Lee Cleveland

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.

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Friday, 17 June 2011 17:00

Martinez vs Barker

Martinez KOs Barker
WBC diamond belt middleweight champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) scored an eleventh round KO over previously undefeated European champion "Dazzling" Darren Barker (23-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Barker crowded Martinez and fight defensively, but Sergio adjusted to broke Barker down over the long hall and finished him with a right hook. Time was 1:29.

So Who is Darren Barker?
Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs), from Lodon, England, is the current holder of the British and European middleweight titles and a former holder of the Commonwealth title. He's undefeated in 23 fights and is a well-skilled fighter but has yet to face a top, world-class contender. In his most recent fight, he won the vacant European title for the second time via a unanimous decision victory over Domenico Spada (32-3). He'll be a big underdog but Darren has wanted a step up in class for awhile and now he'll get his chance.

Incidentally, Barker's name was on Top Rank's list of possible opponents for Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr's first title defense in September.

Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez's adviser, told ESPN.com, "... Barker is qualified. He is the European champion, he is undefeated and hungry for the glory. There is nothing better than that -- to be so hungry for the glory."

The thirty-six year old Martinez, a native of Argentina, won the WBC and WBO middleweight titles in April 2010 with a unanimous decision over Kelly Pavlik. And, in his first defense, shocked the boxing world with a one punch KO of Paul Wiliams in the second.

In his most recent fight in March, Martinez pummeled Sergiy Dzinziruk, dropping him five times en route to an 8th Round knockout. 

Friday, 17 June 2011 01:32

Tua vs Barrett 2

Barrettt defeats Tua, earns unanimous decision.

No controversy this time. Tua was outscored throughout the fight. The Tuaman scored a knockdown but didn't get the knockout he needed.

Perhaps this was Tua's last fight?

According to tvnz.co.nz, Tua's promoter Cedric Kushner revealed that he had been in talks to secure a fight with WBC World Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko. However, Tua's defeat to Barrett may well have put the brakes on Tua getting a second career world title fight.

With Barrett well ahead, Tua caught fire in the latter rounds.

In the 10th Tua trapped Barrett against the ropes after hitting him with a left hook followed by a right, but the clever journeyman managed to clinch and hold on until the end of the round.

Barrett looked shaky again near the end of the final round, but was saved by the bell.

In the 12th, Tua landed a combination of left and right hooks, knocking down Barrett through the ropes. Amazingly, Barrett beat the count and survived the final 45 seconds to emerge the winner.

Tua made no excuses for the loss, admitting that his opponent had been the better fighter and bemoaning his slow start which saw him hardly land a punch in the first half of the fight.

It still remains to be seen whether Tua will get another chance to use what he's learned in the loss, or whether the final curtain will be drawn on his career.

This was Tua's first loss in 10 years (August 2001 vs Chris Byrd).

More to come....

Highlights below.... 

Friday, 17 June 2011 01:22

Holyfield vs Botha 2

(This date is not confirmed)

Friday, 17 June 2011 00:36

Mayweather vs Ortiz

Mayweather KOs Ortiz

Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) scored a fourth round KO over WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) to claim the WBC crown in round four on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Ortiz had a good round two, but Floyd was back in charge in the third. After an Ortiz attempt at an intentional headbutt in round four, Cortez broke the action and deducted a point from Ortiz. Cordoba called time back in and Ortiz went to Mayweather, embraced him and apologized, Mayweather then clocked Ortiz with two shots as he was stepping back and knocked him out.

Referee Joe Cortez told the Las Vegas Review Journal that Mayweather's KO punch was a legal shot. "Time was in," Cortez said. "The fighter needs to keep his guard up. Mayweather did nothing wrong."

WBC welterweight Floyd Mayweather and HBO Commentator Larry Merchant got into it during Saturday night's post fight interview.


Mayweather: You never give me a fair shake. You know that? So I'm gonna let you talk to Victor Ortiz, alright? I'm through! Put somebody else up here to give me an interview.

Merchant: What are you talking about?

Mayweather: You never give me a fair shake! HBO needs to fire you! You don't know shit about boxing! You ain't shit! You're not shit!

Merchant: I wish I was 50 years younger and I'd kick your ass!

Mayweather: You won't do shit!


Friday, 17 June 2011 00:17

WBA/IBF Unification

Thursday, 16 June 2011 23:58

Ward vs Froch

It was a decisive, conclusive ending to the Showtime Super Six Super Middleweight tourney on Saturday night on the boardwalk in AC.

A unanimous decision verdict for the lad from Oakland Ca. Andre Ward who kept his WBA title, took the WBC title and the Ring Magazine World Champion belt after twelve hard –fought rounds. Scores were 115-113 twice and a more correct 118-110 score which came from the sole English judge. This writer had it 9-3 in rounds equating to a 117-111 score for the winner. When the first two scores were announced there was an audible murmur and gasp from the crowd who were taken aback by the first two scores in a relatively one-sided fight.

The first was a feel-out round with Ward edging it with hard jabs that reddened the nose of Carl Froch. Ward continued the accurate jabbing in the second and hurt Froch with two solid left hooks in the final 30 seconds of the round.

Carl picked up the pace in the third and landed several telling body shots as he was having real problems hitting Ward squarely in the head. They traded jabs and Froch edged a close round. In the fourth Andre began to tag Froch with much harder firepower and kept Carl's back on the ropes for a full minute. The fifth was pretty much the same with Andre landing more often, harder and ended the session again with a couple of bristling left hooks.

In the sixth it became obvious Froch was in for a long night as he could not hit Ward with any solid shots, had no timing or rhythm and was on the end of some tremendous shots. The seventh had Froch tiring and with eye and facial damage by round end.

Ward dominated the in-fighting and was out-jabbing the lankier, taller Englishman and in frustration with what he thought were Ward low punches, Carl threw a hard right that landed right on Wards jaw after the bell in the eighth which did not even faze Andre as he just stared as Froch trudged back to his corner.

Round nine had Carl winning his 2nd frame of the contest as he threw many, many shots; some landing, some missing was much more active. Ward went into lefty mode for the final minute of the round and showed some weariness. Froch's best round by far.
The Oaklander got on his bike and boxed more in the tenth and was outboxing Carl who was chasing but not landing. Ward landed some thudding left hooks near round end.

Froch edged the eleventh round as Ward seemed to be tiring and had some damage around his left eye. The'Cobra' from Nottingham seemed to realize he needed a KO in the final frame to pull this fight out of the bag and he came in throwing right hand bombs for as long as he could. Problem was almost none of them were landing, or sailed over Ward's ducked head or were just glancing shots at best. Ward did enough to win the round since Carl couldn't land much. At the 30 second mark Ward took a look up at the clock which indicated he was running on empty by the end of the contest.

Their comments were telling:

Ward thanked God and said it "was a tough, hard night. Carl is a great fighter. I was surprised at how slow he was. I beat him to the punch most of the night. We (Team Ward) pulled it off! The UK fans are great!"

The dejected and marked up Froch stated: " I had a bad night. He is very slick and smart and has great defense skills. He is very tricky in close. He slides and ducks and it was very frustrating for me. He is very, very good at keeping himself out of harm's way. I lost tonight fair and square."

Both had very respectful things to say to each other after the scores were read and it was refreshing since the buildup and remarks before the fight were not as kind. A big house in AC and there were many prospective Ward future opponents in the house such as undefeated IBF champ Lucien Bute; undefeated #1 WBC contender Anthony Dirrell; and Bernard Hopkins talking about possibly moving down to 168 lbs. for a Ward contest.

Froch should hold his head high. He fought an undefeated, former Olympic gold medalist who has not lost a fight since the age of 12. Ward should go home and rest like he stated he would and enjoy his moment in the sun. He fully deserves it.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:56

Cotto-Margarito II is On!

Antonio Margarito (38-7-0-1 NC, 27 KOs) will rematch Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) for Cotto's WBA jr middleweight title on December 3.

Ring Magazine middleweight champion and Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Fighter, Sergio Martinez, will battle England's Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs) on October 1 promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com on Monday.