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Hide Defeats Siproshvili

Herbie HideBy Nate Anderson: Two-time heavyweight champion Herbie Hide(47-4, 42 KOs) did what he needed to do tonight, beating Sandro Siproshvili (15-5-1, 5 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision at the Kugelbake-Halle, Cuxhaven, Niedersachsen, Germany. For boxing fans hoping to see the Hide old – the one with the blazing hand speed – they unfortunately had to settle for a slower version and one who relies more on his jab compared to in the past.

Hide, 37, won every round of the fight and was never in trouble from the smaller six foot one inch Siproshvili who looked at least two to three inches shorter than his listed 6’1″ height. Hide fought well in the 1st round, throwing a lot of jabs and an occasional right hand. Hide doesn’t throw nearly as many rights or left hands as he did in his youth because of a combination of decreased hand speed and poor stamina.

Often times, by the time that his slow punches get to where he’s aiming at, his target has drifted off course. However, he’s still able to land right hands to a big target like a midsection without missing nearly as much. Siproshvili showed little interest in firing back his own shots in the opening round, more content to try and block shots in order to survive.

For the most part, Siproshvili looked nervous and worried, as if he was afraid of being knocked out. As the rounds wore on and he came to realize that Hide didn’t have the hand speed to land effectively to the head, he began to throw more and more punches.

In the 2nd round, Hide cut Siproshvili on the side of his head after hitting him with two clubbing shots to the side of the head while in a clinch with him. The shots opened up a big cut in the scalp of Siproshvili, and had Hide cringing when he saw all the blood dripping down the side of Siproshvili’s head. The referee could have done a better job of correcting the clubbing punches in the clinch as they looked questionable, especially the location of where some of them landed from time to time.

Hide threw mostly jabs in the third round, many of them blocked by Siproshvili, who had his gloves up constantly in the round to avoid getting hit. Siproshvili began to open up from time to time with wild hooks and looked as if he were trying to score a knockout. His aim was terrible more often than not and he missed badly on most occasions. In the 4th and 5th rounds, Hide largely did little other than throw jabs. He mixed in a few clubbing shots in the clinch on one occasion but other than that, it was all jabs. Say what you will about Hide’s greatly reduced hand speed, he can still throw a nice jab from time to time.

Against Siproshvili, a C-class fighter at best, a jab alone was more than enough for Hide to control the rounds. By the 6th round, the fight hand settled down to an almost entirely jabbing affair. Hide had almost completely stopped throwing right hands, probably due to an energy conserving move but also likely because he wasn’t effective in landing the shots.

The ones that didn’t miss where often blocked by Siproshvili on his gloves and this had the effect of detracting Hide from throwing additional rights as the rounds progressed. Hide uncharacteristically threw a number of combinations early in the 7th, but quickly went back to his jab after gassing out from this brief expenditure of energy.

Hide started fast in the 8th, landing nice combinations in an attempt to finish strong and possibly get a knockout. Late in the round, Hide landed the best punch of the fight, a perfectly thrown left uppercut that hurt Siproshvili. However, Hide was either too tired or too lazy to follow up and ended up letting the moment pass him by.

In the end, Hide was simply a level above Siproshvili and easily beat him by a decision. The win puts Hide in against American Matt Godfrey in a WBC cruiserweight title eliminator match in March. One would suspect that Hide will need much more than a jab if he expects to beat Godfrey.

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