The noted genius Gloria Clemente once said, "Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs."
Dmitry Pirog won his fight today in Russia against Javier Maciel, but did he actually lose some of the reputation he gained one July night in Las Vegas? Pirog defeated the visiting Argentinean on unanimous decision scores of , never truly impressing but also never looking uncomfortable. This was a far cry from his knockout of Danny Jacobs last summer, in his first fight back from that head-turning performance.
Against Maciel (18-2, 12 KO), the 30-year-old Pirog (18-0, 14 KO) looked decidedly more normal than he did bursting Jacobs' bubble. But credit where it's due to Maciel, too. He defended himself well, and didn't allow Pirog many clean punches. He kept an effective guard and moved enough that Pirog couldn't lock down on him.
But Pirog was just a bit lackluster, too. Maciel was a perfectly competent fighter for sure, but Pirog was also just short on a lot of his punches, never really established anything offensively, and just seemed like he was having an off-night. In the live thread we came up with a few theories. Maybe he was rusty after the break from in-ring action. Maybe he was looking to get rounds. Maybe he's a guy who is going to fight up and down to his opponents, which happens. Maybe Maciel's just good.
Whatever it was, the upside here is something that might help fellow letdown performer from Friday night, Erislandy Lara. With a very human-looking performance, there might be a few more willing and notable opponents out there for both Pirog and Lara. This doesn't always work, as Vanes Martirosyan has been doing his damnedest to look very average for a while now and he still can't find a big fight even though he's perfectly willing to take one, but it might open a door if someone sees what they think is a fatal flaw.
We're coming right back with more live coverage for the Sky Sports card featuring a main event between Denton Vassell and Bethuel Ushona. Join us as we continue to test my ability to not pass out at the desk!
Undercard Results and Notes
- Felix Diaz TKO-3 Andrey Berdyshev: The Dominican Diaz won the Olympic gold medal in 2008 at junior welterweight, but some quick reads around your Google result will tell you a lot of people thought little of what he achieved in Beijing overall. He went pro in 2009 and has traveled around quite a bit, having already fought at home, in the U.S., in Germany, and in Russia. Berdyshev (5-1, 1 KO) hadn't fought in two years and clearly wasn't in top shape. Diaz (9-0, 6 KO) was reckless, had massive defensive holes, and had every advantage in this fight. Watching him operate, it's kind of easy to see why he's not on anyone's list of blue chip prospects. He's quite fun to watch, but guys who can punch are going to love the chances to land shots on his exposed chin. Diaz put Berdyshev down in the third round with a left hand bomb, and the fight was stopped moments after the action resumed.
- Vyacheslav Glazkov UD-8 Denis Bakhtov: Many of you will recognize Bakhtov's name if not remember him, as he's been around since 1999 and has been in a few semi-notable fights here and there. He can still take a shot, as he proved in this one, but more importantly, we saw Glazkov exhibit a serious lack of killer instinct. Glazkov (9-0, 6 KO) won bronze in Beijing for the Ukraine, and he hurt Bakhtov a handful of times over this shutout win, but instead of doing anything to a staggered Bakhtov, he mostly just stared at him. Bakhtov falls to 33-6 (22 KO).
- Alisher Rahimov UD-12 Rustam Nugaev: Decent fight, with very few lulls in action, but not significant in any way. Rahimov (22-0, 11 KO) is 33 years old. Nagaev, who came out to Roy Jones Jr.'s "Y'all Must Have Forgot," falls to 21-6-1 (12 KO).