Last weekend displayed some of the sport’s most memorable moments and highlights for the month of August 2011.
Agbeko-Mares II should be in the works
Depending on how boxing fans see it, newly crowned IBF bantamweight king Abner Mares (22-0-1, 13 KOs) clearly won over Joseph Agebeko (28-3, 22 KOs) of Ghana. Agbeko was overwhelmed in the early rounds and Mares was able to capitalize on that and build an early lead.
But the repeated low blows Mares landed several times during the 12-round championship match that went unnoticed and the deductions that should have been called by referee Russell Mora but weren’t easily marred the fight’s results.
Whether Mares goes for unified WBC/WBO bantamweight champ Nonito Donaire next or not, a second fight with Agbeko is something that should happen. After a gutsy performance despite the shots landing below the belt line and ridiculous officiating by Mora, Agbeko truly deserves a rematch.
Tua’s heavyweight title dream squashed
One of the heaviest heavyweight punchers in the last decade, David Tua (52-4-2, 43 KOs) will never become a world champion. Suffering his fourth career loss via unanimous decision to American Monte Barrett (35-9-2, 20 KOs), there is nothing left for Tua to accomplish, because he no longer can. A former world title challenger, Tua has faced several big names during his peak, including matches with the legendary Lennox Lewis, former heavyweight champions Michael Moorer, Hasim Rahman, and Chris Byrd.
Tua’s second encounter with Barrett did not evoke any memories of the Samoan’s early definitive wins. In contrast, his patented bob-and-weave movement which enabled him to elude shots from his taller, bigger opponents is almost non-existent. Barrett’s jab was having a field day with Tua’s head, making the hard-hitting Samoan look his age while Barrett looked like Lennox Lewis.
Tua rarely let his hands go and when he did, he failed to connect.
But late in the fight, Tua managed to muster up whatever fight left in him and rallied to make the final three rounds his own, with Barrett clearly looked like he was ready to go. Somehow, the American managed to survive Tua’s assault and scored enough points to grab the win despite going down in the dying seconds of the last round.
Any chances of scoring a wold title shot is now gone for Tua, who held multiple regional championships during his 19-year career as a professional.
No heavyweight savior
Backyard brawler turned YouTube sensation turned MMA fighter Kevin Ferguson, better known as Kimbo Slice (1-0, 1 KO), finally made his squared circle debut against 39-year old James Wade (0-2) last Saturday. Slice already expressed interest in shifting careers and turn to a prizefighter after dropping his last MMA bout, a 2nd round TKO loss to Matt Mitrione at UFC 113. Ironically, it was also Slice’s first PPV event as well as his official UFC heavyweight debut.
It took Slice about 10 seconds to brutalize and knock Wade out in his first boxing match. But while Slice and his crew is now looking forward to his next match, he is no savior of the heavyweight division. At 37 years old, there is simply no room or time for the former street fighter to make a solid name for himself as a professional boxer.
The guy can throw a mean punch and make the heavyweight exciting for as long as he is around. But it is a stretch to even consider him to go and scrape the top tier of his division.
Photo credits: Ghana Village