Moreno Defeats Sidorenko
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko (21-2-2, 7 KOs) finally ran out luck on Saturday night when he lost his title to the young 22 year-old Panamanian Andelmo Moreno (22-1-1, 8 KOs) by a 12-round unanimous decision at the Burg-Waechter Castello, Dusseldorf, in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Moreno used a combination of constant movement, clinching often and jabbing to stymie Sidorenko’s offense, keeping him from landing more than one punch at a time for most of the fight. Sidorenko had huge problems landing anything at all up until the 6th round, when he seemed to realize that the only way to make contact with Moreno was to bull rush him and stay constantly on top of him.
By then, however, Sidorenko was already trailing by five rounds and in an almost desperate situation. The problem for Sidorenko, though, was that he’s ever been a particularly good pressure fighter, and did a rather poor job of keeping on top of Moreno even when it was clear to all that was his only chance of winning the fight.
Sidorenko fought well in the 10th round, landing effectively with right hands and not letting Moreno escape. Other than that, however, Moreno boxed circles around Sidorenko for the entire fight, making him look bad for much of it. The final judges’ scores were 116-113, 116-112 and 116-112. Ignore the judges’ though, because the fight was much more lopsided than the scores indicated. Sidorenko was never in the fight, and was hopelessly outclassed from the first round until the 12th.
Moreno fought masterfully in the first five rounds, jabbing and moving like a small version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. He kept a constant jab in the face of Sidorenko, hitting fast, and then moving out of range from his counteracts. On the rare occasions that Sidorenko was able to close the distance, Moreno would fire off fast rapid fire 1-2 combinations, hitting Sidorenko with 2-6 shots to the head, before dancing away. It was incredible to watch Moreno, because he looked so skillful the way he dominated Sidorenko, making him look like an amateur for most of the fight. Ranked #1 in the WBA, Moreno proved his worth on Saturday, and in this case he was the real mccoy, not another one of these hyped boxers that don’t have the ability to fight.
Starting in the 6th round, Sidorenko began to lay into Moreno, coming inside with fast and furious attacks. It was a very effective strategy for Sidorenko, who kept the slender Moreno from being able to move out of range like in the previous rounds. However, as I mentioned previously, Sidorenko was unable to stick to this style of fighting for more than around or two, which enabled Moreno to continue pretty much as before, jabbing, moving and clinching any time that Sidorenko would get near him. If this had been an American referee, like Jay Nady, he would have likely warned Moreno for his constant clinching, but it wasn’t happening in this case. Without the ability to get in close to land his shots, due to the constant clinching and running on the part of Moreno, Sidorenko had nothing else to fall back onto. He’s never been a particularly hard puncher, meaning that his only chance at winning was to beat Moreno with volume punching. That wasn’t going to be happening, for Moreno is a classic boxer in the mold of Mayweather and a young Muhammed Ali, and he wasn’t going to stand in front of Sidorenko and let him trade shots with him.
Other than one last gasp in the 10th round, in which Sidorenko had a good round, landing some excellent right hands, the remaining rounds were all Moreno. He circled the ring, jabbed and kept Sidorenko under control and unable to do much of anything other than follow him around eating shots.
Sidorenko, a bronze medal winner in the 2000 Olympics, had held the title since 2005, and had a couple close calls since that time with draws and narrow decisions. For many people, they felt that Sidorenko would soon run out of luck, though it was thought that he’d at least be able to beat the light-hitting Moreno, who hadn’t fought anywhere near the same quality of opponents as Sidorenko during his career.