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Old 02-11-2008, 08:02 PM   #1
Raging B(_)LL
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Default Antonio Esparragoza vs Shozo Saijo

Who wins this matchup between these two all but forgotten fighters?

Esparragoza was a poor man's Alexis Arguello. His long arms and intelligent ring movements made him a threat to any fighter and kept him a champion for 4 years. Unlike other boxers coming out of Latin America Antonio did not live in poverty but still took up and loved the discipline of boxing from the age of 13. Esparragoza was a accomplished amateur and finished with a bronze medal at the 1978 world championships in Belgrade. In 1981 he turned pro and quickly his smooth boxing style won him fans in America and with the ranking bodies.

Saijo was also similar to Arguello in terms of physique, but his career had a far less auspicious start to it as he did not show immediate promise in the ring, losing or drawing to several lowly regarded fighters. But when he met Raul Rojas for the first time and beat him decisively over ten rounds, he was given a shot at Raul`s featherweight title and proceeded to trounce the former champ but good, dropping him in the 6th and beating him from pillar to post in the final rounds. He would defend his title six times altogether before losing it to the also all but forgotten and underrated Antonio Gomez in 5.

Now as to how this fight would unfold, I would favour Esparragoza here due to his sturdier whiskers and overall skillset. Shozo was just as good a boxer as Antonio was however, but his chin was a big liability even though he did have excellent recuperative powers. Shozo was the more fleetfooted fighter of the two, and if and that is a big if he managed to fight a disciplined fight and not get into any unnecessary exchanges he may go on to defeat the Venezuelan.

But knowing Shozo he will brawl as soon as he gets tagged with a big shot, and this is what would ultimately cost him the victory, but he wouldn`t go down without a fight as he fought back furiously whenever he got hurt and Antonio would likely have to knock him down several times before he stayed down for keeps. Would have been an entertaining fight for sure, but ultimately Esparragoza would have gotten to that chin of Saijo`s and eventually taken him out late in the fight I reckon.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Antonio Esparragoza vs Shozo Saijo

How strong do you feel Esparragoza's chin was? Both were skilled technical boxers, and I agree that Saijo had excellent recuperative powers having seen more footage of him, even in the last bout of his career against Antonio Gomez he showed great recuperative ability and ability to fire back when hurt after being dropped early on. Despite his efforts though, he was later finished. Do you see something similar happening against Esparragoza?
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Antonio Esparragoza vs Shozo Saijo

[quote=Sweet Pea]

Quote:
How strong do you feel Esparragoza's chin was?
His chin was very good and certainly much better than Sho`s was, although it wasn`t made of granite and he could be hurt by a good punch. Saijo would have gotten through with some good shots to hurt him I think, but he would have weathered the barrage of blows Sho would have rained down upon him when that happened until he cleared his head.


Quote:
Do you see something similar happening against Esparragoza?
In a nutshell, yes although it would probably happen late in the fight.
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