By Scoop Malinowski
In late July 1988 at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, Tomas Molinares shocked the boxing world by knocking out WBA Welterweight champion Marlon Starling with one punch at the very end of the sixth round, or as video evidence would later prove, milliseconds after the bell, though the punch was unleashed before the bell sounded. It was one of the bizarre nights of boxing, and the Colombian won the title. Starling, after he regained consciousness after falling to the canvas face first, had no recollection of being knocked down or counted out by referee Joe Cortez.
Fast forward thirty years. Another Colombian Elieder “Storm” Alvarez came to Atlantic City and performed another example of spectacular Colombian boxing magic. In a major upset last night, Alvarez brilliantly combined smart boxing skills and sneaky power to destroy reigning WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev by seventh round knockout at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Alvarez learned early in the fight he could connect accurately and easily with his impressive handspeed as he jarred the champion’s head numerous times in the early rounds. Kovalev looked to be in control of the first half of the 12 round contest (he was ahead on all three scorecards), but in the seventh round the duel suddenly took a violent change of course. Alvarez, who had a small cut under his right eye, landed a brutal right that fell the Russian who tried to get up and continue but it was clear he was badly damaged by the blow. Alvarez, like a predator who had to wait five years for this opportunity, pounced with extreme ferocity and impressively finished the job with two more knockdowns. The new champion roared like a lion king after his historic achievement. Official time of the stoppage was 2:47 of round seven.
How ironic it is that exactly three decades after one Colombian electrified the boxing world – on July 28, 1988, a second Colombian warrior came to Atlantic City and sensationally repeats the accomplishment.
The 34-year-old Alvarez, now 24-0 (12 KO’s) joins Molinares as another Colombian boxing legend who vehemently stamped his special mark of boxing brilliance on the legendary fight city at the Jersey Shore.