Tonight, IB is sinking his teeth into Moorer-Holyfield I.
Slow going, doing this at work in between...well, work.
A third through, here we are:
Holyfield - aggressive throughout, made more of an effort to fight a full three-minute round, and did a nice job in varying his attack by alternating leadoff punches in his flurries (most effective when started with the jab),
Moorer - nullified much of Holyfield's offense, but was largely ineffective with his own. Too cautious from outside (thus getting beaten to the punch) and too uncertain on the inside, spending time (and energy) grabbing for traction with his hands instead of letting them go (leading to a stark contrast between his connects and Holyfield's authoritative ones). Most of his best punches in this round are looping shots thrown seemingly in desperation and landing thanks more to Holyfield walking into them than marksmanship.
The pre-Compubox punchstats provided are of dubious merit - wasn't counting myself, but it's hard to swallow Moorer at 39% unless a good number of glove touches are being scored. Moorer landing quantitatively more (but less clean/effective) punches than Holyfield is one thing - but a ten percent gap seems untoward to justify.
The jabbing contest was largely a stalemate, thanks in large part to their opposing stances causing each to be hittable and discouragable with this punch. It reached a point where one trying to be first with his jab would quickly recoil when the other so much as feinted a counter jab of his own. This round was decided on power punching, which was decidedly in favor of Holyfield in terms of efficacy if not accuracy as-tabulated.
1st Round: Holyfield 10-9
Aggregate: Holyfield 10-9
Holyfield - of course has the knockdown, but pretty clearly lost 2:30 leading up to it. He was always in a good position to leverage his punching power, as evidenced by the KD itself, but the price of this was his overall movement being very slow and telegraphed. The dynamic offensive pressure of the previous outing gave way to a far uglier method of wading in with his forearms extended to deflect counter fire, yet he was still getting hit fairly regularly.
Moorer - worked his jab very well and this time won that contest. He won the majority of the round by circling at a good range that allowed him to lean into his shots and retract safely; and by being first more often than not. He was not horribly hurt by the knockdown, though it was a clear and legitimate one. Throughout the last minute his mobility had waned and Holyfield, his feet well set, caught him square in the quicksand. Creditably, Moorer arose and finished off the round well, showing no sign of giving any mental ground and still firmly believing in the work he'd done up until that moment.
After a good deal of soul-searching, I decided to go with my gut right or wrong and score it 10-10. After a good deal less researching (unearthing this recent thread right here on ESB, including a mention of this very round: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
) I found that the official judges had done the same.
2nd Round: Even 10-10
Aggregate: Holyfield 20-19
Holyfield - this time was able to pull off the heist with which I didn't let him get away in the 2nd. This was (right-) armed robbery. The same span of time that Moorer had then so convincingly dominated with the initiative and accurate punching was here a relative void, with neither really asserting their will much, taking the initiative, or landing much of noteworthy cleanliness or accuracy. UNTIL...Holyfield begins pumping his right hand in the final moments, and building on its success by throwing it in even greater number and with greater force - thankfully facilitating an otherwise challenging split.
Moorer - continued to show a good jab and boxed fairly well throughout, but was simply outpunched down the stretch.
3rd Round: Holyfield 10-9
Aggregate: Holyfield 30-28
Holyfield - had an eye-catching, judge-wooing flurry in the early goings, pinning Moorer on the ropes with a hard volley and then using his physicality to move the champion around to potentially make further impression on those charged with scoring. These moments would have been more than enough to steal a round like the 3rd (as his succession of right hands in actuality did); however the 4th was not the 3rd...
Moorer - donned his poncho and weathered the tempest, then wrung himself out and went to work. His tenacity and consistency (the gap in his ability to find a target with Evander's now beginning to appear in line with the published stats...) were enough to make one forget who was pinned on the ropes and thrown like a rag doll. For all but those early moments, you'd have to have preferred with conviction to have been Moorer in this round.
4th Round: Moorer 10-9
Aggregate: Holyfield 39-38