Boxing is different when you’re sitting ringside. The arena is colder than you’d probably expect. The chill in the air helps the audience, especially those close enough to hear the punches, actually feel the thudding of leather on flesh. The visceral difference between watching the fight from your living room and watching in person is as stark as watching a hockey game on your television and going to the icy hockey rink where you can feel the hits echo in the cold air. In hockey, however, the biggest hits often come alongside the walls, leaving you wondering whether a man falls to the power of another or the unforgiving rigidity of the walls themselves.
On Saturday night, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, I sat only a few rows removed from the action, and there was no question that when one man fell, it was due to the force of will of another and nothing else. It’s just too bad that the great knockouts of the night were untelevised and that for what most people saw on Showtime, the expectations of the fights drastically distorted what many felt they got.
Before I break down the fights that everyone tuned in for, Adrien Broner vs. Paulie Malignaggi and Seth Mitchell vs. Johnathon Banks, I have to give a quick shout-out to two fighters on the untelevised undercard whom you should pay attention to.
- Juan Dominguez, a Dominican featherweight, improved to 15-0 with 11 KOs after showing a thunderous left hook that left Bradley Patraw dazed and confused. If Dominguez continues to double up his hook to the body and head, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him more and more on Showtime.
- Rau’shee Warren, a three-time U.S. Olympian, knocked down Jiovanne Fuentes three times on his way to knockout victory. The amateur standout was fun to watch and showed the polish that comes along with a long and successful amateur career. I look forward to seeing if he can turn that amateur pedigree into pro success.
Now, on to the big boys.