It’s good to have Teddy Atlas back on the air. Oh, yeah, “Friday Night Fights,” too, for sure. But Atlas is one of those rare creatures that can make a stinker smell a bit better, as he did in the season opener of FNF, during the main event.
Dyah Davis and Alfonso Lopez did a dreary waltz at Mallory Square in Key West, Florida, with neither man choosing to sustain an offensive mindset or attack for more than a couple seconds at a time to start off season fifteen of FNF. After ten rounds, Davis got the nod, via unanimous decision, by scores of 100-90, 100-90, 99-91.
Analyst Atlas had it 97-93, Davis (now 21-2-1).
Atlas admitted early on that he was a bit worried when he learned that the Davis-Lopez fight was slated to be the season opener’s mainer. Both men, he said, had a tendency toward clutching, and being survivor types.
Both those worries played out, with the Floridian Davis, the son of the 1976 Olympic gold winner Howard Davis, and the Texan Lopez both treating each other with excess caution. Davis had told people that fans would see a bolder, more aggressive Davis in this outing, and even boasted that he was going by “Dangerous” Dyah now. Maybe next time…
“Don’t hold, don’t hold,” the referee barked repeatedly, and he was repeatedly ignored.
In the eighth, Lopez (now 22-2) landed a solid blow, his best of the affair and the crowd perked up momentarily.
By the ninth, I thought to myself, if we’re going to see all these slow dances, can someone at least play “Stairway To Heaven?”
Joe Tess termed the main event “bland” at the start of the tenth, showing an excess of class and decency. Atlas pointed out that both men picked it up in the tenth, because they saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Davis landed a sharp right at the bell. We’d go to the card.
“Their makeup is to be defensive minded,” Atlas said in closing, while we waited, without bated breath, for the decision.
Denis Douglin got the nod, via split decision, over Steven Martinez in the season opener. The junior middles were busy, with the Jersey fighter Douglin using his movement and hand speed to good effect. Martinez landed more according to CompuBox, but the judges didn’t care. They rewarded Douglin (now 12-1), who is managed by Al Haymon. Martinez, from the Bronx, is now 11-1. It was a treat to see Douglin’s mom Sophya work his corner, and issue sound advice during the event. I had no problem with “The Momma’s Boy” getting the W.
Douglin went 152-555, while Martinez was 195-715, for the record.
SPEEDBAG Next week’s FNF will be in 3D, if you gear is so configured, for the record.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV