The vet hung tough, blocking, slipping and waiting. Marco Antonio Rubio was patient in the main event of ESPN's Friday Night Fights from the Bell Center in Montreal, as he hoped that young gun David Lemieux would tire himself out after a few rounds of winging power shots against a guy who wouldn't succumb early as so many other Lemieux foes had. The fight changed in the fourth, when Lemieux realized that his stiffest blows weren't landing, or if they were, weren't bothering the Mexican hitter. Rubio got his jab cooking, and in the seventh round, showed the youth that while power is a fine attribute to have, experience can come in real handy as well. Rubio dropped Lemieux, and then was working over the on-shaky-legs hometowner when Lemieux' corner halted the scrap. The TKO upset win for Rubio came at 2:36 of the seventh.
Lemieux (25-0 with 24 KOs entering; age 22; from Quebec) was 159, as was Rubio (49-5-1 with 43 KOs entering; age 30; from Mexico). With the win, Rubio gets the winner of the Sebastian Zbik-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr bout.
In the first, Lemieux got cooking midway through the frame. He bore in, looking to drill Rubio high and low. There were some connects, and Rubio also blocked shots pretty well. In the second, Rubio was best in the defensive frame. He looked to be trying to just get into the later rounds, where his experience could stand out against a--he hoped, anyway--fatigued kid. In the third, Rubio did some advancing himself, as Lemieux went lateral more often. Would he start to unravel somewhat if Rubio didn't crumble?
Four was all Lemieux, but the vet Rubio wasn't just eating leather and looking shaky. He blocked a lot and slipped occasionally. In the fifth, Rubio kept on eating, and more shots got to him clean. In round six, Rubio landed a counter right midway through. He was working his jab better than he had previously, and was making Lemieux flee. Another right hand with 30 seconds left also told Lemieux that the vet wouldn't fade.
In the seventh, Rubio scored a knockdown off a right with 50 seconds to go. He was taking clean blows and about to go down when his corner stepped onto the apron, and stopped the bout.
Rubio said he started slow deliberately, and really stepped it up in the sixth. This win goes a ways in helping people forget Rubio's sad outing against Kelly Pavlik in February 2009, in which he folded in nine after eating copious leather.
In the TV opener, Derek Edwards met Adonis Stevenson, in a clash of super middleweights. Stevenson had two knockdowns in the second and a hard, straight left ended the fight in his favor in round three via KO.
Atlas was asked by Kenny if Erik Morales stood a chance against Marcos Maidana. "He's taken a lot of punches and I think in this point of his career it's not going to get better," Atlas said. "I don't think after the great career he's had he should be fighting anymore." Atlas said Maidana can be found, and sometimes starts slow, so just maybe Morales' experience and long arms could find traction.
The analyst weighed in on the Tomasz Adamek-Kevin McBride tussle. Atlas said that Cus D'Amato brought fighters to hypnotist John Halperin back in the day, when Kenny asked him if McBride's time with a hypnotist would help him. The hypnosis is fine, but Atlas didn't like McBride's weight gain--he's now in the 280s--and he picked Adamek to get it done in Jersey.
Dan Rafael also chatted with Kenny about the Golden Boy "Action Heroes" card. He said more and more people have come around to Morales as a semi live dog.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV