Sharkie's Machine - Celestino Caballero Too Much for Doud Yordan
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., exclusive to DoghouseBoxing (April 11, 2010)  
It’s always a pleasure watching WBA Interim Featherweight titlist, Celestino Caballero (34-2, 23 KO’s), whose skills shined Saturday night in Sunshine Florida where he faced an un-beaten, top level prospect in Doud Yordan of Indonesia.

You might remember Doud Yordan from a brief fight he had against Robert “the Ghost” Guerrero a little more than a year ago in San Jose, where in the second round, Yordan proved a bit more than Guerrero could chew. In that fight, Yordan blocked most of Guerrero’s shots and landed a few good, clean punches that opened up a manageable looking cut over Guerrero’s eye. The ringside doc looked at the cut and followed the lead of Guerrero, who didn’t seem interested in continuing, so the fight was stopped. It was deemed a No Contest and questions rose about Guerrero’s heart. Guerrero never sought a rematch with Yordan and in the eyes of those who pay attention; Doud Yordan looks like a more exciting prospect to keep an eye on than say, Guerrero. Doud is from the same state in Indonesia as his unbeaten compatriot, WBA Featherweight titlist Chris “The Mechanic” John.

Unlike the master boxer Chris John, Doud Yordan is a pretty good puncher that has a Spartan ring demeanor. He has good skills but mostly brings that old fashioned, “I’m gonna kick your ass” mentality to the ring. As tough as he is, he was in over his head against the tallest guy in the Featherweight division, WBA titlist Celestino Caballero from Panama .

Caballero is a joy to watch if you’re a purist. He uses his height to set the proper distance and just keeps jabbing and throwing combinations from all angles. He’s a punching; punching, punching…he’s a punching machine. And he can take a punch. Against Caballero, Yordan wasn’t able to find neither a rhythm, nor a weakness to exploit but that didn’t deter him. He fought the whole fight looking for a way to land a shot that like an axe, might chop down that tall tree called Caballero.

The tone was set from the start by Caballero, who boxed from the outside, working his jab and constantly throwing combinations to the body. Rarely did Caballero throw just one punch; it was always in combinations, moving from the head to the body and back to the body again. In the second round, Caballero landed a right that put Yordan down. Yordan got up quickly. As the action resumed, Caballero was like a puppeteer, controlling the whole show. Every now and again, Yordan would land a nice left hook but—Caballero barely flinched. By the fifth round, it was clear that Yordan was game and capable of any late surprise that might’ve materialized but this was a mismatch.

The sixth round was close. Yordan landed the harder, cleaner punches at a high connect percentage but Caballero landed twice as many and controlled the action with his long jab and superior mobility.

By the last two rounds, Yordan’s face was swollen, eyes nearly shut, but he gave all he had and I had to give him those rounds for his willful effort. In the final round, Yordan finally caught Caballero with an unexpected punch that saw Caballero nearly go down. Yordan wasn’t able to finish Caballero, who regained his legs within seconds and was back to boxing till the final bell ended it. The commentators covering the fight shown on HBO at times were suggesting the fight should’ve been stopped to spare Yordan any career staggering results from the beating he was taking but Yordan’s late success proved that he did deserve to fight to the finish.

The official judges had it 119-108, 120-107 and 118-108, all in favor of Celestino Caballero. I had it 118- 109 for Caballero. This was an impressive win for Caballero but it would be a lot more impressive if he were facing someone who’s at least in the top five in the division. It’s bad for young Yordan and a waste for 33 year old Caballero.

We may live in a world where we’ve been conditioned to believe that ‘bigger is better’ but in boxing—that’s definitely not the case.

The Featherweight division has some of the most exciting, dramatic fighters in the sport.

At 33 years old, Celestino Caballero is a refined boxing machine at peak performance. Caballero’s a big risk for anyone in the division but this is a division where small men make big action fights. Caballero’s handlers should do all they can to get him a fight against any of the other titlists. Caballero obviously has the goods to deal with the top cats in the division; like Rafael Marquez, Israel Vazquez, Chris John, Juan Manuel Lopez, Jhonny Gonzalez, Daniel Ponce De Leon and even relatively untested, super hyped Yuriorkis Gamboa. Caballero vs. any of those names would make for great entertainment. Imagine if they all had to fight each other?

Showtime has the “Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament.” HBO should answer (with Golden Boy Promotions’ permission of course) with a “Super Eight Featherweight Tournament,” which should include most of the fighters named above. Unlike the heavier weight classes that cherry pick opponents, the smaller weight classes tend to see the best fighters taking on the best all the time.

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