|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY February 23, 2013||
by John DiSanto
It was a busy weekend for Philly boxing with three Philadelphia fighters active on three different major boxing cards. However the busy weekend turned out to be a fizzle for Philly fans, as none of the three boxers managed to post an official win. On Friday, Garrett Wilson failed to win his IBF eliminator in Romania, and then on Saturday, Jamaal Davis was out-gunned in Atlantic City, and finally late on Saturday night, Malik Scott was totally jobbed on national TV in Huntington, NY. Add to this washout the fact that K9 Bundrage was dethroned Saturday night in a fight that should have been Gabriel Rosado's title shot, and the City of Brotherly Love suffered one of it's most depressing boxing weekends in a very long time.
WILSON VS. ALEKSEEV - FEBRUARY 22 - GALATI, ROMANIA
The whirlwind schedule got underway on Friday (2/22) when cruiserweight Garrett Wilson took on Alexander Alekseev in a bout to determine the #1 IBF contender and the mandatory challenger for champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
Wilson journeyed all the way to Galati, Romania for this the biggest fight of his career. A win would guarantee him a title shot a little later in 2013. However, Wilson appeared sluggish and passive as southpaw Alekseev jabbed and upper-cutted his way to an easy points victory.
The German-based Russian zipped through the opening rounds, piling up points while Wilson followed him around the ring with his gloves pinned to his temples. Alekseev repeatedly drilled his punches through Garrett's defense to bank round after round.
Alekseev's roll spanned nine rounds before desperation and a ticking clock forced Wilson to step things up. He began fighting in spurts, rushing Alekseev in an attempt to swarm him with punches. However, the brief assaults only won Wilson two of twelve rounds.
Throughout the bout, there were some issues with a slippery canvas logo. Both fighters hit the deck on different occasions after sliding on the wet canvas. It is possible that the slick flooring prevented Wilson from digging in and launching his signature homerun swings, but his biggest problem was a lack of activity.
Alekseev improved his record to 24-2-1 (20 KO) and guaranteed himself a world title crack. Wilson lost for the first time in two and one half years, and returned to the States with a 13-6-1 (7 KO) record.
The loss will not affect Wilson's ability to attract the local boxing crowd who knows him as a far more entertaining battler than he showed in Romania. He has been fighting and winning terrific bouts leading up to this one, and he is likely to resume his status as a popular attraction. However his performance against Alekseev and yet another mark on his bumpy record will perhaps create some problems for him when it comes to landing important bouts.
Up to now, even during his recent winning streak, Wilson had trouble getting attention from TV networks and the contenders above him. This loss will give them reason to ignore Wilson and will send him back to the drawing board to plot his comeback. It could be a slow return, unless perhaps someone with stature figures him to be an easy mark (based on his record and this fight) and gives Garrett a chance to score an upset.
One additional point must be made. On this trip to Europe, there was no mistreatment or robbery, as had happened so many times before to American fighters. As it turned out, the evil conspirators didn't need any help this time.
DAVIS VS. MAJEWSKI - FEBRUARY 23 - ATLANTIC CITY, NJ
In the second big fight of the weekend, Jamaal Davis moved up to middleweight to take on popular Pole Patrick Majewski at Bally's in Atlantic City. Career-wise, Davis' back was against the wall, and himself described this prime opportunity as "must win" for him.
Davis had a terrific first round on Saturday night. He struck first and repeatedly popped Majewski with hard right hands that reddened Patrick's face and suggested that Jamaal would have a big night. By the end of the round, Majewski's left eye and cheek were bright red and threatening to burst open.
However, the fight spun completely around in the second round. Majewski established a strong left jab and mixed in a few stiff rights, while Davis went quiet and stopped throwing punches.
The pair began trading in the third round but it quickly became clear that Majewski was the harder puncher and stronger fighter. Davis threw his shots, but by now Majewski was walking through them.
In the fourth, Davis' fans began chanting "Tyson" in attempt to get his hands moving, but Majewski continued to push Davis around the ring. Around this time, Davis appeared to get frustrated and began to tire.
Jamaal rebounded well in the sixth round, landing strong rights a few times in a row, but Majewski unleashed a combination that slowed Davis back down. Jamaal flurried again toward the end of the round, but Majewski had already bagged it.
This pattern continued until the final bell. Davis stayed in there but was out-worked and out-gunned most of the way. In the last two rounds, both fighters looked tired, but Majewski remained stronger and managed to dish out a lot of punishment in those final six minutes.
After the bout, there was no doubt about who would be named the winner. The official scores were all wide for Majewski. Official judges Debbie Barnes and Emil Conforti scored the fight 99-91 (9-1 in rounds), while Hilton Whittaker had it a round closer at 98-92. My card also totaled 99-91.
In the dressing room, Davis was dejected and visibly upset, feeling that he'd fought a bad fight and let everyone down. The truth is, Davis prepared well for the bout, fought hard - as hard as he could - throughout the ten rounds. Majewski was just too fresh, too big, and too strong for Jamaal. They don't call Majewski the "Machine" for nothing.
Davis may have some problems getting past this defeat. Of course he'll return to the gym and work hard to comeback, but he'll have a lot of convincing to do that he still has a future. Before the fight, he correctly stated that he was in a "must win" situation. So now what? Majewski improved to 21-1, 13 KO. Davis dropped to 14-9-1, 6 KO.
SCOTT VS. GLAZKOV - FEBRUARY 23 - HUNTINGTON, NY
Malik Scott, the Philly-born heavyweight who now fights out of California, entered the ring at 35-0 and yet was still practically unknown to boxing fans. Most observers were pretty confident that the mysterious Scott's impressive record was fairly blown up, but wondered exactly how much boxing talent he actually had. The nationally televised (NBC Sports Network) 10-round main event with rising puncher Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov appeared to be the perfect test to flush out the truth about Scott. Glazkov, fighting for just the third time in the US, was no household name, but his reputation as a puncher at least promised to check Scott's chin, if not much more.
Scott jumped out to a nice start, landing tons of jabs and straight rights. He was big, mobile, and had fast hands. Glazkov followed him, but could not mount a serious offense. About halfway through the fight, it appeared Czar was closing the gap, but Scott continued to box effectively and stayed out of any trouble whatsoever.
The Philadelphian continued to box, kept building his lead, and effectively shut Glazkov down. Round after round went into Scott's column and little by little he proved himself to be a real fighter with plenty of skill.
After the ten rounds, Scott had won at least seven of them. However, the judges returned another confusing NBC Sports Network verdict. Judge John Poturaj scored the fight 98-92 for Scott (8-2 in rounds). Judge John McKaie saw the bout 96-94 for Glazkov (6 rounds to 4). Judge Julie Lederman called the fight a 95-95 (5 to 5) draw. The official decision went into the books as a split decision draw.
I scored the fight 98-92 for Scott. His victory was not a thrill ride, but it was as clear-cut as they come. The fight was the latest in a trio of confounding heavyweight decisions broadcast by the popular "Fight Night" series.
Last June, Eddie Chambers was robbed in his fight against Tomasz Adamek. Then in December Steve Cunningham was deprived an obvious victory in his 12-rounder with Adamek. Although Scott-Glazkov was less significant, the decision itself was as bad as the other two.
It will be interesting to see Scott, now 35-0-1 (12 KO), his next time out. He fought extremely well and proved that he is more than a manufactured prospect. Glazkov, 14-0-1 (10 KO), is still a solid attraction but needs some more seasoning.
Scott did everything he could to turn around this crappy Philly weekend. So he should not be blamed for adding to the fizzle of the past few days. However, the fight itself was just another helping of disappointment for Philadelphia fans.