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Boxing Results: Ortiz and Kirkland Win, Guerrero Fight a No Decision

James Kirkland Mike Arnaoutis Robert Guerrero Victor OrtizBy Chris Williams: In a night of mismatches, typical of Golden Boy Promotions fights, James Kirkland stopped Joel Julio in the 6th round at The Tank in San Jose, CA. Kirkland, 24, was simply too strong for Julio, and got the better of him in every exchange during the short bout. Kirkland landed with the better shots, cutting Julio and hurting him as the rounds progressed.

Julio, who said before the fight that he would start coming on in the 5th, appeared to wait too long to get his offense in gear because he was hit with some huge shots from rounds one through six. With Julio taking punishment in the 6th, the fight was stopped by the referee at the end of the round.

Count me in as the minority voice who saw James Kirkland’s (25-0, 22 KOs) 6th round stoppage over Joel Julio (34-3, 31 KOs) as not that an impressive performance. The bout, which took place at The Tank, in San Jose, California on Saturday night, saw Kirkland, 24, get the better of Julio using a smothering, heavy pressure attack to keep Julio backing up through much of the fight.

Though when Julio would stop to trade shots from time to time, he proved to be clearly the harder puncher of the two by far. The problem for Julio is that he wasted too much time moving around the ring, which seemed to sap his energy, preventing him from getting as much as he could in his punches.

He’d have been much better off staying in one place for the full fight and given it his best shot to try and knock Kirkland out. At close range, Kirkland proved to be only a marginal fighter, unable to throw uppercuts or hooks with as much power as he does at a distance.

Kirkland’s thing, though, was to get a fighter backing up so he can land shots with them not firing back as hard as they can. Kirkland also showed a technique where he would come forward bumping into Julio, thus knocking him off balance so that James could land his hooks with better accuracy. However, Kirkland looked nothing more than a pressure fighter with poor accuracy.

By the time the fight ended in the 6th, he looked tired and was throwing much weaker shots than Julio. The problem for Julio, however, was that he looked like he had only trained to fight hard for two rounds, because he was already looking ragged and gassed out at the end of the 2nd. His right eye, which had been cut by a left hand from Kirkland early in the 1st, swelled up and seemed to give Julio problems.

However, it seemed like the pace of the fight was the biggest problem for Julio, because he just looked tired and unable to fight hard for three minutes of every round. In the 3rd and 4th rounds, Julio landed some huge shots with both hands to the head of Kirkland.

If Julio had been able to keep this up, I have no doubts that he would have stopped Kirkland before long, because Kirkland had virtually no defense and was wide open for every shot because of his constant bum rushing.

I can see how he’s emulated the style of Mike Tyson, but he has none of Tyson’s speed or crushing power and seems to be getting by on good power, and his work rate. Sooner or later, when he fights Alfredo Angulo, another light middleweight prospect with a high work rate, Kirkland is going to have big problems.

Unlike Kirkland, Angulo fights well on the inside and has an even better work rate than Kirkland. James only averaged 53 punches per round against Julio on Saturday night, but it might as well have been 100 because Julio looked exhausted trying to throw half of that.

In the 6th, Julio looked too tired to fight back and absorbed punishment for the duration of the round. After the round ended, Julio let his corner know that he didn’t want to continue.

Kirkland looked hardly like a world beater and I see him losing to Angulo, Paul Williams and Sergeii Dzinziruk. He’ll beat most of the light middleweights with his heavy pressure and all out attacks, but he won’t be able to keep this style up for long without it shortening his career. His defense is horrible, his power not that good and his head movement nonexistent. Put him in with a skilled fighter, one with a good chin and a high work rate and Kirkland loses every round.

In other action, Light welterweight contender Victor Ortiz (24-1-1, 19 KOs) dismantled a timid looking Mike Arnauotis (21-3-1, 10 KOs), stopping him in the 2nd round. Ortiz staggered Arnauotis with a left hand. Ortiz then went after him and landed a flurry of shots while Arnauotis was in the corner covering up. The referee then jumped in hastily, I might add, and stopped the fight at 1:27 of the round.

The fight should have been allowed to continue, because Arnauotis looked to be doing well to cover up and block many of the incoming shots. He should have been allowed to continue to see if he could recover. Nevertheless, the fight was stopped and Ortiz given the victory.

“My plan was to keep calm and do a little boxing,” Ortiz said after the fight. “I saw that Kendall Holt boxed him [Arnauotis] too, and he kind of lost his heart after that. People will say that this was an easy fight, but in my eyes, I didn’t feel it was an easy fight. The powers there, the speeds there, the intelligence is there too. A new champion is on the rise and I’m not stopping for anyone or anything.”

Ortiz seems to be getting a little ahead of himself here. He looked good, but come on, Arnauotis looked terrified throughout, only throwing a handful of punches in the 1st round. Ortiz hardly looked like someone that will give fighters like Timothy Bradley or Ricky Hatton any trouble. If Ortiz meant a champion of one of the lowlier belts, ones that no one has ever heard of, I agree with him there. He’ll be a champion of of one of those belts but not a top world champion, at least not yet and possibly never. He seems to lack something and is more of a one-dimensional puncher.

Super featherweight Robert Guerrero (23-1-1, 16 KOs) was unable to get started against Indonesian Daud Yordan (17-0, 12 KOs) after the two clashed heads causing a big cut over the right eye of Guerrero which caused the fight to be stopped by referee at 1:47 of the round. The fight was ruled a no decision.

Overall, it was a disappointing fight, although I can’t say I was surprised. With the exception of the Kirkland fight, the entire card was a waste of time and not worth watching. I knew going into the fight it was going to be a disappointment because Yordan and Arnauotis were in way over their heads and it seemed like another showcase fight for Golden Boy fighters and nothing more.

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