Tag Archives: Cory Rapacz

February 9th – Professional Boxing in West Fargo, ND

Branden Cluever (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Cody McManigle (now 0-1) by TKO in round 4 of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds.

Round 1

The fight starts inelegantly with both men ducking down and throwing simultaneously, neither man scoring.  They begin circling rapidly clockwise, with McManigle doing most of the attacking, and what little scoring there is.  Cluever lands the first shot, a big right hand that echoes.  McManigle scores next, with a counter right that thrills the crowd.  Cluever, trying to avoid a clinch, nearly turns his back on McManigle, but dodges a bullet as no damage is done.  Moments later mcManigle lands a big shot that drops Cluever.  Cluever is up quickly however.  The remainder of the rounds sees McManigle score frequently with head shots while Cluever tries to tie him up.

Round 2

Cluever would like to be the aggressor here, but McManigle is much faster.    McManigle lands a few good shots in the early going, but Cluever finally whips an overhand right in and pops him with a good shot.  McManigle is throwing bombs with evil intent.  Cluever spins around from one punch, and later turns his back on McManigle again to avoid taking a punch straight on.  McManigle is manhandling Cluever.  After some rough stuff McManigle lands a major four-punch combination that hurts Cluever.  McManigle is poking a hard jab into Cluever’s face now, scoring repeatedly.  Cluever returns the favor as the round draws to a close, and the bell rings with both men on the attack.  I’m not convinced the fight will last another round.

Round 3

Cluever, who has a strange and awkward style, scores with a couple of flurries on the inside.  Suddenly McManigle is down from a single right hand to the ear.  He looks hurt, but he gets up quickly.  McManigle is no longer circling, but rotating to face Cluever, who continues to orbit.  McManigle is huffing.  Cluever is attacking with more confidence now, and hurts McManigle with a big right to the body.  McManigle misses with a big round hook and nearly dips to his knee, but saves himself just in time.  Cluever is attacking the ribcage viciously, and McManigle is definitely hurt.  Again Cluever goes to the body, and McManigle is in agony.  Bell!

Round 4

McManigle is staying low and attacking to keep Cluever away from the body.  Cluever lands another right to the ribs, and the pain is evident on McManigle’s face.  Finally, with one more dig to the left side of McManigle’s ribcage, Cluever puts him away.  McManigle goes to a knee and referee Mike Robinson calls the fight.  What an unexpected outcome!


Nathan Seelye (now 0-1) is defeated by Dustin Mason (now 4-0 with 4 knockouts) by TKO due to injury retirement in round 2 of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Seelye has a longer reach than Mason, and in the early going he tries to take advantage with jabs and sweeping hooks, but doesn’t land anything.  Mason lands the first punch of the fight, as one of a flurry lands.  Mason is beginning to come forward and misses with a big right.  Seelye, seeking to be the aggressor, comes forward and gets hit with a  right hand.  After a lull, the two close ground and Mason does good work on the inside, landing a right to the temple of Seelye.  Mason is pursuing now, and catches Seelye backing up to the ropes, landing another power shot.  Seelye deftly clinches.  Seelye is shaking his left hand; it may be hurt.  Seelye is carrying his lead hand low.  Mason tries to attack but gets tied up again, and hits the back of the head, drawing boos from the crowd.  The round ends without further incident.

Round 2

Seelye is retreating and circling to his right in the early moments of the second.  Mason is having trouble landing a punch.  Now Seelye switches to southpaw, but Mason finally catches him with a lead left – Seelye clinches again.  Now Seelye is back to orthodox.  There’s a tie-up on the rope and Mason is getting frustrated.  Mason is coming forward and Seelye, backing into his own corner, instructs his cornerman to throw in the towel.  Cornerman Kevin Tjaden replies “Are you sure?”  Seelye says “Throw in the towel,” looks at his hand, and shakes it.  Seelye retires and the fight is over.


Nick Capes (now 0-4) is defeated by Ray Edwards (now 3-0 with 2 knockouts) by TKO about twenty seconds into the first round of a bout scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Edwards shows some respect for his opponent in the opening seconds of the fight.  The two circle for a moment, and then Capes ducks in and tries to land a haymaker.  Edwards counters, punching down at his much smaller opponent, and catches him on the top of the head.  It’s clear that this fight is over the moment Capes hits the mat, and referee Eddie Obregon waves it off.


Trenton Titsworth (now 5-15-2 with 2 knockouts) and Rondale Hubbert (now 1-0-1 with 1 knockout) fight to a majority draw after four rounds.  (36-40, 38-38, 38-38)

(The first thing you need to know about this matchup is that Trenton Titsworth is a long, lanky beanpole.  His arms are like tree limbs, so he’s going to have a big reach advantage over the normally proportioned Rondale Hubbert, who appears to be a full head and neck shorter.)

Round 1

Our combatants are circling.  After twenty seconds or so Hubbert sends out some tentative, exploratory jabs, and then fires a big hook that misses.  Finally after an extended feeling-out period, there’s a flurry, and both men seem to have landed slapping punches.  Another lull ensues, and suddenly Hubbert charge in, punches wildly.  Titsworth seemed to have parried most if not all of his punches. Tittsworth is feinting and moving his feet.  Hubbert shuffles in and attacks suddenly again, but Titsworth ties him up.  Hubbert is trying to figure out this puzzle.  Hubbert tries to duck inside but Titsworth counters and lands a right hand.  Hubbert backs into a corner, but Titsworth lets him escape.  Titsworth’s corner wants jabs, but interestingly, he likes to lead with his right, which essentially gives up his reach advantage.  Bell!

Round 2

In a four round fight you don’t get to spend much time figuring out your opponent, so Hubbert knows he needs to be aggressive.  He charges in low and gets under his opponent’s defense, then lifts him off the mat.  Now Hubbert tries the same thing again, but a clearly annoyed Titsworth punches down on him and lands.  Hubbert is coming forward now, and titsworth lands a hook to the body.  Hubbert is getting frustrated.  Now he tries getting rough, but titsworth ties him up.  Titsworth has lost his mouthpiece – there’s a pause while renowned referee Eddie Obregon gets a replacement from Titsowrth’s corner.  Hubbert attacks hard now, bulling his way inside and attacking with gusto.  Titsworth, no dummy, uses a double jab to score.  There’s some brawling going on now, and bad blood is developing.  The tide of the round seemed to flow in Hubbert’s favor as it drew to an end.

Round 3

Titsworth opens the third with some meaningful jabs.  Hubbert tries to get inside his defense but gets tied up.  Hubbert is getting rough now, charging inside, leading with his head, and throwing an elbow to Titsworth’s throat.  There’s a break, and then another clash in which a frustrated Hubbert is trying to manhandle titsworth.  Titsworth owns a slow and lazy jab, which he throws slowly and lazily.  All the fighting is on the inside now, which favors the more muscular Hubbert.  Hubbert is talking to Titsworth.  Titsworth comes forward and misses a power shot, and there’s another clinch with all the roughhousing that that involves.  Hubbert finally scores with a clean whshot.  After a clinch, Hubbert gets free and turns and walks away from Titsworth.  Did he forget to protect himself?  Yes he did, and Titsworth hits him with a hateful wing shot to the head, followed by another that he put everything into!  Hubbert tries to fight back, but Titsworth ties him up, and that was a rare moment of action in this bout.

Round 4

Hubbert knows he needs to score a lot now, and he comes out very aggressive.  He shoots his wad and seems to peter out.  Hubbert is working hard to get inside, but once he does Titsworth keeps leaning forward on him and smothering him.  Hubbert comes forward again and finally lands a good left hook to the head.  After another clinch Hubbert lands two good power shots that glance off titsworth’s head.  This is a much tougher fight than Hubbert was epecting.  Hubbert is circling Titsworth, looking for an opening to land a home run shot.  Hubbert’s hands are dropping, and if Titsworth could attack more effectively he would score here.  Titsworth tries to jab at th wide-open Hubbert and Hubbert counterattacks viciously, sending Titsworth reeling into the ropes, where he leans back to avoid Hubbert’s home run shot, and that was a close shave!  There’s grappling and infighting as the round draws to a close.  This was a better fight than I think anyone here expected.


Preston Shane (now 1-2 with 1 knockout) is defeated by Aaron Green (now 10-0 with 8 knockouts) by KO in the first round of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

About fifteen seconds into the first round Aaron Green knocks his opponent out with a jab.  No kidding, folks – it’s over.


Cheyenne Ziegler (now 3-10 with 2 knockouts) is defeated by Tyler Hultin (now 5-1-1 with 3 knockouts) by KO in round 2 of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Ziegler comes out crafty, ducking down, whipping long punches, and getting bck out before Hultin could tag him.  There’s a flurry of punches by both men, which climaxes with Ziegler knocking Hultin momentarily off-balance.  Coming out of a clinch, Hultin catches Ziegler on the temple with a right hand and momentarily knocks him off balance.  Our fighters are trading in the center of the ring now.  Coming in Ziegler either hit Hultin with a right hand or with his head, it’s hard to tell which.    The pro-Hultin crowd is going wild at every opportunity, and Hultin gives them several opportunities, tagging Ziegler with several power shots in the middle of the roudn.  But Ziegler finishes strong, landing a couple of good right hands in the late going before Hultin flurries again in the last ten seconds of the round.  This looks to be a crowdpleasing bout.

Round 2

Ziegler bends at the waist to land a right hand on Hultin, and Hultin slaps him with a counter.  Hultin is going on offense, but Ziegler is a fast and shifty fighter, so most of Hultin’s punches miss.  Hultin lands a right hand that puts Ziegler off balance again, and then another one.    Ziegler moves in close and make Hultin brawl with him.  though Hultin lands several big shots, Ziegler makes him pay with tough counters and mauling.  The brawl moves into the red corner – Ziegler’s corner – where Hultin slips in a couple of hooks and a hard uppercut.  A vicious body shot puts Ziegler to the mat on his hands and knees, and though he tries, he can not get off his haunches before referee Eddie Obregon counts him out.  Hultin wins by body shot knockout and the crowd goes bananas.

Possible Fargo Boxing Event

The Fistic Mystic remains on a temporary hiatus, but here’s something to chew on until I return.


More to come!

Kliewer’s Opponent for April 2: Out with Starks, In with C-Rod (?)

It’s been confirmed: Javontae Starks has withdrawn from his planned fight with Bobby Kliewer due to a back injury.  According to matchmaker Cory Rapacz, the decision to hold Starks out was an easy one.  “He hurt his back training.  He doesn’t have full range of motion and when you have a kid this promising at 21 years of age you take every precaution…you don’t put him in the ring unless he is 100 percent.”

The planned replacement for Starks, chosen from a pool of several suitable candidates, is 4-1 junior middleweight Corey “Collateral Damage” Rodriguez.  At the time of publication, Rodriguez had not returned a telephone call seeking confirmation or comment.  However, Kliewer did confirm that he had been informed of the switch.

For his part, Kliewer (10-9-2) is unfazed by the change in opponent.  “They’d better just pick a retirement spot next to Raul (Gracia) for Corey.  I put old welterweights into retirement!”  Kliewer doesn’t care to discuss tactics or strategy, but he thinks that he has several advantages over Rodriguez: “Youth, power, coach, knowing I’m fighting for a month, pro experience, and I’m prettier!” Kliewer laughs.  But the man who styles himself as Sweet Dreams had some sharp words for Rodriguez as well.  “Who knows, by the time C-Rod is 40 he’ll have as many pro fights as I do now – if this fight doesn’t change his mind about boxing.” (Rodriguez, veteran of more than 70 amateur fights, has struggled to get matched as a pro, fighting only five times since turning pro two and a half years ago.)

Note: Since this article was published I still have not heard from Corey Rodriguez, and matchmaker Cory Rapacz points out that Rodriguez has not officially accepted the fight.  Will C-Rod sign the contract?  Tune in tomorrow for more of the soap opera that is Minnesota boxing.

Minnesota Boxing Roundup: Winter-Spring 2010

After a midwinter lull that has seen one event canceled, a couple postponed, and a couple of tentatively planned shows dry up and blow away without ever going public, things are starting to look up.

Here’s a look at some things that we know or have heard.

  • On March 5th Minneapolis-based super featherweight Wilton Hilario (12-0 with 9 kayos) faces Martin Honorio (27-4-1 with 14 kayos) in the main event of an ESPN Friday Night Fights show.  Hilario is intended to be a sacrificial lamb for the eleven-year veteran Honorio, who has made a habit of hanging losses on well-regarded prospects.
  • Andy Kolle grants Matt Vanda a long-desired rematch of their 2007 bout, which Kolle won by a narrow but unanimous decision.  The date is April 2nd and the location is Grand Casino Hinckley.  A gentleman’s agreement has Bobby Kliewer as Javontae Starks’ step-up opponent for this event, and not to be overlooked is the pro debut of Jamal James, who is casting aside Golden Gloves tourney season to join Starks under the MSC banner.  Matchmaker Cory Rapacz is loading the undercard with pairings that intrigue, including Gary Eyer-Brad Patraw, Tim Taggart-Tyler Hultin, and the rematch of Jeremy McLaurin-Hector Orozco.
  • April 10th we can expect to see the highly anticipated meeting of Caleb Truax and Phil “The Drill” Williams in Minneapolis.  Neither the location nor the undercard of this Tony Grygelko-promoted event has been announced, but that’s in keeping with Grygelko’s method of management (otherwise known as flying by the seat of his pants).  It’s been widely speculated that some future card will be headlined by the winners of the Kolle-Vanda and Truax-Williams matches.
  • A well-known local boxing personality has made an open secret of his plan to enter the field of promoting, but although a venue has been identified, no further details have been announced.  It remains to be seen whether he can round up enough local boxers to fill a card without poaching other promoters’ stables.

Today’s news item of uncertain importance: on February 17 the website politicsinminnesota.com reported that Governor Pawlenty’s supplemental budget proposal includes a $10,000 cut in the budget of the state Combative Sports Commission.

Minnesota Boxing: What’s on the Agenda in 2010?

As Minnesota boxing comes out of its New Year’s doldrums, several events are beginning to materialize.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Be on the lookout for an announcement on Tuesday January 12th from Minnesota middleweight champ Andy Kolle (19-2 with 14 kayos).  The Duluth-based Kolle tells the Fistic Mystic that his upcoming announcement is “nothing major, but it gets me back in [the ring]…this is going to be the start of a busy year for me.”
  • Details are sketchy, but it’s been announced that Seconds Out Promotions has plans for a January 23rd boxing show at the Saint Paul Armory featuring Jon Schmidt (9-1 with 6 kayos) versus Robert Kamya (17-10 with 4 kayos) and possibly another attempt to stage the twice-aborted Willshaun Boxley -vs- William Hernandez fight.  A quick perusal of Makeafight.com reveals that Ismail Muwendo, Charles Meir, and Michael Faulk are being considered for the undercard, but of course that’s all speculative.
  • Also on January 23rd, Phil Williams travels to Chicago to face undefeated prospect Donovan George (18-0 with 16 kayos).  George, who was inactive all of 2008 but fought three times in 2009, is risking his undefeated status against the most dangerous opponent of his young career.  It’s an interesting matchup that would make me toy with the idea of a road trip to Chi-town if there wasn’t already a boxing show much closer to home on the same night.
  • Matt Vanda is scheduled to face longtime middleweight and super middleweight fringe contender Peter Manfredo Jr in Connecticut on January 29th.  It’s almost a hometown fight for native New Englander Manfredo (33-6 with 18 kayos), but being the road fighter is familiar territory for Vanda, of Saint Paul’s east side.
  • The legendary First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis plays host to the first Midwest Sports Council show of the year (and its first boxing show ever) on February 5th.  Familiar names on that card include Javontae Starks, Jeremy McLaurin, Tony Lee, Jose Hilario, Hector Orozco, and Don Tierney.  Matchmaker Cory Rapacz isn’t officially revealing the main event yet, but the card listed on Boxrec includes grizzled veteran Pat Coleman (29-15 with 20 kayos) against the always dangers “TBA.”  The 39-year old Coleman’s record once stood at 27-5, but he’s only won three boxing matches in the last ten years.
  • Word from Ronnie Peterson is that he has been inked to a contract to face rising prospect Chris Avalos in Florida on February 27th.  Peterson says that win or lose, after the fight he will retire: “I want to go out with a bang!”  Against Avalos, win or lose, Peterson is certain to do so.
  • Caleb Truax has just returned to sparring after letting a nine-stitch cut heal (suffered November 20th against Kerry Hope) and taking some time off for the holidays.  Truax hopes to get back into the ring in March, but as always he’s keeping his nose out of promoter Tony Grygelko’s business and letting him do his job.

Most of them haven’t been announced, but Upper Midwest boxing events are planned for every month through (at least) June of this year, and in some of those months two or three events.  There’s a lot to look forward to in the local boxing scene in 2010 – stay tuned!

Raphael Butler -vs- Joey Abell: Predictions

Boxing figures chime in on how they expect Friday night’s heavyweight battle to go down:

Todd Bechthold: First big punch probably wins.  It may come down to boxing skill, because both guys have power.

Willshaun Boxley: I think that Joey’s definitely going to win for sure, and I think it’s going to be by knockout.

Jamaal Marcc Bradley (amateur fighter): Joey Abell by KO in round 4

Mike Dempsey (boxer and trainer): Joe by TKO in 7

Gary Eyer (pro fighter): I’ve never seen Abell fight and I’ve only seen Butler once, so I say whoever comes in lighter at the weigh-ins will win.

Sean Hickman (coach): The only prediction I’d like to make is that I believe someone is going to get kayoed if both of these guys want it as much as the other, which they should at this point in their careers.  They both have great athletic ability, knockout power, and are in desperate need to make a statement.

Graham Houston (writer): Abell TKO8…I think he might have better staying power than Butler.

Andy Kolle (MN middleweight champ):  I am going to go with Abell just because I think his conditioning will carry him through the initial onslaught and bring him to victory.  No disrespect to Raph because he is an excellent fighter and he could very well prove me wrong!

Brett Mauren (writer): I say Butler comes out and shocks Abell by knocking him down in the first, but gasses out fast and Abell stops stops him in the 4th.  It’s gonna be a slugfest.

Cory Rapacz (matchmaker): Abell TKO3

Andrew Studer-Ginsburg (gadfly): I like Butler by decision.  Butler looks to be in good shape.   I think he’ll outbox [Abell] late.

Caleb Truax (pro fighter): Joey KO 3rd round.

The Fistic Mystic says: Butler may be the more gifted all-around boxer, but I think that Abell has real world-class power.  Everything else being nearly equal, power is going to be the deciding factor in this fight.   Abell by KO.

Upcoming Boxing Event: November 13 at Grand Casino Hinckley

What to watch for:

Phil Williams takes some steps into deeper water, taking on steel-chinned veteran Matt Vanda in the featured bout.  This fight presents a number of questions: Can Vanda handle Williams’ power?  If Williams can’t get Vanda out early, can he match Vanda’s workrate and fitness?  Does a shrinking light heavyweight get any credit for beating a swelled-up junior middleweight?

In the co-feature, Wilton Hilario takes on an opponent with a glamorous record for the first time, hoping to make a statement.  On a closer look Leon Bobo (18-3-1 with only 2 kayos) might at first seem like a patsy – he’s only won two of his last six fights and has only 2 wins by knockout – but a man doesn’t win 18 fights with only 2 knockouts unless he’s got slick moves, and Bobo has gone 2-1-1 in his last four against opponents with combined records of 53-5-2.  If Hilario wins this one, he may find himself back in the running for a fight with rival Jason Litzau, whose older brother Allen he has already TKO’d.

Undefeated prospect Ceresso Fort takes an opponent with a winning record for only the second time in his career.  In Lamar Harris Fort has a seemingly ideal match – an opponent who has won more than he’s lost, but not one with too lofty a record, one who carries a certain amount of bravado (Harris is billed as “The Prince of Pain”) but not with scary power (4 knockout wins in eleven career bouts), and one who has typically fought at or below Fort’s weight.  In sum, a build-up fight that will actually build him up.

Javontae Starks makes his long-awaited professional debut fighting under the banner of Minneapolis based  promter MSC (Midwest Sports Council).  MSC matchmaker Cory Rapacz has located a serviceable opponent for Starks in Dan Copp, who has one win but no knockouts, and whose role is to serve as a career-starter rather than a live opponent.

Supporting (untelevised) bouts are local boy Tim Taggart against St Paul’s Sam Morales – Taggart returns home to revive his career following a brief stint in Florida while Morales moves up in weight after starting his career at welterweight and fighting as low as 133#, and Zach Schumach meets Don Tierney, the two having one win between them.

In order of appearance:

  • Tim Taggart (3-2 with 2 kayos) -vs- Sam Morales (3-3 with 1 kayo), super middleweights (165#), scheduled for 4 rounds
  • Zach Schumach (0-2) -vs- Don Tierney (1-0 with no kayos), light middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
  • featured bout: Matt Vanda (41-9 with 22 kayos) -vs- Phil Williams (11-1 with 10 kayos), super middleweights, scheduled for 10 rounds
  • co-feature: Wilton Hilario (11-0 with 9 kayos) -vs- Leon Bobo (18-3-1 with 2 kayos), super middleweights, scheduled for 8 rounds
  • Ceresso Fort (7-0 with 7 kayos) -vs- Lamar Harris (6-3 with 4 kayos), middleweights, scheduled for 6 rounds
  • Javontae Starks (debut) -vs- Dan Copp (1-1 with no kayos), light middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Javontae Starks Signs with Local Promoters MSC!

The biggest boxing related news to come out of Minnesota boxing in years comes to us by way of electronic mail, from local boxing writer and publicist Brett Mauren.  Mauren’s press release trumpets the announcement that local promoter Midwest Sports Council (MSC) has signed amateur boxing star Javontae Starks to a  promotional deal.

It’s revealed in the release that Starks will make his professional debut November 13 on the televised card at Grand Casino Hinckley which features Matt Vanda –vs- Phil Williams and Wilton Hilario –vs- Leon Bobo, as one of four televised bouts.  The expected stock comment from MSC matchmaker Cory Rapacz: “I’m extremely excited to get an opportunity to work with Javontae and his team.  I have been working for the better part of the year to get him to be a part of the Midwest Sports Council roster and I’m thrilled we came to a deal that worked for both sides.”  Reached for comment, Rapacz elaborated on plans, “The debut fight is scheduled for November 13th, and a second fight is planned for December, though no date or site can be announced yet.”

An ebullient Starks had more to say: “I was going to sign with Cameron Dunkin [of TKO Productions in Las Vegas], but we had some things that just didn’t mix.  So I thought that it was best for everyone that we take our agreement elsewhere.  Boxing in Minnesota is not looking too bad.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you see my first eight or nine fights here.”

Regarding his long-term plans:  “I’m not in a rush to sign with any big-time promoter.  When the time comes I’ll be ready to sign a long-term deal.  Money has never been an issue, I’d just like to fight and eventually my talent will get me to the big paydays.  I may even surprise everyone and stay with MSC, everybody will just have to wait and see what happens.”

On prospective opponents: “I actually got texts from some fighters around here saying that they were willing to fight or they wanted to fight, and being from the state of Minnesota and now I finally get to put on shows in Minnesota, once I show the fans what I can do for two or three fights, then I’ll be coming at fighters from Minnesota.  One thing I’ll say right now: Jonny Laboda, I’ll tell you straight out, I’ll stop him.  I’ll knock him out easily.”  This is not the first time that the 4-0 welterweight Laboda’s name has passed Starks’ lips, so there may be something behind the talk.

Starks joins another good local pro, Ceresso Fort of St Paul, in the MSC stable.  Without prompting Starks volunteered that although he would be willing to fight Fort if the money was right, “Woo is my friend, he’s like a brother to me, and it would have to make a lot of sense for both of us.”

The Fistic Mystic says: Starks’ pro status should be a great shot in the arm for the sport of boxing in Minnesota.  Expect to see a lot of him in the near future, until some big national promoter swoops in and carries him away with a big-money, long-term deal.

Comments and Analysis: Jason Litzau -vs- Verquan Kimbrough


“Jason’s just starting to grow into a mature fighter now.  He was confident going in and I was confident that he would do what he did…he did what he’s supposed to do.  He’s still working on his defense – he’s doing it beautifully in the gym.  The best weight class for him right now is probably 130#, but if the right offer comes along, you never know what might happen.”  Bob Van Syckle, Jason Litzau’s manager

“It was a learning experience.  It was the first time I was in the ring with a fighter that much taller (five inches) and I fought the wrong type of fight…The fight was a step up in opponents for me. He was one of the elite athletes in this weight class, and I fought the wrong fight.”  Verquan Kimbrough, Litzau’s unfortunate victim

“Jason got him out of there before I finished my first drink. That made me happy. I was glad to see him use his God-given skills to rejuvenate his career and I was happy to play the small part that I did putting this fight together!” Cory Rapacz, local matchmaker


Jason Litzau was…impressive in his one-sided annihilation of Verquan Kimbrough. Litzau came out throwing long hard right hands from the opening bell. He obviously was enjoying his five inch height advantage. He was looking to end things early, and was oblivious to Kimbrough’s power or lack thereof…” East Side Boxing

“Litzau was like a tall bean pole at featherweight and the added nine pounds seems to have made the tall 5’10” Litzau much stronger than he was in the past…Litzau’s punches seemed to be much harder and his ability to take shots seemed to have improved as well. What helped Litzau even more was that he had a five inch height advantage over the 5’5” Kimbrough, which allowed Litzau to bomb Kimbrough from the relative safety of the outside – not that Litzau was shy about getting hit, mind you…He didn’t really seem to care whether he was hit or not.”  Jim Dower, reporting for Boxingnews24.com

“…Litzau has moved up to lightweight and the 26-year-old from St. Paul, Minn., looks a lot stronger. He sure looked that way against Kimbrough, whom he thoroughly dominated in a one-sided beating. In the second round, Litzau cut Kimbrough by his right eye and knocked him down twice. Litzau continued to punish Kimbrough, 26, of Pittsburgh, in the third round. Kimbrough, whose legs were very shaky, barely made it out of the third and his corner appropriately stopped the bout. Litzau still takes too many punches, but Kimbrough has so little power, he didn’t have to pay for it. If Litzau can tighten that defense a little more, maybe he can make some noise. Even if he doesn’t, he’s still fun to watch.”  ESPN’s Dan Rafael

Live Round-by-Round: August 14 at the Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota

Matt Vanda (now 41-9 with 22 knockouts) defeats Ted Muller (now 19-16 with 9 kayos) by unanimous decision after eight rounds.

Round 1

The combatants meet in the center of the ring and Muller reaches first, missing with a couple of jabs.  Vanda returns the gesture, and a clinch ensues.  Muller lands first, with a slow three-punch combination – downstairs and then upstairs.  Muller is using his size advantage to bull Vanda backwards,Vanda for his part is working the body from very close quarters.  Vanda is keeping his head down and his hands up, emerging occasionally to throw power shots.  A one-two lands for Vanda.  Muller switches stances but Vanda tags him and he reverts.  Muller is now stepping in with the jab, then throws an overhand right that misses.  Vanda, though smaller is rocking Muller with power shots, when he throws them.  Vanda lands a left-right-left, then a punching clinch and the round is over.

Round 2

After some flurrying, Vanda throws a right that landed low, and Muller takes fifteen seconds to recuperate.  The pair touch gloves, and it’s back on.  Muller is pursuing Vanda and occasionally catching him, but Vanda is throwing punches moving backwards.  Though Muller  may be stronger, Vanda is quicker and his punches are snapping.  Vanda is throwing the left jab out there, then following a moment later with hooks.  Muller lands a solid right to the ribs of Vanda, but the Predator looks no worse for wear.  Vanda lands a combination that bounces Muller backwards intoa corner, but Muller comes out strong and traps Vanda against the ropes.  Vanda connects with a very strong jab, and the two commence to circling.  Muller throws a three punch combo that doesn’t land, Vanda returns fire and lands a couple of hooks to the body.  Muller throws a right-left-right-right that lands, but Vanda strikes back hard.  The bell rings and the two men touch gloves before returning to their corners.

Round 3

After some preliminary stroking, Vanda connects with a good straight right that causes Muller discomfort.  Vanda is comfortable out there, flicking the jab and following his opponent wherever it pleases Muller to go.  Muller has a strong jab, but a slow one, and it isn’t doing him much good.  Showing good movement and anticipation, Muller ducks away from some Vanda punches, but when Vanda catches him with a right to the body, it clearly hurts him.  Muller flurries to cover his vulnerability, and the moment passes.  Muller is landing some one-twos, but nothing of note.  Vanda continues to pursue, Muller leaning forward at the waist to protect his body.  Ron Lyke can be heard shouting from the corner to “Hit the body, hit the body!”  Muller walks forward, throwing a punch with each step, until Vanda pushes him back with a few weary power shots.

Round 4

Muller comes right out with a left-right, but then backs off.  Vanda keeps tossing his head to the right, possibly dealing with sweat in his eyes or a congested nose.  Vanda lands three good shots that hurt Muller, and when Muller appears vulnerable Vanda charges in, initially landing some good shots but then eating a few as Muller returns fire.  The two move to the center of the ring, where Vanda shoves a strong left jab into Muller’s face.  Muller is occasionally flinching away from contact, but alternately lunging in with hooks and straights.  Vanda pauses to  blow out his left nostril.  Muller is moving backwards now, back and to his left.  Vanda gets caught by a left cross but it does no harm.  Vanda is comfortable coming forward, apparently knowing that he’ll get the better of most exchanges.  Bell and round.

Round 5

Muller lands a good short right to start things out.  Vanda is moving forward and looking for an opening.  Muller grimaces at a left-right from Vanda.  Muller is tired but tough.  Vanda throws a low left hook that makes Muller retreat, then Muller lands a couple of single left jabs.  Muller lands a tentative one-two, but then Vanda comes back with several hard hooks to the body.  Muller is trying to keep Vanda at bay with the jab, but when Vanda comes inside, Muller does some good work with short hooks.  Vanda lands another hard left jab, and Muller walks backwards and leans against the ropes.  Muller lands a right hook to the side of Vanda’s head, but Vanda is unfazed and lands two very strong left hooks to the body.  Muller misses with a right and then shakes his right hand, as though it is hurt.  Vanda is beginning to look arm-weary, but is at least keeping his hands up.

Round 6

Vanda’s face is unmarked and he is up early from his stool, bouncing on his toes as he waits for the round to start.  Muller has feet far apart and is trying to lean in with jabs and hooks, but Vanda connects a strong three-punch combination.  Vanda stagger-steps forward and then grins at Muller.  Muller responds with a furious flurry that make Vanda retreat to the opposite corner.  Muller can barely swing his arms now, and Vanda is stalking.  Vanda misses with a right from long range.  A left hook to the base of Muller’sneck causes him to pause for a second, but then he puts his head down and pushes Vanda across the ring.  Muller finds his best offense close in, where Vanda cannot defend, but his misfortune is that Vanda is equally adept in close.  the two are trading in Vanda’s corner at the bell, and Muller, who is coming forward, throws one right long after the bell.  Vanda gives him a shove, but then turns away.

Round 7

Muller is slow enough that he’s having trouble moving Vanda’s moving target.  Now Muller digs dep to find three left jabs that land, but Vanda returns the favor with a left jab that snaps his head back.  A left hook to the body and left hook to the head of Muller throw him backwards into the ropes, but he comes back with some thudding body shots of his own.  Muller’s favorite target is Vanda’s left shoulder, but occasionally he finds Vanda’s head instead.  Vanda is trying to throw double hooks.  Muller swoops in with a right uppercut that catches Vanda a glancing blow, and after some ineffectual trading, comes home with a couple of wicked body shots.  After a brief lull, Vanda comes back with a series of hooks that would certainly floor a smaller man.

Round 8

the last round begins with a heartfelt hug, then the battling begins anew.  Muller is leaning far forward to land several strong jabs, but Vanda, as always, appears unscathed.  A left jab-right hook lands for Muller, but Vanda comes to life, attacking with multiples power shots from evil angles.  Vanda retreats fro man engagement but then stumbles backwards into the ropes.  Vanda comes back with a vengeance, landing a series of left and rigt hooks to the body of Muller.  In the center of the ring a Vanda left buckles Muller’s knees, but Muller stays on his feet.  muller is only throwing arm shots now, and Vanda smells blood.  Vandalands a right to the head of Muller that causes a stumble, then the two trade with huge power shots until AMulle loses his balance and stumbles to a neutral corner.  As the round comes to a close two exhausted warriors are flinging everything they have at each other, but it’s clear now that neither will score the knockout.  this round, and the fight, go clearly to Vanda, but Muller deserves a ton of credit for a strong effort against an intense and well conditioned opponent.

Brad Patraw (now 6-0 with 4 kayos) defeats Javier Segura (now 4-17 with 4 kayos) by TKO at 2:47 in round 4 of 6 scheduled.

Round 1

Segura comes out brave and aggressive and actually lands a few punches, but Patraw’s speed and accuracy show.  Patraw cuffs Segura around the ring at will for nearly three minutes.  though Segura is tough and willing, he’s unable to connect with Patraw’s head, even when Patraw leaves himself open.  Flurries to Segura’s body hurt him badly, and there are extended periods where he can get nothing going.  Round dominated by Patraw.

Round 2

Segura comes out winging, and manages to land a couple of  hooks to the jaw of Patraw.  Patraw is relaxing and not forcing the action, but is showing a tendency to showboat, particularly by swinging his right hand like a pendulum.  They say speed kills, and Patraw is showing plenty.  Referee Gary Miezwa is letting the fight go on despite Segura’s inability to compete.  A fierce uppercut rocks Segura, and Patraw follows it up with a series of power shots to the body and head.  Segura appears ready to go down, but he lasts tothe bell.  Segura throws a couple of punches after the bell and Patraw responds in kind.

Round 3

Patraw comes out jabbing, but then reverts to his early pattern of hooks to the body followed by hooks to the head.  Segura is clearly frustrated and hurt, but he’s hanging in there.  Patraw is moving backwards and to his right and countering Segura’s wild shots effectively.  Segura must be tough as nails, but he can muster no offense against the superior Patraw.  Patraw lands a winging right to the rribs and left to the ear of Segura.  Patraw is picking his shots now.  Segura finally lands a straight left, but there’s nothing behind it.  Patraw is pawing with the jab, taking a rest.  Now the two trade as the round draws to a close, neither man scoring anything of note.

Round 4

Surprisingly, Segura looks stronger and more aggressive at the start of this round, but Patraw continues to counter effectively moving backwards.  Segura lands a good left hook, and Patraw backs into a corner.  Now a body shot makes Patraw grimace, and Segura puts his head into Patraw’s chest and throws a ton of body shots.  Patraw finally bends his knees and dips down to throw a power shot.  After a lengthy lull, Patraw throws a series of hooks that momentarily freeze Segura, but Segura is showing a true Mexican fighter’s heart.  A right from Patraw knocks Segura’s mouthpiece out, and Patraw takes the cue to flurry.  Referee Miezwa breaks the action to reinsert the offending hunk of rubber.  Segura can only bum rush and maul Patraw now, and he does so effectively until a single right from Patraw knocks him wobbly.  Patraw sees Segura reach for a rope to steady himself and charges in, landing about half of the fifteen or twenty power shots he throws until Miezwa has seen enough and jumps in to make a good stoppage.



Ceresso Fort (now 7-0 with 7 kayos) defeats Yancy Cuellar (now 0-6) by KO in  56 seconds into round 1 of 6 scheduled.

Round 1

Cuellar comes out with an odd crouching stance and his arms almost crossed in front of him.  Ducking and punching, Cuellar hooks Fort twice in the left butt cheek.  Fort throws a combination for the first time and catches Cuellar with a crushing body punch.  Cuellar doesn’t want to continue, so he doesn’t.  He remains on his face until the fight is waved off, then gets up and casually walks back to his corner.



Jose Hilario (now 1-0 with 1 knockout) defeats John Swanberg (now 0-1 ) by knockout at 1:00 in the first round of four scheduled.

Round 1

Swanberg begins the fight cowering and jabbing, Hilario is clearly the stronger man.  A clash is inconclusive as both men punch and miss coming in.   Swanberg has a bad habit of fighting on his toes with his chin in the air, and Hilario is taking advantage.  Swanberg is down!  A monstrous right uppercut to the body ends the fight, but referee Gary Miezwa gives Swanberg some time to rise.  He remains on his knees with his forehead on the mat until Miezwa waves the fight off.


Bobby Kliewer (now 10-8 with 5 kayos) defeats John Turner (3-12 with no kayos) by TKO at 2:32 in the first of four scheduled rounds

Round 1

The much taller Kliewer comes out stalking, but Turner aggresses with a lunging jab immediately.  Backing Turner into the ropes, Kliewer lands a flurry.  Turner moves well, but Kliewer’s longer reach is showing.  Kliewer lands a good right uppercut as Turner tries to come in.  Turner is ducking and lunging.  Seconds later, Turner is now fighting on his heels.  Kliewer lands a good three-punch combination that puts Turner on his butt and into the ropes.  Quick getting back to his feet, Turner nods as referee Mark Nelson gives him a mandatory eight count.  Turner is moving and punching, but Kliewer is a much more effective offensive fighter.  Kliewer traps Turner on the ropes and connects with about six straight power shots, Turner nearly topples through the ropes, and referee Nelson leaps in to rescue him.  Fight over.


Exhibition: Antwan Robertson (4-1 with 3 kayos) –vs- Derek Winston (amateur) – The Fistic Mystic says that if this were a real bout, Winston would have won all four rounds by varying margins.

Round 1

 Round begins with much jabbing and circling.   Winston is doing the pursuing, neither man is throwing with evil intentions.   About a minute in Winston hits and hurts his cousin with a three punch combination.  Robertson, as is his wont, is fighting from a defensive posture.  Right-right-left and then a flurry from Robertson, that’s his first good offensive moment.  Winston is looking very good, landing a lot more punches.  Robertson flurries to the body about five seconds before the bell.

Round 2

 Winston is coming forward and traps Robertson in a corner momentarily, landing two to the body and one to the head.  Robertson lands a sharp jab to the midsection of Winston.  Robertson, back to the ropes, eats a couple of good shots.  Robertson is consistently moving backward, but now comes forward and gets caught in a headlock.  Winston is grinning as the two break up.  Right and left to the body land for Winston, then a big head shot.  Robertson answers with one big punch.  Upppercut misses badly for obertson, and he backs up only to get hit and hurt again.  The two smile at each other and then clinch.    Winston is a monster to the body.  Distress is visible on Robertson’s face as the round ends.

Round 3

winston is bouncing laterally and jabbing sharply to begin the third.  Robertson lands two to the body and one tot he head, but then backs up to the ropes and gets caught with a wicked combination to the body.  Winston lunges with a jab to the body, which robertson mimics.  neither finds success.  Left hook for Winston lands and moves robertson, then another right freezes Robertson.  Winston flurries, then Robertson throws an extended flurry which has little effect but shows well.  One has to be impressed with winston’s professional bearing and aggressiveness.  Left hook to the belly hurts Robertson, and he retreats again.  Winston feints and Robertson flinches, backs into a corner, and gets hit with another good flurry.Robertson, who usually scores well with single shots, isn’t tonight.

Round 4

Robertson lands a triple right jab to begin the round, and is now boxing on equal terms with his cousin.  Robertson ducks and backs into the ropes as a flurry lands for Winston.  A clinch and a break are followed by some weary slugging by Winston.  The two throw simultaneous jabs, then Winston lands a series of serious hooks.  Left hook lands for winston.  Robertson lands some power shots going backward for the first time tonight.  The boxers are trading power shots in the middle of the ring, both landing but neither getting the upper hand.  Both men are landing, but Winston is following up on his successes better.  Some more ineffective punches and grins, and the final bell rings.