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On Saturday Boxing showed its Greatness

On July 9th, 2011 the sport of boxing showed everybody just how great the sport can be….and just how dirty the sport can be as well.

At 10 PM and at 10:15 PM eastern time in the United States was the start of two cards, 4 fights, that looked good on paper. At 8:13 on Showtime the first bell rang for the first fight, Kermit Cintron-Carlos Molina got underway, on HBO the first bell rang at 8:24 for Akifumi Shimoda-Rico Ramos. These two fights weren’t great, nor were they bad either. These fights were solid. Cintron-Molina was a good steady fight with consistent action throughout the fight. Carlos Molina got the unanimous decision he most certainly earned. He outworked, outlanded Cintron and Cintron just never got into the fight. Looking very lethargic and uninterested. Moving over to the HBO card, we had Rico Ramos running for 6 rounds, Shimoda coming forward, throwing punches and winning the fight based on that. Until, the 7th round rolled around. Ramos started planting a bit more, landed a couple of right hands, and as Shimoda rolled to his right side, Ramos threw and landed the perfect left hook that knocked out Shimoda. Both undercard fights on the two networks were fine. One was a solid fight, the other was bordering on boring, but quickly made up for it with a terrific knockout.

Now, we get to the two main events. Both of them were jaw dropping in their own way. At 9:18 on Showtime Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon were just starting things off. And as expected, it was a war and it did not last long. The fight ended at 9:30 and while it wasn’t Corrales-Castillo, it was more of Hagler-Hearns. 3 rounds of brutal punches thrown, fast, crisp, powerful punches that rocked both fighters. Rios through, was just a bit quicker than Antillon. Twice Antillon loaded up with a right hand, but Rios’ right hand was a bit quicker and straighter and knocked Antillon down twice. He got up both times, but after the 2nd knockdown he was clearly in no condition to fight as he was wobbling around.

The Paul Williams and Erislandy Lara fight started 2 minutes earlier than the Rios-Antillon fight, 9:16, and at 10:07 the fight ended. So, that means if you watched the Rios-Antillon fight first and as soon as that was over you flipped it on HBO and in those 37 minutes there was a polar opposite. From one of the best fights of the year, to the robbery of the year and quite possibly the robbery of the decade. It will take a lot for a high profile fight to beat out Williams-Lara, and quite frankly, hopefully, there will be no fight that beats Williams-Lara. Getting back to the Williams-Lara fight, the crowd booed, and no matter who you were rooting for or where you were watching it, you know that Erislandy Lara won that fight. Lara landed left hand after left hand, and tons of right hooks to the point where the HBO crew of Bob Papa, Max Kellerman, and Roy Jones Jr. wanted to see the corner stop the fight. Judge Al Bennett scored the fight 114-114 a draw. Hilton Whitaker III scored the fight 115-114 for Paul Williams, and Donald Givens scored the fight 116-114 for Paul Williams. I have no clue what was going through their heads watching the fights, or what motives they had, but Paul Williams did not win that fight. This high profile fight ranks up with some of the worst robberies in boxing of all time. I would even rate it higher than Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez, and Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield, because at least, on paper, Whitaker and Lewis ended up with draws. Lara ended up with a loss.

So, in 1 hour and 3 minutes you can show anybody that is interested in the sport of boxing the main events on July 9th, 2011. This day, explains and sums up boxing. July 9th, 2011 is boxing at its best…and boxing at its worse. Gus Johnson said it best “More fights like this and boxing will be back” after the Rios-Antillon fight. And Roy Jones said it best, “This is what’s wrong with boxing” after Lara was clearly robbed against Williams. Unfortunately, boxing is its own worst enemy and decisions like these will never bring boxing back into the mainstream.

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