AFTERMATH: Stevenson-Dawson, Angulo-Lara, Gamboa-Perez, Maidana-Lopez, & More

Jun 8, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Adonis Stevenson (gold/yellow) knocks out Chad Dawson (black) during the first round of their light heavyweight WBC title bout at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports


These recaps cover many of the fights from Saturday, June 8th. Technical difficulties prevented them from being posted earlier.


ShamWow commercials are more interesting than Yuriorkis Gamboa fights, but there he was again on HBO, going through the motions against undistinguished Darleys Perez, a pug whose last outing was an eight-rounder against a .500 opponent. In fact, Perez was coming off of consecutive eight-round fights. Normally, South Americans with inflated records are looked upon with some cynicism, but the HBO crew decided that, for Gamboa, at least, Perez was one Colombian whose set-ups were worth ignoring. Instead, they focused on the spelling of his first name. Well, Perez, who entered the ring with a 28-0 record as hollow as a political campaign promise, landed a punch or two, but when he saw that Gamboa was made of sterner stuff than Baudel Cardenas or Ramses Gil, he decided on a slapstick approach. It was a dull fight—a UD12 for Gamboa—and not worth using up more broadband than necessary. Now, 23-0 (16), Gamboa has tempered his aggression markedly over his last few starts and appears slower at lightweight than he was at 126 pounds. Who knows what great plans his promoter, 50 Cent—who, right now, is really a booking agent—has in store for Gamboa in the future? Maybe an undercard slot on a Tuto Zabala, Jr., show somewhere along the Panhandle. If so, remember to bring your own pillow.


Despite the fact that Alfredo Angulo no longer resembles the high-octane banger of a few years ago, his power and grit were nearly enough to push stylish Erislandy Lara to the brink. After scoring a pair of knockdowns and pressing the action from round to round, Angulo retired in the 10th—mid-fight—with a gruesome eye injury. Tenacious as malware, Angulo forced Lara to exchange as often as possible, usually when Lara had his back to the ropes. In response, Lara landed any number of clean straight lefts against the onrushing “Perro.” But Angulo rarely wavered. Unfortunately, no amount of New Age psychobabble from Virgil Hunter between rounds was going to help Angulo with his haywire footwork, arcing punches, and minimal head movement. Angulo used every ounce of energy he had—along with a sustained body attack—in an effort to bridge the gap in talent Lara represented. Halfway through the fourth, Lara dropped his right and Angulo nearly decapitated him with a left hook that sent Lara sprawling. Lara, 18-1-2 (12), beat the count and managed to ride out the final harrowing minute-and-a-half of the round.

From the fifth through the eighth, Lara bounced back and boxed well from behind his jab, while Angulo continued to hammer away at the ribs. But an upset seemed possible when a sweeping left in the 9th sent Lara crashing to the canvas once again. Showing world-class mettle, Lara staggered to his feet and finished the round, even bracing Angulo with a few well-timed countershots. Then, when a series of lefts raised a ghastly speed bump over his left eye in the 10th round, Angulo turned his back and referee Raul Caiz, Sr., immediately called a halt to the contest. No sooner was the fight over than the usual second-rate hacks slithered over to their keyboards and trotted out the old “No Mas” cliché—remember, these are people for whom a complex sentence will forever remain a mystery—but the fact is that Caiz would have stopped the fight the moment he caught a clear glimpse of the grotesque swelling. For Angulo, who was nearly atomized by James Kirkland in 2011 and is no longer at his peak, the courage of his past performances and, indeed, the effort he put forth on Saturday night, may now bear the stain of one of the many talentless tastemakers who dominate cyberspace.


In the future, it will take lots and lots of bourbon to make Jermell Charlo interesting. Now 21-0 (10), Charlo outpointed veteran bore Demetrius Hopkins over 12 risible rounds on the Maidana-Lopez undercard, drawing heartfelt boos from bell to bell. A disinterested bystander to his own career for years, Hopkins, who falls to 33-3-1 (13), has rarely been anything but stupefying, and his frightening KO of competent Michael Warrick in 2006 remains one of his few highlights. As for lowlights—well, there are plenty of those. Naturally, he was considered perfect material for a slot on Showtime. Like the fight media—where an expertise at cyber-bootlicking is often all you need to belong to smug ruling-class cliques and ratings panels—talent is often unnecessary to reach the Big Time in boxing. Charlo, alas, is nepotism personified, that is to say, as natural to The Sweet Science as roaches are to ghetto tenements. Although Hopkins is nothing more than a stinkout artist—admittedly one not easy to look good against—Charlo showed few qualifications to reappear on a subscription channel. But, as sure as your next cable bill arrives in the mail, he will.


A single booming left hand may have finally put an exclamation point on a career full of asterisks when Adonis “Superman” Stevenson scored a first-round TKO over Chad Dawson at the Bell Centre. Dawson is one of the HTML superstars of boxing, a fighter propped up by self-referential media types who specialize in P-4-P lists and cheerleading. Once they establish silly narratives about fighters, they have to stick to them no matter what the record says. This methodology comes straight out “Remembering Needleman,” a Woody Allen skit: “At the opera in Milan with my daughter and me, Needleman leaned out of his box and fell into the orchestra pit. Too proud to admit it was a mistake, he attended the opera every night for a month and repeated it each time.”

Dawson, a talented southpaw whose disdain for the public is palpable, was on Easy Street from the moment he scored his biggest victory: an impressive unanimous decision over Tomasz Adamek in 2007. His first two title defenses were absurd, even by the Kafkaesque standards of today: a TKO of Jesus Ruiz (who had fought one round in over three years going into the Dawson fight) and a stoppage of middleweight journeyman Epifanio Mendoza, whose three previous opponents had a combined record of 32-50-4 (before that mighty stretch, Mendoza knocked out a fighter making his pro debut). Then came the “Bad Chad” Senior Circuit Tour: six of his next eight opponents were all at least 12 years older than him. In fact, Stevenson was only the third notable fighter in his prime that Dawson has faced since winning a light heavyweight title in 2007. He is 0-3 against them, losing previously to Andre Ward (at super middleweight) and Jean Pascal. After all the P-4-P palaver and the lineal slaver, this, in the end, is the threadbare resume of a “great” fighter. Even his shocking loss to Stevenson seemed minor league. There was Dawson, immediately after the sound of the opening bell, moving to his right and into the power lane of a noted one-punch KO artist. Stevenson, 21-1 (18), immediately exploited this bushwa move and sent Dawson crashing like a garden gnome knocked out of its niche.

Dawson, who slips to 31-3-0-2, showed nothing but contempt for Stevenson before the fight and paid for it by having his neurons scattered. A slightly tottery Dawson was unable to respond to Michael Griffin after taking the mandatory eight, and the referee wisely called a halt. Within seconds of the TKO, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Dawson tried to make a flapdoodle out of the stoppage, but by the time Max Kellerman got to interview him, Dawson was, thankfully, his usual sullen and inarticulate self. Every fighter deserves respect for entering the ring. Most circumstances in boxing are decidedly against its practitioners. But you get the feeling that Dawson was operating under a set of different rules altogether, one that did not include much more than impressing corporate suits, being a talented southpaw, and waking up 12-16 years younger than his opponent. If it is any consolation to Dawson, he at least kept the boobirds away for once. For Stevenson, who can punch holes into a 454 Big Block with his left, the distance he has been able to put between himself and his past widens further with his win.


It was almost a shock seeing 40-year-old Sherman Williams do his lumbering routine on Showtime Extreme. But boxing is nothing if not shocking. Williams, whose decision loss to inept Tye Fields years ago struck some as suspicious, faced Gerald Washington, 8-0 (5), and played his role of trailhorse so well he ought to sign up for an SAG card. Washington has little discernible talent, but that will not keep him from being referred to, over and over again, as a “Heavyweight Prospect.”


Pandemonium is what Marcos Maidana deals in exclusively and once again he delivered his brutal specialty to the roar of thousands at the Home Depot Center when he stopped Josesito Lopez in the sixth round of a scheduled 12 last Saturday night. They mauled each other like hyenas on a National Geographic special, with the difference being that Maidana has a supernatural threshold for pain. Who can forget the three knockdowns he suffered against Victor Ortiz a few years ago? Or the pluperfect bodyshot Amir Khan landed early against him—a blow that left Maidana writhing on the canvas—in 2011? Again and again Maidana recovers from spectacular hurts, goes on the attack, and tries to outwill his opponent. (Read the full recap, “Firepower,” by Jimmy Tobin.)

Against Lopez, whose management team does not appear to have his best interests at heart, Maidana was in serious trouble more than once. An old fight adage, “box a fighter and fight a boxer,” seemed to be in play when Lopez came out looking to jab and move at the opening bell. But, as usual, Maidana left his certificate of politeness somewhere in Santa Fe, Argentina, and came forward throwing his artless but deadly blows, forcing Lopez to exchange more often than seemed logical. Finally, after over 15 minutes of grievous bodily harm, Maidana landed an explosive overhand right to the head that left Lopez, groggy, on his knees. After beating the count, Lopez was driven into a corner by a pursuing Maidana, who punished him until referee Lou Moret stepped in. Lopez, now 30-6 (18), would later complain about the stoppage, but Moret made the right call. Trapped against the turnbuckle, Lopez was taking rattling shots, and Maidana not only has the power to cripple somebody, but the kind of feverish offensive imagination to make sure an opponent who is hurt stays hurt.

As primitive as the cave paintings of Lascaux—or that crude tattoo of a crucifix on his back—Maidana, 34-3 (31), is a grim proposition for just about anyone willing to get under the hot lights against him. This is why Devon Alexander practiced collar-and-elbow tie-ups for weeks prior to empretzeling “Chino” over the distance last year. Still, Maidana takes an inordinate amount of punishment, and seems to be easier to hit than ever, perhaps because Robert Garcia has him fighting in a more traditional stand-up style. Maidana played shock absorber during the middle rounds even against limited Jesus Soto-Karass in 2011, but rallied back for a violent TKO win. He will be hard-pressed to continue his breathtaking rallies against better welterweights.


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Topics: Adonis Stevenson, ALFREDO ANGULO, CHAD DAWSON, Erislandy Lara, Josesito Lopez, MARCOS MAIDANA

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