Sechew Powell had designs on making Deandre Latimore pay for stopping him in their first encounter, back in 2008. Powell told TSS he'd be looking to make the man pay, in violent fashion. A stoppage, he said, was to be expected. Instead, Powell did what he does best, which is being a technically proficient boxer, who uses movement, and counters, and a constant attention to detail, to get the win. This go round, Powell (No. 7 IBF) made Latimore (No. 6 IBF) look like a lesser grade pugilist, and after twelve rounds, the judges confirmed this in the main event of Friday Night Fights on ESPN at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. They scored it 117-111 (Powell), 114-114, 116-112, for Powell, who now awaits a crack at the winner of the forthcoming tiff between IBF junior middleweight champ Cory Spinks and K9 Bundrage.
Powell (25-2 coming in; 152 pounds; age 30; living in Brooklyn) entered their first go as the No. 1 contender, and admitted he was looking past Latimore (20-2 entering; 153 3/4; age 24; living in MIssouri) in their first tussle, to his impending title shot.
In the 2008 encounter, Latimore forced a TKO stoppage. He lost a SD12 to Cory Spinks in a title crack since then. Powell came into the ring off a 14 month hiatus. Several fights were scheduled and then cancelled in that span, so he's had to work past frustration and stay focused.
In the first, the two lefties started strong. Powell was sporting the Mohawk, but he wasn't in madman mode. He stayed smart, used the jabbed, slipped smartly, and didn't fall prey to showing Latimore who's the man early on. In the second, Powell fought well in retreat. He'd be first sometimes, but more often Latimore was the forward mover. FYI Powell's trainer Angel Rivero was away, with his wife giving birth, so Mark Vaz worked the corner, with Peter Manfredo Jr. The crowd perked up whenever Powell would get stuck on the ropes or in a corner, because Latimore has more of a bomber mentality, and they senses the New Yorker was in trouble. But Powell was working smart. His sharp single jabs bothered Latimore, and one could see him winning the first three rounds. Or you could see Latimore up 3-0, if the judges were all about forward movement. In the fourth, Powell buzzed Latimore. A left cross knocked Latimore's mouthpiece out. Latimore scored mightily when he had Powell on the ropes, sending signal that he didn't want the tide to turn. Powell mostly moved right, looking to steer clear of the opponent's right hook.
In the fifth, Powell worked the body, both sides. He'd done so, sneakily, all the way through. Would that work down the line, help him get Latimore's hands down? Latimore wasn't as effective as he could've been. He plodded after Powell, and Powell moved where and when he wanted. Latimore's right eye was cut in the sixth. Powell was in pretty complete control; could Latimore turn it up, get into another gear? In the seventh, that right eye was puffed more, and Powell was stinging it with lefts. Latimore didn't vary his pace as he advanced upon Powell; he marched forward, and was easy for Powell to time. In the eighth, the eye looked even worse. In round nine, Powell didn't change his MO much. He didn't get overexcited, and look to leverage that eye too much. In the tenth, Powell's stamina tank was in good shape. He ate one in the 11th, though, as he laid his head to the left side; would we see a late Latimore surge? At 1:30, Powell got the tiniest bit rocked again, once again from a left cross. He sped up his movement some, and we went to the 12th. In the last round, Powell looked to clinch a couple times. Latimore, his right eye shut, surged forward, knowing he needed a stoppage. But he didn't get that, and we went to the cards.
In the TV opener, Edwin Rodriguez (age 24; 1657 1/4 pounds) went to 14-0, with a stoppage win over George Armenta (13-6; age 32; 166). The DR born hitter lives in Mass., while Armenta fights out of Maryland. ERod has a nasty left hook, which he showed in the first. His right counter/left to the body sent Armenta down, and he couldn't rise. The time of the stop was 47 seconds into round one.
Brian Kenny worked the studio. He asked Teddy Atlas about the Pacquiao-Clottey fight. Atlas said Clottey's temperament resulted in his performance. He cited a lack of confidence in the Ghanian made it an easy night for Pacman. He called the outing a "heavy bag exhibition." The analyst/trainer said if Mayweather meets Manny, he, meaning Floyd, could "have a very good night" because Clottey managed to connect on Manny when he threw.
Kenny chatted with ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. He said that win or lose in the political arena, Manny will likely fight in November, according to Top Rank. Who will he fight? Edwin Valero, Antonio Margarito and another fight with Juan Manuel Marquez could go down, if a bout with the Mayweather-Mosley winner can't be hashed.
We saw Teddy Atlas' kid Alex Povetkin in action; he took out Javier Mora last week, and he's now awaiting a shot against Wladimir Klitschko. Atlas wants more jab from the heavyweight Povetkin, and wants to have his guy make a man pay after making him miss.
Atlas tossed out kind words and a call to prayers for promoter Lorraine Chargin, who is battling cancer. Please make sure you read Ron Borges' piece on Lorraine, TSS U. It's up now.
FYI The Steve Cunning/Matt Godfrey will clash that was on, then off, is now on again, and will headline FNF next week. The Cory Spinks-K9 Bundrage fight which was on that card is not going to be part of the FNF broadcast.
Eddie Chambers took the time to do a call in with Kenny. It bodes well, to me, that he's not so tight that he blows off an opportunity to tell people that he'll be hard to handle for Wladimir Klitschko in their fight later today. He admitted that he's in awe of the whole scene but not so much so that he'll freeze up. We shall see..
Atlas said he does think Chambers has a chance to upend Wlad. Not a great chance, but nevertheless..
Prenice Brewer (age 22; 142 pounds; from Ohio) went to 15-0-1 with a UD8 over 18-9-1 Chris Fernandez (age 34; 142 1/4; from Utah). Brewer has fast hands, usually gauges distance well, but sometimes slaps. He ate some along the way, as Fernandez occasionally timed the flurries, and scored. Brewer is still trying to find a pro style, but has a tendency to shoeshine. The judges saw it 58-56, 59-55, 59-55, Brewer.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV