Another weekend, Another fight
In the opening fight we say the minimum weight class, yes, the littlest guys out there. Ivan Calderon, the champ, came into the ring at 5 ft tall (no typo) and 104. The challenger, 103 pound Gerard Verde (?). It was actually a really good fight but it is always funny to see people that small fighting. These to looked like some of the fights I break up between my 6 year old daughter and her friends that come over to swim in the pool. Calderon easily controlled the fight showing just how much better he was than anyone else in that weight class. He was faster, stronger and better on this night dominating all the rounds he choose to. He did coast a couple rounds at the end, most of them I still gave to him. All in all he won an easy unanimous victory.
Next brought the son of a legend trying to follow in his fathers footsteps. Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr, 19-0-0 w/ 14 KO's in 20 months of a professional career is well on his way to being as active as his father. Unlike his father he is tall and lanky. I've seen Julio Jr. fight about 7 times now, his handlers have him active in a controlled way. They are doing a good job of giving him experience with low talent with specific skills for him to work on. Ruben Galvan, his oponent this evening, brought a toughness to the ring Julio hasn't fought. Galvan, who has never been knocked down or out in his 29 proffesional fights (21-6-2 w/ 9 KO's), knows how to take a punch and keep coming forward. Although this appeared to be Julio's toughest fight it was still a boxing clinic put on by the youngster. Galvan lasted 4 rounds taking 148 punches from Julio who was landing at 53% according to punch stat numbers. Julio is young, 19 years old, but brings to the ring a multitude of skills, he can throw any punch in the book with power and accuracy. If his handlers keep him going at this rate he has the potential to become as good as his father, he's got a LONG way to go. Good old dad is probably on most boxing writers top 25 or 50 of all time. Not a bad list to be on. Jr has yet to show anything against a top, or even mediocre for that matter, opponent but if he has 1/2 the toughness his dad had we may be watching a great one grow up in front of our very eyes.
Vivian Harris (25-1-1-17ko's) vs. Carlos Maussa (18-2-0-17kos) 140lb
Harris came into the fight holding one of the many 140 lb championship belts. He brought with him a chip on his shoulder as he feels he's been overlooked in the division and not getting the big paydays that some of the other 140 punders have recieved. Maussa is a big puncher who always looks off balance and can take a punch. Harris should have come out and boxed Maussa for 12 rounds, retained his title and lived to fight another day. Instead, he came out swinging for the fences looking to prove a point and impress the boxing writers. He did land some incredible bombs through the 1st couple of rounds. 1st problem. Maussa was still standing. 2nd problem. Harris was out of gas. Maussa, starting in the 3rd round began dropping bombs of his own, standing toe to toe with the tired and weary Harris. After 2 rounds of getting bashed Harris decided to listen to his corner and box, stick and move, fight his fight and not turn this into a war he could not win. In the 6th round he landed a big hook that stunned Maussa, went back to the war like style and took more punishment than he gave by the end of the round. In between the 6th and 7th he could be seen argueing with his corner. This is particularly ridiculous when you cornerman is Emanual Stewart, about as good as you can get in the boxing biz. It woul only take another 43 seconds for Emanuals point to be brought to life when Maussa landed a HUGE left hook sending Harris to the ground, taking his belt and teaching him to listen to his corner. Some of us learn the hard way!
The main event. Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (39-6-0-30ko's) vs "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather (33-0-0-22ko's)
On paper it would appear that Mayweather would easily defeat Gatti. Most boxing experts, including myself (not that I'm an expert, just that I happen to agree with them on this) felt that it would be Mayweather's speed dominating the fight. But, also including myself, most fans wanted to see some Gatti magic. Gatti has won many fights he shouldn't be out-hearting, if such a word does not exist it should - you could put it next to Gatti in the dictionary, his opponents. Gatti is the Rocky of real life, winning fights with both eyes swollen almost shut and blood dripping out of every part of his face. You really can't not like Gatti if you're a fan. That is unless you are Mayweather. He showed absolutely no respect before the fight. 1st round action saw a lot of feeling out, Floyd jumped in with some quick combos to get his range, Gatti couldn't really deal with his speed. Late in the 1st round they got tied up, I watched the fight again later and you can hear the ref say "stop punching", as they backed away from each other Mayweather threw a big hook that popped Gatti. Gatti looked at the ref in disgust and Mayweather popped him again, this time sending him to the canvas.
The commentators argued about this for a couple of rounds. I do think the ref made a mistake, he said stop punching but was well out of position to make that command. After the commend stop punching the ref should be close enough to get in between the fighters to ensure everyone heard the command. In this instance he was behind Mayweather circling the action. Having said that Gatti, having 45 fights under his belt should ALWAYS remember the golden rule of boxing. Protect yourself at ALL times.
All in all I don't believe this knock down mattered, at the time it happened I was hoping for Gatti magic and a close war but I would not get it. The 2nd round saw Mayweather gain confidence, throw more combos with his blistering speed and dominate the fight. As the fight continued Mayweathers confidence grew and grew as he threw more and more punches with 63% accuracy, unbelievable! Buddy McGirt, Gatti's cornerman threw in the towel before the 6th round as Gatti's eyes were both closed due to swelling. As Mayweather predicted he put on a clinic in the most lob sided PPV fight, possible in the history of PPV fights. Gatti showed his heart once again, showed some signs of life in the 5th round but never landed that big left hook to the body that maybe could have slowed Mayweather down. In the end Mayweather landed 168 of 295 punches (57%) with 115 of 183 (63%) being power shots. A lot of punishment in 5 rounds, Gatti only managed to land 10 power shots in the same amount of time. Mayweather has many people believing he is the best pound fo pound fight around right now, he may be right.