Tag Archives: Tyler Hultin

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Holiday Murmurings

Murmur murmur…grumble grumble…Minnesota sports fans are seldom happy.

  • Twin Cities-based promoter MSC (Midwest Sports Council) is taking some lumps over its handling of Matt Vanda’s suspension and resulting ineligibility to fight this Saturday past.  The story is that Vanda had a clean Fight Fax early in the week of his bout, but on Saturday morning the promoter learned from the Minnesota Boxing Commission that Vanda is under suspension by the New Jersey Boxing Commission.  The reason for the suspension hasn’t been announced, but it’s widely speculated to be related to a failed drug test.   Since Vanda’s fight with Phil Williams was the main event of Saturday night’s show, the promoters found themselves in a bit of a pickle with little time to ponder a solution.  Their lesser evil of choice was to have the fight go on, but as an exhibition.  Long story short, Vanda and Williams fought a six-round exhibition rather than a ten round fight.  Both men agreed to reduced pay under the circumstances, so it’s difficult to make a case against the promoter for that move, although ideally it would have been good for Vanda’s purse or a portion thereof could have been diverted to Williams, who is the blameless party in the matter.  The real gripe from most fans seems to be that they (the fans) didn’t know about the change in the nature of the Vanda-Williams clash until they were at the arena.  In MSC’s favor: the card’s supporting bouts included lots of fun and entertaining action.
  • Prospect Jamal James of Minneapolis, who on Saturday improved his record to 3-0 (3 knockouts), got some positive press in this article from the DL-online website.  “I was more than happy to get a chance to fight James,” James’ opponent Ryan Gronvold is quoted saying.  “The promoter came up to me after the fight and told me they couldn’t find another boxer to fight James.  Now I know why.”  James dispatched Gronvold with sharp and hurtful punching in the first round.
  • In the same article we read that the attendance at Target Center that night was 2,505 – a higher number than is reported by most eyewitnesses.
  • There’s no doubt that Jason Litzau would like to fight in his hometown, but it may turn out that he has bigger fish to fry.  According to the Nevada Athletic Commission Litzau was paid $50,000 for his most recent fight, a ten-round split-decision defeat of then 34-2 Celestino Caballero.  That victory put Litzau on the boxing world’s map and gave a big boost to his earning power.  After earning a raise, to fight in Minnesota would require Litzau to take a voluntary pay cut – it would be a labor of love.  How much does Jason Litzau love Minnesota?  Considering how little love he has gotten from his home state fans and media and the fact that the major television players are interested in his services, we may find that Litzau is less inclined than ever to fight in small local shows.
  • Horton’s Boxing in Duluth has announced that Tyler Hultin has been added to their February 12th show at Clyde Iron Works restaurant and bar.  Hultin joins Gary Eyer, RJ Laase, Al Sands, Aaron Green, and Dustin Mason on that card.
  • KO Promotions will present another boxing card at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City on February 5th.  The featured fighters will again be Emily and Katy Klinefelter, with a mixed undercard of male and female fights.  For ticket information call 319-338-1633.

Minnesota’s Glamor Divisions

A couple of years ago it was written here that middleweight was the most talent-laden division in Minnesota boxing.  That statement could easily have been expanded to include the entire Upper Midwest – at the time the premier division boasted the premier names of Bonsante, Kolle, Kost, and Vanda.  Since then, however, the landscape has changed significantly.  Bonsante is retired, Kost might as well be for all the action he’s been getting, Kolle wants to move down to junior middleweight, and Vanda has been testing the waters of the super middleweight division.  Furthermore, no fighter is obligated to stay in any particular division, so any analysis has to allow for the certainty that weights will change over time.

With that said, what is the best division in Minnesota boxing now?

Let’s survey our most prestigious divisions.

Junior Featherweight (130#):

Players: Jason Litzau (27-2 with 21 kayos), Wilton Hilario (12-1-1 with 9 kayos), Willshaun Boxley (5-7 with 3 kayos), Ismail Muwendo (6-0 with 5 kayos), Gary Eyer (8-0-1 with 6 kayos), Allen Litzau (13-6 with 7 kayos), Hassan Wasswa (5-11-3 with 2 kayos), Darby Smart (11-4 with 4 kayos), Brad Patraw (6-3 with 4 kayos), Antwan Robertson (6-3 with 4 kayos), Vicente Alfaro (4-0 with 1 kayo)

Jason Litzau (right) lays some hurt on Verquan Kimbrough

Summary: Admittedly I’m being a little bit generous to the division by including a few men from lower divisions, but it’s a fact that in those lower divisions the fighters have to be willing to travel.  Jason Litzau is the only sure-fire world class fighter in Minnesota.  How do we know?  A sure sign that a fighter has reached that echelon is that lesser men are naming Litzau as a desired opponent.  Wilton Hilario has been on national TV before and will be again in less than two weeks.  It was less than two years ago that Tony Grygelko was calling Boxley “the second best fighter in Minnesota,” but the bright and affable Boxley seems to have no more idea how to manage his career than do the buttons on his shirt.  Proof of this fact: Boxley has now lost seven fights in a row against fighters with a combined record of 60-2, after starting his career with fight straight wins.  Hilario, Boxley, Muwendo, and Eyer are all very credible second-tier guys who fans would love to see matched against each other.

Junior Middleweight (154#):

Players: Andy Kolle (22-2 with 16 kayos), Kenny Kost (14-4 with 6 kayos), Dave Peterson (12-0 with 7 kayos), Corey Rodriguez (4-1-2 with 3 kayos), Jon Schmidt (9-1 with 6 kayos), Javontae Starks (4-0 with 4 kayos), Danny Figueroa (3-1 with 2 kayos)

Andy Kolle after a job well done

Summary: Kolle is the current Minnesota middleweight title holder, and he’s on the cusp of cracking the top 15 in the world in that division.  Though Kolle has continued to campaign as a middleweight, for the last couple of years he’s been intermittently been protesting his desire to move down a class to take greater advantage of his length and power.  Expect to see Kolle finally make that move in the coming months, and he will stand head and shoulders above everyone on this list when he finally gets to 154.  Kenny Kost gets kudos for his experience and a win total in the teens, and for beating Matt Vanda back in 2007, while slippery Dave Peterson is credited with an unbeaten record and a hard-earned win against Corey Rodriguez in 2009.  This division is thick with prospects, none of which come with greater hype and potential than Javontae Starks, who has devastating power, and whose amateur accomplishments give him a national reputation.

Middleweight (160#):

Players: Kolle, Kost, Cerresso Fort (10-0 with 8 kayos), Tyler Hultin (1-0-1 with 1 kayo), Caleb Truax (15-0-1 with 9 kayos), Matt Vanda (43-11 with 23 kayos)

Caleb Truax

Hot prospect Caleb Truax

Summary: Kenny Kost isn’t officially retired, as far as anyone knows, but he hasn’t fought for two years and he isn’t getting any younger.  Caleb Truax is seen as an up-and-comer in this division, but the truth is that usually he weights in a pound or two over the limit.  With three wins against Matt Vanda and the now-retired Tony Bonsante in the last few years and no immediate challengers, Andy Kolle rules the roost here until he leaves.  Minnesota fans have asked for a Kolle-Truax matchup, but the promoters haven’t seen fit to make that fight.  One possibility: both fighters’ management are smart enough not to want to risk cashing in their fighter for the relative pittance that an all-Minnesota fight is likely to generate.

Super Middleweight (168#):

Players: Traux, Vanda, Phil Williams (11-3 with 10 kayos), Tim Taggart (4-2-2 with 2 kayos), Bobby Kliewer (10-11-2 with 5 kayos)

Heavy handed puncher Phil Williams

Summary: Despite the fact that he usually weights over 160#, Truax has been billed and marketed as a middleweight.  Matt Vanda is small for a super middleweight, but this seems to be where he wants to live, while Phil Williams is a former light heavyweight who moved down.  Taggart and Kliewer are young guys who will gain weight with age.  My point?  For most of these guys, the super middleweight division seems to be a way station on the road to somewhere else.  Nevertheless they are here now, and some interesting matches can be (in fact have been) made.

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The Fistic Mystic says: The two best divisions in Minnesota right now are junior feather and junior middle.  This quick survey of active fighters and their records suggests that while middleweight still holds the potential for some very interesting matches, it’s junior featherweight and junior middleweight that have the most potential for fireworks.

May 22 Round-by-Round: Starks, Hultin, James, etc.

Tonight’s action is scheduled to begin at 7pm, but if you’ve ever been to a boxing show you know that the start time is only a suggestion!

Javontae Starks (3-0 with 3 kayos) -vs- Alexander Tousignant (1-2 with x kayos), light middleweights, scheduled for 6 rounds

Round 1

No punches are landed for the first twenty seconds or so, Starks opens the scoring with a lightning-fast left hand to the body.  Tousignant is moving rapidly but without uch effect.  Suddenly he shouts – “Aah!” and jumps in, pinning Starks momentarily against the ropes.  Starks lets Tousignant throw about fiften unanswered power shots before plowing his way out.  Starks hammers Tousignant with an incredible violent single shot – a left, I think, and Tousignant stumbles to his right, crossing the ring until the ropes stop him.  With the aid of the ropes, Tousignant straightens himself up and turns himself into a pretty good target, taking shot after shot from an eager Starks.  Finally Starks throws a shot that stiffens Tousignant and drops him flot on his back.  Tousignant is up before the count, but barely.  Tousignant is clearly not able to continue, but referee Mark Nelson gives him the opportunity, counting nine and asking him four times whether he can continue.  Tousignant’s body is waving but his brain isn’t.  TKO!

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Tim Taggart (now 4-2-2 with 2 kayos) defeats Nick Whiting (now 2-13-1 with 2 kayos) by UD after 4 rounds

Round 1

Taggart comes out with high aggression right from the opening bell.  Taggart lands about five big shots before Whiting lands one, but Whiting finally comes back with a hard right to the body and a quick jab to Taggart’s face.  Taggart is unmoved, however, and continues to pepper Whiting with power shots by the dozen.  Taggart’s attack finally peters out after about a minute and ahalf, and the two settle in to a more tactical match.  Taggart stuns Whiting with a hard left jab to the face, then follows a moment later with two good shots from both hands.  Whitign is looking for an opening, and Taggart is countering effectively.   Whiting lands a decident one-two, then Taggart roars back at him, landing hurtful shots with both hands until the round comes to an end.

Round 2

Taggart immediately lands four good shots, downstairs and upstairs.  Whiting is circling with great speedy speed to avoid Taggart’s punches, but Taggart continues to land punches in bunches.  Whiting can land a single shot here and there, and even with some power, but if Taggart can maintain this pace Whiting will have no chance.  Whiting is sneakily landing occasional hooks to the body of Taggart; that’s his best offense.  Taggart is teeing off on Whiting.  Whiting’s jab has slowed down, but the body is always there for him.  The round ends with Taggart charging forward to land another hard three-punch combination.

Round 3

Whiting comes out determined to stick the left jab, but every time he tries Taggart counters.  The two trade momentarily and Whiting has his best moment of the fight, landing two or three power shots in succession.  Taggart keeps cracking the head, but Whiting is nothing if not tough, and he contineues to come forward.  Whiting actually lands three out of four punches when Taggart ducks a lead, but then Taggart snaps Whiting’s head back – hard.  Taggart’s pace has slowed, but he’s still getting the better of most exchanges, and landing an occasional single shot that Whiting can’t counter.  Whiting catches Taggart loading up and hits the body again.  Taggart lands an uncountered one-two, then another.  I just noticed blood coming from the nose of Taggart.  The two trade single shots with neithergetting the qadvantage, but Taggart finally breaks the pattern with an effective combination that rocks Whiting.

Round 4

 Whiting comes out behind the jab again, and the two trade on more or less even terms for about thirty seconds.  Whiting throws a triple left jab and then a hard right to the body, Taggart comes back with a combination that includes a thunderous right to the head of Whiting.  Taggart, covering his left ear with his left hand, leaves himself open to a big left hand from Whiting, and Whiting lands it twice.  The two are both tired now, and though punch output is lower, the pattern of the fight remains the same – Whiting lands single shots and Taggart counters with more shots and harder shots.  In the last ten seconds of the fight the two recklessly trade, forgetting all defense.  Taggart lands more shots, but Whiting gets his in too.

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Zach Schumach (now 2-2) defeats Ryan Gronvold (now 1-5) by UD after 4 rounds

I’m having some real connection challenges tonight, sorry for any delays in posting the action.  For this bout only, I’ll be posting summaries instead of punch-by-punch commentary.

Round 1

Schumach is the more aggressive man and the more effective puncher.  Gronvold is trying to hit without getting hit, unfortunately for him that means long jabs from his tiptoes instead of head movement.

Round 2

More of the same.  Schumach is is coming at Gronvold hunched over while Gronvold alternates between being on his heels and on his toes.  Schumach may be gassing – he definitely has less on his punches as the round draws to a close.

Round 3

Schumach has faster hands and he’s fearless, but his punches have less and less mustard on them.  Gronvold is still trying to land from a distance, but the difference now is that his shots are occasionally landing.  A right hand about halfway through the round rocks Schumach, but Schumach continues with the same method: plodding forward with his head down and his hands up, throwing the hardest punches he can.

Round 4

Schumach is dancing and moving backwards, Gronvold loading up.  Gronvold is moving laterally, Schumach continues to punch, but his punches are coming one at a time now.  Gronvold is finally coming inside to throw, Schumach is full of heart but can he manage any offense this round?  Gronvold fakes a right then lands a hard left to Schumach’s head.  Schumach comes back with a nice flurry – I didn’t know he still had it in him.  Both men are exhausted now.  Gronvold throws a big right hook that starts behind his back and lands in Schumach’s left ribs.  Now the two trade for the last ten seconds of the round, the bell ends the action.

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Jamal James (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Justin Danforth (now 6-16 with x kayos by TKO in round 3 of 4 scheduled.

Round 1

The early going looks relatively even, with James’ speed and Danforth’s aggression making for an entertaining give-and-take battle.  ames is noticeably swifter though, and eventually his quickness shows, when he puts a big uppercutting hook into Danforth’s head and Danforth is clearly hurt.  Danforth recovers nicely, but James smells blood and now he’s really taking the fight to Danforth.  Danforth is trying to conftinually come forward, and James is jabbing and straight-righting him mercilessly.

Round 2

The fighters start out circling slowly to their left, but Danforth suddenly grabs his cup and with a pained expression, backs into a corner loooking for the referee to give him a break.  Nothing doing, though, and James seizes the moment to unleash about twenty straight punches before Danforth manages to scoot to his right and escape the dangerous confines of the neutral corner.  Now Danforth settles in for a tactical battle that has him charging forward to attack James with rights to thge body and face (not landing) and James – who appears to be in tremendous shape – rocking him repeatedly with left hooks and right jabs.  There’s a tie-up and Danforth manages to turn James into a neutral corner where he mauls him.  James starts to punch his way out, thenlands so many shots that he may have decided that he’s better off keeping his back to the ropes.  Bell.

Round 3

Danforth comes in with his head down and his guard high, but when h e tries to come at James with straight punches, James catches him with a sharp left hook to the temple.  Danforth is game but he’s no match for the younger and much  more athletic James.  James traps Danforth against the ropes and pummels him, finally getting to his body and bending him over at the waist.  Danforth is helpless, and referee Eddie Obregon steps in to give him an eight count.  Upon seeing Danforth’s face, Obregon brings him to a neutral corner to be inspected by the doctor.  Evidently the doctor has stopped the fight, TKO win for James.

Danforth parades around the ring after the decision is given to him, bleeding like a faucet, shouting “One more, one more!”

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Lawrence Goodman (now 1-1 with 1 kayo) is defeated by Lucas St Claire (now 2-1 with 1 kayo), cruiserweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

There isn’t much to write about this bout – both men came out slugging, winging into each other like there’s no tomorrow.  No art, no tactics, just a punching contest that had this sparse crowd screaming with delight.  About a minute in, St Claire, who is built like a brick outhouse, stunned Goodman with a shot that knocked his mouthpiece out.  I assumed that referee Mark Nelson was stepping in to get the mouthpiece reinserted, but evidently he was stopping the bout.  Goodman is hit with one more shot as he leans back against the ropes, and the crowd wants a DQ.  Evidently they thought that Nelson was only pausing the bout

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Charles Goodwin (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Romando Papsadora (now 0-1) by TKO in round 2 of 4 scheduled

Round 1

Goodwin is the taller and more athletic man in the ring tonight, and he asserts himself early with hostile power shots.  Papsadora shows himself to be willing to walk through a punch to land a punch, and coming out of a clinch lands a big and hurtful right hand to Goodwin’s face.  The two clash near Papsadora’s corner, and Goodwin cdomes out with a badly bleeding nose.  Referee Mark Nelson can be seen looking closely at Goodwin’s nose, but Goodwin comes back strong with a short flurry of power shots that has Papsadora off-balance and the crowd thrilled.  Papsadora returns to offense unfazed, and pummels Goodwin with an earnest, though fading, fusillade of punches.  Goodwin again flurries, peppering Papsadora with shots that momentarily stop him short, but Papsadora recovers and lands a couple more damaging shots before the bell.

Round 2

Papsadora is sweating profusely and moving slowly as the round begins, and the larger Goodwin, though clearly in discomfort, is making good use of his length and strength.  Papsadora’s head is snapped back and he looks disoriented.  Goodwin rushes him, throwing every punch in his arsenal, and landing almost all of them!  Referee Nelson takes pity on the reeling Papsadora and stops the fight.  Good stoppage, good win for Goodwin.

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The Tyler Hultin bout has been changed to an exhibition because his opponent weighed in far over the middleweight limit.

Tyler Hultin (1-0-1 with 1 kayo) -vs- Jesse Lewis (unknown), super middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Hultin is sharp and mobile tonight, his opponent is a big, chiseled guy with heavy hands.  Hultin is ducking and doging a lot of  punches and landing some nice fast jabs while Lewis is rough and a little bit dirty.  Midway through the first Hultin takes a hard right and backs up into the ropes, where he narrowly escapes by turning his opponent around and snapping off a hard straight left.  Moments later Lewis, oddly, spins around 360 degrees and ends up standing in front of and facing Hultin again, exactly where he started.

Round 2

Lewis seems to be running out of gas this round, while Hultin is landing good left-right one-twos.  Hultin traps Lewis in a corner and lands four good shots, whereupon Lewis rudely shoves him backwaards with both hands.  Lewis is showing the bad habit of cocking his right hand back below his hip, loading up on the uppercut.  Hultin lands a left-right to the ribs of Lewis, who is visibly slowing as the round progresses.  Lewis is tying Hultin up now, hanging on for life.  Hultin lands a right to the hip of Lewis, then a left-right to the head, and Lewis steps back and glares at him.  Hultin is loading up on the body shots now, going for the Mickey Ward-style body shot knockout.  Lewis is shaky as the round ends, but the bell gives him respite.

After round 2 Lewis has had enough and quits on his stool.

Upcoming Boxing Event: May 22nd at Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen

UPDATE: Several changes have been made:  Several fighters have dropped out with injuries, at least two of which matchmaker Cory Rapacz would like you to know he considers “questionable.”  Ryan Soft, Silas Ortley, and Catlyn Little Eagle are no-go for next Saturday’s show.  Sort and Ortley are to be replaced by Alexander Tousignant and Matt Ellis, David Duncan is out of the show with no opponent, and Lawrence Goodman is now tentatively scheduled to face the always dangerous TBA.  The article below has been updated to reflect these changes.

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What to watch for: Javontae Starks looks for a win against Alexander Tousignant, who only six weeks ago was a no-show when he was scheduled to fight Jamal James at Grand Casino Hinckley.  Tyler Hultin hopes to build on an unbeaten but imperfect start to his career against the equally inexperienced (2 bouts) Matt Ellis of Milwaukee.  Tim Taggart, coming off a draw with Hultin, hopes to tally a win against popular local opponent Nick Whiting.  Cruiserweight Lawrence Goodman will participate if an opponent can be located for him in time..  Ryan Gronvold and Zach Schumach tangle, each man in search of the second win of his career.  A girl fight is scheduled between Concha Ross and Adriane Two Hearts, and the night is kicked off by the pro debut of Javontae’s COD teammate, Jamal James, in against experienced tomato can Justin Danforth of Wisconsin.

Javontae Starks (3-0 with 3 kayos) -vs- Alexander Tousignant (1-2 with 1 kayo), light middleweights, scheduled for 6 rounds

Tyler Hultin (1-0-1 with 1 kayo) -vs- Matt Ellis (1-1 with 1 kayo), middleweights, schedueld for 6 rounds

Tim Taggart (3-2-2 with 2 kayos) -vs- Nick Whiting (2-12 with 2 kayos), light heavyweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Lawrence Goodman (1-0 with 1 kayo) -vs- TBA, cruiserweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Ryan Gronvold (1-4) -vs- Zach Schumach (1-2), welterweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Concha Ross (0-0-1) -vs- Adriane Two Hearts (0-2), female heavyweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Jamal James, (debut) -vs- Justin Danforth (6-15 with 1 kayo), welterweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

The Fistic Mystic says:  Sure it isn’t the Rumble in the Jungle, it’s a low-buck show at remote casino.  The card is filled with inexperienced young boxers looking to pad their records or get a paycheck.  Appreciate it for what it is – an opportunity to see pro fights and featuring a couple of Twin Cities boxers with great futures.

Big Night for the 218, Not So Much for the 651 (Kolle/Vanda/Eyer/Patraw)

The Horton’s Gym crew from Duluth came out of tonight’s boxing event at Grand Casino in Hinckley riding a tremendous wave of momentum.  Here’s why:

Andy Kolle performed terrifically, walking away from the ring with a (well-earned) lopsided decision.  The consensus at ringside was that the rounds could be scored anywhere from 7-3 to 9-1 in Kolle’s favor.  The judges all gave Kolle seven to nine rounds, and though I didn’t score the fight, that sure sounds right to me.  Now don’t get me wrong; it isn’t that Vanda performed poorly; he won a lot of moments and a few half-rounds, but they don’t score moments or half-rounds.  What’s next for the slim southpaw from Fergus Falls?  Kolle reiterated his desire to campaign at 154# instead of the 160# class in which he has contested most of his bouts, but Kolle also acknowledged that opportunities are slim for tall lefthanders.  I would amend that: tall lefthanders who can crack.

The other half of Horton’s delight has got to be the way that Gary Eyer blew Brad Patraw away after dropping 20# to take the fight at the featherweight limit of 126#.  It was an audacious decision for Eyer to come so far down in weight, but given his performance at lightweight against Levi Cortes and at featherweight against Patraw, maybe it’s the right move.  Eyer was sensational tonight.  He keeps his hair longer than most fighters, and that makes his opponents’ punches look more effective than they are.  Some bystanders were fooled into thinking that Patraw was getting back into the fight when they saw him fluff up Eyer’s hair a couple of times, but it was a false hope; Patraw was badly beaten.  For his part, Johnny Johnson (in Patraw’s corner) was furious at the stoppage, but it was the only thing the referee could do – Patraw lost his legs in the first round, and he didn’t look good at all before the visiting referee from Chicago pulled the plug on him.  Patraw isn’t a big bantamweight; he’s a true bantamweight who’s better off fighting at 120-122#, and his speed and power are quite good at that weight.  Patraw, unfortunately, has tasted the mat in his last two bouts, both of them losses.  Let’s hope that those who should be looking out for Patraw’s well-being will keep a close eye on his reflexes and coordination, and will make sure that he doesn’t enter the ring with diminished abilities.

Making the night  more torturous yet for large contingent of fans from Saint Paul was the exposure of Jeremy McLaurin.  After his last win, a controversial three-and-a-half round technical decision against Hector Orozco, McLaurin and his team knew that he had to prove that he deserved to win.  Thus tonight’s rematch.  The expectation of most in the crowd tonight was that McLaurin would box more crisply than last time and use his longer reach and greater speed to keep Orozco in his place, leaving no question of who would deserve the win in the rematch.  The painful reality is that McLaurin doesn’t seem to have what it takes to compete at a high level.  I saw it when he was nearly taken out by Felix Martinez in his professional debut, and others have spoken of it privately; the deficiency of innate punch resistance and the lack of confidence are real.  McLaurin is a guy who keeps in good shape and has good skills, but he isn’t the complete package.  He may string together another nice winning streak and then cash in on a glossy record, but don’t waste your time hoping for more than that.

Dan Copp and Don Tierney fought tonight, but most of the folks who took in that bout will try to forget what they saw.  It was a boring dog of a fight, with a game but slow and soft-hitting Copp losing the decision to Tierney, who has better skills but no more power than Copp and either motivational or conditioning issues.  Tierney tried to do what his corner told him to, but for the most part, execution was a problem.  I did think that Tierney deserved the win more than Copp did, but a friend whose opinion I value and respect disagreed heartily.

The opening bout of the night (Tyler Hultin -vs- Tim Taggart) was much more exciting and entertaining, but gave us a most unexpected result.  I think that most in the auditorium would have given the decision to Hultin based on a demonstration of superior skills and crisper punching – I would certainly have done so – but the judges somehow found a way to turn a five-round bout into a draw.  It’s like this: one judge would have awarded the win to Hultin, another one to Taggart, and one scored it a draw.  I’ll try to find the exact scoring and add it to this article later, but I can only assume that the third judge scored two rounds for each man and one even at 10-10.  In any case, I thought it was plain that Hultin was faster and a more accurate puncher, but Taggart is a bigger man and he also had his moments.  Hopefully neither man takes the draw too hard; it can be a crushing disappointment to train for weeks for a fight and be left with essentially no result.  For Taggart it’s the second draw in a row (the first was against Sam Morales here at Grand Casino Hinckley back in November).

And here’s what most fans will remember most vividly about tonight: we were all treated to the spectacle of a collapsing boxing ring.  For most of us it was the first time, though I spoke with a few who had been through it before.  One was referee Mark Nelson, who explained that the same thing had happened in March of 1999 at a Don King-promoted event in Saint Paul.  Nelson recalled that King and a contingent of about 60 of his best friends had crowded that ring before the Will Grigsby-Carmelo Caceres main event, causing the ring to collapse with everyone in it.  This occurrence wasn’t nearly so dramatic, but it provided a few moments of bewilderment for this writer: between the third and fourth rounds of the Copp-Tierney bout I noticed that my press table was halfway under the ring, and I wondered to myself who had pushed it in so far and when they had done it.  I pulled the table out from under the ring and went back to my writing.  After the fight was over but before the result was announced, I noticed that the ring was overhanging the table again.  I looked to my left, down the leading edge of the ring, and realized that it moving – just barely perceptibly.  Before I could yell, the ring lurched toward me, then stopped with a loud crash.  Then the mat dropped straight down with the fighters still in it.  Thank God that no one was hurt.  There was a lengthy delay while the ring was straightened up and the canvas was raised and bolstered from beneath, then the fights resumed.  I look forward to seeing photographs – there were three photographers working almost directly across the ring from me, so I imagine that at least a couple of snaps will include my astonished countenance.

April 2 Round-by-Round, Kolle -vs- Vanda

Word from someone who witnessed the weigh-in yesterday (I wasn’t  here)  is that there was some weirdness when Andy Kolle produced some mitts he had brought in for inspection.  Matt Vanda objected to them, and the mitts got tossed.  April Fool’s prank?  Evidently not.

Our event tonight was delayed due to technical difficulties!  The ring shifted and the canvas collapsed before the scores were read for tonight’s second bout, between Dan Copp and Don Tierney.

The national anthem was sung for us before the main event by a lovely girl with a good voice and very good pitch, but some pronunciation issues.  Nice work, young lady.

This is a tremendously raucous crowd, with many partisans supporting each of the players in the main event.  Great atmosphere.

Andy Kolle (now 21-2 with 15 kayos) defeats Matt Vanda (now 42-11 with 22 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 10 rounds to defend his Minnesota state middleweight

Round 1

 Kolle throws the first three punches of the fight, all right jabs.  Another one.  Vanda lunges in with a left that misses.  Vanda digs Kolle’s body hard with a left and then a right.  Vanda, emboldened, comes forward but gets a stiff jab to the face.  Vanda flurries, four power shots that are blocked by Kolle.  Vanda lands a left hook to Kolle’s body and then jumps back with his left hand in the air, did he hurt it?  If he did he isn’t letting on, because he attacks again with a four-punch combo that resounds throughout the arena.  The crowd begins to chant for Vanda, but Kolle comes back with some good work to the head of Vanda.  Vanda gets inside, but Kolle steps back and lands a shartp right to the head of Vanda.  Vanda looks to his right for a moment, and Kolle takes advantage of his inattentiveness to land a jab.  A brief lull brings us to the bell.

Round 2

Vanda starts the round coming forward, but Kolle is redirecting his momentum with hard jabs and straight lefts.  The fighters trade blows, neither man hurting the other.  Kolle steps forward, steps on Vanda’s foot, and lands a good right.  Vanda bulls forward again and lands two hard hooks to the body of Kolle.  Kolle, more mobile than Vanda, retreats across the ring, then changes directin and jabs sharply at Vanda’s head.  Vanda lands a four-pounch combination, then a single straight right.  Kolle bides his time, then steps forward and snaps a hard right into Vanda’s face – the crowd reacts boisterously.  Vanda lands a wide left hook, Kolle counters with a combination.  Vanda reaches forward and Kolle batters his body, driving him into the ropes.  Vanda gets free, turns Kolle around, and lands a straight right to the point of Kolle’s nose.  No further action before the bell.

Round 3

We have jabbing to start this round, from both men.  Vanda throws a straight right that breaks between Kolle’s hands and lands to his face.  Kolle lands two hooks on Vanda, but Vanda comes back strong.  Vanda is inching forward, but every so often Kolle reverses his retreat and lands two or three good shots.  Kolle lands two left hooks, one to the body and one to the head.  Kolle comes back with a left, right,  pause, and another left.  Kolle switches momentarily to the orthodox stance, then immediately back tohis normal southpaw stance.  Vanda lands four, maybe five consecutive hooks, then Kolle responds with two hooks of his own.  A big shot from Kolle sends Vanda’s sweat into the crowd.  Kolle is coming forward and lands hard to Vanda’s head – Vanda looks hurt, but then suddenly comes back with a furious assault of no less than eight hooks, five or six of which I believe landed.  Kolle and Vanda nearly topple together into the ropes, and confusion briefly reigns before the ring of the bell.

Round 4

Kolle, clearly the more powerful puncher, is being patient.  Vanda, lighter hitting, is pushing the action with straights and hooks.  Kolle lands a nice right, Vanda returns fire with at least two hard hooks that land.  Kolle scores with a trio of wide hooks, left-rright-left.  Vanda chases Kolle into the ropes, Kolle counters his atack with a left and a right.  Vanda hits Kolle with a left to the kidney and a right to the ribs.  There’s a clash of heads, but no pause.  Kolle cracks Vanda with two power shots.  Now Kolle gets cute, wiggles his butt, and attacks with two hooks that Vanda skillfully ducks.  Kolle takes most of the rest of the round off, then shoots out a combo that finds its target just before the bell.

Round 5

There’s tentative jabbing and feinting to start the round, then Kolle lands a right and a left taht draws the appreciation of the crowd.  Vanda strikes back hard with a couple of hard shots, and Kolle returns fire.  Suddenly Vanda stops fighting and walks away, gesturing toward his foot.  He has broken a shoelace or the shoe itself, and there’s a pause in the action while his corner tapes it.  Back in action, Kolle backs into the ropes and turtles up while Vanda lands a series of hard shots, then bursts out of his shell to land two good shots.  Vanda is moving now, circleing and moving backwards.  Kolle lands a good right that bounces Vanda back into the ropes, Vanda plays possum for a moment then launches himself at Kolle.  Kolle is now moving back and countering with jabs, and the strategy is effective.  As the round draws to a close Vanda wants to flurry, but Kolle intercepts him and lands a couple of showy hooks.

Round 6

The sixth round begins with Vanda jabbing and dancing.  Vanda puts his head dwon and tries to push inside, but Kole steps to the side and lands a right hook.  Kolle is scoring with the right jab almost at will.  Now Vanda proves me wrong, stepping by a jab to land a couple of good hooks that snap Kolle’s head to the side.  Kolle gets through witha  good left, Kolle counters.  Vanda lands a hard right and there’s a spray of red from Vanda, can’t tell where he’s bleeding from.  Kolle boxes more, then puts his head down and shoves Vanda into the ropes.  Vanda’s hands are down and he’s walking forward.  Vanda lands a low left hook to the body of Kolle.  With ten seconds left in the round Kolle lands two hard left hands, then four more power shots before the bell.

Round 7

Vanda is tough and brave, but short and not as pwoerful as Kolle.  Kolle lands two good rights and vanda gives him a dirty look.  Kolle lands a left hand, then sidesteps Vanda and casually strolls away.  Vanda follows him and the two trade.  Kolle attacks and Vanda ducks, coming up under Kolle and necessitating the referee’s intervention.  Referee Mark Nelson psuses action briefly to inspect the tape on Vandxa’s glove, then moments later sends AKolle to a neutral corner so some tape can be snipped from Vanda’s wrist.  The crowd boos, and Vanda makes an obscene gesture.  Kolle is taking target practice now, but Vanda is a moving target.  Vanda flurries with five straights and then two more after a moment.  Kolle fires back at him, landing that right jab twice more.  No significant action before the bell.

Round 8

Dueling chats of Vanda and then Kolle shake the building.  Vanda comes forward with hooks but Kolle punishes him with two right hooks.  Kolle lands a right and then a left.  Now Vanda walks forward and lands a three-punch combination.  Vanda lands a left to the abdoment of Kolle, and I’ll be darned if that didn’t hurt.  Kolle lands a couple of jabs, and now he’s feeling his oats.  A combination from Kolle drives Vanda across the ring and into the ropes, but Vanda’s bravado knows no limits, and he comes back for more.  Vanda smacks Kolle, but Kolle lands a tremendous punch that snaps Vanda’s head dramatically straight bcak.  Now the two are circling, to their left, with Vanda inching forward.  Kolle lands a crisp jab and Vanda flurries back with hooks from both hands.  Just before the bell it looks like Vanda is going to fall and referee Mark Nelson rushes to jump in, but Vanda rights himself and stands back up straight as the bell rings.

Round 9

Kolle should be far ahead on the scorecards, and Vanda should know that he needs a knockout to win.  Nevertheless there’s much boxing to start the ninth.  Vanda tries to lunge in but is met with a hard jab.  Vanda begins to attack now, and Kolle’s corner is begging him to be more mobile.  Vanda lands a big single right hand, now Kolle scoots away in a hurry.  Bobs, feints, and Kolle fires away, landing two good hooks that score well.  Vanda comes back at him with a bombo of his own, and Kolle again uses his crisper boxing and hard jab to get Vanda off him.  Kolle lands a right-left to Vanda’s head, and another about ten seconds later.  Vanda gives chase and lands a big single left to Kolle’s ribs, but Kolle hits him back with a strong combo.  Vanda thinks he’s got Kolle cornered but Kolle darts to his right and escapes, but Vanda spins around and beans Kolle with three good shots, driving him into the ropes as the bell rings.  Kolle remains on his feet and returns to his corner.

Round 10

Kolle comes out aggressive, probably trying to neutralize Vanda’s expected desperate aggression.  Vanda makes good use of the opportunity to counter,landing hard to Kolle’s head repeatedly.  This could be Kolle’s undoing if he isn’t sharp.  Kolle lands a nice straight and Vanda throws himself backwards into the ropes with his hands up, then comes back and lands a good right hand.  Vanda wants to stand and trade, and Kolle is too obliging for his own good.  The youngster needs to move.  Kolle moves across the ring, and Vanda loses valuable time chaseoing him.  Ten seconds to go and Vanda throws caution to the wind, attacking like a man who knows he has only one chance, and when Kolle counters and moves away, Vanda knows he’s finally beaten.  The fighters are already embracing as the bell rings.

Hector Orozco (now 2-5 with no kayos) defeats Jeremy McLaurin (now 7-1 with 5 kayos), by Unanimous Decision after 6 rounds

Round 1

McLaurin is shooting the jab out, left-left-left.  McLaurin is moving back and to his left and jabbing with his left.  Orozco flurries ineffectively.    McLaurin gets himself trapped against the ropes and Orozco lands two to the body and one to the head.  Orozco again lands with the left, and McLaurin sticks that jab into Orozco’s face.  Orozco is opportunist, landing to the head when he can, but more often going to the body.  McLaurin throws a rising right hook into Orozco’s midsection, much to Johnny Johnson’s approval.  McLaurin goes down to the body again and lands a loud, slapping right.  Orozco is having trouble getting inside, but when McLaurin lunges in, Orozco lands a couple of big hooks that seem to have stunned McLaurin.  Orozco is charging, bulling McLaurin all over the ring, and finally in a neutral corner McLaurin comes back to life with a few good counter hooks.  Orozco isn’t done yet though, and he continues to bully McLaurin and land power shots.  McLaurin has a few angry words for Orozco after the bell, but Orozco doesn’t appear hurt by them.

Round 2

Orozco comes out aggressive and lands a couple of shots, but McLaurin counters with a couple of good, connecting hooks and a grazing uppercut to Orozco’s face.  McLaurin is sure a pretty boxer, but he’s badly affected when he’s hit.  Orozco comes forward and McLaurin retreats back and to his left.  Orozco again lands a good hook that momentarily freezes McLaurin.  McLaurin is getting back into it and lands a good right to the body of Orozco, but Orozco continues to come forward, landing lefts and rights as he comes.  McLaurin is back on his toes, and boxing.  McLaurin leads with a wide hook and then misses with two more, and Orozco again shoves him backwards into a corner.  The two are mauling each other as the bell rings.

Round 3

McLaurin comes out jabbing, and finally picks a spot to attack with meaningful hooks.  He’s hitting Orozco hard, but Orozco is a tough dude and keeps coming.  Orozco pushes McLaurin backwards into the ropes, but McLaurin deftly reverses him Orozco ends up wit his own back in the ropes.  mcLaurin lands a right to the ribs….Orozco gets away across the ring.  Orozco traps McLaurin in a corneer and lands a few good shoots, but McLaurin shredly gets the ref to rescue him by complaining of a headbutt.  McLaurin again backs into the ropes and again gets hit by the relentless Orozco.  Orozco is slowing, and McLaurin lands a nice counter.  McLaurin backs into the ropes and tries to bounce off the ropes and attack, but Orozco again lands a wide, winging hook that originated somewhere in Wisconsin.  Bell.

Round 4

Johnny Johnson wants McLaurin to throw uppercuts and hooks when Orozco lifts his left hook to punch.  McLaurin thuds Orozco with a big right hook but doesn’t follow it up, and Orozco again pushes him back into the ropes and lands a right to the left side of McLaurin’s face.  Oroaco is an effective brawler.  Orozco traps McLaurin on the ropes but this time can’t land, McLaurin lands several rights tot he back of Orozco’s ribcage.  Oroaco traps McLaurin again and lands a few, then McLaurin lands one big shot and a lighter flurry, but fails to escape.  Oroaco continues to maul McLaurin, and McLaurin has a welt under his right eye.  McLaurin tries to land a wide right hook and gets ccountered, hard, but Orozco.  A second before the bell McLaurin lands one right hook, and freezes another one on the way when the ringing bell interrupts him.

Round 5

McLaurin lands a good right coming out of the corner and is getting aggressive now with lunging right hooks.  He is leaving himself awsfully wide open.  Orozco counters McLlaurin and knocks his mouthpiece out, action is stopped by the ref momentarily to replace it.  Orozco is continually fighting on the inside, mauling and pushing, and trapping McLaurin on the ropes.  A good right lands for Oroazco.  McLaurin again turns him aound but doesn’t make hay.  Orozco is coming forward again, and he’s landing hook after hook to McLaurin’s head and body.  McLaurin covers up again, he seems to be hurt.  He backs up again, until he hits the ropes again, then escapes again.  I think I detect a pattern.  Ten seconds to go and Johnny Johnson shouts for a flurry, and McLaurin – ever willing – tries but can only land one good right hand before the bell.

Round 6

McLaurin comes out loaded for bear but Orozco charges him back and knocks McLaurin into the ropes and onto the  mat.  It’s ruled no knockdown and the fight resumes immediately.  McLaurin ducks a puch and gets trapped under Orozco’s armpit, where he is hit with one sneaky punch before the ref breaks them up.  McLaurin is coming forwward and trying to box, but Orozco revereses course and charges in again.  McLaurin, moving backwards, lands a couple of very good counters, then backs Orozco into the roeps and lands another nice right to the head.  There’s a clinch and Orozco flurries with about five soft hooks.  Ten seconds left in the round, Orozco charges again, and though McLaurin lands one nice counter, the round and the fight end with Orozco landing a flurry of showy rights and lefts completely unopposed.

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Brad Patraw (now 6-2 with 4 kayos) is defeated by Gary Eyer (now 8-0-1 with 6 kayos), featherweights, scheduled for 6 rounds

Round 1

Patraw comes out aggressive in the first, chasing Eyer into a neutral corner but failing to do any damage.  A few moments later there’s a clinch and Eyer rolls his eyes in response to a headbutt.    Eyer back Patraw up near the ropes now, and lands a big smacking right hand to the head that drops Patraw in an instant!  Patraw gets up quickly but doesn’t look right.  The crowd is going wild, and so is Eyer.  Now Eyer chases Patraw into the red corner and is punching wildly, trying for a home run.  Patraw punches out of the corner and Eyer has a bloodied nose.  Patraw is trying to be tough, but his machismo comes at the cost of eating a ton of power shots from Eyer.  There are many people demanding that the fight be stopped.  Eyer knocks Patraw backwards into the ropes, and Patraw is momentarily in danger of going through the ropes!  Back in the action now, Patraw is eating tremendous shots and landing nothing in return. 

Round 2

Patraw comes out and lands a double left jab, but Eyer walks through his defense and again lands a flurry of hard shots, and I’m getting worried for Patraw’s health.  He’s hurt.  Eyer is coming in cautiously now, and Patraw is landing vicious shots.    Now Eyer attacks again, and lands a couple of those big rights, Patraw snaps Eyer’s head back several times and the crowd thinks he’s back in it, but they’re wrong.  Eyer gets through with a right that snaps Patraw’s head back, and his eyes show that he isn’t all there.  The referee jumps in and rescues Patraw!  Fight over!

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Dan Copp (now 1-3 with no kayos) is defeated by Don Tierney (now 3-1 with 1 kayo) by Split Decision after 4 rounds

Round 1

The fight begins with both men faking and feinting, but Tierney initiates the action by walking right in with power shots.  Tierney lands a right hand from the outside as Copp steps back.  Copp ducks and jabs, but misses.  Copp lands a slow left tot he face of Tierney.  Copp pokes a right jab into the face of Tierney.  Now a left jab stops Tierney as he tries to attack.  Tierney lurches inside and flurries, but ineffectively.  Copp misses with a couple of left hooks, Tierney attacks and bcaks him into the ropes, but doesn’tland anything of consequence.  Copp throws a one-two and Tierney counters and lands.  Copp rushes in and Tierney lands a punishing right as he sidesteps Copp.  Trainer Johnny Johnson is demanding a right hand-left hook from Tierney and he tries to oblige, but Copp elects to flurry at the same moment, and the result is a lot of hand waving.

Round 2

Copp is attacking, but Tierney counters effectively with a three-punch combo to the body.  Copp lands a left hook to Tierney’s head.  Copp is trying to follow his cdorner’s instructions, but he’s wilting under the barrage of instructions.  Copp, slow of ahnd and foot, is trying to get inside and Copp lands a good right hook to the body.  Tierney lands a big right hook to the cheek of Copp, but he’s unable to capitalize.  Tierney repeatedly drops his hands and tugs at his shorts, letting Copp move freely.  Ten seconds to go, and Tierney comes forward to land a single left to the head of Copp, end of round.

Round 3

Tierney lands a glancing right to the head of Copp and gets away.  Copp moves back and then forward again, and Tierney lands again.  Copp stops his left foot as he throws the left hand.  Copp rushes forward again, but Tierney dodges out of the way and again is pulling on hthe waistaband of his shorts.  Copp tries to come forward but Tierney puts a left hand in his face and leaves it there to keep him from getting in.  Copp is moving much more than Tierney now.  Tierney lands a one-two to the head and body of Copp, then a good hook to the head.  Copp ducks and punches at the same time and lands a right to tierney’s head.  Tierney puts a pawing jab in the face of Copp.  Tierney lands two hooks to the head of Copp and gets away quick, earning the praise of Johnny Johnson.  Copp rushes in and Tierney ducks, resulting in an intervention from referee Mark Nelson.  Finally, at the end of the round, Tierney puts together three nice powerful shots that seem to stun Copp, but Copp recovers and the round ends.

Round 4

In the final round both men come out looking desperate to end it, and the best action of the fight ensues.  Tierney is rushing forward again, as he did in the first, and as a result he’s smothering his punches.  Tierney corners Copp but then backs away and eats a good right.  Now Copp attacks and Tierney lands another hard combination.  Tierney is moving about the ring, but mostly out of range of Copp.  Copp comes forward, but his hands aren’t fast enough to do any real work.  Tierney’s urgency seems gone and he just stands looking at Copp.  Copp rushes Tierney again, but neither man.  Now Copp comes forward and Tierney tries to duck, but gets hit with a left hand.  Copp is ducking and punching to the body.  Tierney is not attacking and not countering.  Ten seconds to go and Copp attacks furiously.  Five seconds to go and Tierney lands a counter that freezes Copp.  Bell.

-

Tyler Hultin (now 1-0-1 with 1 kayo) and Tim Taggart (now 3-2-2 with 2 kayos) fight to a draw after five rounds.

Both men are looking trim, Taggart greets Hultin and the two grin.  Good sports.

Round 1

Taggart jumps in with a lunging left jab to start things, and the two are going to town right away.  Taggart catches Hultin extended and counters with several effective body shots, a moment later Hultin lands a hard overhand right that pops audibly.  Taggart’s feet aren’t moving much, and Hultin catches him with a couple more big shots, but Taggart is unmoved.  Taggart gets a little more mobile, but Hultin is coming forward and taking the  initiative with big shots that are hit-and-miss.  Hultin likes that high overhand right and he’s keeps throwing it.  Taggart is looking to counter, and he finally lands a good one.  Taggart takes a left and a right, he isn’t showing much defense, but now he pops a big left jab that causes Hultin to shudder.  Hultin comes forward again with a three-punch combo, the last punch, a left hook, lands flush.  Taggart backs across the ring and then gets hit with another big left.  Both men try to flurry in the last ten seconds of the round, and the bell rings.

Round 2

Hultin comes out slugging, Taggart counters a combo with a nice right.  Hultin responds with a four-pounch composition that ends with a big powerful left.  Hultin steps into a monstrous left hook, but Taggart responds with a nicecombo before Hlutin can get away.  Taggart lands a right that his corner is sure has hurt Hultin, and they shout so.  Hultin likes to get in close, and he lands some goodshort hooks to the body every time.  Hultin traps Taggart in a neutral corner and gets busy, but his hard work comes ains little effect.  Hultin is bleeding freely at the back of his head, behind his left eear, not sure ffrom what.  Taggart jabs, Hultin misses with a big left hook, and now the two are brawling.  Hultin is landing tons of short shots to the body and head of Taggart with both hands.  Taggart looks to be tiring and shakes his head as he returns to his corner after the bell.

Round 3

Hultin is looking lighter on his feet as the round begins.  Taggart misses with a double left jab, Hultin’s counters are ineffective.  Taggart feints and Hultibn lands a big right hook to the ribs.  Taggart is coming forward snowly now, and he lands his best combination since the first.  Taggart goes left hook to the body and then a left jab to the face of Hultin, Hultin seems to be slowing down now.  Hultin ducks a cross from Taggart and comes back up to land a hook.  Hultin is backin up now, and though he keeps changing direction when he’s out of range, he is backing straight up when in close.  Hultin lands a big left hook that makes the crowd go “oooh” and Taggart counters with a good right jab.  The two are trading regularly now.  Hultin  has much better upper body movement, but Taggart, the bigger man, is doing good work behind the jab.  Bell and round.

Round 4

Taggart has a reputation for inadequate conditioning and Hultin’s team may have felt they were getting the better of him by going five rounds, but Taggart is holding up okay so far.  Taggart is tring to set up the right hand, but Hultin is consistently landing his right.    Now both men swing and miss, Hulting tries to back away and gets smacked with a left.  TAggart ducks down and lands a right hook as he comes back up.  Hultin lands a hard right to the head that makes Taggart nod, then a bbig righ tot he ribcage that brings the crowd to right.  Hultin throws a wide right hook that misses, gets his feet tanglede with Taggart’s, and falls.  He gets up smiling.  Now the two are head-to-head and mauling.  Hultin’s upper body movement is allowing hiim to elude Taggart’s fist, and he lands a good righ to the body.  Ten seconds later a big Hultin right snaps Taggart’s head back.  Both men jab and connect at the same time.  Hultin backs up and Taggart follows.  Now Hultin lands a series of half-power shots to agment his scoring, but Taggart gets in a  good crossing blow to the top of Hultin’s head just before the bell.

Round 5

Our sluggers touch gloves at the start of the round, then get right to it.  Hultin lands a big right, but seconds later Taggart returns the favor, and the crowd is loving it.  Taggart brings a nice one-two and Hultin returns a hook that lands flush to his head.  Hultin is loading up the power shots now, and landing a good percentage.  Taggart covers up and bends forward at the waist.    Taggart lands two shots, Hultin hits him back once, but twice as hard.  Taggart lands a left jab, Hultin two power shots that send a spary of sweat toward the ceiling.  Now Hultin bends forward at the waist and Taggart punishes him with a rising right hand.  Hultin uses a pawing jab to get Taggart off him, but Hultin looks really gassed.    Suddenly there’s nothing behind his shots.  Taggart lands several rights and lefts that thrill the crowd, and Hultin finally throws back like he means it as the ten-second warning is tapped.  All caution to the wind, both men are throwing haymakers up to the bell, then grin and hug.

Upcoming Boxing Event: April 2nd at Grand Casino Hinckley

What to watch for:  Andy Kolle and Matt Vanda are in different places in their careers, but they’re each hoping for the same thing – a win that would elevate them so they can take a big fight on favorable terms.  Jeremy McLaurin takes a risk to right a wrong, giving Hector Orozco a rematch following their mildly controversial first fight at First Avenue in February.  Gary Eyer takes a big risk, banking that it will pay off; slimming down and getting in the ring with talented 6-1 super bantamweight Brad Patraw of Rice Street Gym in Saint Paul.  Tim Taggart, in search of a much-needed win, has a date with Tyler Hultin of Fergus Falls, who is only 1-0 as a pro but whose amateur record was 80-27.  Danny Figueroa of Hastings is a late replacement for the withdrawn Javontae Starks, taking on young veteran Bobby Kliewer in a junior middleweight bout.  Highly touted amateur Jamal James, from Circle of Discipline boxing gym in south Minneapolis, makes his pro debut against Alexander Tousignant of Milwaukee.  And in a surprise late addition, Dan Copp and Don Tierney team up to beat each other up – call it an appetizer!

  • Andy “Kaos” Kolle (20-2 with 15 kayos) -vs- Matt Vanda (42-10 with 22 kayos), middleweights, scheduled for 10 rounds, for Kolle’s Minnesota state middleweight title
  • Jeremy McLaurin (7-0 with 5 kayos) -vs- Hector Orozco (1-5 with no kayos), light welterweights, scheduled for 6 rounds
  • Gary Eyer (7-0 with 5 kayos) -vs- Brad Patraw (6-1 with 4 kayos), featherweights, scheduled for 6 rounds
  • Tim Taggart (3-2 with 2 kayos) -vs- Tyler Hultin (1-0 with 1 kayo), middleweights, scheduled for 5 rounds
  • Bobby Kliewer (10-9-2 with 5 kayos) -vs- Danny Figueroa (3-0 with 2 kayos), light middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
  • Jamal James (debut) -vs- Alexander Tousignant (1-2 with 1 kayo), welterweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
  • Dan Copp (1-2 with no kayos) -vs- Don Tierney (2-1 with 1 kayo), light middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

The Fistic Mystic says: The casual fan will never know all the drama that goes on behind the scenes.  Some of it you hear about, and some of it you never will.

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.

Boxer Profile: Tyler Hultin

When a writer sits down to begin a composition, whether he’s a reporter or an author, one of the things he or she strives for is a hook.  A hook is the point of interest that grabs the reader and holds him captive until he finishes reading.  A writer who can fabricate or discover a hook will ensnare his readers – even against their will – and that will keep his articles, books, or stories in demand as long as he can churn them out.

Consequently, one fatal trap for a writer is the subject which presents no obvious hook.  The person or event about which he is writing has no rough edges, no gripping drama – no angle presents itself – and then he’s got a dilemma.  Why would anyone begin reading this article?  Once they’ve started, why would they finish?

Tyler Hultin, a product of the amateur boxing club of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, isn’t loud or obnoxious.  In fact he’s placidly self-assured.  He doesn’t self-promote or brag about his great future accomplishments.  He deflects attention from himself and compliments others, sometimes even at his own expense.

This is the dilemma presented by Tyler Hultin.  He’s modest, polite, mild-mannered, and self-effacing.  What am I supposed to write about a guy like that?  Who does he think he is, putting me in this position?

This is Tyler Hultin:

He originally got into boxing at the age of 14 without his parents’ blessing.  In fact, he worked out with the Fergus Falls club for a good eight months before coming clean, and he only did it then because he wanted to enter competition.  Hultin lost his first fight, and the next three after that.  “It was a pretty rocky start.  Very rocky,” Hultin smiles.  “I lost pretty bad.  I had my doubts, thought maybe this isn’t really for me, but instead of giving up I pushed myself pretty hard.”

All that hard work eventually paid off, as Hultin earned a Silver Gloves title in 2003, the Golden Gloves region IV title at 152# from 2004 through 2006, the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves title in 2006, and then the Region IV title at 165# from 2007 through 2009.  Along the way Hultin amassed a cumulative record of 80-27 over a nine-year career, and ultimately won over his mom.  “After my mom came to the fights for the first time, now she’s the loudest fan I have.  Oh yeah, she’s a die-hard,” Hultin winks.

Maybe it’s natural, and maybe everyone feels this way about their club, but Hultin thinks there’s something special about the Fergus Falls club.  “Our club doesn’t win the most awards or the most championships, but I think that we’re the most feared club in the area.  I mean, fighters coming in from other clubs are confident that they’ll win, but they also know that win or lose, they’re going to have been in a fight.  They’re going to feel it the next day.”

Hultin turned pro in May of this because he was feeling restless and bored, and because of a particular phone call.  “In amateurs it got so nothing was original – you knew how everything was going to go down, and I was always at a certain weight, and you pretty much knew who was out there to fight…I think I fought one guy sixteen times.  I got my name known throughout the amateur scene, but it didn’t really get me anywhere.”  Then came a fateful phone call: “After my last year of Golden Gloves I was just about ready to hang up my gloves.  And Andy Kolle called me and goes, ‘I heard that you wanted to go pro for so long, are you ready to do it?’  I told him I was thinking about hanging it up and he asked me, ‘Is that really what you want or is it just nerves and false thoughts?’  I thought about it and I decided that I can’t get out of it.  I’m only 22 years old I have to keep going.  So Andy had a lot to do with it.”

Of course, the last two pro fighters to come out of Fergus Falls (Kolle and the Jungle Boy, Zach Walters)  have moved to Duluth to train at Horton’s Gym.  I asked Hultin whether he might do the same.  “The thought has come into my head, but for now I’m in school in Alexandria, and I’m committed to finishing that.  The Saint Cloud Golden Gloves team wanted me to move down there and train them, too, but now that I’ve gone pro I’ll hold off on those things for a while.”

Back in Fergus Falls there’s another Hultin who Tyler would like boxing fans to know about, and that’s his little brother Tanner Hultin.  “If he had my conditioning he would probably be better than me.  He’s a southpaw, too!”  Tanner is 18 years old and still in high school, but Tyler offers high praise: “Tanner is my best sparring partner.”

To date Hultin has only had the one pro fight, winning his debut contest against Lakendriek Craig with a first-round knockout on May 21st up in Duluth.  What his future holds, Hultin won’t speculate.  His goals are articulated thusly: “First, to keep fighting, and second, to work my way up.”  I explained that most fighters use their interviews to predict a signature win or a championship, or some other kind of great success.  “I think one day, yes.  That would be nice.  I have a lot to learn first.”

Sigh.

The Fistic Mystic says: Continuing a great new tradition in Minnesota boxing, I asked Hultin to name some other young fighters whose names we should remember.  There were no stunning revelations, but as usual, some candid and interesting recollections.

“Obviously, my brother Tanner Hultin.”

Javontae Starks – “We clashed heads back in ’07 or ’08, then he dropped me with a body shot.  I finished the fight, though.”

Jamal James – “You don’t hear very much about him, but he’s really good.”

Robert Brant – “I fought him twice, lost them both.  He’s a natural.”  A prodigy, even?  “Yes, and he’s a nice guy, too.  Going to give Kelly Pavlik a run for his money.  I’m serious.”