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Dec 14th
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Home Boxing Fighter Profiling??
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Fighter Profiling??

boxing_art_034In the 25 years I have been following boxing closely, there is a trend I have been witnessing.  It only just struck me recently, however.  Referees tend to allow fighters to take more punishment, based on their ability to dole it back out.  When a fighter is seen as incapable of knocking out his opponent, the focus of officials, commentators, and cornermen all seems to shift to "how much longer are we going to let this go on?", once an insurmountable lead is built up.

This past weekend, this phenomenon was on very clear display during the two HBO-televised fights from Madison Square Garden.  Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan thoroughly dominated their opponents, winning every round, and leaving no doubt from about mid-way onward as to who the victor (pun intended) was going to be.  The only difference in the bouts was the concept of referee rescue.  Paulie Malignaggi was rescued from Khan's assault.  Against Victor Ortiz, Nate Campbell was not.  I believe this could have only been a result of the complete lack of punching power Malignaggi brings to the ring.

Nate Campbell is not a big puncher, but he led off his career with an impressive knockout streak, and he has scored knockdowns at the higher levels of competition.  Malignaggi's last KO victim was Kevin Watts, a no-hoper, and it took place several years ago.  If you simply look at the victorious fighter, there is not much difference.  Ortiz is known as just as big a puncher as Khan.  Add to that, both men's questionable chins, and a come-from-behind knockout seems just as likely a scenario against either of them.

This is also not the first time this has happened in Malignaggi's career.  He has showed an excellent chin throughout, yet has been stopped twice now (Khan and Ricky Hatton), both as reactions to him falling far behind.  Because "The Magic Man" only has 5 KO's in 27 wins, the talk as early as the seventh round was about him having no chance to win.  This phenomenon also has victims on the other side of the coin.

How many beatings did Arturo Gatti, Nigel Benn, Oliver McCall, Lamon Brewster, or even Mike Tyson sustain, because we knew they could turn things around with one punch?  I say that if we are going to let one group of fighters take a sustained beating, we let them all.  Or perhaps none of them.  Let us not forget that lighter hitting fighters have pulled off come-from-behind knockouts before, as rare as it is: Pernell Whittaker, James Toney, Calvin Grove, etc.

Let us also not forget that Buddy McGirt was criticized by many, including me, for pulling Brewster out seemingly early in his second fight with Klitschko.  Would we have thought that if Chris Byrd was taking that kind of beating, as he had only months earlier?  This may be an honest reaction to the physicality of certain fighters, and I am not suggesting we throw out reality.  However, officials and cornermen need to keep these feelings in check, as they take away a chance for an unlikely, but still possible, event.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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STALLIONETTE |
HAVE YOU EVEN HAD A FIGHT - PRO. OR AMATEUR?

THESE ARE THE SUBJECTIVE CALLS AND DIAGNOSTICS THAT PROFESSIONALS IN THE SPORT USE TO GUAGE A FIGHTER AND A FIGHT.

EXPERIENCE IS THE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE.

IT'S FIGHTING.
 
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