September 12, 2009

Beverly Hills, CA

The Playboy Mansion Plays Host to the WBC and a Packed House of Fight Fans

On a night when there were five fights in the state of California, the folks who went to watch the main event in Hugh Hefner's back yard, saw the best one of the night, and maybe even the best one of the year. Not to take anything away from all of the other Saturday night fighters, but Eloy Perez and Dannie Williams reminded us why neither one of the had lost a fight. The men were motivated by the prospect of remaining unbeaten, wearing the WBC superfeatherweight belt, and loud devout fans sitting ringside.

The opening round started rather slowly as both fighters maneuvered to find the spot where they might gain an advantage. Perez found some comfort fighting in the middle of the ring. Williams discovered his advantage when he backed Perez on the ropes and made him fight inside. As the round wound to an and the action sped up a bit as each man began to land his jab. Neither got stung though, that would have to wait for the next round.

After exchanging jabs while trying to sneak a shot in to the body, Perez caught Williams flush and sent him to the canvas. The referee counted, Williams stood, Perez looked ready to jump him and end the fight early. That strategy is usually effective, but a downed boxer can also react like a wounded animal, and react Williams did. As Perez tried to out punch Williams he left himself open up the middle, and Williams slipped a hard, fast right through Perez's defense and dropped him. At that moment we had the beginnings of a great fight.

In between rounds, in both corners, handlers were telling their fighter not to rush the fight, to continue to box, but be patient and create opportunities. Perez did just that as he answered the bell for round three. He landed his jab to set up his left hook. He was gaining a slight advantage when Williams showed that not only could he take a punch, but he could counter punch. In the midst of taking punches, while still moving forward and causing Perez to back toward the ropes, Williams landed an overhand right that dropped Perez. Perez stood, and shook his head and his gloves to signal that he was ok, but for the remainder of the round he fought a little more cautiously.

The fourth round was a head clearing round for both fighters. They threw jabs at each other's head and abandoned the body work. Perez found success with his head hunting late in the round when he caught Williams on the chin and snapped his head back. Perez went back the body work in the fifth round, a tactic that worked well for him. He again was able to set Williams up for the left hook, and when Williams brought the fight in close, Perez's left hook became a left uppercut.

One of the strange aspects of some athletes now is hair style. Williams wears his hair braided, and for fights tied fairly tight, but as a result of the battering, some of those braids were knocked loose. While they might have created a problem for Williams, they became even more dangerous when the men fought in close as they whipped in to Perez's eyes. Shortly after a Perez right opened up a cut next to William's left eye, and the action slowed a bit, the referee called for time and took Williams to his corner to tie the loose ends of his hair. That certainly was advantageous for Williams as he got a bit of time to recover.

Perez went right after the cut in round six, and the blood flowed. The blood slowed Williams some, and Perez stepped up the pressure. The seventh round might have been one of the best in a long time. Sure, Perez was landing more shots than Williams, and at times it appeared that Williams was hurt and the fight could have been stopped, but there is no quit in Williams. He kept fighting, which meant that Perez had to keep working.

The pace slowed again in the eighth, perhaps a natural course when two men fight as fast as Williams and Perez. In the last twenty seconds of the round, after the urging of the corner men, the action sped up again. In the final rounds Williams started throwing wider shots. That enabled Perez to step in close and use his quick left uppercut. In the final round Perez worked hard to keep the fight in the center of the ring, Williams wanted to back Perez in to the ropes. Both men were successful in moments, though Perez controlled most of the action.

After ten hard fought rounds, the judges scored the fight 98-91, 97-94 and 95-94. Eloy Perez would score the unanimous decision win, remain unbeaten, and hold claim to the WBC title.

Perez lands the right over the top

Williams and Perez connect with the left

Jon Schorle raises Perez's hand after the win

Orr's left catches the chin, while Stanislavjevic's right finds the target

Stanislavjevic worked Orr in the fifth, eventually knocking him down

The matchmaker that put together the bout between Donnie Orr and Danny Stanislavjevic needs to get a whole lot of credit for understanding that records can be deceiving, and that a fight must be won in the ring, not on paper. How else could he know that unbeaten Orr (14 wins) would receive all he could handle from the 8 and 16 Stanislavjevic.

Stanislavjevic had not won a fight since June of 2007, but that win came against a tough Mexican fighter, in Mexico. Since then he had gone the distance and lost in four fights, had one stopped due to a cut, one draw and one no contest. In six of Orr's last seven fights he too had gone the distance. Stamina did not seem to be a problem for these two men. That being so, it was rather interesting when in the middle of this fight, when the men were battering each other, voices in the crowd were yelling, 'He's getting tired, jump on him.' Stanislavjevic heard those calls, and more than once answered them, calling back, "I'm not tired." And it appeared he was telling the truth.

Orr took control of the action in the first round as he proved stronger on the inside. he was content to methodically use his jab so that he could fire his right to Stanislavjevic's ribs. Early in the fight Stanislavjevic threw punches from the outside in, and was unable to land anything solid.

Stanislavjevic made an adjustment in the second round when he decided to counter punch while Orr was on the attack. He was effective, and he did land some good hard shots, but he was taking shots from the offense minded Orr. Entering the third round Orr appeared to gain strength. He was able to land punches to Stanislavjevic's head, and the damage was visible near Stanislavjevic's left eye which began to get a bit puffy. The slugfest continued through the fourth, though Orr's ability to sustain an attack and move out of trouble gave him an edge in the score.

In the fifth round Orr got a bit complacent. he dropped his hands and slacked off the offensive attack. Stanislavjevic seized the opportunity to jump Orr. After backing him into the ropes and working the body, Stanislavjevic landed a right hand that dropped Orr to the mat. He stood, but for much of the round he had to move to stay out of trouble while regaining his legs.

Sensing that he could pull of the win if he could again catch Orr, Stanislavjevic launched an all out pursuit in the final round. Orr was clever in defense. he moved well enough to stay away from Stanislavjevic's big right, and when the two did stand close enough to exchange, Orr had the upper hand.

At the end of six, two judges scored the bout 57-56, the third judge saw the fight 58-55, all in favor of Donnie Orr.

Sergey Kovalev is making a habit of dispensing of competition early. He has fought four times, but not once has he entered a second round. Ayodeji Fadeyi should have been the man to push Kovalev a bit. Fadeyi is a veteran of eighteen fights, having fought seventy rounds. But, Fadeyi would have no answer against the strong Russian.

Kovalev wasted little time in the fight before Fadeyi felt his power. Kovalev, who has an impressive reach with his jab, went to work on Fadeyi's body. Midway through the opening round Kovalev landed a left flush to Fadeyi's ribcage. The pain was immediate, though the message took a while to get to Fadeyi's brain. He weathered the initial punch, but as soon as Kovalev stepped back to reload, Fadeyi dropped to a knee. Fadeyi was close to going down for a second time with 20 seconds left in the round, again after Kovalev threw a hard left to the body. Kovalev closed the round with an effective flurry of punches that battered Fadeyi against the ropes. had Fadeyi not been able to regain his balance by falling in to the ropes, he would have gone down at the close of the round.

The referee followed Fadeyi to his corner at the end of the round, spoke a few words to the cornermen and ended the fight. Kovalev remains unbeaten, and has yet to enter a second round.

Kovelav battered Fadeyi

Alison

Stacy

Pilar

Deana

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