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Afolabi Defeats Tinsley

ola45633.jpgBy Jim Dower: Fighting only hard in short spurts, the power-punching Ola Afolabi (13-1-3, 5 KOs) defeated DeLeon Tinsley (9-4-1, 5 KOs) by a lopsided eight-round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Ibiza Nightclub, in Washington, District of Columbia. The final judges’ scores were 79-73, 78-74 and 77-74. Afolabi, 28, perhaps the hardest puncher in the cruiserweight division, used his power shots to occasionally stun Tinsley and keep him well in control during the fight. However, Tinsley, 37, never stopped coming forward and throwing punches despite getting hit with some monstrous shots from the 6’3″ Afolabi during the bout. The problem for Tinsley, however, was that he didn’t have nearly enough power to give the strong-chinned Afolabi any real problems. Hence, Tinsley was shooting with blanks and couldn’t compete with the huge howitzer shots that Afolabi would unleash every once in awhile.

Afolabi was coming off a huge upset with over American Eric Fields in his last fight, stopping the highly touted Fields in the 10th round of the bout. However, after seeing the power in Afolabi’s shots early in the first round against Tinsley, I’m not in the least surprised that Afolabi was able to take Fields out. In fact, I’m frankly astonished that Fields was able to take Afolabi’s power for nine of the ten rounds without folding earlier in the fight.

Afolabi, when motivated, punches harder than any cruiserweight I can ever remember seeing before. He reminds me of a larger version of famous middleweight knockout artist John Mugabi, except that Afolabi fights in a much more lazy manner than Mugabi. It was for this reason that Tinsley was able to stay in the fight without being knocked out, because Afolabi fought as if he was bored for most of the fight, keeping both of his hands down to his sides, daring Tinsley to hit him, and only occasionally going after him with big shots.

I’m not sure if this was because Afolabi was trying not to tire himself out and was focusing on conserving his strength or if he just flat out didn’t respect Tinsley. Whatever the case, Afolabi made himself look bad at times by keeping his hands to his sides and taking unnecessary punishment from Tinsley, a fighter that Afolabi probably could have taken out in one or two rounds if he had truly decided to fight hard.


In the 1st round, Afolabi dropped Tinsely with a big left hand near the end of the round. Previous to that, Afolabi had done nothing as Tinsley attacked him with a great urgency, throwing dozens of punches while Afolabi merely bowed his upper body from side to side, dodging most of the punches instead of blocking them with his gloves. Instead of going after him following the knockdown, Afolabi did nothing, looking as bored as before.

Afolabi was cut over his right eye in the 3rd round. The cut made him fight a little harder momentarily, but he soon went back to his lazy manner of fighting in the next round.

In the 4th round, Afolabi began to taunt Tinsley, by placing both hands to his sides as if daring him to punch him. Tinsley fought hard and tried to land, but Afolabi showed great skill in moving his upper-body from side to side to dodge most of Tinsley’s weak shots.

In rounds five though eight, Afolabi mostly waited on Tinsley, making him miss with most of his shots, and then firing off some huge shots to the head. When Afolabi was punching, he looked superb, but then he’d go back to standing around with his hands down, taunting Tinsley. By the end of the fight, I concluded that Afolabi just didn’t have the conditioning to fight hard for a full eight rounds, which is why he needed to have his hands down by his side and wasn’t able to fight hard. For his sake, he needs to fix this problem if he ever wants to beat better fighters. He’d be out-worked by a better cruiserweight and made to look bad.


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