Well, for people who follow boxing, Ricky Hatton is the only legitimate champion in a very deep 140 lb “junior lightweight division”. This past Saturday, while my DVR was working, Timothy Bradley and Kendall Holt – each of whom hold an alphabet title of some sort – fought a unification fight. It is actually an important fight, something Showtime has been telling us for months, kind of tactily admitting how bare their championship boxing schedule actually is. Both fighters won their straps over fairly significant competition – Bradley beating highly regarded Brit Junior Witter and Kendall Holt beating Ricardo Torres in a pretty eventful 60 seconds of boxing.
Anyway, after a very entertaining undercard fight … hell, how does something with Librado Andrade not be entertaining … we get to the fight from Montral (between a guy from California and one from Jersey – I do not understand this beloved sport sometimes). And really, Kendall Holt will be talking to himself for the rest of his career, after such a desultory performance.
It is not as if Bradley is great shakes. Bradley just worked. The perfect microcosm of the fight took place in Round 1. After Bradley was sort of plugging away, mixing punches, “boxing” in a classic textbook (albeit kind of plodding) manner. Then out of nowhere, Holt lands a huge counter and knocks down Bradley. In 99% of fights, this sort of knockdown – which hurt Bradley – would cause the knocker downer to step his pace up and try to really go after him. But instead, he just went about his business. There was a KO to be had, and Holt chose not to chase it.
With this second chance, Bradley just started working, and Holt let him. It was really weird to see, as round after round was being given away just because Bradley worked harder. Despite his jab knocking Bradley back every time, despite his power uppercut in the 9th round, Holt never went after him, and he gave rounds away. At times, I just was not sure how much he wanted to be there – like he had a date he was missing for this. Even in the 12th, with his corner pleading for Holt to come forward, nothing was going on – except for a flash knockdown in the 12th (actually a knee, really hard to say). Holt’s lethargy directly led to his defeat, as it should have – Bradley just wanted it more. The judges had it 114-112, 115-111, 115-111, all for Bradley. I had it 114-112.
Holt could have had it, but he did not go after it. And either way, Hatton is still the king.