When Things Get Queasy

When Things Get Queasy – When Orlando Salido and Francisco Vargas went toe-to-toe in a back and forth war on June 4, the pulsating action was getting close to the point where someone might have to be saved from himself. Fights like the “Thrilla in Manila,” Pemberton vs. Sheika, Gatti-Ward I, Alvarado vs. Rios, and Bradley vs. Provodnikov resonated and like those, this one was making everyone just a bit uneasy, if not queasy.

However, the fight that really resonated — at least for me — tracked back to January 1995 and involved “Prince” Charles Williams vs. Merqui “El Corombo” Sosa. It was both unique and historic.

Williams had fought three grueling bouts in an 11-month span between July 1994 and June 1995.  A TD (draw) with the rugged and talented Dominican “El Corombo” was book-ended by a malefic KO loss to James Toney and then a dangerous stoppage to Sosa in a rematch where the Prince was stretchered out of the ring. However, it was the remarkable draw that stands out in the memory of boxing fans.

The Fight

The fight was held at Bally’s Park Place Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. At stake was the vacant NABF light heavyweight title. The highly regarded Sosa was 24-4-1 at the time while The Prince was 36-6-3 coming in. Both guys had fought at the top level; both were primed for war. In fact, Sosa, a come-from-behind type, had lost a razor thin SD to James Toney, and had a point not been deducted in the tenth round, he would have prevailed. He also held a UD over rugged Glen Johnson. For his part, Williams had thrilling TKO wins over Bobby Czyz, a prime Frankie Swindell, and James Kinchen, among others. The Prince was seldom in a dull fight.

Referee Ron Lipton could sense that this would be a torrid battle. Looking back, Lipton wrote:

“In the ring I know this is going to be hot, and Sosa meets Charlie in mid ring for the instructions … I tell them the same thing I tell them all, ‘Respect each other, obey my commands, and let’s keep this strictly professional.’ My words are over and Sosa says growling at him, ‘Aqui, Jungle.’ This is going to be a Jungle now.”

What ensued is still being talked about in boxing circles as the two combatants, both old school types, engaged in one of the most savage fights ever—one in which there was no safe quarter as both men were hurt at different times over the course of the seven rounds .The exchanges of body and head shots had the crowd gasping in amazement. First one shot would hit flush and spray sweat and blood all over the ring; then one in return would do the same. There were few clinches for Referee Ron Lipton to worry about as he kept a close eye on the hellacious mayhem being waged. Neither guy was about to quit though Sosa seemed to be getting the ever-so-slight edge.

Finally, after seven rounds of mind numbing punishment, the ringside doctor Frank B. Doggett and referee Lipton had seen enough. To save both fighters for another day; the fight was stopped. Clearly, neither warrior could continue the mutual bloodletting (though Sosa complained bitterly that he was still ready to go). It was a rare “double knockout,” which officially was ruled a technical draw. Sosa, with blood-soaked trunks, suffered a fractured cheekbone while The Prince sustained an ugly orbital eye cut. “I absolutely stand by the doctor’s decision,” Commissioner Larry Hazzard said. “The health and safety of the fighters is first and foremost. I’m not going to overrule the doctor.” Hazzard lived up to his reputation for being a boxer’s official first and foremost.

Here is the ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4RGYdGUu-s

This YouTube delves into Merqui’s psyche and, in its own way, is a bit uncomfortable to watch as well as he discusses his fight against Roy Jones, Jr in 1996: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-tAPDqHByg

Williams was never the same. After his rematch with “El Corombo,” he had one more fight and called it quits.  Merqui Sosa finished with a 34-9-2 slate going 10-5 after the first Williams fight.

As for Vargas and Salido, hopefully they are able to continue at the top level, but time will tell whether they too absorbed too much punishment.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing.

 

When Things Get Queasy

COMMENTS

-larueboenig :

Scary stuff


-dollar bond :

Great angle to a nifty essay. Thanks for the read, and yes I am getting better.


-Kid Blast :

Great angle to a nifty essay. Thanks for the read, and yes I am getting better.
Great news.


-Kid Blast :

Scary stuff
In the rematch, it was a repeat of the first. Almost non-stop action.Williams was put down by his corner men, given oxygen and put on a stretcher. It was later revealed that he was apparently okay but did suffer a concussion. God only knows what The Prince's brain must look like these days.


-deepwater2 :

Sosa consoled me after I lost in the 95 gloves at Queens Elks right around the time of this fight. I wasn't even a Dominican guy and he told me in broken English to keep boxing despite the loss. It meant a lot. He got a raw deal against Jones. That fight was stopped too early.


-Kid Blast :

Sosa consoled me after I lost in the 95 gloves at Queens Elks right around the time of this fight. I wasn't even a Dominican guy and he told me in broken English to keep boxing despite the loss. It meant a lot. He got a raw deal against Jones. That fight was stopped too early.
He is a very decent human being. Very soulful. And he could sure brawl. Yes, the Jones stoppage was early and played with Sosa's head for along time.


-oubobcat :

We are all familiar with the Gatti-Ward. It is certainly one of my favorite all-time fights. But not my favorite. I have always ranked Sosa-Williams I as one of the great action bouts of the last 20 to 25 years. The pace from the opening bell is absolutely torrid. The fight was fought in the proverbial phone booth. What makes this fight different from many other great action fights is how cleanly they were each landing. I mean fierce clean power shots to the head and body round after round. The punch stats are staggering in that they would throw between 80 to 100 punches each, mostly power shots (jabs were an after thought), and each land right around 50% per round. When I first witnessed the fight, I thought the stoppage was premature. It was probably my own wanting of this great fight to continue. In the many years since and having relived the bout several times, it was very appropriately stopped and I think the appropriate decision rendered. Sosa was coming on strong and ahead but his eye was closing and each had taken so many flush punches. If this had gone another round, it could have gone badly for one or both. If anyone has not seen this fight, I would strongly recommend pulling up the youtube video. Its better than Gatti-Ward I and one of the great action fights really of all time.


-JohnnyTango :

I remember that "war." A nice breakdown/analysis on one hell of a fight!


-Kid Blast :

We are all familiar with the Gatti-Ward. It is certainly one of my favorite all-time fights. But not my favorite. I have always ranked Sosa-Williams I as one of the great action bouts of the last 20 to 25 years. The pace from the opening bell is absolutely torrid. The fight was fought in the proverbial phone booth. What makes this fight different from many other great action fights is how cleanly they were each landing. I mean fierce clean power shots to the head and body round after round. The punch stats are staggering in that they would throw between 80 to 100 punches each, mostly power shots (jabs were an after thought), and each land right around 50% per round. When I first witnessed the fight, I thought the stoppage was premature. It was probably my own wanting of this great fight to continue. In the many years since and having relived the bout several times, it was very appropriately stopped and I think the appropriate decision rendered. Sosa was coming on strong and ahead but his eye was closing and each had taken so many flush punches. If this had gone another round, it could have gone badly for one or both. If anyone has not seen this fight, I would strongly recommend pulling up the youtube video. Its better than Gatti-Ward I and one of the great action fights really of all time.
Yes, some of the video can be taken from the article. It was an insane fight. A battle in the Jungle as Sosa put it.


-Kid Blast :

I remember that "war." A nice breakdown/analysis on one hell of a fight!
Thanks Tango. Always appreciate it when you drop by. Crossover posters are to be cherished like Trump cherishes women


-JohnnyTango :

Always a pleasure, Ted. I like to visit this site when I need my weekly boxing fix.


-Kid Blast :

"For the fighters fortunate enough to have Lipton working their bout tonight, they have already won a lottery as no boxer has ever been seriously injured while he’s on the job".—Brian Radewitz As an aside, Ron Lipton does his work in the ring with the steely professionalism, integrity, fitness, and competence for which he has been known. Ron is one who knows that the referee is not the story. He uses a clam and non-intrusive approach in his job. For Lipton, the key lies in having boxing experience, being in shape, being quick and fluid, and having performed well under pressure while remaining cool”. Primed to make interventions only when he adjudges such an action to be required, he never makes hysterical gesturing of the hands, the inexplicable making of overly emotional faces, or yelling orders to boxers in a gruff or bullying manner. Lipton was inducted on November 13, 2014 into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame. He received the Jose Torres Renaissance Man Lifetime Boxing Award at the Fifth Annual Ring 10 Awards Banquet event-2015, and was the subject of this recent and complimentary article by Brian Radewitz in the Columbia Green Media:
->http://www.thedailymail.net/sports/article_a5826f90-5c4c-52d7-ad03-20f5305fa731.html


-brownsugar :

Ha,...a double knockout, then ruled a technical draw...only in boxing. Nice piece


-Kid Blast :

Ha,...a double knockout, then ruled a technical draw...only in boxing. Nice piece
Thank you. It was unique indeed but the Mutti vs. Murphy fight in Monaco had to be seen to be believed. Here it is. And this is not Hollywood. This is the real thing:
->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Un_ewX7bpw


-stormcentre :

Good write up KB.


-Kid Blast :

Good write up KB.
Thank you Storm


-Tex Hassler :

Larry Hazzard deserves a lot more credit than most boxing people have ever given him. Great article about some great fighters with a lot of heart and guts.


-Kid Blast :

Larry Hazzard deserves a lot more credit than most boxing people have ever given him. Great article about some great fighters with a lot of heart and guts.
Thank you Reverend Hassler. Yes, Hazzard has done great work in and out of the ring and was and is always concerned first and foremost about the boxer's welfare.


-JohnnyTango :

"For the fighters fortunate enough to have Lipton working their bout tonight, they have already won a lottery as no boxer has ever been seriously injured while he?s on the job".?Brian Radewitz As an aside, Ron Lipton does his work in the ring with the steely professionalism, integrity, fitness, and competence for which he has been known. Ron is one who knows that the referee is not the story. He uses a clam and non-intrusive approach in his job. For Lipton, the key lies in having boxing experience, being in shape, being quick and fluid, and having performed well under pressure while remaining cool?. Primed to make interventions only when he adjudges such an action to be required, he never makes hysterical gesturing of the hands, the inexplicable making of overly emotional faces, or yelling orders to boxers in a gruff or bullying manner. Lipton was inducted on November 13, 2014 into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame. He received the Jose Torres Renaissance Man Lifetime Boxing Award at the Fifth Annual Ring 10 Awards Banquet event-2015, and was the subject of this recent and complimentary article by Brian Radewitz in the Columbia Green Media:
->http://www.thedailymail.net/sports/article_a5826f90-5c4c-52d7-ad03-20f5305fa731.html
Who are some of the bad refs, Ted?


-Kid Blast :

Hmm. I'd rather talk about the better ones and let you figure out who I left out. It's a tough job and I don't want to sound like a know-it-all on this, but back in 1990, Bull Benton fought Alex “The San Fernando Hammer” Garcia and Referee Roger Yanez was "on" the job. In the second round, Garcia used his sharp jab to keep an incoming Bull at bay. After two nice body shots, the Hammer stunned the Bull with a left hook and then a right cross and the slaughter was on. An onslaught of between 35 and 40 unanswered shots was launched. Many landed while Benton was out on his feet but pinned in a corner. Some of the shots landed with full force, some landed low; the protracted volley included left hooks, right crosses, uppercuts, hard stuff to the body and groin. Garcia threw everything but the stool at the poor Bull. Announcers Al Albert and Sean O’Grady were shouting for the fight to be stopped as Benton’s head was snapping back violently. Then, as Benton fell face down on the canvas totally unconscious, Yanez began the count before realizing he could have counted to 1,000 as the crowd unloaded on him with boos. It was terrifying to witness. Later, the spin was that the referee was out of position to make a make a timely decision; the reality was that the referee was on Mars. Here is the YouTube and be forewarned, this is not for the weak stomached:
->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wcuwbw71pw “The fight was televised live nationally on USA Cable, and La Mancha employees said their switchboard was deluged with telephone calls in protest of Yanez’s handling of the fight.”—From Times Wire Services dated November 7, 1990. There are others I can discuss but this was the very worst I have ever witnessed.