Join Date: Feb 2006
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Arlovski's boxing coach breaks down fight
Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski?s heavyweight title rubber match a little over a week ago saw the two huge heavyweights engage in a brutal 5-round stand-up war. Not once did the fight go to the ground, and it even saw few lasting clinches.
It was a rare mixed martial arts fight that included little other than boxing and a rarer one still that saw that boxing come in technical and skilled denominations. Former champion, and expected winner Andrei Arlovski came up short in the close decision, although his boxing coach believed that there was still much to be impressed with in Arlovski?s performance.
?I thought he won three rounds? said Mike Garcia, Arlovski?s boxing instructor.
?In the first round, Andrei got hit and it looked like he almost went down, but he wasn?t really hurt, he was just off balance. After that round, I think Andrei out boxed him (Sylvia). I?m looking at it from a boxing standpoint, I?m not criticizing the decision because I don?t know fully all the UFC?s judging criteria but I think he was out punching him? continues Garcia.
Garcia said he was confident enough after the first round that Arlovski, who was landing with some punches, moving nicely and scoring with kicks, could beat Sylvia again. Although soon after he noticed some changes in his fighter, the result of an apparent injury that Arlovski suffered somewhere between the 1st and 2nd rounds.
?After the first round he stopped kicking, he stopped moving as much. He just got his knee and foot checked out today (InsideFighting spoke with Mr. Garcia early last week). He hurt himself somehow and it was bothering him in the fight. He was afraid to tell us (Arlovski?s corner) but once he left the octagon and the adrenaline wore off and when they took his ankle brace off his ankle was huge and he couldn?t walk around. After the fight they took him right to the hospital and he got a cast on his foot from the calf down? says Garcia.
Garcia is quick to point out that he isn?t making excuses, but naturally he is disappointed that his fighter hurt himself because he would have liked for Arlovski to have been at full ability the whole fight through.
?There?s no excuses, it?s just that I think he could have fought better if he was healthy. He was afraid to tell us about his leg because he thought we would have stopped the fight, and we probably would have? Garcia says
Switching topics from his fighter to their opponent, Tim Sylvia, Garcia acknowledges that Sylvia looked much improved.
?Sylvia deserves a lot of credit. He kept his hands up. He kept his distance and definitely tried to counter Andrei. You could tell he wanted to stay away from Andrei?s right hand.
?Andrei was coming up short on some of his punches because Sylvia was backing away and moving. Andrei hit Sylvia on the face flush a few times but not on the jaw? Garcia explains.
Though it was unbelievable to some that the fighters, especially Sylvia, had the gas tank to last 5 full rounds, Garcia, a former world class boxer, says he wasn?t.
?When something?s on the line like that, you?ll do it. Andrei brought out the best in Sylvia. I?m sure he never trained like that in his life before.?
Garcia is proud that even though Arlovski didn?t get the judges? decision, he corrected mistakes from his prior fight against Sylvia, a 1st round TKO back in April.
?(The last time)He was so angry that Sylvia was talking sh__t before that he wanted to knock him out. But Andrei was much more patient this time? says Garcia.
For some reason, many fans seemed disappointed that the two giant heavyweights didn?t take one another out quickly as they had the two previous times. But Garcia, having spent a lifetime in boxing, said he was blown away by the effort, output and fortitude that Arlovski and Sylvia showed in their standoff.
?For two guys that big, to go 25 minutes, with four ounce mitts, that?s a hell of a job and the fans should be thankful for what they got that night.?
"Yea, lets go...do a rematch with BJ Penn. We're going to to do it this summer. St. Pierre-Penn III and this time we'll wear a rashguard. I guarantee you the result will be the same or even worse for him.
I'm not afraid to fight him again and ten time in a row if he want. I don't care....I been respectful the whole time and he disrespect me like this? I don't mind at all. " - Georges St-Pierre