|Tony Weeks’ Stoppage Was the Right Call
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing on Doghouse Boxing (March 10, 2014)
Canelo - The Red Devil
Image made by icheehuahua, Doghouse Boxing Inc.
(Image debut with this Article: March 10, 2014)
The boos cascaded from the
rafters of the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena - as did the beer (or at least
we all hope that was just Corona) - as referee Tony Weeks suddenly waved off
the bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo after a uppercut sent
Angulo’s head snapping back at the beginning of the 10th round.
Mexican blood was boiling as the natives felt this fight was halted
prematurely. You can make an argument that perhaps with the toughness and heavy
hands of “El Perro,” he deserved to fight on.
But it says here Weeks
absolutely made the right call. Angulo was a beaten dog who didn't need to take
any more of the steady shellacking he was getting on this night. And the
reality is, after a bit of a rally in a back-and-forth eighth, Alvarez had
clearly reestablished control of the fight in the ninth frame with a series of
hard rights and left hooks downstairs that left Angulo dazed and disoriented.
And while anything can
happen in the ring, all the momentum had shifted back to Alvarez. It seemed
destined that he was on his way to either stopping Angulo or continue the
onslaught he had put on him from the very beginning. Weeks, a veteran referee
who's been around the block, should not be questioned. In fact, he should be
praised. In the wake of what took place last year (with Magomed Abdusalamov and
Franky Leal among others), we are reminded that boxing, for all its
gladiatorial tendencies, should not be a blood sport.
At the time, the scorecards had Alvarez well ahead going into the last three
innings (89-82, twice, and 88-83) and there was no real indication that this
was going to be a reprisal of Julio Cesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor I. The chances
of a miraculous comeback were slim and the probability that Angulo was going to
soak up dozens of more leather-filled volleys from Alvarez was high. Yeah, if
this fight was close, you could argue that Weeks made a terrible decision. The margin
on the cards just reaffirmed what a wise move he made in pulling the plug.
Weeks made a courageous call
by not making this a per-per-execution and understanding that with his
unpopular decision, the bloodthirsty audience would come down on him. It's the
nature of this job to make judgments you know will be derided by the paying
public. He did what Angulo's corner, led by Virgil Hunter, wouldn't (though, fairly, it was threatened) do: save him from
unnecessary damage and give him an opportunity to fight another day.
Photo © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing Inc.
Alvarez, who was showered by debris after the fight as he headed back to the
locker room stated, “The referee is the marshal. He has the orders; he's the
chief. He stopped the fight because he knew what was going on. I was doing my
job. I was so secure in my job and my stamina was there. Of course, I was a
little tired boxing but I was ready to finish the fight and even go 10 more
Naturally, the defeated Angulo had a differing view, stating, “I'm upset
because they should've let the fight go on. I'm frustrated; they should've let
it go to the end. I'm fine and I was fighting. The referee was wrong this time.”
You can empathize with his deep frustration. Angulo, who has absorbed many
personal setbacks outside the ring, is a man who has to make boxing work. He
isn't going to be a doctor or an accountant after this is over. Boxing isn't
just what he does; it's what he is in many ways. Angulo is a prizefighter full
of pride but on this night, he needed to be rescued from himself and perhaps
his own corner that might have had misguided visions of him coming on late and
overtaking Alvarez. And this time around, “Canelo” actually showed a
second-wind in the later rounds.
One day, whether he'll ever state it publicly or now, Angulo will thank Weeks
for making discretion the better part of valor. That fight had gotten bad and
was only getting worse for him. From the very beginning of the fight, Angulo had
been beaten to the punch and hit with hard right crosses and the 23-year-old
established his left hook to the body from the early seconds of the fight. In
fact, he was the dominant fighter from both the perimeter of the ring and on
the inside. “I was in his territory. I was able to go toe-to-toe with him,” said
a satisfied Alvarez.
Angulo has never been a fighter with much quickness but on this night, he was
even slower and more ponderous in his movements than usual. It was almost as if
he were underwater and for much of the night, it seemed “Canelo” could see
Angulo’s slow-motion attacks coming his way and react to them
accordingly. He just looked like an old 31, one who had aged years since his strong outing against Erislandy Lara last
June. On the flipside, Alvarez - who has always had good, functional speed -
just kept beating Angulo to the punch, landing at will with sharp combinations.
While he struggled against the stealthy Floyd Mayweather in September, going
from that type of challenge to what he faced this past weekend in front of the crowd
of 14,610 at the MGM Grand was like facing Sandy Koufax one day and then
playing slow-pitch softball the next.
“Tonight I was the better fighter. I definitely rebounded from the Mayweather
fight with my performance. I'm happy I did my job,” said Alvarez, who
moved to 43-1-1 (31).
At age 23, the future seems very bright for Alvarez, who is already one of the
sport’s legitimate stars. Now, whether he can really carry a pay-per-view event
as the A-side remains to be seen but make no doubt about it; this is a talented
young fighter with good all-around skills and a certain poise inside that ring.
Some may begrudge his marketability and how he hasn't been afraid to capitalize
on it but this kid can fight a bit.
And he's going to be around awhile.
There seems to be a bit of a monotonous quality now to the career of Leo Santa
Cruz, who once again successfully defended his WBC 122-pound title by easily
outpointing Cristian Mijares over 12 one-sided rounds. Santa Cruz has beaten a
litany of aged fighters whose best days are in their rearview mirrors or
no-hopers who were there essentially to pad his record. Santa Cruz is a
crowd-pleasing fighter whose popularity has grown the past couple of years but
you get the sense now that it's time for him to face a marquee name in his
division who's in his physical prime.
And that could come in the form of Carl Frampton, the highly regarded and
undefeated 17-0 (12) super bantamweight from the U.K.
“It's up to my manager, my promoter but I want him next,” said Santa Cruz, when
asked about this possibility. “This is a dream come true.”
With his victory over Nihito Arakawa on Saturday night, Jorge Linares is now in
line to face Omar Figueroa for the WBC interim lightweight title...Erislandy
Lara will defend his WBA interim junior middleweight title against Ishe Smith
on May 2nd in Las Vegas...Abner Mares says he is having second
thoughts on moving up to 130 pounds and facing Takashi Miura for the WBC title
on the Mayweather-Marcos Maidana card...Who has a higher NBA upside, Jabari
Parker or Andrew Wiggins?...We're not too far away from the next season of “Game
of Thrones,” right?...So is Russell Westbrook the only guy who can consistently
stop Kevin Durant from scoring?…
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