Kickett Defeats Rodriguez, Looks Unimpressive
By Nate Anderson: Undefeated Australian super featherweight prospect William Kickett (12-0, 5 KOs) defeated Argentinean Vicente Martin Rodriguez (21-2, 10 KOs) by a 10-round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Leagues Club, Wyong, in New South Wales, Australia. The final judges’ scores were 100-90, 99-91 and 99-91. However, the lopsided scores were slightly off as Rodriguez appeared to win at least four of the rounds. For Kickett, 21, a highly hyped Australian fighter and perhaps the best prospect in all of Australia, this fight was more of a setback than any kind of real victory for him.
Rodriguez, a decent fighter at best, hung tough with Kickett for most of the fight, and seemed to take the fight to him in the middle rounds as Kickett looked slightly timid, spending the majority of the time running from his weak-punching opponent. Not much of a puncher himself, Kickett was forced to move and box in order to keep the aggressive Rodriguez from out-slugging him at close quarters. In the end, it paid off for Kickett, but it was hardly the kind of performance you would expect from a fighter as hyped as him.
Against a better fighter, Kickett would have most surely lost. He needs to find some answers for his lack of power, because he’s not going to be able to run and box his way to victory against the A-class fighters. At 21, he still has time to develop his power but usually there’s an indication whether a fighter will ever have much power. In Kickett’s case, he shows no signs of ever having any kind of power or hand speed. Against top class super featherweights like Manny Pacquiao, Edwin Valero, Juan Manuel Marquez, Humberto Soto, and Robert Guerrero, Kickett would be taken out in short order.
Kickett mostly jabbed and moved in rounds #1 and 2, trying to keep out of range of the constantly pressuring Rodriguez. In the second round, Kickett nailed Rodriguez with a short fight hand as he was coming in, knocking Rodriguez off balance temporarily. Thinking that he had him hurt, Kickett wasted time with an ineffective flurry, missing almost every punch and accomplishing little. For most people, it was obvious that Rodriguez wasn’t hurt and had merely been knocked off balance by a short puncher. However, Kickett seemed to miss the fact and wasted time trying to finish Rodriguez.
In rounds three through six, Rodriguez took over the fight, pressuring Kickett and out-landing him by a wide margin. Kickett tried the best he could to keep up with Rodriguez, but his hand speed and work rate simply wasn’t up to the mark, which allowed Rodriguez to better him in these rounds with non-stop pressure.
Kickett came back in the 7th round to win a close round, again, mostly jabbing and running constantly. It wasn’t pretty but his movement effectively prevented Rodriguez from landing as often as he did in the four previous rounds.
Kickett continued boxing and moving for the final three rounds, jabbing and running in rounds eight through ten. Rodriguez would occasionally catch up to him and tag him with some good shots, but for the most part, Kickett remained elusive. It was the type of fighting style that only a fighter in his early 20s could use, because once Kickett gets a little older, he’ll have to develop another way of winning his fights if he wants to remain successful. Given the fact that he has no power and zero hand speed, I don’t particularly like his chances once he steps it up against better competition.