Commentary

Coleman cuts down Lopez in Round 3

Originally Published: October 4, 2010
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at Panama City
Flyweight
Luis Concepcion TKO1 Denkaosan Kaowichit

Retains an interim flyweight title
Records: Concepcion, 22-1, 17 KOs; Kaowichit, 50-3-1, 20 KOs

Rafael's remark: Concepcion ended the WBA's marathon charity "KO Drugs" card in lightning fast and impressive fashion. He needed barely half of the first round to destroy Thailand's Kaowichit, 34, who held a flyweight belt from late 2008 until losing it to Daiki Kameda via unanimous decision in February. After two tune-up wins, Kaowichit faced Concepcion and was blown out. Concepcion, 24, of Panama, dropped Kaowichit three times before referee Rafael Ramos called it off with Kaowichit on all fours after the third knockdown. Almost as impressive as Concepcion's performance was the back flip he did off the top rope in celebration of his victory. Concepcion, who did damage with both hands, surprisingly got the stoppage against Kaowichit, whose only previous knockout loss came in a 2002 title shot against then-titleholder Eric Morel, who stopped him in the 11th round. Concepcion was making the third defense of his interim belt, which is one of those pointless straps the WBA hands out like Halloween candy. The WBA's titlist is the uninjured and active Kameda, who defended his title last month. But this is the WBA, so there are never enough belts to go around in one division and never enough sanctioning fees to be collected.

Cruiserweight
Guillermo Jones TKO11 Valery Brudov
Scores: 99-91, 98-92 (twice)
Retains a cruiserweight title
Records: Jones, 37-3-2, 29 KOs; Brudov, 38-3, 27 KOs

Rafael's remark: Three strikes and Brudov, 33, of Russia, might be out. In 2006, he lost a lopsided decision to Virgil Hill for a vacant belt in Atlantic City, N.J. In 2007, Firat Arslan took a split decision from him in Hungary in an interim title bout. And now, after a long wait for a mandatory shot, Jones stopped him on cuts at the end of the 11th round.

Jones, 38, was fighting at home in Panama in a rare site. After two unsuccessful shots (loss and a draw) at a junior middleweight title (yes, 154 pounds) in 1998, he moved all the way up to cruiserweight. In a 2002 title shot, he received a dubious draw with then-titlist Johnny Nelson. Jones eventually earned a shot at Arslan and stopped him in the 10th round in September 2008 in Germany. And then Jones disappeared. Between promotional issues, injuries and fights that fell apart, Jones hadn't fought since. Amazingly, the typically horrible WBA did not strip him or even order an interim title bout. So he returned to face Brudov, his long overdue mandatory challenger. Despite appearing in less-than-ideal shape, Jones outworked Brudov throughout the fight. He inflicted bruises on his face and cut him badly around the left eye with his sharp punches, especially a stiff jab. Finally, with the cut getting worse and Brudov having issues seeing, referee Luis Pabon stopped the fight at the end of the 11th round. Cruiserweight has become an interesting division, especially with Germany's Sauerland Event putting together a Super Six-style tournament. Wouldn't it be nice to see Jones enter and fight more than once every two years?

Also on the marathon, 12-fight WBA charity "KO Drugs" card, former heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman (49-7-2, 40 KOs), seeking another title opportunity, won his fourth fight in a row since being crushed by Wladimir Klitschko in a 2008 title fight, disposed of journeyman Marcus McGee (22-18, 11 KOs) in the first round. Also, former junior bantamweight titlist Alexander Muñoz (35-3, 27 KOs) claimed a majority decision against Leopoldo Arrocha (10-14-2, 6 KOs) in a junior featherweight bout. Two judges had it 77-75 while the third had it 76-76.

Saturday at Mashantucket, Conn.
Light heavyweight
Joe Spina KO3 Antwun Echols
Records: Spina, 26-1-2, 18 KOs; Echols, 32-15-4, 28 KOs

Rafael's remark: Everything about this fight stinks and shame on promoter Jimmy Burchfield for making it. Originally, the main event was supposed to pit Spina, 33, of Providence, R.I., against Ray Oliveira, the onetime fringe contender from New Bedford, Mass., who turns 42 on Wednesday. That was one of the most horrific mismatches anyone could ever think of. Oliveira hadn't fought since 2005, had been destroyed in his last two fights by journeyman Emanuel Augustus and a prime Ricky Hatton and had taken tons and tons and tons of punishment during a 15-year pro career in which he compiled a record of 47-11-2 with 22 knockouts. Besides Oliveira's age and the long layoff, he was coming back to fight a light heavyweight when he had spent his entire career fighting as a junior welterweight and welterweight. He would have been fighting some 30 pounds heavier than his career-long weight. Finally, sanity prevailed and a commission doctor had second thoughts and refused to license Oliveira. But the disgrace did not end there. Burchfield's meat men went out and got Echols, another woeful opponent, on a couple of days notice. Echols, 38, of Davenport, Iowa, had already been (unfortunately) scheduled to fight on a club show in Indiana on Saturday night, but instead bailed on a signed contract on a day's notice to take the fight with Spina, which undoubtedly paid a little better. The problem is that Echols clearly should no longer be fighting anymore either. There was a time when he was a dangerous middleweight contender. He dropped two title fights to a prime Bernard Hopkins in 1999 and 2000 and also lost a super middleweight title bout to Anthony Mundine in 2003. But Echols is now nothing more than a punching bag, which Spina showed yet again as he hurt him near the end of the second round and then had him on the ropes when he landed a left hook in the third round, prompting referee Jon Callas to stop it at 49 seconds. It was Echols's third loss in a row. He dropped to a miserable 1-8 in his last nine fights, the one win coming against a fighter who was 0-8-2. Echols is 1-10-3 in his last 14 fights and has one just the one win since 2004. Spina against Oliveira or Echols are both embarrassing examples of boxing at it's disgusting worst.

Saturday at Tokyo
Junior featherweight
Ryol Li Lee W12 Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
Wins a junior featherweight title
Scores: 118-110, 115-114, 115-113
Records: Lee, 17-1-1, 8 KOs; Kratingdaenggym, 41-2, 29 KOs

Rafael's remark: Major upset here as Japan's Lee, 28, a heretofore virtual unknown with only one notable win on his record (a split decision against countryman Hiroyuki Enoki in July 2009) outboxed Thailand's well-regarded Kratingdaenggym, 29, to claim a 122-pound belt. Kratingdaenggym was making his fourth defense and riding a 17-fight winning streak since a decision loss to then-bantamweight titlist Wladimir Sidorenko in 2006. Lee won favor with the judges with his movement and counterpunching over Kratingdaenggym's voluminous, but generally ineffective, punch output. Lee opened a cut over Kratingdaenggym's left eye in the fifth round. Lee claimed Kratingdaenggym's WBA "regular" title as Celestino Caballero is the alphabet organization's so-called "super" titleholder. However, Caballero is now at featherweight and will fight his second consecutive fight in the division in November. So that title figures to be abandoned.

Friday at Santa Ynez, Calif.
Junior welterweight
Tim Coleman TKO3 Patrick Lopez

Records: Coleman, 18-1-1, 5 KOs; Lopez, 20-3, 12 KOs

Rafael's remark: In his previous fight, Coleman, 26, of Baltimore, was awarded a split decision against Mike Arnaoutis in December. It was a terrible decision as most saw Arnaoutis clearly winning the fight. After a long layoff because of promotional issues, Coleman returned to face Lopez, 32, a southpaw and two-time Olympian from Venezuela (2000 and 2004), in the main event on Showtime's "ShoBox." Working with trainer Roger Mayweather for the first time, Coleman dropped Lopez -- who was coming off a mild upset in a third-round knockout of Prenice Brewer in August -- with a right hand in the opening seconds of the second round. Lopez was not hurt and although Coleman roughed him up for parts of the round, Lopez also landed his fair share of shots and appeared to hurt Coleman with a body shot during an exciting exchange. They continued their slugfest early in the third round. The pace slowed as they tried to measure each other and counter punch before Coleman landed a spectacular and sneaky right uppercut that dropped Lopez face first. He got on very shaky legs, turned around and staggered across the ring until crashing into a corner pad as referee David Mendoza tried to catch him before stopping the fight at 2 minutes, 13 seconds. It was a surefire knockout of the year candidate for Coleman.

Lightweight
Archie Ray Marquez KO3 Juan Santiago
Records: Marquez, 10-0, 7 KOs; Santiago, 13-5-1, 8 KOs

Rafael's remark: Marquez, 22, of Albuquerque, N.M., is an exciting prospect and showed why with this nice win in the "ShoBox" opener on Showtime. The former amateur standout was coming off an eight-round decision win against the experienced Derrick Campos in January, also on "ShoBox," but had a break in his boxing schedule after being accused in a domestic violence incident in the spring. Back in the ring, Marquez came to mix it up and he and Santiago went right at each other from the opening bell in a fun fight. Early in the second round, Marquez floored Santiago with a bad low blow. Although the left-handed shot did not look like it was intentional and referee Ray Corona had not issued a warning for any low blows previously, he docked Marquez a point for the foul. Marquez, visibly upset by the deduction, raised his intensity level and continued to rip Santiago with shots. He hammered Santiago with a sustained flurry during the final 30 seconds of the round, finally knocking him down with flush right hand along the ropes with about 10 seconds left in the round. Santiago barely made it to his feet but the round ended, saving him from taking another shot. But Santiago was still shaky when the third began and Marquez could sense it. He cracked him with a right hand as soon as they met in the center of the ring to begin the round and then unleashed roughly 20 more unanswered blows, forcing Corona to finally step in and call it off 11 seconds into the round with a defenseless Santiago pinned on the ropes. Santiago, 25, of Denver, who also lost on "ShoBox" in May, dropped to 2-3 in his last five bouts.

Friday at Corrientes, Argentina
Lightweight
Jorge Barrios W10 Wilson Alcorro
Scores: 100-92, 100-90.5, 99.5-93.5
Records: Barrios, 50-4-1, 35 KOs; Alcorro, 26-13-3, 17 KOs

Rafael's remark: Barrios, a former junior lightweight titlist, returned to the ring for the first time in 11 months to pound out a lopsided decision against Colombia's Alcorro, 36, who is 3-6 in his last nine fights. Barrios picked up his milestone 50th victory and won handily, as expected, in the main event of the Telefutura card. Barrios, 34, of Argentina, dominated. He'll always be slow and always get hit, but he'll beat guys like Alcorro all day long. Alcorro, a late substitute for Humberto Martinez, has a long history of giving a good effort, but losing, to name opponents. Just add Barrios to a list that also includes Alcorro losing to Jorge Solis, Humberto Soto, Nate Campbell, Urbano Antillon and Victor Cayo. Barrios was never in any danger, controlled the entire fight and was better than the Alcorro, who is even slower than Barrios, in every way. Barrios won for the third time in a row since suffering a gruesome 11th-round TKO loss to Rocky Juarez in September 2008 in which his lip and cheek were horribly cut. It was a reasonable comeback for Barrios, whose long layoff stemmed in large part to the aftermath and legal issues he had stemming from a January car accident in which a pregnant woman was killed.

So now to the issue of why were the scores rendered using half points? Glad you asked. According to Golden Boy's Eric Gomez, who represented the company at its card, commission in Argentina is the only commission in the world that allows for the use of half points. Judges are not allowed to score 10-10 rounds as there always has to be a winner. So it allows 10-9.5 rounds if a fighter barely won the round.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.