Kotelnik Defeats Maidana In a War
By Erik Schmidt: World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight champion Andriy Kotelnik (31-2-1, 13 KOs) won a close 12-round split decision over Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Rene Maidana (25-1, 24 KOs) on Saturday night at the Stadthalle, Rostock, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The final judges’ scores were 115-114, 113-115 and 115-113.
I personally had Maidana winning the fight by at least two rounds, but as often is the case in Germany, the home town fighter, in this case Kotelnik, got the nod in the final decision. Maidana, 25, dominated the first three rounds with bone jarring shots with both hands, reddening and swelling up the champion Kotelnik’s face.
In the 9th round, Maidana hurt Kotelnik with huge right hand and battered him for much of the round. In the 12th, Maidana went opened up with a massive amount of power shots, strafing Kotelnik with shots, bloodying his nose and swelling up his face.
In the end, however, the German-based Ukrainian won the fight, though he probably shouldn’t have based on the fine work that Maidana did in the fight. For his part, Maidana only had bruised left eye to show for the 12-round battle. Other than that, he looked completely fresh, breathing as if he was on a stroll rather than a hard fight and looking for the most part unmarked.
Kotelnik, 31, a former silver medalist in the 2000 Olympics for Ukraine, struggled in the 1st round as Maidana attacked him hard from the outset, hammering him with big right hands and lefts to the body. Kotelnik answered back with jabs, which were thrown with a lot of sting and power, but were no match for the huge shots from the powerful Maidana. In watching Maidana work Kotelnik over in the round, I could see why the Argentinean has so many knockouts because he was throwing very hard punches the entire fight.
Before Saturday night, the longest bout that Maidana had fought was eight rounds, yet he showed few signs of fatigue in being forced to battle for a full 12 rounds, and was able to continue throwing power shots until the very end. Most of Maidana’s fights had ended early, around the 3rd round, when he would often have his opponents stretched out. Kotelnik’s face was badly reddened by the end of the 1st round, and he already had swelling under his right eye.
Kotelnik landed some nice combinations in the 2nd round, as well as some nice jabs to go along with them. However, the round belonged to Maidana, who continued to wade in and land huge combinations with both hands. Normally, power punches favor one of their hands for their power shots, but not Maidana. Though Kotelnik landed some nice shots at the end of the round, he had eaten an awful amount of devastating shots in the round.
The third round was closer with Kotelnik landing more and more combinations, especially late in the round. The German crowd went mad at each punch that Kotelnik landed, magnifying the damage he was doing 10 fold, even though Maidana was the one that had dominated most of the round with his bigger, much more powerful shots. By the end of the round, Kotelnik’s face was not only reddened, but also swelling up quickly from the shots.
Kotelnik did well in the 4th, jabbing Maidana hard and landing a some nice combinations to the head and body. Maidana did little until the last minute of the round when he caught up to Kotelnik and blasted him with power shots at close range.
Maidana made up for the previous round by jumping immediately on Kotelnik in the 5th, tagging him with hard combinations and not letting Kotelnik get enough space to throw his jabs and right hands. Kotelnik attempted to steal the round with a flurry of shots in the last minute, but his shots paled at the blistering punches that Maidana had landed in the first two minutes of the round. The judges, however, probably rewarded him for his last minute flurry, ignoring the more serious work of Maidana in the round.
In the 6th through 8th, Kotelnik fought effectively behind his jab and right hands. Whenever Maidana would appear to be coming on, Kotelnik would throw sustained flurries and stay in command.
Maidana came back in the 9th, landing huge power shots and hurting Kotelnilk with an enormous right hand. After hurting him, Maidana opened up with some huge shots and battered Kotelnik around the ring for the remainder of the round.
In rounds 10 through 12, Maidana worked Kotelnik over with big punches, swelling up his face and bloodying his nose. Kotelnik fought reasonably well in the 10th, but that was pretty much the end for him, as the fresher and stronger Maidana stepped on the gas and began going for a knockout.
In the 11th and 12th, Kotelnik took an awful lot of sickening punishment, and looked beaten. In the end, however, Kotelnik got the nod from the judges despite taking a ferocious beating and appearing to lose the majority of the rounds.