Sunday, December 08, 2013
ESPN - Missing Kirkland vs Tapia Boxing Slugfest
Yes folks, what's missing in this mornings ESPN online headlines is what might've been some of the best rounds of the year in professional boxing. The undercard fight of James Kirkland vs Glen Tapia began with a fury of blows exchanged and ended with what looked like a crushing concussion causing TKO.
Tapia came out in the first round with one purpose and one purpose only; to knock Kirkland the freak out. He came close! But close in the world of boxing can be very painful. Painful as in three rounds of pain inflicting blows with each man refusing to give an inch while taking a mile of punishment. It truly was a contest of wills, and the action could not continue at that opening pace with little defense evident.
As the fighters punched themselves drunk, it became clear that Kirkland, maybe through his intense conditioning regimen with female trainer Anne "Brown Sugar" Wolf, was the stronger, more powerful gladiator. Kirkland, or "The Mandingo Warrior" as he's called, withstood the best Tapia had to give. Tapia could not stay the course and eventually looked sleep on his feet as the referee came in to stop the fight in round 6 and save maybe the career of Tapia.
Unfortunately for Tapia though, Mandingo was in Warrior mode by the time of the stoppage. He caught the unprotected Tapia with a hellacious blow to the head that snapped "Jersey Boy's" head back and saw his body slump against the ropes and into the arms of the referee.
Jersey Boy from Passaic was for all intents and purposes a car wreck on the NJ turnpike, needing cleanup and escort to the shoulder of the boxing ring. In hindsight, it was obvious that Tapia was asleep on his feet in the final seconds before the stoppage and was no doubt groggy and lifeless in his corner between those final rounds.
But gotta give Jersey Boy his props, whenever the doctor talked stoppage or the bell rung for the next round, he was up off his stool in a flash, throwing punches and connecting. Problem was those punches were landing on the grill of a mack truck coming head-on with no intention of engaging brakes
I'd like to think that any other boxer besides Kirkland would've crumbled from the barrage of blows Tapia was connecting with. But the Mandingo Warrior isn't just any boxer, he's one on a who's been through incarceration, did his time and with comback complete, refuses to let anything diminish or take away his light middle-weight title. And so the beating that Tapia took from Kirkland was nothing personal, the Jersey Boy just got in the way of an unstoppable force traveling the boxing championship circuit.
Rigondeaux and Macklin both win decisions
ESPN Headlines Nov. 8, 2013