By Dave Spencer, Fightnews Canada / Photos: Mike Greenhill
An unrelenting attack from Juan Urango (21-1-1 16KO) helped propel him to a pair of third round knockdowns and a 118-108, 120-106, 116-110 decision on the scorecards over hometown favourite and #1 ranked Hermann Ngoudjo (17-3 9KO) at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Urango recaptures the IBF junior welterweight title he had won versus Ben Rabah and lost on his first defense to Ricky Hatton two years ago in January 2007. The Columbian born fighter who now makes Miami his home dominated the proceedings in convincing fashion as he came forward for the duration, walking through whatever offense Ngoudjo could muster up.
Ngoudjo claimed to have broken his jaw in the third, a round which after a shaky start to the fight, sealed the fate the of the 29 year-old making his second mandatory attempt at a world title in just over a year. The Cameroon born Ngoudjo who had come up just short on the scorecards when he faced off against Paulie Malignaggi in his previous title attempt, could do little to keep the hard hitting Columbian off him, eating a steady diet off hard crunching body shots for the entire bout.
Despite some valiant attempts at coming back, Ngoudjo just didn’t have the power in his arsenal to back up Urango. A solid right hand by Ngoudjo in the 10th typified the action in the fight as it was answered back by a clench and six solid shots in return.
This one had all the makings of a potential controversy as the Montreal fighter was without his regular trainer Howard Grant who was serving a suspension for shoving referee Marlon Wright in October and who was once again the third man in the ring. Add to that two American judges and the potential was there for a quagmire as thick as a Montreal snow bank.
Juan Urango made any hint of potential controversy quickly disappear. First with the knockdowns, then by never letting Ngoudjo get back into the fight. At first glance it looked as if Urango might have trouble catching up to the fleet footed Ngoudjo. The opening stanza had the Warrior promoted fighter chasing but having trouble landing his shots that seemed slow and easily avoided by Ngoudjo. That was as good as got for the hometown fighter who was able avoid the early power shots but couldn’t unload himself to avoid the piston like locomotive bearing down on him. A solid left hand lead caught Ngoudjo flush in the second who was able to avoid some of the monster shots coming his way, but was already eating his fair share of leather.
Montreal fans who numbered 5,000 strong cheered their fighter who proved to be resilient, coming back from the pair of knockdowns and what was ruled a push in the third round only to see each ray of hope quickly extinguished by Urango. By the middle rounds, it looked as if Ngoudjo was getting his legs back as all the elements of his boxing prowess started to return.
All except one that is.
The nimble fighter who had won both fights he had been down in previously was able to increase his activity, move, spin off the ropes and use the large ring given him. All that was missing was some semblance of power to neutralize Urango, and without it, the rest really didn’t matter.
With a pop-gun compared to the howitzer that his opponent was releasing, it didn’t matter how or where Ngoudjo was going to run to, Urango was going to find him and connect. Even when the first battalion failed to find their mark, those following up in reserve were just as lethal. A wild left in the seventh was easily ducked by Ngoudjo, but with no counter, Urango quickly found the target with a solid right to the body.
Following an inexplicably long 10th round, one in which reality was sinking in for the Montreal fighter who came through with his best effort of the night as he tried in vain to somehow pull this one out. It wasn’t to be though and it was a very tired Ngoudjo who came out for the 11th, and while he got a respite by having a break in the action while his gloves were retaped, the new champ took advantage of the situation to raise his hands to the air declaring victory. By then the writing was already on the wall and it was only another three minutes plus until they were raised again.