* A Great Night at the Fights

Last Saturday was a great night for Boxing. Danny (Swift) Garcia the defending Welterweight Champion fought Keith “One Time” Thurman. It was only the third time in forty years that Boxing was on regular TV. For those old enough to remember, there were big fights on most Saturdays back in the 70’s ad they went on in the early afternoon on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Those were indeed the days, I saw Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, George Foreman, Roberto Duran, Wilfredo Gomez, Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfredo Benitez, Marvin Hagler, Matthew Saad Muhammad and so many others – on free tv.

Back to the fight, I picked Garcia to win. Always the underdog, he finds a way to win. He is a natural counter-puncher with good power and a very good chin. Going into that fight he was 33-0 with 19 knockouts. His opponent was also a Champion with a record of 27-0 with 22 knockouts. Keith has one punch power as his names indicates, he also has good movement and is very focused. I expected Danny to catch him with a counter as he has done so many times before, go to the body and wear him down – it didn’t happen, Keith alternated with smart boxing and power punches and pressed forward most of the way. He earned the decision. I thought it was 116-112. The judges had it 116-112 and 115-113 for a Thurman and 115-113 for Garcia. I was scared for a minute though, when Garcia appeared to be celebrating as someone signaled to him. That would have been a shame. Keith earned it. I lost a friendly wager on this fight with Chris Gordon the Gym Owner, the loser taking the winner to “Primi Piatti” an Italian Restaurant on Park Street in the Riverside Section of Jacksonville, if you haven’t been there, I recommend it highly.

There was a good fight on the undercard, a Middleweight go between Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin, 17-0 13 knock-outs (Orlando, Florida) vs. Jorge Cota, 25-2, 22 knock-outs (Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico). The Hammer’s power was on display with a spectacular knockout in the fourth round. He looks like a great prospect. My only problem with it was the commentators who went on and on about his age (he’s 21) and how he would be one of the youngest Champions in history. Anyone who knows even a little about boxing, knows that is Bull, give kid credit for an excellent win, but don’t make up a story line. If Premier Boxing needs knowledgeable commentators, just leave me a message below… By the way, here are just a few of the fighters who won titles at a young age; Wilfredo Benitez (17), Jose “Pipino” Cuevas (18), Tony Canzonari and Terry McGovern, both 19 – just to name a few. Till next time…

Al Iannacone Sr.

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