If I could pick one theme to characterize tonight’s fights at Target Center, it would be Big Swat.
Some guys had it and others didn’t, but as much as boxing fans love it, it isn’t always the deciding factor in a fight.
One guy who had Big Swat didn’t win. That was Silas Ortley, who showed good power while losing to Dave Peterson – a fight that was stopped by the referee after the fourth body-shot knockdown. Oddly, I thought that when Ortley wasn’t dropping to his knees from body shots, he looked like the stronger and more effective fighter, despite his soft and pudgy appearance. (Yes, I have looked in a mirror lately.)
Two little guys who have Big Swat fought each other. Gary Eyer -vs- Levi Cortes was the fight of the night and a legitimate candidate for Minnesota’s Fight of the Year, 2009 Edition. In round 1 Cortes looked stronger and more effective. Things were not looking good for Eyer, of Horton’s Gym in Duluth. But starting in round 2, the two young lightweights pounded each other silly almost nonstop until the end of the six round fight. Eyer won the decision, but this was one of those fights where you wish they could both be rewarded. I talked to Eyer briefly after his fight, and he seemed in awe of what he had just experienced. What did I say to Eyer? I told him to take some time off, because he has earned it!
Two big guys whose hallmark is Big Swat fought each other, but that one ended badly due to an unfortunate case of Late Swat. Initially ruled a DQ win for Raphael Butler (and a corresponding DQ loss for Joey Abell), the outcome has reportedly been changed to a No Contest. Thank goodness – that was the right decision. Thank you, Boxing Commissioner Scott LeDoux!
One man’s attempt at a Big Swat hurt his shoulder. That would be Ronnie Peterson, in his fight with North Dakota’s Tomi Archambault. Peterson had shoulder surgery before he turned pro, and he suffered another shoulder injury tonight. Tonight’s injury forced Peterson to quit on his stool, not something that any fighter wants to do, and certainly not with his dad working in his corner. Get well soon, Ronnie. If you have to have surgery again, let me know where to send the flowers.
A man who is known for Big Swat lost by quick knockout to a man who is not. Zach Walters, nineteen of whose twenty-four wins have come by knockout, lost an incredibly quick fight by kayo after he was roughed up by Larry Sharpe, who only managed eleven knockout wins in thirty prior fights – as a light middleweight! Sharpe moved up to super middleweight and battered a bigger, ostensibly stronger opponent. It just goes to show you that sometimes Big Swat shows up in unexpected places.
Hector Orozco isn’t a great fighter, but he has conjured up some Big Swat before. Against Tony Lee tonight, Orozco could sure have used some more of that BS, but Lee was too quick, too elusive, and summoned too many Little Swats. Orozco just couldn’t find it when he needed it.
Yevgeniy “Boris” Shishporenok showed a great facility for snuffing his opponent’s attempts to uncork a Big Swat. Totally unexpected, and very impressive. Don’t try this at home, kids: Boris twice caught his opponent’s incoming punches in his own very strong hands like a catcher catching a fastball. I don’t know how to convey the image to the reader, so I’m going to repeat myself: he just caught those punches in his hands and tossed them away like fungo balls. For his part, Boris landed a phantom Big Swat that nobody really seemed to see or hear, but which flattened his opponent just the same. Philosophical query: if a punch lands on a man’s jaw and nobody hears it, does it still hurt? Evidently the answer is yes.
Last of all, Saverino and Jacob. Saverino Garcia and Jacob Dobbe put on a good show, but neither man particularly impressed. A small dose of Big Swat would have spiced things up a little bit, guys. Maybe next time one of you could, you know, let his opponent land a big haymaker. Just a suggestion. Because everybody loves to see a fight end with a great big Swat!