The Finito Five 12/9/09
Koki Kameda pounds at the flattest nose in the history of boxing belonging to Daisuke Naito during their flyweight superfight. Unfortunately, Naito couldn't pound some manners into Kameda despite repeated attempts.
Spreading more merriment than jolly ‘ol St. Nick, it’s the Finito Five!
1. Danny Green lays the TNT on Roy Jones and B-Hop
It’s truly amazing how fate can step into a boxing ring sometimes. For years, since their 1993 snoozer of a fight, Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins have been talking about fighting each other, especially after Hopkins joined Jones on the pound-for-pound list back in the late 1990’s. After Hopkins dismantled Felix Trinidad in 2001, both fighters were in their primes, and boxing fans were demanding a rematch. The only problem was that Hopkins and Jones were doing a whole lot of talking and not enough negotiating. While Jones, like he always did in those days, talked about being the main attraction and getting main attraction money, Hopkins took his usual “I won’t be screwed by the boxing establishment” tack, essentially not giving in to any of the demands of Team Jones. As a result, nothing happened for years until recently, when a shaky 40-year old Jones and a 45-year old Hopkins (who’s still on most pound-for-pound lists for some reason) decided that early 2010 was the time. The only obstacle? Jones had to defeat cruiserweight Danny Green in Australia Wednesday, while Hopkins had to get past tough Enrique Ornelas at 175-pounds in the United States the same night. This Finito space had intended to be about how relevant the fight was going to be so many years after the first one had taken place, especially regarding how shot Jones was after more than a few KO losses this decade.
Well, thanks to Danny Green, none of that matters now, as he completely wiped out Jones inside of a round, upsetting the proverbial apple cart. If there was any debate about Jones being done, there should be none whatsoever now. Green, who is decent, but couldn’t hang even a little bit with a 2000 version of Jones, cracked Roy with one right hand about 75 seconds in, and it was essentially over. All credit to Green for getting it done, but Jones clearly can’t take a solid punch any more. While Hopkins did pound out a workmanlike decision over Ornelas for his part, it’s now time for B-Hop to face someone like Green or Tomasz Adamek, which would be much more compelling. For Jones, here’s hoping he decides to retire until getting that Hall Of Fame call from Canestota in 2015.
2. A little objectivity, anyone?
Many a boxing fan has had issues with the commentary of the HBO broadcast team of Lampley-Merchant-Steward or the Sky Sports team of Adam Smith and Jim Watt from time to time, even though both teams are the sport’s standard bearers. However, if you think they’re so bad, try the Australian Foxtel-TV trio of Andy Raymond, Barry Michael and Paul Briggs, who called the Jones-Green fight Wednesday. Among the gems heard during the fight:
Raymond, after Jones was knocked down: “When you beat a legend, you become a legend, and Danny Green is on the verge of history!”
Raymond, after Green won: “Danny Green has conquered Australia and the world!”
Michael, during the wrap-up: “This is the greatest win in the history of Australian boxing.”
Huh? Seriously? First off, just because you beat a legend that was in his prime ten years ago doesn’t make you as great as he was. By that logic, you should be able to go to Berrien Springs, Michigan and kick Muhammad Ali’s ass and call yourself the Greatest. Secondly, how did Green conquer Australia exactly by beating a dude from Florida? Doesn’t the fact that Green already lost to Anthony Mundine, a fellow Aussie, mean that Mundine should be the best Down Under, at the very least? And if Green’s is the greatest win in the history of the country, I guess all the wins that Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu have over Hall Of Famers during their careers don’t mean so much, eh? Sounds like someone should test Foxtel’s boys for hyperbolic steroid use!
3. The battle of Japan reaches its anticlimax
What many sportswriters in the United States still can’t understand is how boxing can still grip a nation when it’s not theirs. When Tomasz Adamek-Andrew Golota puts a nation (Poland) on hold for an entire afternoon, it’s still an important statement on the hold the Sweet Science still has in some parts of the world. Add to that the 112-pound megafight between Koki Kameda and titleholder Daisuke Naito on Nov. 29, which may qualify as the most mega of any fight in any country in the last 20 years. Going into the fight, it had it all the makings of the classic grudge match; a controversial, foul-filled fight between Kameda’s brother, Daiki, and Naito, which ended up with Daiki suspended for a year. Kameda reportedly told his brother to use his elbows on Naito! It’s not clear what Naito may have done to engender this wrath (other than Kameda despising Naito having the flattest nose on earth), but it certainly didn’t translate to a great fight. Kameda moved very well, landing his punches everywhere on a confused Naito, who just couldn’t generate the offense that would have made this one special. While there were some good exchanges, there wasn’t much doubt at the end of the fight, both as to the winner and who was the most arrogant Japanese guy since Boleo Yeung in Bloodsport (who we all know isn’t really Japanese, anyway). Kameda might be a big star in Japan, but he shows an incredible lack of class during fights that would make Floyd Mayweather, Jr. proud, including a refusal to touch gloves or even acknowledge Naito and his effort after the fight. Since this fight did over a 50 share (yes, that means over 50 percent of Japanese TV’s that were on!), let’s hope the next Battle For Japan lives up to its billing.
4. Paul Williams finally meets his match
Forget Carlos Quintana when talking about Paul Williams; that was clearly an off night for “The Punisher”. Other than that, the man has beaten down Antonio Margarito (likely with his loaded gloves), Winky Wright, Verno Phillips and Quintana in a rematch. Well, last Saturday night, he finally found a worthy opponent that he couldn’t just walk over, that in Spain’s Sergio Martinez. While it was obvious that these were the two best jr. middleweights in the world (although the fight was fought above 154), no one could have expected the slugfest that resulted. Williams was not only knocked down in the first round, but actually got rocked a couple of times, as Martinez displayed excellent use of angles in getting to his 6’2” opponent. What this fight also showed was that Williams is more than up to facing adversity, as he gave it right back to the Spaniard, tiring Martinez out late in the fight as Williams came back from a couple of bad cuts. Ultimately, while Williams got the decision, it could have gone either way (throw out the fact that Pierre Benoist had an awful 119-110 scorecard he apparently scored from Williams’ house in front of his family), and there now will likely be a much-anticipated rematch. With all of the ducking that fighters have been doing to Williams, it’s good that he’s now found an opponent he can truly test his greatness against. With the grueling nature of this fight, it will be interesting to see how that will change each fighter by the time they step into the ring against each other for a second time.
5. Maybe this rematch shouldn’t be made, either
Lost in the shuffle a bit during an incredibly exciting last 30 days in boxing is that Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez are going to get it on for a fourth time. And who could argue, right? These two waged three of the greatest fights that the 122-pound division (or any other division, for that matter) had ever seen, each one memorable for it’s brutality and gladiator-style action. Even the boxing press seems fairly amped up for this fight, to take place in early 2010. However, has anyone asked just how much that great trilogy has taken out of these guys? Anyone who saw Vazquez’ struggling performance against Angel Priolo in October has to wonder just what a rematch will accomplish other than shortening their careers further. If Vazquez is on the downslope of his career, a fight like this may end it; for Marquez, he has only to look to his brother Juan Manuel to see what taking care of yourself can lead to in your late 30’s – more big time fights and a longer career. Trilogies are common in boxing for a reason; they settle the debate as to who is better, and then fighters move on. Both Vazquez and Marquez are as on par with each other as you can get, a fact that won’t change if they fight a hundred times. Let’s not ruin potential intriguing fights with Juan Manuel Lopez, Chris John or Yuriorkis Gamboa by putting these guys in a fight that might beat them out of action for another sixteen months, if not permanently.
Posted 12-11-2009 at 02:03 PM by djoscar