Some of the fighters on tonight’s card did good work, and some of them got good work. By “Did good work” I mean that a fighter performed well and made a good show for the fans. By “Got good work” I mean that the fighter showed that he benefitted from the time spent in the ring tonight.
Did Good Work
Corey Rodriguez started us off right with a dominating performance in the opener. Rodriguez is one of the enigmas of the Minnesota boxing scene. For a few minutes tonight C-Rod reminded us all of the great promise his career once held.
I told everyone who would listen that Ishe Smith‘s fight would be a short one. I thought he would kick the Pacheco out of Alexander Pacheco Quiroz in under a round. But Quiroz made Smith work hard for the “W” that he had traveled all the way from Vegas to Fargo to collect. The fight lasted all of two rounds, and they were rough and tough rounds for Smith, a very professional young fighter.
Andy Kolle had a wobbly moment when his opponent opened up on him and for a moment it looked he might be about to take a big step backwards in his career. Then Kolle came out of his shell, walked through some punches, and then for the second fight in a row, put his opponent away with a short right in the first round. Maybe you think that Kolle should be above getting buzzed by a journeyman like Osorio, but he showed that he can walk through power to deliver his own power.
Okay, I get that it’s early in the career of Jamal James and his opponents don’t offer much of a test. But if you saw James fight tonight you saw a young man with great power fighting at a frenetic pace. Eventually he’s going to have to slow down and harness more of that energy for the job at hand. But even now there is a lot to like about Jamal James. He is a very good looking young fighter.
Marcus Johnson showed us that he can handle a tough guy with a good record and he can do so convincingly. Johnson also showed that he’s a sharp and snappy puncher, and he was the second quickest fighter on the card, after Jamal James. The impressive thing about Johnson’s speed is that he is the far smoother boxer.
Got Good Work
Aaron Pryor Jr started out his fight looking awkward and unathletic, he had trouble keeping up with his quicker and more skillful opponent, and he seemed to have a hard time executing the fundamentals of the fight game. On the other hand, he looked better and better as his fight progressed, until he began to look very capable by the time the fight ended. Based on the improvement we saw between the first and last rounds of his fight tonight, I would say that for Aaron Pryor Jr, these were eight rounds well spent.
Antwone Smith won without looking great. With every punch he grunts like Monica Seles, and his style doesn’t inspire poetry. But Smith ground out a good workmanlike win against a tough and determined opponent. Though the fight ended in an injury retirement, the win was still well-earned.
Edwin Rodriguez went nine rounds with a durable opponent tonight, the longest fight of his young career. Rodriguez got to show off his speed, power and skill tonight, but the thing that I thought was most interesting was his stamina. Edwin Rodriguez just proved that he is incredibly fit.