Monday, May 21, 2012

Violent Meditation - Mikkel Kessler One Shots Allan Green, Karim Mayfield Dumps Raymond Serrano & More

Photo: Wende

Lamont Peterson testing positive for a banned substance a few weeks ago and its subsequent fallout left a gaping hole in this past weekend's boxing schedule, and needless to say there didn't seem to be much to look forward to. But we survived, and maybe had a few laughs too. 

The only even remotely Earth-shattering thing that went down was Mikkel Kessler's borderline frightening demolition of Allan Green, but some other good stuff too, and mostly concerning fighters defending undefeated records. 

For instance, veritable skyscraper who just happens to double as a British heavyweight David Price stayed unbeaten with a noteworthy stoppage of his own, and prospect Karim Mayfield may have graduated from prospect to contender with a booming right hand and some bad calls from his opponent's corner and the ref. 

Despite nothing big on U.S. television, there was actually entertaining boxing on, and it's not far out of reach of you're willing to dig a bit.  



Fans in Copenhagen witnessed what will likely be on the ballot for Knockout of the Year (video), as super middleweight Mikkel Kessler notched his belt and improved his record to 45-2 (34 KO) with a single whipping left hook to the kisser. 

Curiously, Green began assertively behind a stinging jab and backed Kessler up from jump, and even countered Kessler's usually excellent stick with some overhand rights that caught the Dane off guard -- an Allan Green we're not that accustomed to seeing against someone good. With a little less than a minute remaining in the 1st, Green countered a sluggish jab with a blast of a right hand that clearly wobbled Kessler, who couldn't stay upright in the face of a few more bangs from the Oklahoma native. 

A long-ish count helped Kessler recover, and Green's overly patient follow up led to him eating a hard left hook before the bell rang to end the opening stanza. 

Green continued to jab with authority in round 2, keeping Kessler from finding his range and forcing him to lunge with some wide hooks from a bit too far out, though one appeared to barely connect. A slight adjustment of footwork in round 3 from Kessler had him touching Green much more early on and Green went defensive, soaking up a bunch of uppercuts and hooks before looking to attack himself. But the shift in momentum was alive.

Showing no obvious effects of being swarmed in the 3rd, Green came out for the 4th and pumped a jab as usual until attempting a left hook that hung out long enough for Kessler to beat him with his own deranged hook which landed about as flush as possible and thumped Green out cold. Likely amplifying any possible damage, the back of Green's head thwacked the canvas as he hit. 

In hindsight, the end result probably shouldn't have been all that surprising considering Green's inconsistency and inability to beat anyone on a real world class level, but the knockout itself was sudden and shocking. Plus Green didn't do as badly before the left hand leveler as most had expected. Nonetheless, his record took a dive to 31-4 (21 KO). 

Whether Mikkel Kessler decides to stay at 168 or 175 lbs., where this bout was contracted, there are fights for him, and especially when he's able to sell in Denmark the way he does. If he can stay healthy and get slightly more active, he should be very viable. He adjusted well to Green's jab in the 3rd and found a way to use his feet instead of lunging in, which paid off in spades at the finish, and points to a slight hope that he's learned from the damaging loss to Andre Ward, and close win over Carl Froch. He may decide to relax close to home and get paid to fight the fringe guys for good money though. 

Allan Green is 2-3 in his last five, though it's fair to note the losses have come against pretty damn good fighters. However, they're getting increasingly brutal, and not in his favor. Green isn't elite, and bad things are happening to him when he steps in with someone who is. This one should put him out of commission for a spell. 


For my full ESPN2 Friday Night Fights recap, go here.

Long story short, it was an enjoyable fight card, but what stuck out was Serrano's inept cornermen ignoring him between rounds, unable to decide whether or not the fight should have been stopped. It should have been. But wasn't. Good showing for Mayfield regardless, who may find himself ranked in the top 10 by someone at 140 lbs. soon. 

On the undercard, middleweight Jason Escalera fought to a draw with Nick Brinson, and Anthony Jones floored Kevin Rooney, Jr. twice (albeit only once legitimately) en route to a unanimous decision win, also at middleweight. 


Though not that familiar to American fight fans, this 6'8" bayonet of a heavyweight, David Price, 13-0 (11 KO), showed a very interesting mix of hand speed, body punching and free swinging in decking Sam Sexton thrice en route to a rough 4th round knockout (video)

For a more comprehensive report, check out this one from Andrew Harrison at TQBR.

Realistically, Sexton falls to 15-3 (6 KO), and all of his losses are by stoppage. To be fair, the other two were at the hands of Dereck Chisora, who's making a bit of a name for himself lately and should be taking on David Haye in July, sanctioning bodies be damned. But Sexton did a whole lot of faking the funk by taunting and oddly applauding himself for getting knocked down. He didn't appear very hurt by the first two knockdowns, but the final one, courtesy of a kind of hooking right hand around his guard, had him all but out completely, unable to offer up any snarky gestures. 

If only the American heavyweight scene were half as interesting as that of the U.K. and the rest of Europe.


Cuban defector and former amateur standout Odlanier Solis improved his ledger to 18-1 (12 KO) with a lumbering 12 round unanimous decision (video) over Konstantin Airich, whose record now stands at 23-6-1 (17 KO). 

The large Cuban mostly out-talented and out-skilled Airich, who just couldn't seem to put much together over the course of the bout, settling for probing with his jab and looking for right hand openings that were never really there. 

Likely the most action-packed sequence occurred in round 3 when Solis clubbed Airich to the ear and temple with overhand rights against the ropes, but the big man kept falling in and disallowing himself the proper range to really finish things. 

By the later rounds, Solis was breathing heavily and coughing up phlegm in his corner, though obviously in complete control, as evidenced by Airich's swollen upper brow and marked-up forehead. Not much changed though, and Konstantin Airich ambled backwards behind a tentative jab and throwaway right hands, and Solis continued to press halfheartedly. 

Scores of 118-110 and 119-109 twice were turned in, and were accurate. Airich appeared uninspired, to put it kindly, and he stayed true to form in being unable to do much with someone who isn't on the club circuit. 

Jake Donovan reported on Solis' post-fight comments, the standout being "...I want to fight more regularly to get back in the best possible shape." And here's hoping he really believes that and really wants more activity, because at 31-years-old, he still doesn't have 20 pro bouts under his belt -- not that they'd fit under it with all the extra weight anyways. Scaling in at 267 1/2 lbs. isn't going to do any favors for his knee, which he had almost completely reconstructed surgically, accounting for his year-plus layoff. As for his performance itself, it was frustrating. Solis flashes brilliance at times, throwing a really good left hook-right hand combination and a nice lead right, even digging to the body from time to time, which tends to be a rarity at heavyweight these days. But he lays up a lot, as if he's bored. 

Solis deserves a bit of a reprieve, though. Bouncing back from a long layoff, a knee injury and a KO loss to the elder Klitschko brother isn't easy, and he got the win. But he has to really impress at some point if he wants to keep anyone's attention. 


Headlining the Telefutura card that stuffed Solis vs. Airich in its undercard pocket was junior lightweight Jerry Belmontes, who scored a unanimous decision over Ramesis Gil and rose to 16-0 (5 KO). Featherweight Oscar Tovar also improved his record to open the broadcast, stopping Gilbert Cancino in the 2nd round and moving his record to 5-1 (3 KO). 

On Telemundo, nephew of Lupe Pintor, Mauricio Pintor, lost his right to be called undefeated when a right hand in round 1 sat him down, and some headbutts, rabbit punches and a cut over Pintor's eye later, junior welterweight Ivan Cano emerged victorious by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-90, all his way. Cano's record is now 21-4 (14 KO), while Pintor's is 17-1-1 (11 KO). 


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