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14 NOVEMBER 2018


Johnson Coasts By Judah On Friday Night Fights

By Michael Norby: Former light heavyweight world champion Glen Johnson settled one of his many old scores on Friday night after he thoroughly out-classed and soundly defeated New Yorker Daniel Judah through ten rounds at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA.

Both men fought to a controversial draw in a 2003 contest that many thought Johnson 49-12-2 (33) had won. What’s new? Tonight, however, with revenge on his mind and bigger things on the horizon, the 40-year-old former world champion dropped his opponent in the opening round before steamrolling his way past Judah 23-4-3 (10) to win by a wide margin.

Both men fought at a brisk pace from the outset and the opening round was a tough frame to score with Judah successful at range whilst Johnson typically connected in bunches throughout. In the final seconds, however, the round took a dramatic turn after a blistering right hand by Johnson connected perfectly and sent the New Yorker to the deck.

That moment of success was all that Johnson needed to throttle up and he surged forward in pursuit of his opponent from that point forward. The Jamaican dominated the second round with scoring combinations and knockout seeking straight right hands that snapped Judah’s head back in a clearly one sided round.

Judah had recovered from the knockdown but he was totally outgunned in the third and fourth as Johnson pressed forward throwing both fists consistently. The American southpaw responded with single, well placed shots to the body but Johnson was relentless and would not afford Judah a moments rest – wearing his man down and forcing him to fight on the inside for long periods of time.

Johnson’s activity level remained high in the middle rounds and he consistently forced Judah into retreat before unleashing digging hooks downstairs and hard combinations to the head. Judah responded somewhat early in the sixth round as he forced distance and threw his jab but by the end of the same frame he was again soaking up a steady diet of punches and looking more than a few fathoms out of his depth.

The Jamaican furthered his command in the seventh and eighth rounds with a steady, powerful assault and he visibly wounded Judah to the body a number of times – most notably in the seventh when a hellacious left hook landed perfectly, hurt Judah and led to a sustained attack that further disheartened the 31-year-old.

Indeed, in the final rounds, Judah fought like he was simply happy to go ten rounds with Glen Johnson. A clash of heads momentarily halted the action in the tenth and final frame and after the restart Johnson began to put even more venom on his punches but was unable to find Judah with anything explosive enough to score a stoppage.

Scores: 99-89; 99-90; 99-90

Undercard Report

Fighting for the first time outside of his native Mexico, hitherto undefeated welterweight prospect Norberto Gonzalez found his maiden banana peel in the form of Antwoine Smith as the American picked up a unanimous decision victory in a hard fought eight rounder.

Gonzalez 16-1 (12) was the busier and more meaningful puncher in the early stages as he met his opponent’s more conservative jab and single punch style with three and four punch combinations to the body and head. The Mexican hurt Smith 15-1-1 (8) midway through the second with a perfect one-two that connected flush and wobbled his legs.

In his haste to finish the fight early, however, Gonzalez got messy and hit the floor in the final minute of the round when a counter right hand connected perfectly. The Mexican was unhurt and finished strongly but he was cut above the left eye in a close third as Smith began to time his advances and landed a number of straight right hands to the head.

Smith, buoyed by the success of his counter-punching, allowed a bloodied Gonzalez to out-work him in the middle rounds but he managed to land his right hand sporadically – worsening the wound above the Mexican’s left eye. Smith’s accuracy began to pay dividends in the sixth as he hurt Gonzalez with a combination and opened another cut – this one below the right eye but just as bloody as it’s neighbor.

The Mexican responded well and backed Smith against the ropes at the end of the round before both men slugged it out evenly for the final fifteen seconds. Gonzalez began to lose steam in the seventh and Smith, sensing his opponent’s petrol tank was close to empty, became more aggressive.

He let his hands go and found his target frequently in the final two rounds – hurting Gonzalez a couple of times in the eighth with power from both hands to ensure to a mild upset victory.

Scores: 78-74; 78-74; 78-74

In junior welterweight action, 2008 US Olympic alternate Danny O’Connor scored a majority decision victory over Jamar Saunders through four rounds.

Southpaw O’Connor 4-0 (1) was clearly the more polished fighter and he dominated the first round by throwing accurately and often behind his right jab before exploding in the second with a series of stunning combinations.

Saunders 2-2-1 (1) was game and, although he was badly stunned in that second round, he kept coming forward and enjoyed a small measure of success in the third and fourth with single straight right hands upstairs. O’Connor remained in control, however, and patiently boxed his way to the final bell to remain undefeated, despite the curious scoring of judge Bill Ray

Scores: 38-38; 40-36; 40-36

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