By Jake Donovan
Blake Caparello was granted a glorified sparring session in easily turning away visiting Allan Green for a landslide points win Thursday evening in Flemington, Australia.
Scores were 119-109, 118-108 and 117-111 in a bout that will hardly make its way to the time capsule.
The biggest story going into the fight was Green missing weight - his second straight occurrence - by more than five pounds, thus blowing his chance at the IBO light heavyweight title, which is now on the line only for Caparello.
Adding insult to injury was ringside buzz that the visiting American was reluctant to come out of his dressing room, though disaster was averted as he eventually made his way to the ring.
Caparello jumped out to a quick start, capitalizing on his opponent's seeming reluctance. The unbeaten Aussie boxed well in the opening round, and picked up the aggression in round two. Though not known for his punching power (six knockouts in 18 fights entering the contest), Caparello managed to hurt Green and drive him to the ropes in round two, though nothing came of it other than putting another round in the bank.
Green finally decided to fight back late in the third, countering his opponent's aggressive attack. A right hand by Caparello late in the round most likely preserved it on the scorecards, but was given enough of a test in the third and fourth rounds to lend suggestion that an actual fight threatened to take place.
Then came round five, which saw Green return to form. With no threat of incoming, Caparello breezed through the round while his flabby opponent appeared to be running out of steam after an already minimal effort to that point in the main event.
The middle rounds proved tough to watch. Green's best - if not only - moments came on the inside, where the flabby American didn't have to worry about moving around and expending energy. Still, those instances were few and far between as Caparello remained in control.
Where the Aussie shares blame, however, is in his refusal - or inability - to change gears and exploit his opponent's reluctance.
A presumed shutout looks better on paper than it did in the ring, though the 27-year old southpaw did something about that in round nine. A power surge late in the round had Green badly hurt and holding on for dear life, to where referee Phil Austin threatened to take a point for excessive clinching.
The championship rounds produced little about which to speak, other than referee Phil Austin taking a spill to the canvas. The sequence produced some laughs, to which the third man had enough of a sense of humor to appreciate the moment as much-needed comic relief.
Laughter transitioned back to tears in a hurry once ring action resumed, as Caparello landed the occasional straight left hand while Green finished the same way he began, with all of the desire of a dental patient.
That the judges found any rounds at all to give the American is a tribute to the type of creative scoring that continues to run rampant throughout the sport. Still, the decision was wide enough in the end to reflect what took place over the course of 12 rounds, an easy night's work for Caparello, who remains unbeaten at 18-0-1 (6KO).
Green heads back to Oklahoma with yet another stain for his scrapbook. The former title challenger falls to 32-5 (22KO), with four of the losses coming in his last seven fights. His brave showing in a knockout loss to Mikkel Kessler was perhaps the last great act in an otherwise underwhelming career.
A replacement opponent in the Super Six super middleweight tournament, Green was given a golden opportunity to take his career to new heights. Instead, he put forth an uninspiring effort versus Andre Ward in June '10 and helped briefly resurrect Glen Johnson's career in suffering an eighth round knockout loss five months later.
The loss to Kessler was his third in a span of five fights within less than two years, but was still a known commodity that could perhaps benefit from one more shot at glory. Missing weight by a significant margin in two straight fights was damaging enough; his lack of professionalism in and out of the ring on Thursday should spell the end of his days as a relevant commodity.
Where Caparello goes from here isn't quite as clear. The rangy southpaw did what he had to do in order to preserve victory, but remains untested through 19 pro fights as a result. A chance to win over new fans instead gave way to settling for a win.
Czar Amonsot didn't make any new fans with his latest win, a 10th round stoppage of Stevi Ongen Ferdinandus in a fight that couldn't end soon enough.
The televised co-feature began ugly and never got better. Amonsot was a low blow throwing machine early on, including a vicious uppercut that delayed the fight late in the second round. Ferdinandus dropped to the ground, but eventually rose to his feet and reluctantly agreed to continue.
Reluctance would be the best way to describe the balance of Ferdinandus' performance. The Indonesian southpaw fought with the demeanor of a man who couldn't find the exit quick enough. When it became apparent that he wouldn't get the disqualification win he sought, he eventually removed himself from the fight, flat out quitting early in the 10th round.
The official time was 0:44 of round ten. There were no official knockdowns, unless you count the number of fans who passed out from severe boredom.
Amonsot advances to 25-3-3 (15KO). The Filipino southpaw is now unbeaten in his last nine contests, though ironically best known for his heart and courage exuded in defeat, a 12 round points loss to Michael Katsidis in their July '07 war.
Ferdinandus drops to 15-6 (8KO), ending a three fight win streak.
Leonardo Zappavigna barely maintained his winning ways with a narrow eight-round points win over Rivan Cesarie. Scores were 76-75 across the board in a bout that saw Zappavigna given a count, battered and cut over the course of the night, but dug deep to avoid a major upset.
Body punching was key in allowing Zappavigna to not only cross the finish line but surge ahead in the end. The former lightweight contender was given a standing eight count towards the tail end of what was otherwise a strong opening round. The Sydney native picked up the pace to put the next few rounds in the bank before getting rocked by Cesarie (11-4-1, 3KO) towards the end of round five.
Adding to the plot, Zappavigna suffered a bad cut in round seven, thus putting the fight in danger of being stopped. That he was allowed to continue ultimately saved the day; a strong finish allowed the 25-year old to take the final round and thus the fight on all three cards.
Zappavigna advances to 30-2 (20KO). He has now won five straight since suffering the lone two losses of his career, coming in back-to-back fights versus Ammeth Diaz and Miguel Vazquez in 2011. The loss to Vazquez marks Zappavigna's lone shot at a major title, dropping a wide decision. A chance at getting back in the title picture ended disastrous, suffering a 5th round knockout against Diaz in their elimination bout five months later.
LINE RESULTS Tags: Lenny Zappavigna , Blake Caparello
Blake Caparello UD12 Allan Green - 12 rounds, light heavyweight*
*Green came in over contracted limit; IBO light heavyweight title at stake only for Caparello
Czar Amonsot TKO10 Stevi Ongen Ferdinandus - super lightweight
Leonardo Zappavigna UD8 Rivan Cesaire - welterweights (scores 76-75 3x)
Solomon Haumono KO3 (0:56) Marcelo Nascimento - heavyweights
Matthew Lytwynenko D4 Tom Ford - super lightweights (scores 58-56, 56-58, 57-57)
Television: Fox Sports Australia