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Bruno on Boxing

Joe Bruno - Former Vice President of the New York Boxing Writers
Association and the International Boxing Writers Association

Slanted Jabs and Assorted Jibes.
September 3, 2000

    On paper, HBO After Dark’s Saturday night twin bill of junior lightweights Diego Corrales vs Angel Manfredy and featherweights Erik Morales vs Kevin Kelley, looked like two competitive fights. In reality, it was two walkovers by two young champions, both in the top ten pound-for-pound fighters in the world today.

    Manfredy, only 25 years old, is best known for his win over Arturo Gatti a few years back. But he has twice been beaten in title fights, a second round TKO by Floyd Mayweather Jr., and a 12-round decision to Stevie Johnson. Make that 0-3 in title fights for Manfredy, after he was systematically taken
apart by Corrales, before referee Jerry McKenzie stopped the slaughter at
2:38 of the third round.

    In the first round, Corrales superior power was evident. A split second after Manfredy whacked the six-foot Corrales’ body with a double left hook, Corrales fired his own left hook to Manfredy’s right temple. Manfredy seemed
to have blocked most of the punch, but suddenly there he was, flat on his back, with the ref counting fingers over him. Only Manfredy’s guts and guile kept him from being a first round KO victim.

    Then in the second round a strange thing happened -- Corrales stopped throwing punches. Manfredy landed a few of his own, mostly left uppercuts inside, and he basically stole the round.

    Little did it matter, when in the third, Corrales commenced firing.  Pretty soon Manfredy was down two more times, the first from another left hook on the temple, and the second from a straight right to the chops, which dropped him against the bottom strand of ropes like a rag doll.

    Manfredy, a big man in the balls department, picked his fanny off the canvas a third time. But soon Corrales was all over him, firing lefts and right  that forced Manfredy’s legs to do that funny little dance a fuzzy brain  seems to produce.

    Manfredy’s wife Yvette stood frantically in her husband’s corner and yelled for the ref to stop the fight. Finally, McKenzie jumped between the fighters and ended the carnage before Angel got separated from his sense, possibly permanently.

    After the fight Corrales hugged both Manfredy and Yvette saying he was sorry. Manfredy told him, “You’ve got nothing to be sorry for. You were just doing your job.”

    Corrales won’t be hugging his estranged wife Maria in the near future. Corrales was arrested recently for breaking his pregnant 98-pound wife’s collarbone and a few of her ribs. Their fetus is apparently safe. Corrales maintains his innocence, but it’s hard to believe his wife got those injuries from walking into a wall. A judge and jury will sort out the facts in the near  future.

    "I'm not going to worry about it," said Corrales. He said that he would be vindicated when all the facts are known. He didn’t  deny hitting his wife, but seemed to indicate her injuries were not as serious as the press had portrayed.

    Why do fighters always get happy hands when they don’t see eye to eye their spouses? You’d think the eloquent Corrales would’ve used his impressive vocabulary on his wife instead.

    Most annoying to these jaded eyes was Corrales parading around the ring after the fight holding his four-year old son Joel (from his first marriage). The  kid made a face like he had just swallowed rancid milk, and looked like he rather be anywhere else in the world, than in the ring with his accused-felon father.

    Leave the kid at home, jerko. He shouldn’t be up at that hour anyway. 

    The second fight between Morrales and Kelley was a sad thing to watch.  Kelley, an HBO KO Nation color commentator, took the fight, for the bogus WBC interim featherweight world title, on one month’s notice against Morales,
possibly the world’s best 122 pounder. The added four pounds seemed to make
Morales faster and stronger, and he pounded Kelley in every round round before referee Lawrence Cole stepped in and stopped the fight at 2:33 of the
seventh round.

    “My brain was 22 but my body was 33,” Kelley said after the fight. Then without missing a breath, the loquacious Kelly started promoting next Saturday’s KO Nation fight card featuring Bronco McKart versus Winky Wright, where Kelley will do the color commentating in his own rapid-fire, lip wiggling way. The advice here is for Kelley to keep his 33-year old body out of the ring and his motor mouth behind the mike. Otherwise his 22-year old brain might start to wither away.

Just a reminder: If anyone is dumb enough to cough up their hard-earned cash for next Saturday night’s Roy Jones-Eric Harding light heavyweight title bout on Pay-Per-View, you deserve to get beat. This fight is an HBO fight at best, and only because of the stature of Jones as possibly the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today.

    You want to see butchery, watch Silence of the Lambs instead. Harding has just as much chance of beating Jones as Pee Wee Herman has of starring  in the next James Bond movie.

    Hey, maybe I shouldn’t be beating up on Paul Reubens (Pee Wee’s real name) so much. Reubens lives down here in Sarasota near yours truly, and was seen recently prowling a local high school reunion, apparently not held in a X-rated theater. The erstwhile Pee Wee was seen caressing a cold beverage and shooting the spit will old high school chums.  

    Reportedly, he was holding the beverage with two hands.


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