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Naysayer’s knocked the wrong King Card
NEW YORK- Immersed in the New York football Giants improbable Super Bowl run the local media here and national media critics slighted “Bring on the Titans” boxing event at Madison Square Garden , but after all was said and done a writer of the most prolific pen ship could not have scripted the dramatics any better.
A courageous crowd of just more than 12,000 shifted through the cutting cold and wind here to make the trek to the world’s most famous arena to witness their heroes in Felix Trinidad and Roy Jones Jr.
Puerto Ricans loudly applauded to the grand entrance of Trinidad who followed the Jones Jr. in the ring walk where the Pensacola native wore a diamond studded crown to the chants of his name.
Had it been a political primary, Trinidad would have been the narrow victor in applause, and that in itself said as much about this fight as anyone need to know.
That Jones Jr. was still wildly popular and that this attraction had garner an enormous appetite for those who couldn’t wait to see it.
And no matter whom you might have been cheering for you could not have been disappointed.
From the opening bell it was Trinidad who displayed the resilience that he’s been known for throughout a career that has made him a five time world champion plodding straight to Jones and fire away left and rights to the body and glancing shots to the glove covered face of Jones. Jr.
In fact for the first two rounds it appeared that Trinidad would do to Jones Jr. what he had done to 42 other opponents, but after round four, the round Jones predicted he would knockout Trinidad, the former eight time champion began to display the hand speed and foot speed that had made him arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world.
A gazing left to the temple of Trinidad would floor the Puerto Rican folk hero in the seventh and he would it again later, but each time Trinidad bounced back to his feet to keep fighting competitively.
On this night he was in there against a Jones Jr. who was physically in the best conditioned he’s been in more than a decade, a man who no matter what he does still is criticized for all of his grandeur.
Jones. Jr. won an impressive decision in artistic fashion and even at 39 he’s as great a fighter as there is on the planet today, and for Trinidad the only problem is that he fought in a weight class (170 pounds) that diminishes his power and speed.
While Jones Jr. and Trinidad proved their worth another former warrior showed the sort of fighting spirit that will undoubtedly lift not only his appeal, but that of the entire sport of boxing.
Andrew Golota, long forgotten as a heavyweight contender and recognized more for his infamous low blows and penchant for quitting in title matches won what is already considered as a fight of the year candidate.
Facing a young fellow Chicagoan in the name of Mike Mollo, Golota was hammered early and often and wobbled more than a few times in his 12 round IBF North American & WBA Fedelatin heavyweight title bout.
As the young Mollo fought fast and furious and managed to close the left eye of the taller Golota, the Polish Golota withstood the flurry to methodically wear down his smaller challenger and won a unanimous decision in a bout that was considered by the fans’ thunderous ovations to be the fight of the night.
It would have had to be spectacular considering what had transpired in the previous bout featuring former IBF super welterweight champion Roman Karmazin Kinshasa, Zaire native Alex Bunema.
Trailing Karmazin on all three judges’ scorecards heading into the 10th round, Bunema needed a knockout to capture the WBC Intercontinental Super Welterweight crown and he delivered in dramatic fashion.
Bunema punished the Russian Karmazin, dropping him twice in the 10th and won by shocking TKO at 1:24 of the round.
Prior to that young undefeated phenom Devon Alexander remained undefeated with a workman like unanimous decision over veteran DeMarcus Corley.
In a special welterweight attraction Edvan Dos Santos Barros fought gallantly before succumbing in a 10 round unanimous decision to polished former welterweight champions Luis Collazo.
Barros lost the fight, but the money he earned from the bout on 11 days notice will allow for him to bring his mother from Brasil to the United States.
In yet another intriguing fight on the undercard, Emanuelle N’wodo scored a thrilling knockout of veteran Ezra Sellers in a scheduled 8 round heavyweight attraction, pummeling Sellers at 2:59 of the second round.
Cuban sensation made quick work of his opponent Kenney Keaton in his pro debut scoring a knockout seconds into the first round.
It was a night to remember for boxing fans and one in which legendary promoter Don King worked indefatigable to promote especially during the final days leading up to the event.
“I am truly impressed with this show. It is one of the greatest shows that I ever put on,” said King who has been boxing’s top promoter for more than four decades.
“Everybody was knocking it, they said the guys were too old. The guy [Bunema] from Zaire comes in and knocks out a former champion of the world in Roman Karmazin, little Deon Alexander shined like new money against “Chop-Chop Corley” and needless to say the heavyweight match was off the chart,” King explained.
“Andrew Golota who I have had so much faith in and continued to bring him back, he beat John Ruiz and he beat Chris Byrd, he lost to Lamon Brewster, but the man is a tremendous fighter and tonight he proved it again. His eyes were closed and he just stood there and fought.”
“This is what you have to do you have to keep on encouraging these guys and all before me he was this that and the other, and then to see the old men as the press was calling them. Roy looked better than the Roy of old and Tito held his own and fought great and valiantly and if he drops down a little bit in weight he can beat anybody,” King elaborated.