Give Showtime points for trying. But the execution, well, were not sure who gave them their scouting reports when they agreed to feature John ODonnell and Tyson Fury on ShoBox at the York Hall in London, England. Neither man had the look of a future star, or, frankly, even a solid contender, though it can be said they have room to grow, as they are both young hitters.
ODonnell was graced with the spotlight, and he had no trouble in getting the better of vet Terrance Cauthen. After 12 rounds, ref-judge Ken Curtis saw it 118-112, for ODonnell.
Cauthen (age 34; from New Jersey; a 1996 Olympic bronze medallist; 35-6-2 entering) weighed 147.1 pounds, while ODonnell (23-1 entering with 11 KOs; from London; age 24; born in Ireland) was 146.9 pounds.
In the first, Cauthen, a pure boxer, backed up. He ate body shots from the fellow lefty. First assessment of ODonnell--he puts his noggin on a platter and one day will absorb the worlds most severe uppercut. There is a fine line between tucking ones chin, and serving it up for a well placed uppercut. O didnt look like he had any fear of Cauthen after he tasted his power early. The right hook worked for Cauthen, but could he put enough mustard on it to make it meaningful? After some nifty early body work, O got away from it. But he came back to it in the sixth.
By the eighth, my takeaway was this: both men have a fatal flaw as fighters...their lack of power. Unless Cauthen decided to smuggle a roll of quarters into his mitt, it looked like hed not be able to turn the tide in the tenth. O fought smart to the close. Wed hear the refs take. The verdict: ODonnells night.
My take: ODonnell is a top 30 type, wont be able to learn power, and will likely stay stuck in local hero status. Cauthen sadly will not ever secure that first title shot, one suspects. A capable pugilist, but not one who had the goods to break through.
Heavyweight Tyson Fury (age 22; age 6-9 inches; 11-0 entering, with 9 KOs; born in Ireland, living in Manchester, England; 263 pounds) took out lefty Rich Power (age 30; 6-6; 12-0 entering, with 9 KOs; 221 1/2 pounds; living in Michigan), who took the match on a weeks notice when Donnell Holmes pulled out.* In the first, looked to me like George Kimballs take on this Tyson was spot on. This is not the present or the future of the heavyweight division. Maybe the next gen Kevin McBride? Power showed a straight left early, which Fury dodged for the most part. The big lug hurled a ponderous right, which looked like maybe it would hit the mark after a few rounds, and the green(er) Power gassed out some.
Furys jab isnt Holmes-ian, but weve seen worse. Its longer than Mayweathers rap sheet, for one thing. Body shots tickled Power in the fourth, and he went back to his corner huffing hard. He hurt his right hand in the third, but he still plugged forward in the fifth, trying to back up the giant. Fatigue made a fool of Power, or at least made him easier to hit, and it looked like wed not see the eighth and final round. But what was this? Would Power be the victor? An uppercut in the sixth, a counter left, knocked Furys mouthpiece out, but his knees didnt even buckle. Fury went southie, and ripped off combos as Power laid on the ropes. He finished the seventh, and bent over in center ring, chewing the air for extra morsels of oxygen. Fury sought to end it before the final bell. He was sloppy, however, and Power had enough energy left to slip and move.
Wed hear a decision, which came from the ref. He saw it 80-72, for Fury. Power did well to go the distance. Fury will do well to leave a larger mark on the pro game than McBride did.
*--Holmes explains the pullout..............I didnt pull out of nothing, he told me on Facebook. I lost 30 lbs in the last 4 months to fight for the NABA Cruiserweight title one week ago, Im 192 lbs now, and still was going to take that fight on a weeks notice but my body hasnt leveled off and my weight still dropping. So I would have been a fool to go get pushed around because Im so light now. I will fight that bum in a couple months once my weight is back up. I worked like crazy to drop that 30 lbs then the Cruiserweight fight fell apart. Donnell Holmes never pulls out of a fight.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?