Jason Litzau (now 26-2 with 21 kayos) defeats Johnnie Edwards (now 15-5 with 8 kayos) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.
The round begins with 30 seconds of nothing…Litzau is failing to pop his jab and is diving inside unnecessarily. The best shot of this round is a hook to the body by Edwards, as Litzau lands only one serious punch in three minutes.
Edwards scores first with a wide left hook, but Litzau answers with a strong left to the chest that moves Edwards backwards. Litzau is inside, outside, going everywhere and measuring but not pulling the trigger. Toward the end of the round Edwards switches to southpaw, never a welcome sight fo Litzau. This is another round in which nothing much happened – if I were scoring I’d have this Edwards up two round to none.
Litzau corners Edwards right off the bat and starts dropping bombs, but Edwards escapes before long. Litzau stuns Edwards with a left, backs off uncertainly, then pursues Edwards into the ropes and attacks. Edwards goes down backwards through the ropes and lands on his behind, but the ref lets him get up and go without a count – no official knockdown. Litzau flurries again as the round closes, but Edwards survives the onslaught.
Litzau finally begins showing the jab, following the left jab with some hard rights. Litzau continues to pick up the pace, scoring with left-rights and one nice left-right-left. Edwardsmakes an adjustment, anticipates when Litzau will follow the jab with a power shot, and ducks under the hook. Litzau is now bleeding from a cut high on his left eyelid, just beheat the eyebrow, but heedless of the blood Litzau continues to rumble.
Edwards rushes out to attack Litzau but is stymied by a triple jab from Litzau. Edwards then tries to start chopping wood but the two end up tangled, and Litzau tumbles backwards – no knockdown. Now we have a clash of heads and Edwards goes down, but it’s Litzau who comes up bleeding from his left eye and nose. Litzau finds a rhythm and goes 1-2 to the body, hurting Edwards. The round ends with some infighting and a clinch.
Litzau comes out looking to score and is opportunistic, scoring off the body and head of Edwards whenever they’re presented. Edwards gets on his bike, using his legs and zipping around Litzau. The two charge into each other, and in the clash of bodies Edwards collapses to the mat again. Litzau is measuring, measuring, but not catching Edwards with anything flush. Edwards is so intent on not getting hurt that he’s running, bobbing, ducking, and generating no offense whatsoever.
Edwards, still attempting to avoid getting hit, ducks so low that his chin nearly scrapes the mat. Exhausted, Edwards goes down again – and the referee mistakenly instructs Litzau to stop pushing. Litzau’s cut is opened again, and though the blood is flowing freely he seems completely unfazed. At 1:35 Litzau hurts Edwards with a three-punch combination. Edwards is now flinching from all contact. Litzau is getting tired or lazy – or he’s trying to bait Edwards – as his left hand is down by his waist. Litzau scores again with a left to the body of Edwards. Edwards, ever more tired, goes down again before the bell, but again it’s ruled a slip or a push. But Edwards can’t keep his feet.
The two men come inside, their bodies clash again, and they clinch. In the clinch both men are pounding each other’s bodies. Litzau is warned for hitting the back of Edwards’ head, but it’s the only target that Edwards presents now; he’s constantly running or ducking. Litzau circles to his right, traversing almost the entire ring, while Edwards merely stands in place and pivots to face him. Now they rejoin the battle, and the word is ‘inside.’ Litzau clearly knows that Edward won’t hurt him, and begins trying to trade with Edwards. He’s happy to take a punch to land a punch, knowing that his shots are much more effective. Edwards runs when he can and trades when he has to, but he knows that going toe-to-toe is a losing strategy for him.
Edwards comes out charging, then puts his shoulder into Litzau’s abdomen and there he stays. We have more infighting, and some roughhouse tactics from Edwards as he throws punches from all angles to hit any part of Litzau he can get to. Edwards continues to make this fight ugly, as he has been doing for several rounds. The referee breaks the two, but Litzau is so eager to rejoin that he’s charging back at Edwards as soon as the referee permits him to. Edwards grabs Litzau’s left arm and refuses to let go, and round 9 comes to a welcome end.
Litzau comes out swinging for the fences, and the crowd of Marines seems to appreciate the effort. Edwards is grabbing, ducking, and holding. Edwards tries bulling Litzau arond the ring, but in doing so prevents himself from generating any offense at all. Litzau gets free and pursues Edwards, but Edwards runs and Litzau can’t find his range and so loads up on the right without ever throwing it. Litzau scores with a hurtful left to the body of Edwards at :39. Litzau is stalking Edwards, trying to manufacture a big finish, he comes forward and walks into a hook. The no further offense to speak of in the tenth and final round, and the fight comes to a merciful close.
It may have taken him the first two rounds to figure it out, but Jason Litzau had all the advantages tonight. Once Litzau came to life in the third, Edwards fought like a man who knows well that he’s less athletically gifted and talented than his rival – clutching, grabbing, ducking, running – emptying his bag of tricks to no avail. Litzau certainly wanted to look good tonight, but he had an opponent whose strategy was to fight ugly, and some of that ugly got splashed on Litzau. Hopefully this does nothing to dim Litzau’s career prospects, as we all know that Roy Jones Jr and the rest of the boxing world were watching him tonight.
The Fistic Mystic says: Sometimes even the most exciting fighters have to make a compromise; give up some showmanship in favor of effectiveness. It was good to see Jason make through an entire fight without taunting or showboating – only focused on doing whatever it takes to beat his opponent.