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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brooks Shows Determination in Loss, Chilemba Decisions Gbenga

Michael "Lefty" Brooks lost a wide unanimous decision to Karl "Dynamite" Dargan today at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. Dargan's counters and lead rights were impressive in taking the victory.

Brooks is not a pressure fighter, which was a problem in this fight, because he needed to adopt that technique to be successful. He started a majority of the rounds out strong. He'd bolt out of the corner and tag Dargan with a leaping overhand left or lunging right hook. At that point, Dargan would find range, counter effectively, and move fluidly. Brooks desperately wanted to get on the inside in the first round, but Dargan's movement was too quick. Brooks ate straight rights and check hooks before Dargan glided out of the pocket. Brooks was often left swinging at air.

In the second and third rounds, Brooks did a better job of making it past Dargan's barrage and getting to the inside. But as soon as he did, he'd throw a counter and leap out. Brooks landed an occasional overhand left or a wide right hook, but Dargan's punches were sharper and straighter. By the end of the second, Brooks began beating his stomach, hoping to induce Dargan into a toe-to-toe clash, but Dynamite stuck to the game plan.

In the sixth, Dargan changed the tenor of the fight. He suddenly began coming forward. Lefty was backing up, a dangerous position to be in. Midway through the round, Michael had changed the fight back into what it was before: Dargan sticking and moving as Brooks came forward.

Despite the obvious frustration Brooks was experiencing by not being able to tag Dargan, he never relented. Brooks's determination was inspiring. He even landed more punches than Dargan in the eighth round after being thoroughly dominated through the first seven. Dargan attempted to get the knockout in the tenth, but Brooks landed two hard lefts that made Karl change his mind.

Dargan looks like he could be a future champion. He has the ring intelligence to go for the boxing equivalent of a  PhD. His hand speed and crisp punching were astounding. Brooks, who showed a good ability to take  punch, is not on that level, but it was clear that he learned a lot from this fight. He often pushed his jab, rending the punch slow and ineffective. Meanwhile, Dargan's jab was biting and quick. Dargan's hooks were much shorter; Brooks threw his right hook from his shoulder, something he'll need to correct. But Michael showed the proper fortitude and perseverance to go far in boxing if he can hone his skill.

The judges scores were 99-91 twice and 98-92, all for Dargan who advances to 14-0 with 7 KOs. Brooks falls to 10-1-1 with 2 KOs. The two men hugged after the decision was read. Brooks verbally congratulated Dargan on a good fight and applauded for his opponent. Michael also smiled and gave the television audience thumbs up.

Isaac Chilemba fought earlier in the day on the card. He won a wide unanimous decision over Michael Gbenga. Chilemba outboxed Gbenga, staying away from the latter's powerful right for most of the bout. Isaac's jab was sharp and he countered well. Gbenga landed hard punches in the fifth round, Chilemba's toughest stanza of the fight.

Chilemba won with scores of 80-72, 79-73 twice. Chilemba is now 21-2-2 with 9 KOs. Gbenga falls to 16-10 with 16 KOs.

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