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Rios and Antillon produced a three-round classic.
A week after the heavyweight snoozefest,
lightweights Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon
remind fans how the sport is supposed to look


Last Saturday, as Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye joined forces in an attempt to be the first people to simultaneously bore 60,000 people into unconsciousness, Brandon Rios was preparing for war. With the disappointment from last Saturday’s “fight” still on everyone’s minds, Rios and Urbano Antillon engaged in a brutal, albeit short battle that ended in the third round when Rios bashed Antillon into permanent spin-mode.

This was the fight every hardcore fan had been waiting for. Antillon is exciting enough by himself, but when paired with rising star and slugger Brandon Rios, they provided intense action for every second the fight lasted. On this night, the trash talk in the weeks prior to the fight was backed up to the fullest; these two disliked each other, and the enmity translated to sheer violence in the ring.

The first round was close, but Rios landed a few more of the bigger shots, giving him the edge. They immediately set on a prolific pace; there would be no feeling out period. Rios seemed slightly buzzed at the end of round two, when Antillon tagged him with a wicked left hook and a few crosses for good measure. In round three, Rios whacked Antillon with a right hand directly in the center of his face, dropping him to the mat. Antillon smiled but was clearly in very bad shape, and Rios didn’t let him get it together. He finished him off with a brilliant display of vicious, yet accurate and controlled power punching.

It was a fight that left the crowd buzzing. Last weekend’s heavyweight fight? Not so much. After years of trash talk, the resulting fight was just that, trash. The majority of critics blamed Haye for the awful fight. He had after all (GASP!) claimed that he would beat up Klitschko. He actually said he’d destroy him. Somehow, it bothered people when he didn’t fire off after the opening bell like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, swinging wildly with both hands. It also bothered many critics when Haye found himself immediately overmatched, with Klitschko’s jab rendering any offensive attack useless.

I guess he could have thrown caution and common sense aside and attempted to rip the champ’s head off, which would have no doubt ended with Haye flat on his back. He didn’t. He froze up against a far superior fighter and took a lopsided loss standing up. Well, standing up save for the 211 times he stumbled to the mat during the course of the fight. While it was absolutely, emphatically painful to watch, it was not all Haye’s fault. Klitschko, for all of his dominance, is completely content to throw nothing but jabs for an entire fight, mixing in the occasional right hand. He scores plenty of knockouts, but usually after the fight has lasted far longer than it should. He also reacts to a punch thrown his way like someone would react if a giant swarm of Africanized bees suddenly attacked their face. It makes for horrific fights.

Haye of course did absolutely nothing to warrant the fight other than spout a whole bunch of nonsense. It happens. The surprise here was that so many people thought Haye would actually drill Klitschko into the mat, just because he said he would. If boxing has taught us anything, it’s that words mean nothing.

The talk this summer should have been about the upcoming fights in the lighter weights. But as long as mainstream media points to the heavyweight division and laughs, so too will casual fight fans. Fortunately for us, guys like Rios, Marquez, Gamboa, Maidana, and Katsidis make sure the joke is on them.


More columns
by Lou Catalano

Dannie Williams plans to bash his way to the top

Sugarless: Can a faded Mosley shock boxing?

Nobody is safe: Marquez latest victim of crazy 2011

Enough is rarely enough for proud fighters like Morales

Lucian Bute might be the best of the super middleweights

Kelly Pavlik re-emerges

Leow, Pavlik ready to make a run at 168







Image by FlamingText.com

Lou Catalano was born in Buffalo, NY. 

He graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a bachelors degree in English.


He is a Bills and Sabres fan, born and raised, and fell in love with boxing as a teenager

after watching Roy Jones wail on poor Vinny Paz.


Lou currently lives outside of Buffalo

with his wife and two sons, and his hobbies include playing sports (Madden and NHL included) and hainging out wiht family and friends.

CLICK HERE to contact Lou Catalano


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