The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
By Chris Bushnell
Tonight in Atlantic City, 1996 Olympic Gold Medal winner David Reid needed 12 rounds to earn his first world title, earning a wide unanimous decision over tough Frenchman Laurent Boudouani.
Although Reid had clear advantages in age, handspeed and power, he fought cautiously against Boudouani throughout the fight. Boudouani began the bout by immediately tipping his hand, leaving little doubt that his gameplan was to drop a counter right hand onto the drooping left eyelid of Reid and knock him out. In the first two rounds, Boudouanis clubbing right hand landed only occasionally, but with a thudding effectiveness that stole the first round and nearly the second.
The multi-talented Reid, however, was looking to land his own right hand, and began his set-up in the third by following up a rapid repeating jab with hard right hands to the Boudouanis side. As Reid crunched Boudouanis ribs, the champion began to drop his left, and Reid began taking control. When he doubled his jab, Reid could do as he pleased, and his momentum began banking round after round on the judges scorecards.
Boudouani was disciplined, however, and kept countering with sneak right hands. After five rounds, his dedication to the punch was rewarded when a mouse appeared under Reids notorious left eye. Combined with an already droopy eyelid, Reid appeared to be fighting with only one eye, despite his insistence both before and after the fight that his eye was never a problem.
In the sixth, the script continued as before with Reid controlling the pace and filling in the exchanges with busy punching. An increasingly desperate Boudouani continued to launch and land right hands to the side of Reids head. Reid, who was down twice in his last bout against gangly southpaw James Coker, showed a good chin under fire and remained composed.
Reid opened the seventh round by calmly jabbing Boudouani, who looked spent as the stanza began. For the entire frame, Boudouani did next to nothing as Reid did all of the throwing before, during, and after the two fighters would be tied up. But just as he looked finished, the champion ended the round by suddenly lashing out with a half dozen unanswered lead rights. The flurry may have stole him the round, but it did not dissuade Reid, who stormed out in eighth and used his hand speed and bursts of flurries to again take control of the fight.
Boudouani needed to take a stand, and at the urging of his corner, he attempted to pick up the pace in the ninth. For thirty seconds, he successfully repeated his end-of-the-eighth rally until a short left hook from Reid tagged Boudouani on the chin and had the champion wobbling in place at center ring. Reid remained patient and pursued the hurt titlist cautiously, but Boudouani ran and held until the bell saved him.
With Reid ahead, but not too far ahead, Boudouani tried in vain to regain the lead. In the tenth, he upped the volume of his right hand attack only to be beat to the punch by Reid. In the eleventh, Boudouani bobbed his head and looked to be well into a refreshing second wind, but Reid had an answer for everything, matching even Boudouanis best shots with return fire. And in the twelfth, when it was conceivable (although unlikely) that Boudouani could keep it close with a knockdown, Reid closed the show like the champion he was soon to become.
Coming out for the final round, Reid finally let his hands go and fought with the confidence that has made him a star. Reid battered Boudouani with machine gun style bursts of punches upstairs and down, sapping the champion of any remaining hope that his title would be saved. By the time the bell rang, Reids final round performance shut the door on any doubt as to who the winner would be when the scores were read. 118-112, 117-112 and 117-111 were the tallies, all telling the tale of the one sided, if workmanlike, win for David Reid.
Improving to 12-0/7, Reid picks up his first world title early into his budding career. In Reids short career, he has faced competition above and beyond that which many prospects face (combined record of his opponents to
date has been 348-50-6/244). Having a test every time out may have sharpened Reids skills, but has denied him of a truly exciting win. Tonight was no exception. Although he won comfortably, Boudouanis awkward style and good beard, prevented Reid from displaying true dominance. Stacked next to the bloody mauling that equally inexperienced Fernando Vargas displayed in winning his own 154 lb. title last year, Reid looks to be the less imposing figure. But his handspeed cannot be denied, his power ranks with anyones in the division, and his two fisted attack will be tough to beat. Now a world champion, he can look forward to lucrative paydays against Vargas, and a number of other welterweight champions whose dehydrated physiques will soon require a move to Reids division.
On the undercard, Great White Hype Lou Savarese survived big trouble to win a 10 round split decision over giant prospect Mount (formerly Lance) Whitaker. Savarese built an early lead by spending the first half of the fight
assaulting Whitakers midsection. Whitaker, for his part, fought surprisingly well on the inside when Savarese got in close. Snapping Lous head back with repeated uppercuts, Whitaker was unable to hurt Savarese with his arm punches.
Whitaker, who only began boxing several years ago, showed that size does matter, as he used his gigantic physique to make the most out of punches that were thrown with horrible form.
But in the sixth round, Whitakers uppercuts staggered Savarese back, and he let his hands go. Battering Savarese from one side of the ring to the other, Savarese finally took a knee in center ring. Although he was up by ten, it was only after referee Steve Smoger unusually coached Savarese by counting 5, 6, take your time, 7, 8, lets go, 9... Savarese was allowed to continue and Whitaker resumed the beating until, somehow, Savarese made it to the bell.
Having thrown an amazing 122 punches in the round, Whitaker was completely spent. Savareses consistent body attack combined with Whitakers inability to pace himself to sap him of any energy whatsoever. In the next round, Savarese began on unsteady legs, but quickly regained his composure as Whitaker did nothing except breath hard and lean on him. Clean punches were only a rumor at this point, as both men clinched, leaned and danced for the rest of the fight. Although some infighting sparked hopes of action, the final bell brought a halt to a bout that had fans wondering how either man would have been able to go 12 had the contract not limited them to 10 rounds.
Savarese (39-2/32) kept his hope of a Tyson payday alive by eking out a split decision: 97-93, 94-95, 95-93. Whitakers reputation goes from undefeated prospect to unconditioned arm puncher in one fight as he suffers his first loss, dropping to 18-1/16.
Overall, it was not a scintillating night of boxing, but one which served as a legitimate annoiting of one of the sports future stars and a sufficient appetizer for next weeks heavyweight showdown.
CERDAN DELIVERY: BOUDOUANI HANDS OVER A FRENCH BELT THAT'S THE HEIGHT OF "HURT" COUTURE
David Reid vs. Laurent Boudouani
Lou Savarese vs. Lance Whitaker
Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, NJ
March 6, 1999
With Fernando Vargas and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. from the Olympic class of 1996 already fashionably attired in their championship belts, David Reid did not want to be left too far behind, sartorially speaking. And in matters of
fistic fashion, where else does one look but the runways of France? In this case, the holder of the WBA's Jr. Middleweight "jacques" strap was Laurent Boudouani, a cagey but unexciting Algerian-born counterpuncher whose first appearance on U.S. television was a somnambulistic gift decision draw vs. Panamanian Guillermo Jones, and whose biggest marquee-name victim was a very faded Knockout Artist Formerly Known as Terry Norris. While the pundits paid lip service to Boudouani's toughness, the real interest in this bout was to see where the precocious Reid ranked in relation to his Olympic kinsmen, whether he would perform with the same brio that, say, Mayweather exhibited in cashiering high-quality boxers like Genaro Hernandez and Angel Manfredy? Most
thought, and rightly so, that Boudouani's Air France return flight would be lighter one championship belt. C'est la vie...
To be fair, the champion fought with guile, counterpunching in a workmanlike fashion for most of the bout, the largely one-handed Frenchman launching rare but genuinely threatening flurries behind his right hand leads and, at the end, throwing himself into the battle with a Legionnaire's valor. But those moments of glory were few and far between. For the vast majority of the tactical 12-rounder (in which Reid threw over 300 more punches than the
titlist), Boudouani simply waited, played defense, let Reid dictate where and how the fighting would take place, and prayed to catch the elusive Philadelphian with an unanticipated counter. It surprised no one that Reid walked away with a comfortable (perhaps not comfortable enough...) unanimous decision and the first title of his promising career.
In rounds like the first, fourth and seventh, Boudouani tried to play the thief, attempting to use early or late rallies to steal rounds on the judge's cards. His counterpunching style occasionally resulted in telling right hands, particularly in Round Ten, where an overhand right at the 2:00 mark appeared to wobble Reid slightly and opened the door for a stirring rally in the eleventh (the only frame which Boudouani controlled from start to finish).
The champion's right may have been rendered more effective by Reid's widely-publicized drooping left eyelid, something to file away for consideration in future bouts. But the story of the fight was Reid's superior footwork and hand speed. His punches flew more freely, from more angles and with more conviction, particularly an increasingly effective jab and the body shots that tenderized the champion for a Round Nine left hook that was the closest either boxer came to notching a clean KO. His lazy workrate made it hard for this reporter to give Boudouani rounds in which he launched only 30 or 60 seconds of effective campaigning. I scored the fight 119-109 for Reid, with the seventh stanza (dominated by Reid until a big Boudouani right at rounds' end), even. Reid seems set for a string of glitzy, high profile cable-TV matches, while Boudouani, who never exactly panned out as a U.S. TV favorite, should be trading in his Croix de Guerre for a Croix de Wear-and-Tear. Despite his
tenacity, the former champ's "400 Blows" were not nearly enough to turn back the latest ripple in a very real American New Wave.
In a compelling heavyweight matchup, the always-gutty New Yorker Lou Savarese posted a majority decision over the physically-imposing and previously undefeated Goosen prospect Lance "Mount" Whitaker. Whitaker's giant size belied the ease and grace with which he boxed in the early going. Unfortunately, Whitaker's balletic recital was interrupted by the persistent presence on his chest of Savarese's head and the steady pummeling of his body by Savarese's spirited and well-schooled infighting. Savarese, who tested no less a puncher than George Foreman, seemed to have no regard for Whitaker's power and built a comfortable cushion in the first half of the ten-rounder by wading through Whitaker's impressive-looking jab and waging fierce phone-booth warfare. The sixth was the fight's most exciting round, Whitaker using a looping right to initiate a fusillade of unanswered blows that temporarily incapacitated Savarese and ultimately led Lou to drop to a knee for a long eight count. By the seventh, both boxers were struggling to survive: Savarese, the effects of the drubbing he had taken the round before; Whitaker, the fatigue of throwing a jaw-dropping 122 punches in the sixth. Although Whitaker did good inside work (particularly some very artful and effective uppercuts) in the eighth, his inexperience and lack of fire betrayed him and a rebounding Savarese coasted in for the win. This reporter had the bout 96-93 for Savarese.
Reid Captures First World Title
By Francis Walker
On Saturday, March 6, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, David Reid, the only American fighter to win a gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, became the third fighter from that squad to capture a world championship. Reid (12-0, 7KOs), in only his twelfth professional contest, unanimously decisioned Laurent Boudouani (38-3-1, 32KOs) for the WBA junior middleweight crown. Reid, following in the footsteps of former Olympic teammates Fernando Vargas and Floyd Mayweather in having won world titles, will have his work cut out for him as his march toward greatness continues.
The bout, promoted by America Presents in association with Cedric Kushner Promotions, was televised live on HBO's "World Championship Boxing."
Reid's exceptional speed and power was a bit too much for the ever durable, but now ex-champion Boudouani. Reid, who had his tooth knocked out of his mouth during the grueling battle, kept beating Boudouani to the punch behind left-jabs. However, when Boudouani connected with his heavy right-hand shots, Reid staggered backwards off-balance.
In what was indeed the toughest battle of his career thus far, Reid's performance overwhelmingly impressed the judges who had Reid winning by wide margins of 118-112, 118-111, and 117-112.
It all started in the summer of '96. Desperately needing a knockout to win, Reid, severely down on points to the heavily favored Cuban Alfredo Duvergel, connected with an overhand right in the final round that knocked Duvergel out cold. At 23 years of age, Reid, who turned pro in March 1997, pulled off one of the most dramatic upsets in amateur boxing history and was on his way toward the start of a glamorous pro career.
Having soundly defeated an impressive list of contenders with blazing hand-speed and raw power, including Sam Calderon (W 4), John Long (TKO 2), James Coker (W 12), Dan Connolly (TKO 5), Jorge Vaca (KO 1), Robert Frazier (W 8), and Fidel Avendano ( W 8), the now 25-year-old Philadelphia resident was ready for a shot at Boudouani. Rightfully so, as the overall combined record of Reid's opposition was 310-48-5, 212K