by Fox Doucette
Tonight’s edition of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights was like a bad blind date. Slow, plodding, not terribly passionate, and at the end you were left with a guy with a disappointed look on his face when he heard the opinion of who he was supposed to be trying to impress. Carlos Molina (20-5-2, 6 KOs) played the role of the disinterested woman and his suitor, Damian Frias (19-5-1, 10 KOs), was the one left with a case of pugilistic blue balls tonight. In the co-feature, Don George (23-2-1, 20 KOs), lucky as all the leprechauns in Ireland for not having had to fight Adonis Stevenson, instead disposed of completely shot Colombian club fighter Dionisio Miranda (21-8-2, 18 KOs), handing him his seventh career KO loss.
Carlos Molina did not leave a lot to analyze tonight. He came forward, worked Frias to the body, tied up when Frias sought to fight back, lathered, rinsed, and repeated for ten rounds en route to a victory by a count of 100-90 on all three judges’ cards, Teddy Atlas’ card, your columnist’s card, and quite possibly Stevie Wonder’s card and Gary the Retard’s card from the Howard Stern show as well. This fight could not have been easier to score if it tried.
Molina is the classic example of the guy who the technical-fighter lovers drool over for his strong technique and excellent discipline and ability as a boxer. For the guys who prefer the Arturo Gattis and Micky Wards of the world, Molina is a nightmare scenario come to life. Never has a fighter, who looked so good to hardcore boxing fans and trainers amateur and pro alike, been such a turnoff to the casual fans. This win was desultory, joyless, and entirely predictable, Teddy Atlas comparing the night to Felix Hernandez’s perfect game for the Seattle Mariners the other night. While Frias did get a couple of good shots in, this only modified the narrative slightly, as Joe Tessitore settled upon calling it a “two-hit complete game shutout.” That sounds about right. Also considering the Mariners’ offense, the metaphor requiring ten “innings” seems about right as well.
The co-feature was under no such constraint. Don George, who had spent his training camp preparing for a southpaw in Adonis Stevenson, came out looking bewildered against Miranda. The Colombian was able to display superior ring generalship and open up a decent lead early in the fight, taking the first three rounds on the Boxing Tribune’s scorecards, while Teddy Atlas had it 29-29 with an even round in the third.
However, once the fight got going and Don George found his range, a simple fact about Dionisio Miranda became brutally obvious. Miranda has no chin, no heart, no ability, and no hope against even modest competition on the level of a glorified Chicago club fighter. With the sixth round consisting mainly of Don George landing a series of slobber knockers that by all rights should have put Miranda to sleep faster than a shot of whiskey into a toddler, Miranda’s corner and the fighter himself quit after that half dozen rounds were completed. Don George had his TKO, and word has it that he will get his matchup with Stevenson at the Bell Centre in Montreal on October 13th. If George fights like he did tonight, he might very well get killed in there.
Finally, there was a swing bout, as one fighter showed why he’s an aspiring pro and the other fighter showed why he’s won only one of six pro fights. Vilier Quiñonez (5-0, 3 KOs) controlled distance, hit harder, moved his hands faster and more freely, and just generally beat the snot out of Eddie Tigs (1-3-2, 0 KOs) for four rounds. Tigs did, in spots in the final frame, move his hands and seemed to benefit from his aggression, but it was your columnist being simultaneously a bit charitable coupled with being unimpressed by Quiñonez’s willingness to engage in that fourth round that led the Boxing Tribune card to go 39-37 on this swing fight. The judges at ringside plus Teddy Atlas all had it 40-36.
This ends the Friday Night Fights season; the next ESPN2 boxing event will be on September 13th between Jessie Vargas and Aron Martinez. The Boxing Tribune will have full coverage, treating that Thursday boxing special as if it were a regular episode of FNF. Friday Night Fights goes on its college football-induced hiatus and will return in earnest in January of 2013. For us here at the Tribune, it will be Fox Doucette’s third season at the helm, so join us for the best coverage of ESPN boxing on the Internet—better, dare we say, than ESPN’s own coverage of itself. Stay tuned. We’re the worldwide leader in covering the Worldwide Leader.
Fox Doucette covers Friday Night Fights for The Boxing Tribune. His weekly column, The Southpaw, appears on Thursdays. Fan mail, hate mail, and criticism in advance for the pay-per-view coverage Fox will be contributing to the Tribune for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight can be sent to email@example.com. Thanks for a great sophomore campaign—you the readers make this all worthwhile.