Caleb Truax defeated Cerresso Fort via 4th round TKO to win the vacant USBA middleweight championship on September 21. In so doing he disproved my contention that his fast victory in the fight was not a forgone conclusion. It’s gone, that’s for sure, and it concludes any doubt that Truax will get his shot to prove himself worthy of the world stage of professional boxing.
Not having been able to make the fight due to job obligations, I got a couple of quick updates from someone there via text messages and I have so far only been able to view a local television highlight posted by Truax on Facebook. When Truax got Fort into trouble it was with a short right hand (from the angle of view it looked like an uppercut) that landed as Fort followed a grazing overhand right with a wide left hook. Truax was answering Fort’s assertion with the most logical reply, punches down the middle. The short shot always beats the long one, especially when it’s as balanced, fast and strong as Truax’s are. Also, Fort’s head moved slightly to the right with the momentum of his left hook so that his line of sight left his opponent, enabling Truax to land the punch Fort could not see. After that there was no recovery for Fort.
As I wrote earlier, Fort appeared to be a new man on July 6 with the way he handled Marcus Upshaw. But he has a lot of work to do to get to the level that will allow him to compete with someone like Truax. He probably needed a good three fights before attempting a challenge as great as the one he attempted on September 21. The work with Grigsby has improved him, but both he and Grigsy appear to have overestimated their progress and abilities as fighter and trainer at this time. They can rebuild and get better from here, but it will take a great deal of effort. Definitely, my personal recommendation is to fight about three more times against opponents on the skill level of Upshaw, increasing the challenge slightly with each, before attempting another fight that can gain Fort a top ten rating like the one Truax just earned. And Grigsby needs to try to break Fort of the habit of the long, winding punches that diminish his speed and power. As world class as Grigsby was in becoming junior flyweight champion, his own tendency to roundhouse once in a while diminished his effectiveness.
Truax is on his way. Now ranked number 10 in the world on the Boxrec web site, right in front of Irishman Andy Lee who is at 11, Truax finds himself at the precipice of world class status and a lasting celebrity. His next fight should bring great excitement to Minnesota boxing and he deserves a lot of credit for the seven years of professional effort he has put forth with the help of trainers Ron Lyke and Tom Halstad and promoter Tony Grygelko.
by Mark Connor