CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Feb. 18, 2012) – Paul Williams dominated Nobuhiro Ishida en route to a 12-round unanimous decision shutout (120-108 three times) in the super welterweight main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. The SHOWTIME telecast was kicked off by a fight that left fans irate at the American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas when Tavoris Cloud defended his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title via split decision over Gabriel Campillo. The scores were 116-110 and 114-112 for Cloud and 115-111 for Campillo.
Williams (41-2, 27 KOs), of Aiken, S.C., stayed busier than Ishida (24-7-2, 9 KOs), of Osaka, Japan, throughout the entire fight, throwing 934 punches to his opponents 671. The consistent performance brought Williams his first convincing victory since three inauspicious outings in a row. His work rate and volume punching proved too much for Ishida.
“It feels real good,” said Williams. “Ishida is a tough fighter but we put in good work and we’re going to make it back to the top of the game.”
Following the telecast’s co-feature, SHOWTIME analyst Al Bernstein said, “How this fight could be scored 116-110 on a judge’s scorecard is beyond comprehension. It’s one of the most egregious decisions I’ve ever seen.” The crowd echoed this sentiment with a cacophony of boos from the 4,599 in attendance following the announcement of the decision for Cloud over Campillo.
Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., started impressively with two knockdowns in the first round. He floored Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs), of Madrid, Spain, with a right hand and then referee Marc Nelson ruled another knockdown when Campillo used the ropes to stay up following another shot by Cloud.
Unfazed by the 10-7 first round, Campillo regained his composure and began to turn the tide. Cloud suffered a cut above his left eye in the fourth round as Campillo surged. The Spanish fighter was more active and accurate than his opponent, landing 148 power punches compared to Cloud’s 71.
By the 11th and 12th rounds, Campillo was beginning to showboat but Cloud had no answers. As the final bell rung, Campillo raised his arms in victory and kept them up until ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced that Cloud had successfully defended his title.
“I feel like I won the fight,” said Cloud. “I knocked him down a few times and was the aggressor throughout. I wanted to put him away but sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t.
“I wanted to stay busy and be aggressive. I did that. He was a busy fighter, and that’s what the crowd here in Corpus Christi responded to. The difference is I was landing the power shots, and that’s what the judges responded to.”
“I’m disappointed,” said Campillo. “This was one of the best fights of my career but this is not the first time it’s happened to me. He won the first but after that I dominated. I won the fight no question.”
The televising of preliminary boxing bouts on SHOWTIME EXTREME started out with a bang as Chris Arreola (34-2, 30 KOs, 1 ND), of Riverside, Calif., stunned Eric Molina (18-2, 14 KOs), of Raymondville, Texas, with a first-round knockout just 30 seconds shy of the bell. Molina caught Arreola early with a right but it only seemed to wake the sleeping giant as Arreola responded with a barrage of punches that ended with a flush right to the temple. Molina hit the canvas and stayed there until the count of ten in the heavyweight bout scheduled for 12 rounds.
“I wasn’t hurt so much but it was a nice clean right hand and the way he came at me, I could see every punch coming,” said Arreola. “I was blocking and blocking and waiting for my punch. Once I swung out of the ropes I knew it was my time to work.
“I’m a commodity, a big Mexican commodity. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to become the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.”
In the opening bout on SHOWTIME EXTREME, Malik Scott (33-0, 11 KOs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Kendrick Releford (22-16-2, 10 KOs) by the scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73.
Justin Williams (4-5-1, 2 KOs) won a surprise upset over Alfonso Lopez (22-3, 17 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision by the scores of 58-55 twice and 57-56. Williams scored a second-round knockdown with a perfectly timed right hand.
The event was presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions. The Williams-Ishida bout was promoted in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions. The Cloud vs. Campillo bout was promoted by Don King Productions in association with Sampson Boxing, LLC.
Here are some post-fight quotes:
And Eric Molina
From Corpus Christi
Tavoris Cloud: “I feel like I won the fight. I knocked him down a few times and was the aggressor throughout. I wanted to put him away but sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t.
“I wanted to stay busy and be aggressive. I did that. He was a busy fighter, and that’s what the crowd here in Corpus Christi responded to. The difference is I was landing the power shots, and that’s what the judges responded to.
“I give Campillo credit. He’s a good fighter and he hung around with me. I think he looked bad in the judges’ eyes for celebrating in the ring thinking he had it won while the fight was still going on. He forgot he was still in a fight.
“When he was throwing the left uppercut, he was catching me with the laces on his wrist, and I think that caused the cuts over my eyes.
“I was never hurt to the point I couldn’t keep coming forward and throwing shots. I closed the distance between us in the later rounds trying to go to the body and stop him from throwing flurries.
He was another bouncy-bouncy guy. He couldn’t deter me from coming forward.”
Eric Molina: “I said before this fight that if I had Arreola hurt I would come right at him, and I did just that. I landed some big right hands. He was in trouble and holding on for dear life, but he caught me. I did my best.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV