Friday, July 28, 2006

Ibragimov and Austin in thriller, bout ends in draw

By JE Grant

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. --- Powerhouse prospect Sultan Ibragimov, 19-0-1 (17 KOs), Russia, 231 ½, and veteran Ray Austin, 24-3-4 (16 KOs), Cleveland, 245 ½, settled for a hard fought 12-round draw in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Hard Rock Café Friday night.

The highly touted southpaw Ibragimov was expected to use the title eliminator as his ticket to current division king Wladimir Klitschko. Apparently he also saw the bout as a tune-up based on his fleshy appearence.

The 35 year-old Ray Austin had a vision of another outcome and would not settle for being a mere speed bump.

In the opening round it momentarily appeared the night would be short when Ibragimov caught Austin crisply, wobbling his much taller opponent early in the stanza.

The fight turned out very differently than that moment would suggest.

Ibragimov, throwing wide but hard punches, had early success to the body and occasionally to the head of the crafty Austin but missed often and met well-place counters more often than he expected.

In round four Ibragimov jumped in with a sweeping left hand that missed wildly but his follow-up right hook didn’t and sent Austin to the seat of his pants hard. To his credit, Austin effectively fought back and was able to tie up Ibragimov who seemed in no real hurry to finish the job.

Austin’s cleverness and size began to frustrate the pudgy Ibragimov, allowing him to land counter rights. He continued to move, tie up, and counter repeatedly as throughout the middle rounds.

Round 10 was Austin’s shining moments as Ibragimov rushed in once more only to get clipped by a stinging counter than sent him to the canvas for the first time in his career. Ibragimov was up quickly but the shot negated the point advantage he gained with his earlier knockdown of the “Rain Man.”

Unfortunately for Austin he was unable to capitalize on the knockdown and the tough Ibragimov was able to close strong, winning the last two rounds, and seriously hurting his exhausted foe in the closing round.

Scoring was admittedly difficult. Ringside judges scored the bout 114-112, Austin, 115-111 Ibragimov, and 113-113. JEBoxing scored the bout 114-112 Ibragimov.

Given the exciting nature of the contest a rematch is clearly in order. The bout was sanctioned by the IBF as an eliminator and a rematch may be ordered.


In an exciting bout held earlier on the card, Samuel Miller, 16-0 (13 KOs), Colombia, 162, won a near-shutout 8-round decision over tough and willing Jason Naugler, 15-6-1 (10 KOs), Canada, 161.

Miller landed numerous winging right hands to the head of the charging Naugler throughout the contest.

Naugler was competitive throughout despite failing to win a single round on the JEBoxing scorecard.

Scoring of the bout was 79-72, 79-72, and 78-73. JEBoxing scored the bout 79-72 (one point was deducted from Miller in round 8 for holding).


Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I had the fight a draw, and have no problem with Ibragimov by a few points. Even though it's kind of 'splitting hairs', I thought a split decision/draw was a bit odd. I figured it would either be scored majority draw, or a close Ibragimov victory after he clearly won the 12th. But...(???)

Anyways, it was a pretty good fight, and very close. It was a bit of an odd fight by Ibragimov though. He seemed very hesitant at times, and a bit unsure of himself. As for Austin - he did a bit better than I thought he would, quite frankly. But he didn't do quite enough to WIN I.M.O, and I felt with Ibragimnov's speed and power - he COULD have gotten him out of there, or at least won a convincing decision. Despite him being 30, and with an extensive and decorated amatuer career, his relative inexperience as a pro showed a bit at times here to me. He didn't fight a BAD fight (I thought he fought very smart at times, and showed flashes of talent and excitement) but overall, I was a tad bit disappointed in (not the fight) but his performance. I was just expecting a tad bit more from him...

* How about a rematch absolutely no more than 3 or 4 months down the road, and on ESPN or OLN, eh?

11:32 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

P.S- I didn't mean to suggest that it was absurd to have Austin winning by a slight margin, as I wasn't able to watch this one as closely as I would have liked, and I know of a few knowledgeable people that did in fact have Austin by a slight nod...

11:36 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

The one thing that was clear to me is that neither fighter appeared to be in Klitschko's league. Austin won't have the opportunity to lay back and counter against Klitschko due to their relative size parity. And, if Ibragimov tries to run in on Klitschko with those wide shots he'll end up on his face.

11:55 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

There is a lot of interest in this fight on ESB --- indicative of good rematch material.

12:05 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

JE you got it on the money. As interesting as this fight was, their collective and glaring weaknesses leaves them short of Wladimir. It's amazing how Wlad has gone from invinceable, to useless, back to invinceable and how neither Austin nor Ibragimov could get to him. Then again neither Sanders nor Brewster were supposed to have a chance. Makes you think huh.

3:28 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I want them to fight again soon anyway. A rematch should be on one of the networks. This is the kind of fight the networks could afford and the type of fight (and fighters) that could draw interest in the sport.

11:02 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I want them to fight again soon anyway. A rematch should be on one of the networks. This is the kind of fight the networks could afford and the type of fight (and fighters) that could draw interest in the sport.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Toney said...

These boys can't touch Lights Out.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Ibragimov's next fight will be cruicial, as far as telling us whether or not he is a legit top-contender or not. As for Austin, he overacheived a bit, but is-what-he-is in my opinion. A better-than-average hvy who is "awkwardly clever", can punch, and has a decent chin, but is a bit slow...And NOT "elite". Vladimir - although a bit flawed and skaky still in my opinion - would have to be currently considered a notch above without a doubt. That's not to say that I would give either "zero chance" to beat him (I even give Briggs a slight chance to beat Vlad) but Sultan has a ways to go as a pro, and Austin has come a ways...But likely won't ever reach the 'ultimate destination'.

6:20 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Ibragimov needs to jump in big right away. A puncher has to maintain high confidence in order to remain effective.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Agreed J.E. And I would like to see him about 10 or 12 pounds lighter as well.

* On a somewhat similar note, one positive aspect of Mesi's joke of a recent fight, was his weight of 232. Like Sultan, still about 10 or 12.lbs away from where I would ideally like to see him, but a definite step in the right direction. Let's just hope that his next fight is a 10-rounder, against decent/respectable opposition, and he's in the 220's.

That may be JUST enough to save you from my "poison pen", Joey.


11:44 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I just read that Ibragimov will have Golden Boy behind him. Interesting.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I read that as well, JE. A kind of curious move, I thought. But I like it. Despite the criticism and (in my opinion) unjust "hate" ODLH gets as a fighter and promoter, I think he is good for Boxing. I like him as a promoter. Arum and King (the latter of which I think is both GOOD and BAD for Boxing) are both 75 now, and (thankfully) can't go on forever.

10:59 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Of course Oscar is great for boxing whether as a fighter or promoter. He achieves the first maxim in the sport: Put butts in seats. He does it better than anyone in the game.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Absolutely agreed J.E. Oscar - while falling just a tad shy of what I would call the pantheon of "true all-time greatness" - was nevertheless great, and a bona-fide hall of famer. And he kept Boxing somewhat healthy throughout the 90's and beyond. I am very optimistic about him as a promoter as well. I have very high hopes for him.

* Sidenote- Oscar and "The Cruiserweight" were born on the same day, same year, and a mere few minutes from one another. While I beat him by a few minutes - I think he has beaten me by a few dollars! (LOL)

1:19 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

You mean you don't pull down tens of millions??????

1:23 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Don King is clearly not expanding his business anymore. He has not incorporated new ideas and broadened his efforts at new technologies and new formulas for match-making. Too bad. He is absolutlely brilliant at negotiation and developing interest in mid-level heavyweights. But......what has he done lately?

1:34 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Bob Arum is, of course, the most prolific of promoters and he is more adept than DK at recognizing trends and using technology (PPV) than anyone. I suspect Oscar DLH has learned a great deal from their relationship and that will help him take the mantle in the not-so-distant future.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Yeah, I kind of have the proverbial "love/hate" thing with King. I do agree that it seems like he's slown down a tad bit as well. His son also doesn't seem nearly as gifted, intelligent, and ruthlessly evil as his old man either. Spot-on with Arum & ODLH BTW.

P.S- Nah...I only pull down millions JE...(Just kidding!)

1:49 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I wonder if DK has a plan for succession. Is it to be Carl?

5:26 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Well, that's what Iv'e heard...Carl isn't dumb, but he's no Don, or even CLOSE. Arum's son (or son-in-law?) is (from what I've heard) a little 'wacky'. The times could be-a-changin soon...

2:32 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Folks, Mesi will be fighting a journeymen in September, the duration of the bout? A FOUR-ROUNDER! What the F*CK is up with this!!!??? ARRGH!!!!!!!!!!!! @$%!^&*( *&$!@&)+ $$^&!

Take him off the list JE! Take him off the list!

11:53 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

It looks like he is going to do the club circuit for a while. It may ultimately prove to be a good strategy but it sure is ugly to see him going the distance with fighters with losing records.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I could see him fighting a few club-fighters with decent chins at first, but the 4 (four!!!???) round distance...Just...Errgh...

Just take him off the list JE...He's gotten on The Cruisers bad side I fear...;-(

8:51 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

He has to be in the "also-ran" list.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

...How about the "somebody please RUN-OVER him list"??? Alright, alright...Joe's not a BAD fighter, and I actually like the guy. But these four-round club fights are starting to stink about as bad as a lingering sulfur fart...

8:32 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

It does make one wonder what he's afraid of. I can understand taking on lesser opponents but not in 4 rounders. My goodness, in Ali's second comeback fight, after a 3 year layoff, he fought a 15-rounder against the very tough and willing Oscar Bonevena.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Exactly, JE. It's not like this guy has been out for YEARS, and it's only his first or second fight back. However, even though it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and Mesi is pretty mediocre in the ring, he's no dummy outside of it. There's a reason why they're doing this, but I don't like it - and it may just kind of backfire.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Besides...I understand the need to work some rust off and be a bit cautious, but Mesi - at 32 or 33 - is no 'spring chicken' and needs to kind of make up for some lost time. I also don't like how he balooned to 290-295 in his time off. Let's face it; the guy is just making a quick buck of an "exhibition/club" tour in 2006. No reason why he shouldn't be at least fighting journeymen in 10-rounders by this point. A FOUR-rounder against a tomato-can? Insulting. Just a 'travishomockery'.

(I'm done...)


3:46 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Yes, exactly. He should be fighting 10-rounders.

11:37 AM  
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