AFTERMATH: Klitschko Clubs Solis, Bute Batters Magee, Rigondeaux Railroads Casey, Etc.


*****

Vitali Klitschko stopped woebegone Odlanier Solis in one heat in Cologne, Germany, to defend his K2 heavyweight championship when Solis could not continue after blowing out his knee. Lots of cognosenseless types want to keep the fiction rolling that Solis was on his way to some sort of upset when the fight was stopped, but they are conveniently ignoring the fact that replays clearly showed a wild-swinging Solis put on Queer Street from a cuffing counter right to the head. His legs, unused to such strenuous activity, simply gave out as he tried to maintain his balance, a precarious feat, no doubt. Solis crashed to the mat with a thud and flopped around a bit before beating the count on rickety pins.

After referee Jose Garcia stopped the bout, Klitschko stormed across the ring—trying to shove aside his brother, Wladimir, on the way—to berate his loudmouthed foe. An unreliable source told The Cruelest Sport what Klitschko said to his underwhelming opponent: “You fat tub of guts…who ever gave you the idea that you could fight? Lyle Fitzsimmons?” One supposes that Solis did very well going nearly three minutes without being dropped on his ample derrière by the first significant punch Klitschko landed.

You would have to work fairly hard to find a less impressive amateur standout and Olympic gold medal winner than Solis, whose ability to impress certain gullible media types, who made him seem like the biggest—ahem—thing to come out of Cuba since the Buena Vista Social Club, is his only accomplishment thus far in boxing. Even Top Rank cut him loose when he was on the verge of a title shot.

To make matters worse, The Sun reported that Solis was injured before the bout and that his team knew about it and proceeded with the fight anyway:

Cologne Arena spokesman Malte Mueller-Michaelis confirmed: “We knew it, but we didn’t want to let it jeopardize the fight against Vitali. His manager Jose Perez knew about the previous problem, but it was thought it would go away if there was enough training and the muscle stabilized the knee.”

*****

Like the maiden voyages of the Titanic or the Hans Hedtoft, Epix found its initial sail into the choppy boxing seas disastrous. From the remote studio set up for a bout taking place in Germany to Lennox Lewis as an analyst to the absurd fight itself, Epix ran into icebergs, rogue waves, and whirlpools all within half of an hour of going on the air.

Lewis, the master of malapropisms, mixed metaphors, and the mumbles, has now taken on a Plan Nine From Outer Space quality; he is so bad sometimes that he can only be considered good. Even his hat had an air of camp about it. With the bout over in three minutes, Epix had lots of air time to fill, so viewers were treated to four—four!—analysts deconstructing an event that last roughly 180 seconds. Boxing needs all the help it can get in the U.S. these days, and we should hope that Epix does not abandon it after its first fiasco of a foray.

*****

Exciting Lucian Bute, now 28-0, overcame a slow start to sandblast Brian Magee in the 10th round at the Bell Centre in Montreal, scoring multiple knockdowns along the way. Over 12,000 Quebecois showed up to see Bute—and perhaps some of pole dancers in the arena—put on a show against an opponent of middling quality. Southpaw body shots bedeviled Magee, 34-4-1, throughout the middle rounds and dropped him three times—one knockdown was misruled a low blow—before a final sweeping uppercut to the chin left him on his hands and knees.

Bute seemed a bit troubled by Magee early on and took a few hard shots from his opponent, but he began to loosen up as the rounds went by, working behind his jab and ripping lefts from all angles. Although Magee showed pluck and landed his share of blows, he was a marked man by the time the sixth round rolled around. With Mikkel Kessler at ringside providing commentary for Showtime, Bute showed his remarkable knack for landing breathtaking body shots from portside. Kessler is going to need to make some serious adjustments if he actually faces Bute later this year.

*****

After boring the world to tears in his last start—an agonizingly dull decision over Ricardo Cordoba in November—Guillermo Rigondeaux, now 8-0, found the perfect opponent to play Shazam against. A wallflower in the ring no longer, at least for one night, Rigondeaux gave poor Willie Casey the kind of rough treatment the Westies used to give to their enemies over on 10th and 11th Avenues.

Casey, who falls to 11-1, did not belong in the ring with Rigondeaux and suffered for the temerity of all involved in making this mismatch on his behalf. Even less experienced than his record indicates—since, after all, he had three fights in one night as part of the Prizefighter tournament last May—Casey was knocked down hard three times before referee Stanley Christodoulou called an end to the trampling. With only 18 bouts between the two contestants entering the ring, some sort of bizarre record must have been set in this UNESCO title fight. Rigondeaux, who made amends for his last performance, now looks to return from the netherworld of internet webcasts.

*****

Demetrius Hopkins does not care if he loses and Brad Solomon does not care how he wins. Naturally, these two welterwhats went 12 drag-ass rounds on ESPN2, with Solomon the winner on points. It remains to be seen why Kery Davis has yet to pluck Solomon from the ether of mediocrity and throw him into an HBO windup. After all, Solomon deserves it as much as Adrien Broner does.

*****

It has been reported that the main event on Solo Boxeo—Luis Ramos Jr. scoring a majority decision over Jose Hernandez–was actually good. If so, then it marks a rare occasion indeed for boxing on Telefutura, where good fights are as scarce as sightings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

*****

Raging James Kirkland beat up another effigy, Jhon Berrio, on the Solo Boxeo undercard. Berrio is now 4-9 in his last 13 bouts. Kirkland, 27-0, will be worth getting excited about again when this Massacre Tour is over and he actually fights an opponent of note.

*****

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*****

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Tags: Brad Solomon Brian Magee Demetrius Hopkins Epix Guillermo Rigondeaux JAMES KIRKLAND Lennox Lewis Lucian Bute Odlanier Solis Vitali Klitschko Willie Casey

  • timfromia

    Carlos, don’t worry, the streak is intact on so low Boxeo. Just because the fight went 8 rounds didn’t make it “good”. The people reporting that it was a “good” fight were also claiming it was a “robbery”. Fact is, just because Ramos Jr. got hit a few times more than expected didn’t make it a good fight nor a poor decision. Ramos clearly controlled the ring, still showed excellent movement and defense and delivered the cleaner shots all night.

    All is right in the world – so low Boxeo still blows, no worries……

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi timfromia,

      Thanks for letting me know; for a minute there, I thought the world had spun completely out of control. I think I have seen four Telefutura fights in the last year (1 live, having, incredibly, secured a press credential)…I routinely avoid watching Solo Boxeo because they are squash matches and outright frauds for the most part. Cynical and dangerous stuff….I didn’t think Ramos-Hernandez would be a set-up, but somehow I couldn’t get myself out of the habit of ignoring So-Low Boxeo. Maybe next time…

  • Dennis Wise

    Great Blog.

    I do have to disagree with you regarding the Lee McEwan fight. If this were a part of a strategy from HBO to put on more fan friendly fights Id say this is a move in the right direction (I don’t have any faith that this is the case though). And not because I want to see more Lee McEwan type fights on the big stage. I don’t.

    But I would like to see fighters with real talent put forth that kind of effort. If average fighters with balls started getting dates (and HBO cash) instead of very cautious fighters with talent, the latter would have to fight like the former more often.

    Because, what else would they do at that point? What would Berto have done if after the Urango fight HBO said, ‘congrats on the win, but that isn’t up to par for our viewers. Two European pugs are getting your next date.’

    Can you blame Mayweather for fighting as cautious as he does after RJJ did the same towards the end of his reign? Or Berto after Mayweather started doing the same post Gatti? Or Daweson after Berto’s run of unexceptional performances against soft competition? There is no motive to fight any other way as long as HBO keeps paying for it

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi Dennis,

      thanks for writing and for the compliment.

      I understand where you’re coming from re: Lee/McEwan and HBO. In the end, they certainly put on a better show than most of the spoiled hype jobs who show up on HBO. Maybe if, as you note, it’s a first step to just looking for more entertainment and not necessarily featuring clubfighters regularly, then it’s a positive move. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

      And I think it’s a good point/idea to take dates away from some of the shrinking violets and reward guys who put on a show–but HBO has never been the kind of network that turns its back on its Frankenstein creations. I guess it has to do with the cash invested in their hype jobs and the admission of error. There is no logical reason why Dawson and Berto, for example, should keep getting dates–and oversized checks–despite drawing no fans and no ratings.

      When Ross Greenburg says that HBO is not in the boxing business, he means it. But they don’t seem to be in the entertainment business either, since no show on earth would keep getting aired with the poor ratings and buzz that surrounds HBO boxing. Their contract players and favorite sons do play it safe for the most part due to guaranteed dates and paydays. Performance is an afterthought. If they wanted to actually enforce standards, perhaps by giving dates to other fighters, it would be a first, at least in the last 10 years or so.

      • Dennis Wise

        I just became aware of this blog after Steve Kim linked to one of your articles. I enjoyed it enough to go back and read some of your old posts.

        the quips aimed at Allen Green made the experience of watching his fights less regrettable.

        • Carlos Acevedo

          Hi Dennis,

          Steve Kim and Gabriel Montoya have been very kind in promoting TCS–for no other reason than they like what I write–and they are the only Big Leaguers who get what I do and support it. A lot of other big names are clueless, but this is why MB is one of the better sites out there today.

          Thanks for reading the old posts…I used to advertise that TCS had the only blog archive worth going through, but I guess nobody believed my hype! I appreciate you going through them because my purpose here is to run a site that is not ephemeral (although my satirical posts and spoofs might be) and that stands up over time. To be honest, I can’t stand blog “writing” and TCS is meant to be a response to the typical blog….but more people like that stuff than TCS, so more power to them, I guess….

          • Dennis Wise

            I guess I can understand the average fan’s lack of interest in ever hearing the names of HBO executives, let alone the shitty decisions they make. I doubt most NFL fans are closely following the collective bargaining issues with in the NFL. But at some point the fine details of boxing’s train wreck became more interesting to me than many of its fights.

            You literally told Lou DiBella exactly what promotional work he should be doing for perhaps the best boxer in the world. You told him when and where he should do it. Its great advice…and it won’t happen. Personally I find that entirely interesting

  • aleckohut

    Hi Carlos,

    Actually Jose Hernandez does pretty well on Solo Boxeo as a trial horse, a couple months ago it was against Mikey Perez. But the Kirkland fight was a joke, even in slow motion you can’t find a punch that could hurt Berrio that bad.
    How can you say Solis isn’t the biggest thing to come out of Cuba? He’s fought as high as 271 lbs., that’s big!!

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi Alec,

      I thought the fight would be competitive, but, somehow, I was powerless to tune into Telefutura. It was like a mysterious force took over…I suspect my disgust for what is usually on Solo Boxeo was just too much to overcome. I’ll try again tonight! I’ve read bad stuff about Kirkland-Berrio, and your take is the latest.

      What about Jorge Luis Gonzalez? Remember him? He was a pretty big Cuban–also with a big mouth–and could not fight a lick as a pro. I remember how Riddick Bowe tortured him for six rounds….