Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

Talking all things boxing!

Donaire Dominates, Khan On the Comeback Trail (Again), and Championship Boxing Back On Network Television

Nonito Donaire

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

By. BrotherJR

Dec. 18, 2012

In a weekend that was still buzzing and reacting over Juan Manuel Marquez knockout over Manny Pacquiao, boxing produced another excellent weekend of fights including something that I really enjoyed, a return to championship boxing on network television.  Sure Nonito Donaire scored an emphatic KO, Amir Khan scored was impressive in his comeback bout, and Arthur Abraham continued a bit of a resurgence in his career.  However, as a bit of an old school fight fan who remembers boxing regularly on ABC, CBS, and NBC, to see the Leo Santa Cruz – Alberto Guevara bout on CBS, as part of a CBS and Showtime doubleheader, really had me pumped up.

Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) highlighted this weekends action with a dominant third round knockout of former 4 time division champion Jorge Arce Saturday night in Houston, TX  to retain the WBO Jr. Featherweight title.  Going into this fight, I expected that Arce should win and win rather easily because he’s younger, fresher, bigger, faster, and just the better overall boxer.  And Donaire did just that as he basically dominated Arce (61-7-2, 46 KOs) from the start and the difference in size and speed was evident from jump as the “Filipino Flash” looked a whole division bigger and was a much faster.  After a bit of a slow round 1, Nonito stepped it up in round 2, landing counter left hooks and right hands on Arce.  A right hand/left hook combination produced a knockdown in that round and it seemed that the end was soon to come.  That was indeed the case as a right hand/left uppercut produced a knockdown midway round  followed by a powerful lead left hook that put Arce down and out.  At the conclusion of the bout, Jorge Arce announced his retirement.  So what’s next for Donaire?  At this point, there are two visible and attractive opponents for Donaire, who earned $1 million dollars for his knockout over Arce.  There’s Abner Mares, the WBC Super Bantamweight champion, who has called for a match against Donaire, and Guillermo Rigondeaux, the WBA Champion at Jr. Featherweight.  The boxing public seems to want Donaire fight Mares at this point as that is an attractive bout which would produce a nice payday for both fighters and on paper looks to be a more exciting fight for Donaire.  However, in my opinion Rigondeaux would produce a bigger threat because of the fact that he equals Donaire in terms of speed, boxing ability and defense.  Donaire said that he wants to fight both Mares and Rigondeaux in 2013, lets hope it happens.

Saturday night in Los Angeles Amir Khan (27-3, 19 KOs), fresh off of consecutive losses to Lamont Peterson (12 round decision loss) in December and Danny Garcia (4th round TKO loss) in May, returned to the ring and scored a 10th round stoppage of Carlos Molina.  Khan was slow and a bit nervous early on, but as the rounds went on, turned it loose and really let the shots flow as he overwhelmed Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs) with his skill, speed and class.   Under the guidance of new trainer Virgil Hunter, Khan seemed to be more in control of himself and not to willing to engage in a fight.  Khan also show some better defense which he needs in the future against better opponents because as we all know, Khan’s biggest weakness is his chin.  Overall, a good comeback bout for Khan.  The question is now what’s up next for Khan? In the post fight interview, he said that he would love a rematch against either Peterson or Garcia.  I would love to see it too.

Leo Santa Cruz capped off a fantastic year for him as his 12 round unanimous decision win over Alberto Guevara in Los Angeles Saturday to defend the IBF Bantamweight title in Los Angeles.  This bout was a return of Champion boxing on CBS and was the first title fight on that network since 1997.  Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KOs) seemed sluggish early, probably the product of this being his fifth fight of 2012.  Guervara used his movement and hand speed to build an early lead as Santa Cruz didn’t fight with the aggression that has been we’ve accustomed to seeing.  However, by the middle round, Santa Cruz began to warm up and concentrate on the body of Guevara who started to tire as a result of the body shots and the pace set by the champion.  Santa Cruz was in control down the stretch and won by a fairly comfortable margin.  I hope that this is a return to boxing on network television and Santa Cruz, with his exciting style and his captivating backs story, is just the guy to begin what hopes to be a move of champion boxing back to the networks.  As an old school fan, I can only pray that this is a beginning of a trend.

In other action this past weekend:

– Arthur Abraham continued his resurgence as he defended his WBO Super Middlweight belt with a dominant 8th round of Mehdi Bouadla in Nuremberg, Germany on Saturday.  Abraham dominated from the start and was in total control.

– Jean Pascal made a return to the ring since a May 2011 loss to Bernard Hopkins scored a 10 round win over Aleksy Kuziemski Friday in Montreal.  Pascal hurt his left shoulder in round 4 and fought the rest of the bout with mostly the right hand, yet still knocked down Kuziemski down twice.  It was a gutsy performance by the former Lt. heavyweight Champ.

– Undefeated George Groves of England dominated former Lt. Heavyweight champion Glenn Johnson via unanimous 12 round decision win on Saturday in London.  Johnson, who had retired earlier this year, should had stayed retired as he was shut out by the younger and fresher Groves and it was painful watching Johnson put up no resistance at all.  Groves is a guy to keep an eye on.  Look for him to secure a world title shot at some point in 2013.

The Donaire – Arce bout was the last bout of the career of Larry Merchant.  Merchant, a fixture and a seminal figure on HBO Boxing for over 30 years will definitely be missed.  A man known to pull no punches, Merchant wasn’t always liked (especially by fighters because of his sometimes confrontational style of interviewing) but respected by all.  He was, blunt, honest, and to the point.  In a sense, boxing will not be the same.  Long live the legacy and career of Larry Merchant.

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December 18, 2012 - Posted by | Blog, Boxing | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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