Oscar De La Hoya after his embarrassing loss to Manny Pacquiao told Freddie Roach…” You are right I just can’t pull the trigger anymore”…
We saw a game Bernard Hopkins dominated Kelly Pavlik, Shane Mosley gave Margarito a neat lesson in boxing and Juan Manuel Marquez pulverized the game Juan Diaz in round 9; the world of boxing has turned itself into a home of 30 to 40 something fighters.
Last Saturday’s lightweight explosion featured three hard hitting veterans against young and hungry fighters. Julio Diaz who was to faced the 37 year old Joel Casamayor, tasted defeat on the hands of replacement Rolando Reyes while an injured Casamayor is still recuperating from a training incident was the only level match-up; age wise. Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez and Antonio Pituala whose age average is about 38 years old continues to dream and defies father time as they bested out against Vicente Escobido, Michael Katsidis and Edwin Valero. Carlos Hernandez who battled out former champions like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Erik Morales and Jesus Chavez was the crowd favorite as he stands toe to toe against Vicente Escobido. He was able to score a knock down on the 6th round but failed to score an upset after Escobido scored two knock downs on the first and second round while Hernandez sustained a cut and Vicente was given a nod on three judges to earn him a unanimous decision win against Hernandez. At age 38 Hernandez is still the crowd favorite going 10 rounds against a 27 year old fighter.
Jesus Chavez in the early rounds controlled Michael Katsidis aggression with straight jabs but after suffering from an accidental head butt the young Katsidis who was like Arturo Gatti came charging relentlessly and Chavez corner had to stop the fight in the 7th round scoring a technical knockout for Katsidis. While Edwin Valero made a short workout against hard hitting 39 year old veteran Antonio Pitalua. Valero has the same tenacity and intensity we saw on the younger Manny Pacquiao who was still looking for recognition. Valero’s 25 Knockouts in 25 fights kept his unbeaten record intact and his 100 percent KO ratio with only 6 fighters surviving as far as 6 rounds. Pitalua who started slow felt Valero’s power on a one-two punch combination on the second round sending him to the canvass. The second knockdown was sweet and quick like the first one but Pitalua tried to survive the onslaught only to be greeted with rapid punches to the head and body sending him again for a third knockdown and the referee wasted no time waving his hand signaling a stoppage of the fight.
The young fighters have restored order in boxing. In a brutal sport like boxing it’s hard to fathom fighters who still fight nearing their forties. Injuries could happen and even death with scar tissues and old reflexes showing up.
The lightweight explosion last Saturday featured the new rising stars in boxing hopefully it also features a fitting finale to the old veterans fighting… we all hope so.