Another week, another reason to laud the judges. What a stunning streak theyre on, seven days after they got it right in the Sergio Martinez-Kelly Pavlik rumble. After a tight main event between Cris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Californa on Saturday night, the judges turned in cards of 114-114, 115-113, 117-111, and declared Adamek, decisively not the hometowner, the winner.
The Pole used a brain-based strategy, as he strafed Arreola, and hustled out of range as much as possible, enroute to the win. Adamek got buzzed sveral times, and the Arreola fans thought an edge in power shots would give their guy the nod.
Arreola (age 29; from Riverside, CA; 28-1 with 25 Kos entering) weighed 250 1/2 pounds, while Adamek (age 33; from Poland, living in New Jersey; ex light heavy and cruiserweight champion; 40-1 with 27 KOs entering) was 217.
Tony Crebs, Barry Druxman and Jerry Pasquale were the judges, and Jack Reiss was the referee in this HBO Boxing After Dark feature attraction.
In the first, we saw Adamek would be throwing jabs and following with rights to the soft midsection. A left hook touched Arreola, and then Arreola did the same. Adamek had Arreola looking a little tentative and backing up more than some wouldve expected. In the second, Adamek landed a combo and an Arreola counter scored. Movement worked for Adamek; he popped a jab, stepped left, rinse and repeat. In the third, Adameks gameplan, get off, and get out, was on target. Adamek was buzzed early in the fourth, but he won the last three quarters. In the fifth, Adamek got wobbled with a minute left. Was being the smaller man getting to him? FYI The rubber sole on the bottom of Adameks right boot was coming off, and was taped on after the round. Adameks lack of bigtime pop in this weigh class hurt him by now, as Arreola just didnt fear the Poles launches. Adamek got back in it in the seventh and eighth. Arreola showed frustration when the Pole scooted out of range, instead of tracking him down and bullying him. Harold Lederman saw it even through eight, while TSS-EM had Adamek ahead a few points. Side note: people think Arreola comes in too heavy, his people say yes hes big, but physique is overrated. I think he carries too much weight up top, that hes top heavy, and I think it affects his balance.
In the ninth, once again the absence of an Arreola effective jab stood out. At the end of the round, he pouted because Adamek wasnt standing and trading. Useless, and immature. The game is boxing, not fighting, and Adamek was outboxing Arreola, and he pouted, instead of tweaking his strategy, and upping his aggression. In the 10th, Arreola, his left eye swollen, hurt the Pole with a right. But then he threw it again, and winced. The ref asked him if he was OK, and he nodded yes. We need these last two rounds, Arreolas corner told him. A right tickled the Pole to start the 11th. Adamek came back in the last two thirds, probably stealing it. Arreolas face looked a mess, as a cut dripped on the bridge of his nose. His corner asked him how his hand was, if he could go one more round, and he said yes. In the 12th, Adamek scored some combos, Arreola wanted that home run ball. No dice. Wed rely on the cards. Both men raised their hands, indicating a belief that theyd won. Lederman saw it 116-112, same card as mine.
The stats: 197-631 for Adamek, 127-532 for Arreola. Im faster, Im smarter, and I win, he said in English. He said Arreola never hurt him. He said he wanted a title crack next, but didnt name a target. Arreola said the judges got it right, and admitted the Pole got the better of him. He said he hurt his left hand around the fifth. He was the better fighter tonight and he fought his gameplan to perfection, the loser said.
In the TV opener, Alfredo Perro: Angulo (17-1 entering; from Mexicali, Mexico, living in LA; age 27; 153 3/4, 167 tonight; ) met Colombian Joe Julio (age 25; 153 1/4, 166 tonight; ) in a defense of his WBO interim junior welterweight crown. Word was rampant coming in that Angulo was having waaay too much trouble making weight. He was almost two hours late for the weigh in, and blamed traffic for the tardiness. We would see how much energy he had in his tank, or if he wasnt fibbing when he said making weight was no large feat for him.
In the first, Perro came out warm, and winging it. Julio stayed in motion, moving to his left. He looked to drop a hook on the Mexican. Julios jab didnt have much pop, so Angulo didnt fear stalking the challenger. Angulo clanged with a right cross at the 50 second mark, his best blow to that point. In the third, Julio boxed better. He was first more, and made Angulo back up some. The Colombians confidence was soaring. The middle rounds unfolded much the same way. We wondered if Angulo could or would do a better job cutting off the ring, if Julios energy would lag. Angulo was a step behind much of the time, but its not as if Julios ring generalship was so stellar that hed necessarily be impressing the judges. Neither man impressed in the accuracy department, so who knows what the judges were seeing.
In the seventh, Julio kept the feet moving for the better part of the round. He ate the occasional right, but nothing he couldnt shrug off. In the ninth, a cut formed over Angulos right eye. It came from a punch, for the record. Julio had a slice underneath his right eyebrow, but neither slice looked to be too worrisome. Angulo hustled more in the tenth, advancing quickly at Julio. A right hand in the 11th dropped Julio, and he stood up, but he was wobbly. Ref Raul Caiz waved the bout to a halt. The time of the stoppage was 1:39.
The finishing sequence: Angulo feinted a jab, Julio threw his own slow jab, and Angulo came over the top with a crackerjack right. It landed on the nose, mouth and chin.
Angulo went 167-880, a sad percentage, to Julios 175-762, almost as bad.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?