|SCOTT'S BAD LEFT HOOK UNOFFICIAL SCORECARD|
Tonight's Friday Night Fights main event boiled down to one simple thing: Herman Ngoudjo did enough on enough occasions over 12 rounds to comfortably outpoint Souleymane M'baye in Montreal, winning on official scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
I quite like Ngoudjo, but after having watched his last four fights (close loss to Castillo, tough win over Bailey, close loss to Malignaggi, and now this), I think we're seeing a guy that is probably about as good as he's going to get. He might win an alphabet title or two, but Gavin Rees won an alphabet title, so that's not exactly predicting real greatness.
Ngoudjo (17-2, 9 KO) is now the No. 1 contender to Malignaggi's IBF title, but Paulie will be going ahead with a fight against Ricky Hatton later this year. Should Malignaggi beat Hatton and retain the belt, a rematch with Ngoudjo would be fine by me. I thought Ngoudjo beat Malignaggi in January, but it was definitely one of those fights that could've gone either way.
M'baye (36-3-1, 21 KO) never got into any sustained rhythm, was fighting a hometown advantage, and just lost the fight. There were lots of things he could've done -- jabbed better, ever attempted to go to the body, etc. -- but he didn't do them. He had a look of, "Just like I thought! Shame, shame..." on his face when the scores were read, but I think when he looks back on tape of the fight, he'll recognize the errors he made that lost the fight.
Like the Bailey fight, I expect some will question Ngoudjo's performance, but in my view, that's making Ngoudjo try to live up to expectations that aren't really within his boundaries. Yes, he's a good fighter. He's not a great one. This isn't a guy that's going to wind up on pound-for-pound lists. He's 28, he's a real contender, and against other real contenders or titleholders, he's shown zero KO power. He did shake Paulie a couple times, but that's it.
He started his career 9-0 with eight knockouts. Since then, he's 8-2 with one knockout. There's a lot to like about him, but expect any decent fighter with a decent chin to take him 10 or 12 rounds and maybe give him real trouble along the way. And I think M'baye could've given him trouble had he fought smarter, but he didn't.