Sunday, March 23, 2008

Librado Andrade Stops Robert Steiglitz

If ever you’re in a Jack-In-The-Box hamburger joint and have an unpleasant experience, my advice is to keep your temper in check. Behind the counter may be a guy like Librado Andre. The Mexican-American fighter made his living flipping hamburgers and it looked for awhile that he’d soon be back to it as he began his boxing career. It should be an inspiration to all fighters to know that Andrade lost sixteen of his first eighteen boxing matches. The thing you’ve got to know about Librado Andrade is that he’s imperturbable. Now making decent box office earnings, the L.A. super middleweight is sure to become a fan favorite with his take-no-prisoners fighting style.

I saw Andrade losing a decision to Mikkel Kessler about a year ago. It was the kind of fight where the winner didn’t look a great deal better than the loser. It seemed as if Andrade would be just as eager to walk through a barrage of gunfire as he was to taking the fight to Kessler. You had to respect a guy like that. Just tough. Like fighting with a machine with no reverse gears.

Last night Librado Andrade put away the favored number one super-middleweight contender Robert Steiglitz of Germany in a pitched battle that was a model of Andrade body punching. Or crunching. Andrade’s boxing skills, which may still be described as Neanderthal, seemed to me uniquely aggressive. Steiglitz sustained a creative battering with uppercuts, left hooks, and right hands over the top of Steiglitz’s defense.

Steiglitz was born in Russia but is now a German citizen. Max Kellerman described the German boxer as more a participant in a “sport” rather than as a participant in the Mexican boxing concept of a life or death struggle designed to weed out inferior beings. Steiglitz showed skill and courage even as his chances of winning faded. sly, Steiglitz was fast, experienced, and powerful in knocking out 19 of 31 previous opponents. This was only the second time Steiglitz had been himself KO’d.

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