Dennis Andries vs. Jeff Harding I: No Running, No Hugging just Slugging
By Gerardo Granados: Back in June 24th of 1989 at the Convention Center, Atlantic City, USA; veteran WBC light heavyweight Dennis Andries W34(21)-L7-D2 faced a young hungry lion named Jeff Harding W14(1)-L0-D0 who was a replacement for Donny Lalonde who pulled out of the fight due religious beliefs just a few weeks before the bout. And the result was one epic battle for the ages with Jeff Harding winning a hard earned TKO12 to become the first Australian light heavyweight world champion.
If the reader hasn’t seen it yet then I strongly recommend you to search for it and enjoy, because it was a terrific fight of will to beat to the punch and not just to outpoint his adversary. The fight was great with Harding landing crushing punches to the body and Andries connecting solid rights and lefts on Jeff´s granite chin. The work rate was high and the pace was crazy. The bout was only the first of a great trilogy between these two brave mean sons of boxing.
Sometimes boxers think that to constantly hold on the inside is a smart strategy to negate your opponent of his inside game, but to be honest it only proves the weak inside game of the Hug Masters. Last Saturday we all saw how Adrien Broner constantly hug-clinch-hold and also pushed Shawn Porter, it was a disappointing performance from Referee Tony Weeks who took a point off Broner on the eleventh round but could as well have done it since the third round.
Maybe the reader also thinks that to hold is a smart defensive tactic but let us not forget that the rules are clear and to hold (clinch-hug) is a FOUL, and to constantly foul during a bout can result in a warning, point deduction and even disqualification by the Referee. But sadly now a days it is hard to see a Referee to have the courage to not only take off a point early on the fight but even less to see him to disqualify a boxer with the status of Adrien Broner.
Days ago a friend said that he haven’t seen a fight in which there was so much holding allowed by the referee so I told him to watch the Roberto Duran vs Lou Bizarro (1976); it was a disgrace to see how Referee Waldemar Schmidt allowed Bizarro to flagrantly hold on to Duran each and every single time they were in close range.
Fights should be fought like the Andries vs Harding bout and if one of the contenders start to hold as a clear strategy to negate his opponent to take advantage of his superior inside game then the Referee should impose his authority and apply the rules.
For a boxer to constantly hold during a round negates the audience to enjoy a good fight, also the Hug Masters should not be favored by fight judges by allowing them to win the round by fighting dirty.
I really hate to see a hug fest; I prefer to see fighters not running, not hugging but just slugging. But what about the reader, do you also hate the Hug Masters?