Bad Left Hook had a banner month for round by round coverage in November, providing full fight coverage on no less than 17 cards. While some of the more prominent fights were duds, there were a whole bunch of great sleeper fights, and one megafight that at least partially lived up to expectations. Here are some of the numerous candidates, in chronological order:
Yaundale Evans vs. Jason Rorie- On the undercard of the distinctly unmemorable matchup between Jason Litzau and Johnnie Edwards, a young prospect and an unheralded journeyman warred in a four-rounder in a battle that was easily the most memorable of the card. Evans clearly thought he was going to have a walkover bout, but the resilient Rorie had other ideas. While Evans clearly had Rorie beat in talent, Rorie had Evans beat in resolve, and whenever Evans tried to hang on, Rorie busted out wild combinations, forcing Evans to fight when he clearly didn't want to. Evans came away with the decision, but the journeyman Rorie was the guy most of us came out wanting to see more of in the future.
Paul Samuels vs. Cello Renda- Another shorter bout, this one was on the undercard of Matthew Hatton's draw against Lovemore N'Dou, but the two less heralded fighters provided a great battle that didn't even last four rounds. Renda, who had started to build up a name having been a Prizefighter competitor, was favored, despite both men coming in with equal records. Renda started the action hard, but Samuels was able to keep plodding away, turning it into a war in the second half of the first round. In the second, both guys continued to bang away at each other when, in the middle of the round, both fighters connected with big left hooks, sending both to the mat. Renda recovered a little quicker and was able to jump on Samuels thereafter, but by the end of the round, it was a war yet again. In the third, Samuels came out quickly and pounded Renda, badly hurting him and eventually getting the stoppage.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto- In one of the most anticipated fights of the year, Pacquiao was able to methodically break down Miguel Cotto until he scored an 11th round technical knockout. For the first four rounds, it was a back and forth battle, with both Pacquiao and Cotto having their moments and taking serious punishment. At the end of the third round, Pacquiao was able to score a hard flash knockdown to steal a 10-8 round from what otherwise would have been a Cotto round. Cotto kept his legs though, and came back in the fourth to pummel Pacquiao up against the ropes, until Pacquiao came back with another knockdown, this time turning the tide of the fight. From that point forward, it was pure dominance from Pacquiao, but relatively entertaining dominance.
Rendall Munroe vs. Simone Maludrottu - In this junior featherweight European title fight, Munroe was able to escape with a close decision over Maludrottu in an inside war where both guys were against each other most of the fight, but clinching was kept to a minimum and flying leather was kept to a maximum. Throughout the fight, Munroe tried to impose his size difference on the smaller Italian, but Maludrottu was able to avoid a lot of punches and come back with a lot of solid counters. While neither man's punches were particularly bruising, both fighters were able to maintain a very high workrate through all 12-rounds, leaving us with a fight that had a lot of action and very few lulls.
Zsolt Erdei vs. Giacobbe Fragomeni- This one started off slow, with Erdei dominating the early rounds while he was on fresh legs. However, it became apparent that he had undertrained around the fourth, and the forward-moving Fragomeni was able to catch up with Erdei. As the fight went on, Fragomeni kept winning more and more rounds, and making the fight closer as Erdei no longer had the energy to back up and was forced to trade with the bigger man. By the 11th round, Erdei was completely out of gas. Despite this, Erdei chose not to clinch and bide time, but instead to fire back at Fragomeni as he came forward. After the fight, both guys having left what they had in the ring, the two men embraced and walked around the ring, each holding the other's hand up in victory, in one of the best displays of sportsmanship of the year. In the end, Erdei was able to take home a majority decision in a bout that many are calling the European fight of the year.
Rico Ramos vs. Alejandro Perez - In a step up fight for the prospect Ramos on the undercard of Martin Honorio's victory over John Molina, Alejandro Perez seriously tested him, and Ramos not only passed with flying colors, but made it clear that he is an exciting fighter to watch out for in the future. Both guys continuously unloaded on each other, and while Ramos' talent was able to take the day, both warriors were able to make the fight.
Others for consideration: Martin Honorio UD10 John Molina; Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. UD10 Genaro Garcia; Matthew Hatton D12 Lovemore N'Dou; Koki Kameda UD12 Daisuke Naito; Andre Ward UD12 Mikkel Kessler; Ali Funeka D12 Joan Guzman.