Thoughts on Johnson and Adamek
Glen Johnson is one of the top five light heavyweights in the world, according to Ring Magazine. Johnson, the ultimate road warrior, fought in his backyard for this fight. He had to chance to revenge a close draw in a fight that he thought he won some six years ago against Daniel Judah.
In the first round, Judah boxed for most of the round but with 20 second left; a Johnson left jab to the body was followed by an overhand right sent to Judah to the corner. From this point, the fight was essentially over. Johnson dominated the fight with vicious body shots and right hands to the head. Through the fight, he often split Judah defenses. The judges gave one round to Judah but that was generous as Judah was contented to stay inside to brawl with a expert body snatcher instead of using his height to fight from the outside.
In the eighth round, a Johnson left hook to the body nearly bend Judah in half but the New York native survived the round and spent the next two rounds subsisting and Johnson cruised on the way home winning on all three cards.
Johnson won the fight and now must wait to see who will fight him. For Johnson, his goal is either to revenge an earlier lost to Bernard Hopkins or a shot at Chad Dawson (provided that Dawson defeats Tarver a second time in May.)
Daniel Judah finished the fight but there was little to say that he would be a contender in the light heavyweight division and this resembled more a sparring session than a real fight and rarely was Judah competitive. Since they last fought, both fighters went into different directions. Judah has become an opponent and Glen Johnson an elite light heavyweight. Johnson is a lesson for other fighters that even late in one career, a fighter can retool and advance his career. Judah was the prospect and Johnson just another good fighter who appear closer to the end of his career than championship contender.
In some ways, Johnson is a roll back to the old days when fighters fought frequently and they fought the best. Johnson did not build his career up fighting the barely living but often took on the better fighters and often in their home turf. This explains why he lost 12 fights for he lost many a decision in close fashion and sometimes he was robbed of a victory.
Meanwhile on SHOBOX, Giovanni Lorenzo was coming off an upset lost to Raul Marquez but on this night, he took a major step toward a title shot. In what was billed as a IBF eliminator, Lorenzo needed this one to not just keep his career on path but to gain that one chance to be a world champion (One should not read much into the fact this was eliminator fight since many times a winner finds themselves waiting for a title shot. Winning a eliminator does not guarantee a fighter a title shot, just another excuse to pay sanctioning fees.)
Lorenzo fought Dionisio Miranda, a Colombia puncher, and spent the first round just boxing. In the second round, Lorenzo put on more pressure on the Colombian and with 40 second left, Miranda nailed Lorenzo with a right. Four second later, Lorenzo returned fire and connected the perfect right. Miranda collapsed and was counted out; Lorenzo is in line for a shot at Arthur Abraham.
In the main event on SHOBOX, Tomasz Adamek defended his Cruiserweight title against Jonathon Banks, the undefeated Detroit fighter. In the opening round, Banks nailed Adamek with a right and sent him back. Banks sent a message that he can punch and in the opening four rounds, Banks had the advantage. A left hook staggered Adamek in the fourth round but in the fifth round, Adamek power took control. He started to press the action and Banks wilted. In the sixth round and seventh round, Adamek continued his assault as he started to hit Banks with body shots that set up solid rights.
Going into the eighth round, the fight was going Adamek’s way and half way through the round; Banks threw a right that connected but within the blink of the eye; Adamek countered with a right and Banks hit the ground. Banks beat the count and Adamek finished the job with a combination that sent Banks’ eye rolling back in his head. Adamek stayed champion.
For Adamek, he is the king of the Cruiserweight and as Steve Farhood observed, this is a division dominated by Europeans with only two Americans in his top ten. After this fight, Banks is not one of them. This division is one of boxing deepest and least known but Adamek showed that for the moment, he is king.