By Mark F. Villanueva
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico- As an undefeated 35 year old master prizefighter finally bowed down and took a knee, unable to make the ten count before a silenced crowd in a full-packed stadium, a wave of heartbreak swept throughout entire boxing world, crossing over oceans and continents, right down to every fan of Ivan Calderon or otherwise, in recognition of a rare talent; a great mystery finally solved. I watched the Ivan Calderon versus Giovanni Segura fight and my heart slumped simultaneously with the fallen champion. I could hardly believe the boxer from Mexico could pull off the unthinkable: make “Iron Boy” wilt. Even for those who have worked so hard to concoct a game plan to beat him, watching a great champion, a gem of the sweet science finally fade away must have been bittersweet. On this ensuing day forth, not only to his fans, but to every fan of the sport of boxing, the most decorated Puerto Rican boxer in history will be looked up to as if he had never lost a fight. Yet, ironically, in a flip of a coin, no matter what the future lies for the new Unified World Champion, Giovanni Segura, he will always be remembered as the one that solved that old lingering problem every fighter in his division faces that is Calderon. The 28 day of August 2010 was a win-win situation for Boxing.
With Calderon seeming a step slower and both eyes swollen in the middle rounds, Giovanni Segura took advantage of this unusual breakthrough and continued to pummel his opponent at every opportunity. He went out to hunt the Super Champion with irrepressible force and realizing later on that he was at the brink of a rare feat he wouldn’t let him off the hook. He zeroed chances of this bout ending up in the scorecards where Ivan Calderon has never failed to eke out a victory even in the direst of circumstances- a trademark of his iron will as a reigning champion. Even with Calderon coming out strong and winning the first few rounds with precision shots he continued to press the action unfazed, cutting the ring, and once got him cornered, landed powerful shots to the body, so powerful you could almost feel it from wherever you were watching it from. If he focused on the head I think Calderon would have took it being a great fighter that he is, but those bombs detonating one after another from down there made the whole foundation breakdown like a debacle. Kudos to both champions! And while there is technically no such thing as Boxing versus MMA, except for the marketing aspect of it, and with James Toney going against Couture on the same date, Calderon-Segura showed us why Boxing rocks.
My love for Ivan Calderon remains undiminished after all, yet with Giovanni Segura we are proud as punch.
Marks site – Boxinginsight.blogspot.com
Mark currently lives in Iloilo City and can be followed through http://twitter.com/markfvillanueva
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