There was a cornucopia (it’s Thanksgiving) of action around the rings last week.
Jesus Martinez laced them up against undefeated Jose Martinez (no relation) for the vacant WBO, NABO Super Flyweight title.
Jose immediately established himself as the aggressor, pressing Jesus into a corner and letting the leather fly.
Toward the end of Round 3 Jose landed a thudding left to the body (liver) that dropped Jesus to his knees. But he popped right back up, took the mandatory 8-count, and finished the round.
However, the effects lingered into the 4th and the exact same punch forced Jesus to kneel down again…and stay down.
Jose Martinez remains undefeated, takes the title, and improves his record to 20 wins, with 13 victories coming by way of knockout.
Ishe Smith came into the public eye in 2005 when he appeared on the premiere season of The Contender TV series.
He is a very interesting individual who has overcome much adversity, but his repeated efforts to revive his career (at 39-years old) are cause for concern.
Smith’s record (29-9, 12 KO’s) tells a clear story.
Smith has a solid, mid-level skill set; but he has trouble closing the deal. His bouts tend to be sloppy and filled with clenches. He hasn’t held a title since 2013 and the last time Smith scored a knockout was three-and-a-half years ago.
He lost four of his last eight fights and hasn’t been in the ring for well over a year.
His Super Welterweight bout with Julian Williams (24-1-1, 15 KO’s) was a highly entertaining bout between a guy unloading punches in bunches (Smith) and another (Williams) who had more mustard on what he was throwing.
An accidental clash of heads in Round 2 opened a bad cut over Smith’s left eye.
To be honest, the best punches Williams landed were with his head. He knocked noggins again in rounds 8 and 10.
Smith did well in the middle rounds, hammering to the head and banging to the body; and he had Williams in trouble in the 5th.
This was a close fight and I saw it as a draw; the judges gave a unanimous decision to Williams.
That was not a problem by itself. But the outrageous scores (93-97, 98-92, and 99-91) are another cause for concern.
It only took the Los Angeles Rams four minutes to score on their first possession…and they were never heard from again.
The number one offense in the league was done for the day.
The Vikings (8-2) out-played the talented Rams on both sides of the ball.
Ex-L.A. Rams QB Case Keenum got to stick it to his former franchise…
Higher stats in rushing, receiving, and passing all translated into more points on the board for Minnesota.
The Vikings defense dominated, shutting down Rams running back Todd Gurley. After his opening 6-yard rushing TD they held him to less than 2-yards per carry for the rest of the game.
The Rams O-line couldn’t protect quarterback Jared Goff. He hurried his throws and got sacked twice.
L.A.’s only chance (virtually) to stay competitive in this game came late in the first half.
After driving 61-yards, Goff hit Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp on the 1-yardline…only to have the ball stripped away and recovered by Minnesota.
Ex-L.A. Rams QB Case Keenum (on a six-game winning streak) got to stick it to his former franchise by handing L.A. a 24-7 defeat, for their third loss of the season.
The Rams host the Saints (8-2) on Sunday.
New Orleans has won eight in a row, bolstered by their running game. They could pose the Rams their toughest challenge so far.
God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!
Mark Felicetti does not care for candied yams. Reach him at email@example.com.