Hawk & George vs. Henry
Fail To Live Up To Hype
By Tim Donaldson
At the press conference on Wednesday, Godfrey vs. Hawk was
billed as the fight that would be Fight of the Year. That might
have been the overstatement of the year.
What Godfrey vs. Hawk ended up being was a mediocre fight that
left the Philadelphia fans cold. In fact, this might have been
the first fight in The Arena where they were walking out by the
fourth round of the Main Event. By the second round, the place
was so quiet that you could hear the lone voice from the back
yelling “lets throw some punches.”
The first round was sign of things to come. I hate to judge a
fight by the first round because quite often the boxers are just
warming up and getting used to each other. But this first round
set the tempo for the first half of the fight. It was a lot of
movement, a lot of punches being thrown, but few punches were
Neither Godfrey nor Hawk did anything to produce any excitement
for those in attendance or those watching on television. It
seemed as though neither was capable of throwing more than two
punches and then, after doing that, walking a few steps. And
Godfrey forgot that Hawk had a body that could be hit and
concentrated all of his effort on his head, which Hawk most of
the time protected. If you are not going to throw a lot of
punches, you should at least make the ones you throw count. But
from where I was sitting, it looked like the majority of punches
thrown lacked any real power. The whole time people were walking
Godfrey said at the press conference that he steps it up when he
is on television. I don’t think being on television helped, but
I am not sure whether or not Godfrey was aware of the fans
walking out. I only say this because the seventh round was
possibly the best. But by the eighth it seemed as though they
were going back to their old ways. The only real excitement came
in the tenth round when Hawk managed to knock Godfrey down.
Despite Hawk knocking down Godfrey, Godfrey won the unanimous
decision. Maybe he is that much closer to a title fight; maybe
he isn’t. Does he deserve it? Judging only by this fight, I
don’t think so.
The fight between Chris Henry and Shaun George was not much
better. The fight started much better. Henry started out
aggressive, and George came alive in the second half of the
round, landing several power shots that electrified the crowd.
And even though Henry looked more active, it looked like George
could win the fight because he was landing the harder shots.
But something changed by the third round. George looked tired.
He was trying to last the round by walking around. It might have
been strategy. Take a break and come back more active in the
next round. However, it was apparent in the fourth round that
George had checked out of this fight. He managed to land a
couple of power shots, but Henry was out boxing him.
In the fifth, Henry landed a hard right to George’s head. It was
a sign that the end was near. Henry ended the fight in the sixth
round, hitting George again in the head. George went down but
got up for God only knows what reason, only to be caught against
the ropes. The referee stopped the fight at 1:08 in the sixth
One fighter did live up to the hype. Unfortunately, few got to
see her. Olivia Fonesca’s fight was the second fight of the
night. People were still coming in, thinking that the best
fights would come later, and the television coverage had not yet
begun. Marc Abrams said at the press conference that she always
stole the show, and she did. Although her opponent, Lisa Bolin
started out aggressive, she turned out to be no match for
Olivia. Olivia was landing cleaner shots, while proving that she
was the better boxer by faking and ducking. In the second round,
Olivia landed a punch to the right side of Bolin. Bolin grabbed
at her side. Olivia kept up the attack and Bolin failed to
respond. The fight was stopped at 1:51 in the second.
Two other fights need to be mentioned. The first was the bout
between Derek “Pooh” Ennis and John Mackey. These two fought
hard. And there were a few surprises in this fight. Neither
fighter dominated the first round. Mackey seemed calmer during
the round, while Ennis seemed to be in a hurry. But Ennis had
control of the second round. He chased Mackey around the ring
and knocked him down. At times though, Ennis would seem to have
Mackey at a point where he should have knocked him down, only to
let him off the hook. Ennis knocked Mackey down a second time in
the sixth. Mackey was able to survive the fight, but Ennis won
the unanimous decision.
The second fight that needs to be mentioned was that between
Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante and Billy Bailey. Again, these two
gave it their all. The fight was very much back and forth
between the two fighters. Several times, Ferrante looked as
though he was going to knock out Bailey, but he would wear
himself out. At that point, Bailey would come back. And when
Bailey was able to get in close, it looked like it would be his
round. This was especially true during the fourth round.
Ferrante was balled up against the ropes but was able to fight
his way out of that situation. In the seventh, Ferrante had
reversed this. He had Bailey on the ropes. It was obvious at
this point that he did want this fight. Even though it was very
much a back and forth fight, Ferrante won the majority decision.
Quite often, the undercard is boring and full of one-sided
fights. However, Friday night at The Arena, it was the undercard
that stood out.