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Old 01-28-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
IntentionalButt
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Default Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Lorenzo Aragón, July 31st 1996

Great fight, if a bit of a waltz in spots. Featherweight quarterfinal (meaning a minimum of a bronze medal at stake) at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

BORKED
BORKED


Significant as it's the last time Mayweather ever tasted victory with the headgear, and the last before his current unbeaten streak of 43-0 began. He would go on to lose a highly controversial decision to Serafim Todorov in the semis, robbed of a rightful Silver medal at the very least and probably a near-certain chance for gold against Somluck Kamsing. Mayweather made his prizefighting debut two months after the Olympics.

Also significant because Aragon is the last person to legitimately knock Mayweather down with a punch (see about 0:56 of R2...Aragon caught Mayweather rushing wildly with a chopping right from the ropes) - unless you count Zab Judah's non-ruled flash drop with a quick right hook resulting in a glove brushing the canvas, or Castillo wrestling him down in the 6th where a grazing body shot may or may not have contributed in tipping him off balance. The 1 official KD on Mayweather's pro resume, against Carlos Hernandez, was the result of injuring his own wrist in the act of throwing and taking a voluntary knee because of the pain. Aragon is the last man to actually crunch him with something flush and upend him. Of course, under amateur rules there is no extra point for a knockdown so it didn't significantly affect the scoring.

Unlike Todorov, Aragon was actually on Mayweather's level. He came within a mere few touches of denying PBF a spot on the podium altogether, in a legitimately close contest - far more so than Mayweather's subsequent dubious loss. Aragon probably could've beaten Todorov or Kamsing himself and it may have been only the dumb luck of Mayweather's presence that kept him from bringing the gold to Cuba. Yeah, yeah - styles make fights...but here's another cliche as riposte: it's about levels.

For perspective, Aragon beat the following boxers who achieved notability as pros: world titlists Joel Casamayor, Robbie Peden (wide), Andre Berto (wide), Vyacheslav Senchenko (wide), and Lukas Konecny (close); onetime ranked contenders Terrance Cauthen, Carlos Navarro, & Euri Gonzalez x2 (once a shutout, and once extremely wide by twenty points); current ranked contenders Yudel Jhonson x4 & Erislandy Lara x4 (all wide); and current unbeaten prospect/contenders Vanes Martirosyan x2 (once wide, once by stoppage) & middleweight Sherzod Husanov x3 (twice wide, once by stoppage).

Total amatuer record of 109-15; 6-2 in the Olympics over two appearances. Silver medalist in Athens '04, twice a gold medalist in world championships, and ten-time Cuban national champ from flyweight all the way to welterweight. He also defeated legendary countryman and 2-time Olympic gold medalist Mario Kindelán, and decorated Russian hero & Val Barker trophy conferee Oleg Saitov.

It's arguable the professional combatants who've troubled Floyd as much as did Aragon when he was a teenager are numerable on one hand.

Damn shame we never saw the Cuban defect and go pro (way too late now; he's pushing forty and hasn't competed in years), although waiting around until age 30 did afford him the opportunity for redemption with that Silver medal in Athens.


IB's RBR scoring (under the now-outmoded amateur system, counting only clean legal blows):

R1 - M A A A M M A M A M A A M M A; 8-7 Aragon. Officially 5-4 Aragon.

R2 - M M A M M A A M M A M M A M M A M M A M M; 14-7 Mayweather. (21-15 overall) Officially 6-2 Mayweather. (10-7 overall)

R3 - M A M A M M A A A M A A ; 7-5 Aragon. (26-22 Mayweather overall). Officially 4-2 Aragon. (12-11 Mayweather overall)

...and yes, I actually score counter jabs on the back foot...if they're clean on target and snapped rather than pushed. Body shots, too.
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