By Louie Burke
It’s been an exhausting night of boxing, 5 bouts, 5 rounds each, 5 minutes between bouts and I’m beat. Unfortunately for the team I helped coach, we only won one of the five bouts. Everton Lopes, from Brazil, beat Koba Pkhakadze from Georgia.
Siju fought a valiant fight, I had him winning the first round, as he kept his French foe at bay, but the bigger Ludovic Groguhe, closed the distance in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, which were close rounds. The fourth round I thought was Sijus best round, he kept Groguhe at a distance and when he did come in, Siju peppered him with crisp combinations, swelling his left eyelid. In round 5, Groguhe caught Siju with a right hand, putting siju down for a flash knockdown. Siju was immediately up, more embarrassed than hurt, but he let Groguhe take control of the fight. Siju lost the 5 round and the fight, but he put up a hell of a fight to a much bigger man. At weigh-ins Siju had to drink quit a bit of water just to make the weight, while his opponent sweated down to the 85kg limit.
Where going to have to figure out how to beef Siju up a bit, because I feel that was the difference. I’m guessing, Siju was giving up at least 15 lbs by fight time. As I mentioned in a prior blog, the weight limit for light- heavy in the amateurs in international competition is 80kg and Siju always came in light, making him a small light heavy. Now for the WSB, the light heavy limit is 85 kg, which is about an 11 lb difference. And with the guy sweating down and replenishing his fluids over a 30 hour period, I’d bet the farm that Siju gave away at least 15 lbs and maybe 20! That’s a hard handicap to overcome in first class competition.
Siju is disapointed as would be expected but he’s in good spirits and knows what he has to do to improve. The rest of the fights went as follows:
Vitaliy Volkov, (Ukr) dec Denis Makarov, (Germ)
Everton Lopez (brazil) dec Koba Pkhakadze (georgia)
Sergiy Derevyanchenko ( Ukr) dec Yamaguchi Florentino (brazil)
Jean Ludovic Groguhe ( France) dec Sijuola Shabazz (USA)
The only controversial decision of the night was Istvan Bernath ( hungry) over Javier Jose Torres, (USA).
Torres, a fast handed heavy punching heavy out of Los Angeles, went right for Bernath’s mid-section, causing the Hugarian to shell up, most of the first round. The second round, I thought was Torres’ again, as he raked Bernath’s body. In round 3 and 4 Bernath took control, keeping Torres on the outside. The fifth round saw Torres come back to life and viciously went after the Hungarian, catching him with some solid right hands. The ref had to step in and give the Hungarian a standing 8 count, which I thought sealed the fight for Torres, but I was wrong and Torres lost a spit decision.
The show went well and it was a pleasure coaching and coaching against so many top athletes from across the world !