By Keith Holmes
In a time of often over hyped and disappointing main events, (sometimes viewed as an era of $59.95 regrets), as fight fans, it can be a treat to watch those up and comers hoping for their big break and those who look to continue their often short lived careers in the sweet science. ESPN’s Friday night fights, called by Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore was nothing short of enjoyable, albeit outside of Provodnikov, none of these fighters have much of a chance of partaking in the luxuries that comes with a PPV purse.
Ji-Hoon Kim (12-7, 18 KO’s) vs. Yakubu Amidu (17-3-1, 15 KO’s)
The stars were out in full force for this undercard. OK, it was just Vince Vaughn as he has ventured into the world of professional boxing as Yakubu Amidu’s manager, (hey….if Snooki can do it why not?)
For the boxing purists, this was not the type of bout you would want to watch if you’re in the practice of critiquing defensive mastery. This was a high energy, high volume punch output bout that would appeal to the casual boxing fan. However, both fighters have a lot of work to do in protecting themselves if they have any plans on continuing their careers beyond their next birthday.
By sheer volume punching, Kim kept Amidu back on his heels and for most of the fight. He remained the aggressor for most of the evening that propelled him to his unanimous decision. His long reach and endless energy more than made up for his flat foot work, lack of defensive skills, and seemingly sub-par power. Kim’s often landed good combinations that kept Amidu confused and unable to assert his own game plan into the fight. However, it can be said both fighter took way too many shots to the head, and it became very apparent that both fighters, whose styles seem to closely mirror each other, would be very susceptible to being KO’d by a decent counter puncher.
Ji-Hoon Kim’s unanimous decision was the correct one as I also had it scored that way. However, his lack of experience was evident in this event, (Kim had zero amateur fights under his belt.) Intense defensive training is needed in order for Kim to have a future. I’m not seeing much of a future for Amidu, and unfortunately for Vaughn, he also trains his brother.
Ruslan Provodnikov 20-1 (13 KO) vs. David Torres – 21-2-2 (13 KO)
In the main event, a true contender in Ruslan Provodnikov was pitted against aging David Torres. And outside of fighting in front of his home state of Washington, there wasn’t much for Torres to be proud of. Truthfully, Torres is not a bad fighter; however, I do believe we had a decent contender for the light welterweight crown. I won’t go crazy and say that he’s in any position to step into the ring with Amir Khan or Humberto Soto, but there’s still potential. Provodnikov stamina is somewhat suspect and did take too many shots from a very slow Torres. However, Provodnikov’s power is evident and could really cause damage to any fighter who got in the way of his straight right.
Provodnikov put Torres on the canvas three times. Once in the first round and twice in the sixth, which subsequently ended the bout. Torres wasn’t able to win any rounds and was at times, rightfully accused by both Atlas and Tessitore, as being carried by Provodnikov. Torres had no business being in the ring tonight with Provodnikov as he was just too small against a bigger and much stronger fighter.
Best line of the night…”Provodnikov needs to buy some CD’s”. (Atlas’ commentary that Provodnikov needed to invest in going to the body.)