Felix Verdejo opened up the Pacquiao-Rios pay per view broadcast from the CotaiArena, in Macao, on Sunday morning, or Saturday night in the US, and bettered a Thai fighter named Pet Duannaymukdahan in a lightweight scrap. The scores presented to viewers of the HBO PPV presentation were 60-53, across the board, for the 20-year-old.
The Puerto Rican, hoping to be the next Puerto Rican pugilistic standard bearer, won every round at the Venetian Macao, on the card promoted by Top Rank. The left hook to the body worked well, as did the right to the torso early. Both men clowned some, and played to the crowd in round two. Felix' long jab was effective and bothersome, and he was beating his foe up through three. He went southpaw to land a filthy right hook, the best launch of the night.
The uppercut was in evidence by Felix in the fourth. The Thai boxer gestured to the crowd, in a WWE-ish manner, after the fifth, a round he lost badly. A right uppercut almost dropped the loser, as his mouthpiece started coming out. In the final round, the Thai fighter had a point taken for "excessive blow lows." It didn't matter, I guess, though I can't speak for Verdejos' testes.
Zou Shiming went to 3-0, beat Juan Tozcano (4-1) in a flyweight contest in the second televised bout on the Pacquiao-Rios PPV show from Macao. Marvin Samodio was in Shiming's corner, not Freddie Roach, who was back with Pacquiao in the dressing room. Shiming looked like he was gotten more of a taste of the pro style, as he ripped with a bit more vigor than we've seen before. The 32-year-old two-time gold medal winner for China drew blood under the right eye of the loser in the third. The ref had the doc look at the cut during the round. The doc let it go. Zou kept on whacking away at the Mexican and the ref let it go, to the distaste of the announcers, Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones. Scores were 60-54, 60-54, 60-52.
Andy Ruiz took on Tor Hamer in a heavyweight clash on the third televised fight on the Pacquiao-Rios PPV. We heard Max Kellerman call Ruiz a "special" fighter, and said he was the best American to come along since maybe Chris Byrd. Roy Jones called him "spectacular" before round one. A stiff right by Hamer landed hard and clean on the man with the jelly belly in the first. The kind buildup looked too kind, as Ruiz ate clean shots into round three. But in the third, Ruiz got the jab pumping, started backing Hamer up. Body shots sapped the New Yorker a good deal. He stayed on the stool and didn't come out for the fourth. He did the same against Czar Glazkov three fights ago, after four rounds. He whispered to his trainer, who told the ref no mas. It wouldn't suprise me if some powers that be talked to Hamer, and suggested that this racket isn't for him. No real shame in that. His promoter, Lou DiBella, though wasn't pleased. "By the way, Tor, you are released," he Tweeted.
SPEEDBAG Jim Lampley will present an episode of The Fight Game on Dec. 21, and he will offer a report on boxing's cold war.