Judah beats Paris; Jennings defeats Liakhovich; Adamek decisions Aguilera
By Jim Dower: 34-year-old Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KO’s) proved a lot of boxing fans wrong by not only beating previously undefeated light welterweight contender Vernon Paris (26-1, 15 KO’s) in their IBF light welterweight eliminator, but he did in style, by out-boxing and out-slugging him until stopping him in the 9th round at the Aviator Sports Complex, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Judah ended the slaughter by hurting the 24-year-old inexperienced Paris with a hard left hand in the 9th and then flurrying on him with a two-fisted attack until referee Steve Willis stepped in and halted the fight at 2:07 of the 9th.
It was never much of a fight to begin with, as Judah jabbed Paris and alternated with sustained combinations that had Paris covering up as if he was looking for cover in a bombing raid. Paris was so badly out of his league that you wondered how he had accumulated so many victories without a loss. The answer to that is by soft matchmaking.
In rounds one through four, Paris was pretty much constantly coming forward looking to land his body and head shots. He found some success, as Judah was there to be hit. But what hurt Paris was that Judah was landing fast combinations with a lot of power and was easily winning the rounds. In contrast, Paris looked painfully slow and lacked the hand speed to be competitive. Even compared to some of Judah’s weaker opponents over the years, Paris was slower than even them. And he didn’t make up for his lack of hand speed by having crushing power, because his power was very average.
The fight turned into a complete round from the 5th, as Paris was no longer throwing a lot of punches and was just getting drilled by Judah. This is where it seemed that Paris’ trainer might have done him a favor by stopping the fight because he was just taking punishment from this point in the fight and was no longer competitive. In the last minute of the 8th, Judah backed Paris up against the ropes and opened up with a salvo of shots, one of them being a clubbing right hand that seemed to stun Paris.
In the first few seconds of the 9th, Paris’ body language looked as if he didn’t want any more, as he stood in front of his corner instead of attacking and was immediately hit with a huge left hand that snapped his head sideways and caused him to back all the way to the corner. Judah then flurried on him until the referee wisely stepped in and halted the fight at 2:07 of the round.
Adamek beats Aguilera
With a little more weight on his frame compared to his last fight, Tomas Adamek (45-2, 28 KO’s) defeated Nagy Aguilera (17-7, 12 KO’s) by a 10 round unanimous decision in what turned out to be a rather dull fight after the three interesting rounds at the beginning. The judges’ scored it 99-91, 100-90 and 100-90.
The 35-year-old Adamek wasn’t looking for a particularly tough test, as he needed a confidence booster after being man-handled by WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko last September in a 10th round TKO loss.
Aguilera, 25, proved to be the perfect medicine for Adamek, because he didn’t put a lot of pressure on him and didn’t throw a lot of punches. However, some of the ones he did land in the early going had Adamek knocked back from the force of the blows. It was good that Adamek didn’t get hit with great frequency because he would have some problems due to Aguilera’s power.
Adamek moved around a lot in the first two rounds of the fight and the action was pretty even with Adamek landing pecking shots and Aguilera blasting him with huge punches whenever he could catch up to him. In the 3rd round, Adamek staggered Aguilera with a nice left hand. Aguilera would come back later in the round to land a big right to the head. If there was any questions about Adamek’s chin, he proved right there that he can take a solid shot. I wouldn’t given him too many chances of taking more than half dozen of those shots, but he held up well with that one big shot.
In the 4th round, Adamek and Aguilera went toe-to-toe with back and forth action through much of the round. Adamek got the better of the action but he was hit hard.
Aguilera came back to do the better work in the 5th with some really solid shots. Adamek pecked away with jabs but played it safe for the most part by moving constantly.
In rounds six through ten, Aguilera went into almost complete shutdown, throwing very few punches and just following the constantly moving Adamek around the ring but being too slow to catch up to him.
Adamek did what he had to do to beat a limited fighter. I can’t say I was impressed with the heavier Adamek, because he’s no stronger than he was before when he was weighing 216, but he’s a lot slower. A good heavyweight will wipe him out. He’s too small and he’s starting to get old.
Jennings stops Liakhovich
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings (13-0, 6 KO’s) took a huge step in his career with a 9th round stoppage victory over 35-year-old former WBO heavyweight champion Sergiy Liahovich (25-5, 16 KO’s). The fight was halted after the 9th round due to Liakhovich having taken too much punishment from the 27-year-old Jennings. Liakhovich’s left eye was badly bruised and his nose was bleeding. The fight was largely one-sided with Liakhovich taking a lot of punishment from the jabs and combinations from the 6’2″ Jennings. Although Liakhovich had the size advantage in the fight, he didn’t have the speed to catch up to the constantly circling Jennings and couldn’t handle Jennings powerful combinations. As the rounds wore on, Liakhovich seemed to get discouraged and didn’t look like he had his heart into it by the 8th. The ringside doctor stopped Liakhovich before he could come out to the 9th to examine him. He let him go out and fight but you could see then that he would be stopping it soon. Liakhovich went out for the 9th and took a lot of combinations to the head from Jennings, who looked like he was trying to finish Liakovich off. In between rounds, the fight was then stopped.
Overall, I thought Jennings looked really good. He’d give a lot of heavyweights problems. However, I think he’s limited by his lack of height and big time power. He moves well, so that’ll help him against better fighters, but he’ll still have a ton of problems against a bigger, stronger heavyweight that is smart enough to use his jab. Liakhovich is a big heavyweight but he didn’t use his jab, so he lost. Had developed a jab at some point in his career, he likely would have been fine tonight but that part of his game was under developed and he was picked off tonight. The super heavyweights like the Klitschkos, David Price, Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius, Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Dimitenko would likely have no problems beating Jennings. You can probably throw in Deontay Wilder in the mix, because if he landed even one of his big rights, Jennings would be in a world of hurt.
Stevens destroys Johnson
Super middleweight Curtis Stevens (22-3, 16 KO’s) had his way with Romaro Johnson (11-6-1, 6 KO’s), blasting him out in the 1st round with a big right hand. The fight was stopped at 2:16 of the round by referee Eddie Claudio. Johnson has now lost his last four fights. Stevens, 27, was beaten by Jessie Brinkley by a 12 round unanimous decision in January 2010. Stevens didn’t fight at all in 2011 until tonight’s fight against Johnson.
Curtis Stevens TKO 1 Romaro Johnson
Other fights on the card
Angel Garcia TKO 2 Alan Beeman
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