Holt-Torres: The Final Word
In the past few days, I’ve read countless reports from posters in various boxing site forums about the outcome of the WBO light welterweight championship bout between title holder Ricardo Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) and #1 challenger Kendal Holt (22-2, 12 KOs), most of which is centered on the fact that the figh was stopped too soon in the 11th round, suggesting that Holt should have been permitted to continue fighting longer by referee Genero Rodriguez.
However, having seen the entire fight – and not just clips – I’m fully convinced that the referee did the right thing by stopping the fight the fight in the 11h round. If anything, I think he should have stopped the fight earlier, after Holt got up after having been knocked down by a howitzer of a left hook by Torres at 0:58 of the 11th round. At that time, after Holt got to his feet, he was staggering and unable to stand straight without listing from side to side. To make things worse, as the referee was asking him if he was okay, Holt staggered bag, leaning against the ropes for support.
Clearly, the referee gave him a break by letting him continue fighting. 10 seconds after being knocked down, the fight was resumed, at 0:48 of the 11th round. As the action resumed, Holt immediately backed away from Torres, trying to flee to the opposite side of the ring to stay as far as possible out of range. However, Torres quickly pursued after him and landed two left-right combinations to the head, before slipping to the canvas in his corner. It wasn’t Holt who had slipped, mind you, it was Torres.
After getting up, Torres landed a left-right to Holt’s midsection, causing him to bend over from the force of the blows. Instead of straightening up immediately, Holt stayed bent over, in a helpless position, allowing Torres to land another left-right combination, this time to the head of Holt. Seeing that Holt was helpless and unable to defend himself, the referee at that moment moved in and halted the fight. At the moment that the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, however, Holt suddenly straightened up and threw a left hand that looked more like a push than an actual punch.
It was too late, however, because the referee had stopped the fight already because of Holt’s helpless position while being bent over and taking shots. More importantly, Holt had not thrown once punch in self defense from the moment he was knocked down to the time of the stoppage at 0:28, a full 30 seconds after the knockdown, or to be more accurate, 20 seconds after the fight had resumed after the knockdown.
As you can see, the referee did the appropriate thing by stepping in to halt to the fight when he did rather than allowing it to go on and risk Holt being potentially hurt permanently. As for Holt’s complaints that the canvas was littered with water and bottles after he was knocked down in the 11th, it’s true that a lot of water wash thrown into the ring, but I never saw him get hit by anything other than water, which also was rained on Torres as well. The fighter who ended up slipping on the water wasn’t Holt, it was Torres, who slipped on what appeared to be water that had accumulated in his corner from in between rounds.
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