Well we have another month of fights down, and some of the biggest names in the sport were in action. Sergio Martinez, Zab Judah, James Kirkland, Juan Manuel Lopez, Wladimir Klitschko and of course, the man himself, Erik Morales all mixed it up over the course of a very busy month in the fight game. So with so many stars, who was the man to come out with our Fighter of the Month honors?
It had to be Orlando Salido. Absolutely had to be, there was no doubt in our minds. Salido proved that his shock upset of Juan Manuel Lopez wasn’t just an upset. He simply put an exclamation point on their two fight series by winning courtesy of another KO. Although Salido was the victor in the first bout many were still predicting a win from Lopez. Thoughts seemed to be the mental affects of a divorce were doing much to distract JuanMa from the first fight and now that things had settled down he would regain his spot in the division.
“Siri” Salido was having none of that. The cat even took the return fight in Puerto Rico again. Many figured he was brave for taking the original scrap in Puerto Rico but at that time Salido didn’t really have the weight to throw around and fight in a neutral location. For the return fight the new champion could have easily negotiated for it to be in his home country, Mexico, or a site such as Vegas or NYC. Salido’s a warrior though. Home turf or not, he isn’t bothered. And that shined through when he picked up another KO victory in a thrilling war that may have topped the original fight. So our choice was clear.
Mind you clear does not mean obvious. Zab Judah, who at one time occupied a top spot in the sport, made a most impressive comeback absolutely dominating Vernon Paris. We have a hard time calling it a fight for Judah, although Paris’ night was the exact opposite. Zab looked like the Zab of old, a rough cat with lightning fast hands and devastating combinations. But Paris is the type of fighter he should be defeating even if we personally didn’t see it happen.
Another candidate this month was Danny Garcia. He met Mexican legend Erik Morales on the same night of the Judah fight. He did well to establish himself. As much as we wanted Morales to win the doubt is always in ones mind when a guy like Morales, 35 and veteran of many a ring war, steps between the ropes. You have to ask yourself just how much could possibly be left in the tank. We unfortunately found the answer, not a whole lot. Morales wasn’t able to pursue and track down Garcia the way he use to. Imposing his will, moving forward and never giving up were always Morales strong points. Unfortunately two of those seem to be lost now. Morales ain’t ever the type of cat to give up though. Not to take away from a great performance from Garcia. It would’ve been easy to be overwhelmed and overly cautious being in there with Morales. But he came with a gameplan and stuck to it. Now he’s opened up the possibilities for some very exciting fights which could well earn him this award later in the year.
Other than these three, it was business as usual with everyone else. Sergio Martinez put on another great performance in a St. Patrick’s Day showdown with Englishman Matthew Macklin. Haters were accusing of Martinez looking bad in the early parts of the fight but we attribute that down to working out Macklin’s tendencies and timing. He set traps for Macklin and once he started connecting it was the same shots over and over that led to a KO victory. Klitschko’s fight was another boring affair and James Kirkland’s unfortunate cuddle session with Carlos Molina left us wondering if Kirkland can string together a few good performances or if he’s only good against brawlers AND if the Texas Commision could get anymore goofy.
At the end of the month it was a pretty entertaining one, but once we start up the April’s previews we think you’ll be salivating just as much as us over all the action on offer.