Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 16th
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iron-chinsFighters may switch trainers, styles, and even improve or diminish their punching ability as they age and progress.  The one thing that should remain fairly constant is punch receptivity.  It should, anyway, right?  Bone structure doesn’t alter as a fighter ages.  Sure, much of a fighters ‘chin’ is mental, as Jake La Motta insisted, and Oliver McCall practiced.  This would also explain why 80’s fighters like Gerrie Coetzee and Doug de Witt were considered rock-chinned in their earlier careers, only to be labeled weaker in the same category in their later ones.  Once you know you can be hurt, you're likelyhood of being hurt again is much greater.  This past year saw many fighters' supposed durability fail, and not slowly.  In a quick a blinding flash.

Juan Urango – Sure, we expected him to be outboxed by superior fighters, but the fighter who had suffered no more than a couple flash knockdowns (usually at the hands of fighters who brutally KO other men), suddenly became human.  After being outboxed for most of the first 8 rounds, Urango was destroyed by one hard uppercut from Devon Alexander.  The fact that Alexander is not much of a puncher, made this all the more shocking.

Paul Williams – “The Punisher” seemed like someone who wasn’t going to be able to utilize his amazing style for long.  Not the huge puncher most lanky fighters are, he made up for it with his activity, chin, and stamina… also foreign to many of the bigger fighters.  While his conditioning will likely not be in question, the chin will be what everyone is watching the next time Williams fights.  This is because one huge left hook from Sergio Martinez left him on the wrong end of ‘fighter of the year’, and ‘knockout of the year’ honors.  Added to this, was the fact that Martinez is not considered a big puncher.  Even Williams himself had stood up well to the same fighter’s bombs for 12 rounds, only a year prior to their rematch.  The only correlation I can think of is the Roy Jones - Antonio Tarver rematch.  Like in that fight, the loser was actually doing better in the rematch, until walking into a big shot in round 2.

Anthony Mundine – Ok, we shouldn’t have been that surprised.  He was once felled by feather-fisted Sven Ottke.  That, however, was one of those rare temple shots like the one Glen Johnson used to stop Roy Jones Jr. and since then, Mundine had stood up to the crushing power of Manny Siaca, Antwun Echols, and Danny Green.  The fact that unheralded Garth Wood was able to execute the same destructive knockout, nearly 10 years after the Ottke fight, was a big surprise.

Chris Strait

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