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Old 08-06-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
Flo_Raiden
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Default How good was Hilario Zapata?

What can you tell me about Zapata? How good of a technician was he? How does his defense compare to guys like Whitaker and Benitez because he does remind me a bit like them when I see some of his fights.

The only thing I know about him was that he was a long, tall defensive fighter with great talent but a real head case who is a victim of being lazy and losing to fighters he shouldn't have lost. How good of a fighter was he at his very best?

[ame]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SPkh4t1XU30[/ame]
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
lora
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Default Re: How good was Hilario Zapata?

You've more or less summed him up in your second paragraph.He was one of the sports great eccentric natural talents, but not quite an all-time great.Not really enough of a determined focused competitor for that.

Defensively he can compete with any fighter, but in other respects he was inconsistent and never really had a strong chin, which made such a mindset more risky obviously.

Compared to pea and Benitez defensively, he could be similar at times to Whitaker in the sort of defensive angles he'd give and tendency when emphasising defence to favour rolling\slipping outright under multiple punches coming from both arms of the opponent.Maybe the first stylist to really showcase that sort of thing as a part of his every-fight arsenal.

Not much like Benitez at all except mentally where you could say he was a more extreme version of Wilfred's occasional lethargy and "who gives a ****" mindset to winning or losing efficiently.Probably more on par with Starling in that respect as far as notable defensive fighters go.

The key turning point in his career was spending time in jail, strugging at the weight and disgracing himself in the rematch with Chang.He blew way up in weight and his career seemed over after the Harold Petty debacle, yet he managed to get back down to Flyweight for a fight with Laciar. Now had he turned in an impressive performance and clearly beaten Laciar i'd probably consider him a lock as a genuine great, but it was a poor fight and one of his least aggressive performances....maybe he was struggling a bit from getting back down in weight and Laciar was formidable of course(though clearly struggling with his elusiveness), as well as very strong so a more cautious approach was always going to be necessary at times, but he gave an ultimately far too lackadaisical effort and lost a razor-tight decision when the chance was there for a triumphant comeback agianst a great opponent.

He did still have a run at Flyweight after that, but imo there was a hint of going through the motions and winning on talent alone rather than real effort there.He could still be brilliant at times, but wasn't quite the same fighter imo.Ended up in a similar squandered situation against Bassa, though those were much better fights and also controversial.

Last edited by lora; 08-07-2012 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: How good was Hilario Zapata?

I'm a big fan.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: How good was Hilario Zapata?

Great post by lora. I have little to add other than the Bassa fights both being extremely close.

He obviously pissed someone off by the time he was chucked in, still a recovering addict, against Moon, the worst matchup for...well, pretty much everyone around that weight.

Zapata was a superb operator though, just lackadaisical, as has already been said. Such an odd stylist, even as Panamanian stylists go he was different. Clearly Chang was the greatest of that era but I wouldn't put Zapata too far behind the likes of Chang and Lacier.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: How good was Hilario Zapata?

I saw Zapata fight just once I think, on tv many years ago, and I guess i must have seen him on a good night. I have always thought of him since as the epitome of the smooth boxing southpaw. I recall he had such a stiff right jab and a laser like straight left.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: How good was Hilario Zapata?

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

Found a nice upload of Hilario Zapata at his sharpest. Zapata, when on point, could really pose a lot of problems. Very smooth southpaw.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: How good was Hilario Zapata?

His showing against German Torres is probably his best IMO
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