© Copyright 2011, Mark Connor
On Friday night, May 27 at the St. Paul Armory Caleb "Golden" Truax won a split decision over Andy "Kaos" Kolle for the Minnesota State Middleweight Championship. Judge Mike Fitzgerald had it 96-94 Truax, Judge Scott Moe scored it 96-94 Kolle, and Judge Denny Nelson called it 97-93 Truax. It was a truly close fight that could have gone either way. The Boxers and Writers Magazine view was 96-94 Kolle, but at least one or two rounds were close enough to understand how they could have gone the other way. This is a fight that cries out for a rematch.
Truax was the immediate aggressor as the fight began, and although Kolle was able to jab his way off the ropes during the first minute of the first round and landed good lead right hooks that caught Truax charging in, he was unable to inflict damage through the second round. Truax kept plugging away, moving his head and landing body shots throughout the fight, many of which Kolle and his corner complained were low blows, but referee Mark Nelson insisted they were merely borderline. While I thought Kolle took rounds 3 and 4 to even the first third of the fight, Jesse Kelley of Minnesotaboxing.com, who was next to me at ringside, thought they’d traded the first, second, third and fourth, Truax winning one round and Kolle winning the other in a progressive give and take rhythm. As each round passed the six foot Truax would begin coming forward with an effective jab over the right hand of 6’-1” southpaw Kolle, also landing an occasional lead right down the middle and digging to the body. Kolle in turn would maneuver into the middle of the ring and continue circling, establishing the right jab or landing the lead right hook, occasionally timing the powerful straight left down the middle to stop Truax in his tracks. Invariably Truax kept coming, though, and Kolle would sometimes trade with him, sometimes cover, and sometimes move, reset and land some shots. He occasionally backed Truax up, but mostly moved throughout the fight. The difficulty in scoring the fight came in deciding at each closing bell whether Truax’s aggression or Kolle’s movement and powerful counters were more effective. The Boxers and Writers view was that Kolle took rounds 5 and 6 while Truax took 7 and 8, then Kolle pulled out the last two as Truax tired. The middle rounds were in fact close, though, as the respective 96-94 scores from Judges Moe and Fitzgerald, the former for Kolle and the latter for Truax, signify.
The two technical surprises of this fight came from Truax, landing the right uppercut—mostly to the body—and utilizing his left hook over Kolle’s right hand to force him to dip his head to the left and into the follow up right hand. He did this not only when initiating exchanges, but also while timing Kolle’s occasional habit of leaning in a little too far with the straight left, capitalizing on the momentum by turning the right hand into Kolle. In the latter rounds of the fight Kolle began landing his own right uppercut, and although a strong argument can be made that he did enough by winning rounds 11 and 12, the final decision suggests the lack of follow up hooks and straight lefts are what proved otherwise.