October 6, 2007 -- Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
Winner: Librado Andrade TKO-7
Some fights are just damn fun to watch. This was one of them.
Serving as the show-stealer (and, really, the only truly fun fight of the night) on the undercard of Pacquiao-Barrera II, the super middleweight brawl between Librado Andrade and Yusaf Mack was supposed to simply showcase Andrade as Golden Boy's in-house 168-pound hope. Mack, despite a respectable 23-1-2 record with 14 knockouts, had only been given a real test once, against thunderous puncher Alejandro Berrio in 2006, and he was dropped in the sixth round.
As for Andrade, he had a coming out party earlier in the year on HBO, when he was obliterated by Mikkel Kessler in Kessler's American TV debut on Boxing After Dark. It was the first time most of us saw Andrade, and the first time many got to see Kessler past internet videos. Kessler's power and pinpoint accuracy were undoubtedly the star of the show that night, but Andrade's ludicrous iron chin had an award-worthy performance, as well. He took shot after shot from Kessler, and lost every single round in a landslide. Offensively, he got nothing accomplished. But he stayed upright for 12 full rounds, eating the Dane's fists and barely looking like he was hurt at any point. And after the fight, he was cool as a cucumber, with no real bruising and no blood.
It was all worthy of a question: Is Librado Andrade a robot?
Maybe. Robots can get knocked over -- listen, I've seen movies. It happens. And when Yusaf Mack threw a wild counter left hook that came from way down low, and it connected with Andrade's skull, down he went. Mere moments into the fight. In the first round following a Steve Forbes fight, Mack dropped Andrade with a punch that broke the Mayorga Scale for unruly-looking pugilism. It was a streetfight punch. Like, a bad streetfight. Where both guys are piss drunk.
But Andrade was fine. He got up, and went on as if nothing happened. Once he got his legs back (and it didn't take long), Librado went back to throwing with Mack. And they kept throwing. The entire fight.
It was also what I would refer to as "bowling shoe ugly." Technique was not the word of the day for either guy. Andrade would not stop punching, nor would he even consider pretending he might try to get out of the way of shots from Mack. Once he cut off the distance, he dominated the fight with uppercut after uppercut on the inside. By the third round, Mack was completely winded, his mouth wide open as he gasped for air.
And by the fifth round, all the nasty tactics were piling up. Three low blow warnings, two headbutt warnings, a holding warning. As Ricky Hatton is fond of saying, it was not a tickle fight in there. It was an all-out, pier six brawl. It was that same round that Mack decided to absolutely go for broke, swinging gargantuan lefts and rights, landing them flush, and watching Andrade react as if he were the Terminator being shot with a pellet gun. He landed another hammering counter left look in the sixth round, and that was when I gave up. Librado Andrade is a robot.
The seventh round opened and Mack was as good as out on his feet. Not so much from being hit, although he got hit plenty and proved his chin, too. It was more from exhausting all potential options trying to knock out Librado Andrade. Andrade smelled blood, pounced, and Mack took a knee. Andrade came at him again, and knocked him down with a flurry of shots.
I don't know why Yusaf Mack got up. I don't know why Jay Nady let him. He was clearly finished, and all that could happen was him getting drilled again, and potentially getting hurt. But, luckily, he didn't get hurt. He did get drilled again. He did go down again. And then, mercifully, Jay Nady called it off.
Like I said, it wasn't pretty. Purists would have not loved the fight, to say the least. But I'm not a purist, I'm just a boxing fan. And I love me a good brawl that makes me want to slam my longneck on the table just as much as I do watching a great scientific battle. This was definitely the former, and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. If Andrade's two performances this year are any indication of what we can expect from him, then I'm on board. He is some kind of entertaining fighter.