While the Hopkins-Jones fallout is still top on the minds of most out of Saturday's action, Ted "The Bull" Sares looks at something that is a bit down the list for most people. British action star Jamie Moore returned to the ring on the off-TV undercard of Haye-Ruiz yesterday, and lost his first fight at middleweight to a journeyman named Sergey Khomitski. While Jones and Hopkins should retire, Jamie Moore might be forced to make the same decision before he's ready.
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Jamie Moore is a great kid. A great kid. He and Matt were joking and praising each other. Both of them fought with so much bravery. I really hope that Jamie goes on to do anything and everything that he wants to do because he really deserves it. He showed that incredible bravery which we already knew he had and he showed those ring smarts which I warned Matt about.
--Matthew Macklin's trainer, Billy Graham
After the Hopkins-Jones affair that did neither fighter any marketable good, it seems fitting to pay due to a Brit warrior who may have particpated in his last war.
On the David Haye-John Ruiz undercard, shown on television from round two on with downtime to cover, Safford's Jamie Moore lost his first fight at middleweight to Belarusian journeyman Sergey "The Ghost" Khomitski (now 22-7-1), when Moore failed to answer the bell for the seventh round. Up until the final minute of the 6th stanza, Jamie appeared to be in charge, but then he was hurt by a series of crunching shots both upstairs and downstairs and when the bell saved him, he walked slowly back to his corner. Sometimes, albeit not very often, a fighter has an unwritten pact with his corner, that if he simply no longer has it-if it all suddenly disappears-- he (the fighter) must be saved from himself. With a guy like Jamie who entertained us so many great wars in the past, that's exactly what was required and that's exactly what was done.
This was the same Jamie Moore who stopped Michael Jones in 2005 in a barnburner in which Moore was down twice in the 3rd and Jones was down twice in the 5th and once in 6th and final blistering round. The two had participated in a trilogy during which Moore won the British Light Middleweight Title in 2003.
The same Jamie Moore who fought a classic with Birmingham's Matthew Macklin in 2006 with the British Light Middleweight Title at stake. It was a throwback ebb and flow type of fight in which Macklin controlled the early action but in so doing gassed badly. Jamie then came on and knocked out Macklin via a scorching left and left the tough the fellow Brit on the canvas for several scary minutes. Macklin left the ring on a stretcher but thankfully recovered well. The affable and respectful Moore cancelled his post-fight victory party to visit his fellow warrior at the hospital. He again visited him before he was discharged from the hospital. This fight may well become a part of Brit boxing lore.
This was the same exciting Jamie Moore who beat rugged Sebastian Lujan in 2007, and waxed Michele Piccirillo( 50-4) in 2009 as part of a 12-fight winning streak which ended when he was stopped by crafty Ryan Rhodes (42-4 coming in) last year in yet another epic (and punishing) battle; it was a WBC Light Middleweight Title Eliminator. After six rounds of give and take, the 7th round turned out to be an incredible display of two very tough men firing everything they had and both getting wobbled in the process. But Rhodes finally caught Jamie on the ropes and savaged him until the fight was halted. Jamie was the favorite going in, but struggling with making the weight may have taken its toll.
Now, some fighters seem like walking advertisements for closet classics--guys like a prime Graham Earl, Michael Katsidis, Carl "The Cat" Thompson, Jason Litzau, etc. Jamie Moore is such a combatant. He is the kind of crowd-pleasing fighter you simply have to respect. During several of his fights, I recall the crowd chanting "Moorsey, Mooresy" as he mounted one of his patented toe to toe turnabouts, while his close friend Ricky Hatton would jump to his feet at ringside urging him on.
Saturday's defeat was especially disappointing for Moore who had hoped for a lucrative rematch with Macklin. In the post-fight interview, he mentioned weight as a possible factor, and also hinted at retirement. With a mark of 32-5, he would have nothing for which to be ashamed. He gave us all we could ask for in a fighter; he entertained us with many classic battles--and therein lies the rub. There were simply too many such battles which finally culminated in his being defeated by an unknown journeyman in front of his beloved Manchester fans.
But then, boxing never promised anyone a happy ending.