Sunday, March 4, 2018

Silva Dominates Casarez To Win NBA World Championship In Clearwater

Lightweight contender William Silva scored an impressive ten round unanimous decision over a very “Game” Rogelio Casarez on Saturday night at Banquet Masters in Clearwater, FL. The Brazilian-born, Plant City, FL based Silva was in command of the bout from the opening bell using his 6’1 frame and lateral movement to control the tempo of the fight. Silva was able to keep Casarez at distance where the 5’4 native of Batesville, AR simply could not be effective.

In short, Silva was able to keep Casarez off-balance by using angles and his lateral movement to keep Casarez from being able to land punches consistently. The pattern of the fight was Casarez would frequently lunge forward throwing wide looping punches and would frequently get caught as he came forward by Silva’s offense. The offense Casarez was able to land did not have much effect on Silva as Casarez appeared to hit Silva on the end of his punches meaning that whatever he could land simply did not have any power on them where he may have been able to turn the ebb and flow of the combat in his favor. Silva was able to consistently mix his attack with jabs, right hands, uppercuts, and hooks with both hands to the body and head of Casarez and periodically stunned his opponent throughout the fight.

 The effects of the punishment administered by Silva opened a cut on the bridge of Casarez’ nose midway through the fight and by the end of ten round world championship bout, it appeared that Casarez had suffered a broken nose. At the conclusion of the fight, William Silva had earned a convincing unanimous decision to win the vacant National Boxing Association (NBA) Lightweight world championship. All three official judges scored every round in Silva’s favor turning in the same score of 100-90. My unofficial scorecard was the same as the three official judges as I scored every round for Silva.

What impressed this observer about Silva’s performance in this fight was the measured and composed way he approached his opposition and how varied his attack throughout was. Although one might argue from a stylistic standpoint that he had the right type of an opponent in front of him that was known for having a brawling type style and, despite showing his mettle, did not appear to have much technique, Silva did execute his fight plan to precision and for a fighter in his first world championship fight that appears to be on the way up in his career, there is not much more one could ask of a fighter. In addition to the NBA Lightweight world championship, Silva also earned the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) Continental Lightweight championship.

William Silva advances to 25-1, with 14 Knockouts. Rogelio Casarez falls to 13-7, with 5 Knockouts.

Also on this card, in the Middleweight division rising undefeated prospect Antonio Tarver Jr. scored a second round TKO of Carlos Dixon. Tarver, the son of the former two-division world champion and future Hall of Famer Antonio Tarver Sr. began the fight behind a consistent jab reminiscent of his father and mixed in combinations. Almost as soon as the fight began Tarver had Dixon on the defensive and often trapped in his own corner or on the ropes. Dixon was not able to offer much resistance in the fight and after taking sustained punishment, the bout was stopped by Referee Chris Young. Official time of the stoppage was: 1:30 of round two.

Antonio Tarver Jr. advances to 5-0, with 4 Knockouts. Carlos Dixon falls to 1-13-1, with one Knockout.

Also in the Middleweight division, unbeaten Ozodbek Aripov scored the second victory of his young career by scoring a four round unanimous decision over Chaklit Redwood. Aripov, a Russian-born fighter now fighting out of Fort Myers, FL outworked Redwood over the course of the fight to earn a convincing victory. Aripov was aggressive from the outside and applied pressure on Redwood while coming forward and throwing combinations. I was particularly impressed with Aripov’s head movement as he came forward that made it difficult to for Redwood, who attempted to counter Aripov as he pressed forward to land something that would discourage Aripov from pressing the action.

Official scores were: 39-37, and 40-36 (On two scorecards) all in favor of Aripov. Unofficially, I scored this bout 40-36 in favor of Aripov.  Ozodbek Aripov advances to 2-0, with 1 Knockout. Chaklit Redwood falls to 0-3, with 0 Knockouts.

In the Heavyweight division, Rodriguez Cade scored the first victory of his career by scoring a fourth round TKO over Joseph White. The heavy-handed Cade, who weighed in at nearly 275lbs. for the fight came out throwing each punch with knockout intent. White however, was able to connect with a flush one, two combination to the head of Cade in the opening round. Despite that combination landing solidly, it did not appear to have much effect on Cade, who continued to press forward. White would briefly stagger Cade with a straight right hand early in round two, but was unable to sustain what appeared to be an opportunity to land his offense.

Cade would respond by landing several flush right hands of his own on White throughout the round in what became an entertaining Heavyweight bout. A flush right hook to the head of White brought the combat to its conclusion in the latter stages of the final round of the scheduled four round bout as a spent White went down to the canvas and the fight was immediately stopped by Referee Andy Glenn with thirteen seconds remaining in the fight. Official time of the stoppage was: 2:47 of round four.

Rodriguez Cade advances to 1-1, with 1 Knockout. Joseph White falls to 0-2-2, with 0 Knockouts.

In the Featherweight division, Ricky Tomlinson scored a four round unanimous decision over previous undefeated Ernest Hall. This was a difficult fight to score because it was being fought in short spurts of flurries on the inside where neither fighter was able to clearly stand out from the other. It was in these short exchanges however, that Tomlinson appeared to land the cleaner punches of the two fighters over Hall who was generally awkward and wide with his offense. Official scores were: 40-36, and 39-37 (On two scorecards) in favor of Tomlinson. Unofficially, I scored this bout the same as two of the official judges 39-37 in favor of Tomlinson. Sometimes when it comes to fights that are fought like this and to be more specific, fights fought in short spurts where the length of the bout in terms of the scheduled distance is relatively short, it will boil down to which fighter is able to land the cleaner punches even if said fighter is not necessarily able to stand out as being more effective. In this fight the boxer who was able to land the visually cleaner blows in the exchanges was Tomlinson.

Ricky Tomlinson advances to 6-3-2, with 2 Knockouts. Earnest Hall falls to 3-1, with 1 Knockout.

In the Cruiserweight division, Nicholas Iannuzzi of Tampa, FL scored a third round TKO over Lemarcus Tucker. Iannuzzi dropped Tucker with a flush overhand right at the end of round one and scored two more knockdowns of Tucker in round three, both from flush right hands to force Referee Andy Glenn to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was: 2:16 of round three.

Nicholas Iannuzzi advances to 19-4, with 11 Knockouts. Lemarcus Tucker falls to 5-4-1, with 3 Knockouts.

A scheduled six round Welterweight bout between Clifford Gray (1-3, with 0 Knockouts.) and Joseph Fernandez (7-3-3, with 1 Knockout.) was cancelled for undisclosed reasons. Both fighters did weigh-in for the bout on Friday however, Gray weighed in at 155 1/2lbs. nearly nine pounds over the Welterweight limit of 147lbs., while Fernandez came in a half a pound under the official weight limit. There is no word as to whether Gray’s failure to make the Welterweight limit was the reason for the cancellation or if the bout will be rescheduled for a future date.

This card presented by Fire Fist Boxing Promotions presented a look at fighters ranging from the early stages of their careers, to fighters looking to rebuild, to fighters fighting for a world championship for the first time in their careers. It will be interesting to see where William Silva will go after winning the National Boxing Association Lightweight world championship. Silva has the height that could make him a long-term player in the 135lb. Lightweight division if he can maintain at that weight going into the future. After all, there are not many Lightweights who can enjoy the benefits of being 6’1 and have a reach advantage over a majority of their opponents. One fighter most Boxing fans will remember who was a world champion in the Lightweight division for a period of time in his career, who had such natural benefits of significant height and reach was the late Diego Corrales. Although this observer is by no means comparing Silva and Corrales, it is an illustration of how rare it is to see a fighter in the Lightweight or Jr. Welterweight divisions who are blessed to have those natural benefits.

Silva however, was very impressive in his performance in winning the NBA Lightweight world championship and if he can continue to win as other fighters who have held world championships recognized by the National Boxing Association have over the years, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility to think of Silva eventually challenging other world champions in the division or potentially to see him move up in weight either to the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division or the 147lb. Welterweight division.

As for fighters like Antonio Tarver Jr. and Rodriguez Cade, both of them appear to be on the way up after their performances on this card. It is my hope that both fighters continue to get the exposure all young fighters need as they progress in their careers along with those who are beginning their careers and those who are in the rebuilding process who competed on this card.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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