most notable for her feud with Marlean Esparza and challenging Mexican boxing superstar, Edgar Sosa, to a fight now appears to be running out of opponents as she is essentially having problems finding people she hasn’t beaten yet–on occasion even re-matching just to stay in business.
Holly Holm, regarded by many as the best in women’s boxing, retired from the sport on Saturday after beating up Molly McGee for 10 rounds straight in a fight that was not competitive in an way, shape, or form. Holm, 31 years old, now is shifting her focus to MMA and a possible fight with UFC superstar, Ronda Rousey in the near future. Holm, who trains out of the famed Greg Jackson MMA gym in Albuquerque, N.M. has claimed that she has been preparing for the switch for a few years now and is willing to take on Rousey as soon as need be. But given both fighters’ schedules, it won’t be until late 2014 at the earliest.