Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 28th
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angulo-vs-kirklandLucian Bute’s dominating win over Glen Johnson was impressive, as was Peter Quillin’s dominance over Craig McEwan.  Unfortunately for the two of them, two things will overshadow their victories.  First off, the story post-fight will be more of what happened to their respective opponents.  Craig McEwan was visibly hurt in the sixth round of the Quillin fight, and had lost every round, but was given absolutely no chance to defend himself.  The referee stepped in laughably early to stop the bout.  In a measurement against Andy Lee, it seems to be a good victory for Quillin, and he was likely on his way to a later TKO or decision win, anyway.  However, no matter of mere dominance would measure up against what was coming in the main event.

For Bute, he was the main event, but most of the discussion will be about Glen Johnson’s either not showing up, getting old overnight, or making a ridiculous strategy error.  To abandon the hook was bad enough, but Johnson also spent the bout circling the wrong way, and trying to stay and jab at a distance.  If those 3 mistakes aren’t bad enough, he also showed the failure to realize the futility of this strategy, and made no adjustments.  If he is simply no longer able to do what he does best, or if Bute was too good for him to do so, that much is not clear… but his behavior is distracting us from Bute being only the second man ever to dominate Johnson.

Bute’s win shares the spotlight for another reason.  Pier-Olivier Cote, a Quebec City raised prospect made his HBO debut, with an exhilarating 2nd round KO of Jorge Teron. Not a world beater, Teron went rounds with Brandon Rios, and was at least expected to be competitive.  He also had a height advantage over Cote , something the Canadian should not be used to giving up to that level.  Cote simply tore into Teron from the opening bell, and used his quickness to elude punches.  When he was slightly staggered by Teron’s right hand in the closing seconds of round 1, he composed himself and tore back in.  Within 33 seconds of round 2, Teron was down twice from a right hand, and left hook, respectively.  He was also bleeding profusely.  The fight was over, and we have a new contender to get excited about in boxing-crazy Canada .

For Angulo and Kirkland , the first 2 mintues pretty much played out the way most expected.  They would go to war, with Kirkland ’s speed giving him an initial advantage, but his weak chin would betray him.  Kirkland tore into Angulo and accomplished the near-impossible feat of backing up “Perro”.  This only played into Angulo’s hands, however, as a counter right dropped Kirkland .  Fom then on, this fight could have been stopped by many of the trigger happy refs we’ve been seeing lately.  Kirkland wasn’t that badly hurt by the right that dropped him, but a follow-up hook had him reeling for a good minute.

Kudos to the ref for letting them fight, by the way.  Many other refs would have certainly robbed us of a great fight.  It’s nice to see that Steve Smoger isn’t the only ref around who remembers that this is boxing.  What followed was Angulo punching himself out, as Kirkland slowly rallied.  The Mexican did not know how to fight hurt, as he never has been.  So, when staggered late in the first… he was knocked all around the ring and finally dropped.

Forget any other candidates for round of the year.  Kirkland-Angulo 1 is it… unless something extraordinary happens in the next 55 days.  The scorecards may show dominance for Kirkland thereafter, but Angulo’s iron chin kept him in the fight for many rounds, until it was mercifully stopped in the 6th.  Call all your friends who are casual fans, or have jumped ship to MMA.  Tell them to watch the replays.  Boxing needed this.

Chris Strait


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