Guerrero conects with a right hand (pic Tom Casino)
By Jason Pribila: On the eve of Kelly Pavlik’s middleweight title defense against Miguel Espino, ShoBox featured a pair of American fighters that may one day be challenging for that throne. Fernando Guerrero and Shawn Porter each added 4th Round knockouts to their undefeated resumes while displaying styles that will ensure that their progress will be tracked in front of a television audience.
Guerrero (17-0, 14 KOs) has already created a stir in his native Maryland, where he regularly headlines shows in front of thousands of fans. When he entered the ring at the Hinkley Grand Casino in Minnesota, USA; it was his opponent, Jessie Nicklow (19-2-2, 7 KOs) that made him feel at home. Guerrero had his hand raised three of the five times he met his foe in the amateurs. On this night, he would display just how different their styles translated to the professional game.
Perhaps the familiarity of his opponent allowed Guerrero to enter the ring and fight at such a relaxed pace. The southpaw patiently worked behind his jab, and dug right hands to Nicklow’s body. Nicklow, known for being a brawler, showed he could also box early.
Each man had their moments, but Guerrero’s punches had landed with more authority. Nicklow moved up to middleweight for this fight, and did not carry enough power with him to deter Guerrero from executing his game plan.
The action picked up when Nicklow followed the advice of his corner and began to punch with Guerrero, rather than waiting to counter-punch. The “punch when he punches” advice thrilled fans temporarily, but the high risk only rewarded Nicklow with a trip to the canvas courtesy of a Guerrero right hook.
Nicklow rose, but his heart was no match for Guerrero’s skill. After another minute of more take than give, Nicklow’s legs abandoned him, and referee Mark Nelson jumped in at 2:09 of Round 4.
Junior Middleweight prospect, Shawn “Showtime” Porter (12-0, 10 KOs) turned pro in October of 2008 following a stellar amateur career. His opponent Jamar Patterson was also undefeated, but a closer look showed that the inactive Patterson compiled his (8-0, 4 KO) record at junior welterweight. However, few could question Porter’s choice of opponent after he served as the chief sparring partner for reigning pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao.
Unlike Guerrero, Porter’s style is anything but patient. He fights with the energy of a lead-off hitter that is dancing away from first base, getting into the head of the pitcher on the mound. Everyone knows that he is about to take off, but doing something about it is a much tougher task.
Guerrero is only 5’7”, but his quickness looks as if it will be sufficient enough to get inside of taller fighters. He hand and foot speed allowed him to both dictate the pace from the outside, and maneuver to land on the inside.
Patterson hung tough through three rounds despite suffering a cut over his right eye. His lack of head movement made him an easy target, but he did find some success when countering Porter.
Midway through round four Porter unleashed a leaping left hook that would make Joe Frazier proud. Patterson made it to his feet after hitting the canvas hard, but the double-left hook that landed during the follow-up flurry left referee Celestino Ruiz with no choice but to wave off the bout at the 1:54 mark.
There is good news for fight fans eager to see Guerrero and Porter back in the ring. They are both scheduled to co-headline ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on February 19, 2010 in Cleveland, USA.
The opening bout of the telecast featured a battle between undefeated welterweights. Lenard Lane (9-0, 6 KOs) and Said El Harrack (8-0, 3 KOs) entered the ring with almost identical experience as professionals. Once the opening bell rang it seemed as if Harrack was destined to be the first to experience defeat.
Lane started aggressively and was able to score early and often behind his jab, despite being four inches shorter. Lane soon displayed why he was described as a “one-two” puncher, as a left jab followed by a straight right sent Harrack to the canvas. Harrack rose, only to be dropped again by the same two punches.
Harrack did not fare any better when the second round got underway. Again, he had no answer for the Lane right hand, and he now had to deal with a left eye that was beginning to shut. At the 1:38 mark, referee Mark Nelson stepped into stop the bout, even though Harrack was on his feet and fighting back.
I believe Nelson had decided that he was going to stop the bout the next time Harrack took a big shot, and he anticipated that a Lane combination was going to land. The punches did not land, and Nelson was guilty of poor timing, but not necessarily poor judgment.
December 19, 2009