~((BooM))~ The CHAMP:
Sergio Martinez shattered the glass ceiling that has kept him from the pinnacle of boxing by doing the unthinkable, airmailing the concussive force of a single short looping left handed grenade that blasted the immovable, unstoppable Paul Williams straight into dreamless Bolivia. Both were highly ranked in their multiple divisions for some time now and consensus type P4Pers, so this rematch was highly anticipated. The towering Williams come out hard with an evil blood in his eye glint to him as he went about the task of pounding Martinez into dust bunnies. Perhaps the only criticism might be it was too short of a fight with no chance for ebb and flow or drama, but it was a shocking, turnabout type of moment and absolutely the highest level signature KO of a fine bunch for me, one for the ages.
All 2 rounds of the fight here with the KO just after 5:30 mark. There seems to be a sound lag, so you will hear a huge bomb go off with the crowd roaring about 1 second before it happens on the tape.
The Worthy Contenders:
Fernando Montiel TKO4 Hozumi Hasegawa
Fernando Montiel put together a 6 second highlight clip of his career with a stunning left hook that sent the monstrous Hozumi Hasegawa stumbling back to the ropes where Montiel leaped in to snap off a flash combination that caused the ref, Laurence Cole to stop the fight in the last second of round 4. Both highly ranked in their divisions and fringe P4Pers with Montiel stepping up in weight and flying all the way over to Japan to take on a dominant champ who had a string of KO defenses. What mars this bout for me is the poor reputation of the ref, Laurence Cole, who has uncanny habits of terrible timing among many bad habits, stopping what had been 4 rounds of a Hasegawa textbook masterclass performance after 6 of the last 7 seconds that remained of the 4th round. The champ was just starting to recover when Cole steps in, losing the one minute’s more rest time due him.
Longtime Japanese boxing icon, Joe Kozumi, reported alternately that Hasegawa suffered a fractured rib or fractured jaw either in training or during the fight, but, regardless, that was a booming counter left hook that stumbled Hasegawa and a brilliant flash combo that forced the stoppage of the unstoppable. I would also add that had to have been one of the most gentlemanly technical fights fought at such a high level with nary a thing for the ref to do, both showing complete respect to the other for any minor incidents common in lefty/righty clashes. Hasegawa was very tight at the weight and only trying to break the Japanese record for consecutive defenses. He subsequently moved up two full divisions to featherweight to stage a rough tough masterclass over a bigger, stronger, younger undefeated contender for that WBC title in spite of suffering a terrible cut from a butt early on. He must have been really tight at banty to jump 2 full divisions with such a strong performance.
Rounds 3-4 with the final punches just after the 6:00 mark:
Glencoffe Johnson KO8 Alan Green
I like that ol’ man Johnson took this bout on somewhat short notice and made a weight he hadn’t been out for a decade and then knocked out a prime contender who had never been stopped. Thing is that Green was coming off a one of the most technical lopsided losses I’ve ever seen against Ward and was not a highly regarded contender, but still, it’s the Road Warrior for the HOF for me. Nobody comes close to his decade long quality of competition, not to mention being well into his 40s and still willing to travel and cede unfavorable conditions and short money just to get a crack at the cream of his division. He’s become the signature ol’ timer of boxing, more so than any of his contemporaries.
All 30 seconds of round 8, a complete carpet bombing:
Wlad Klitschko had 2 stunning highlight reel knock em dead K-Os of Chambers in the last 5 seconds of the 12th and Samuel Peter at 1:22 of the 10th.
The downside is there was no drama of a tough fight or necessity other than Manny Steward challenging Klitschko to stop his methodical beatings and go for it. Still, nobody had ever iced these guys stone cold before, so a combination of being young, highly ranked and rock solid durability type of contenders to be so utterly dominated before the icing, it’s quite an accomplishment in one of the great dominating heavyweight careers.
Entire 12th rd with the KO just after the 3:00 mark:
My complete respect for the poor, unfortunate victims of these bombings. Takes a brave man to enter the ring and risk his physical and emotional integrity to end up on the down side of the latest highlight clip for schoolboys to giggle over, but such is the risk and nature of boxing.