By: William Holmes
Orlando, Florida was the host for two of the fights on HBO’s triple header. Top Rank Promotions was the lead promoter and featured a fast rising future title contender and a battle tested veteran looking for another shot at glory.
The other bout was between Wladimir Klitschko (60-3) and Alexander Povetkin (26-0) for the IBF, WBO, and WBA Heavyweight titles in Moscow, Russia. Klitschko’s rank amongst the mythical “pound for pound” list has been the subject of much debate, but Wladimir did not do much to disprove his detractors.
Klitschko clinched constantly throughout the bout. Klitschko did connect with a hook in the second and scored a knockdown, but he probably should have been deducted a point in the early on in the fight for constantly leaning and holding onto Povetkin.
Povetkin did give it all he had and constantly charged in but his was not able to land anything of note on Klitschko. Klitschko had three more knockdowns in the seventh round, but they looked to have been the result of a pushes and not punches.
Povetkin’s face was badly bruised by the end of the fight and the scorecards showed Klitschko’s dominance. The final scores were 119-104 on all three cards.
Terence Crawford (21-0) and Andrey Klimov (16-0)‘s fight in the lightweight division was the first televised bout of the Orlando, Florida portion of the card.
Both fighters started off in the orthodox stance and Crawford showed the clear advantage in hand speed. Crawford found his range early and connected with three quick jabs and some solid straight right hands. Crawford ended the round with some quick combinations.
Crawford switched to a southpaw stance in the second round and wasn’t as aggressive as he was in the first round. Some fans started too boo the lack of action in the second. Crawford continued to dominate Klimov in the third and fourth rounds and was told by his corner to walk his opponent down in fourth. Klimov was doing a good job with his head movement which frustrated Crawford at times, but Klimov was not able to land any punches.
Crawford had a strong seventh round, and appeared to have Klimov hurt near the end of the round. Klimov’s face was showing the effects of Crawford’s hand speed in the eighth round. Klimov was scolded by his corner for fighting like a “f’ing” coward before the ninth and even the announcing crew was ripping apart the lack of action in the ring.
Klimov clearly needed a knockout to win in the last round but he was unable to do so. The final scores were 100-90 on all three scorecards.
The junior middleweight bout between Miguel Cotto (37-4) and Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3) was the main event of the night. Devlin Rodriguez was the first man to come into the ring and Miguel Cotto came out second with no walk out music.
Fans who were disappointed with the lack of action in the first two fights were surely pleased with the excitement in the ring for the main event.
The crowd was loud and boisterous at the opening bell and Cotto was caught with a few jabs from Rodriguez early on, but once Cotto started landing his body shots, his confidence went through the roof. Cotto pounded the body of Rodriguez from the first round on and it created up some openings upstairs.
Cotto came out in the second round with a quick body/head combination and landed a hard left hook upstairs. Cotto later connected with two straight hooks to the body and Rodriguez visibly winced in pain. Cotto ended the round with a strong combination that left Rodriguez squinting and shaking his head in disbelief.
Cotto came out aggressively for the third round and knocked Rodriguez down with a combination that started with a vicious left hook. Rodriguez fell to the ground and the referee immediately stopped the fight.
Miguel Cotto wins by stoppage at 2:42 of the third round. Cotto’s work with Freddie Roach paid off tonight.