- More than one person remarked to me tonight that Phil Williams’ career is irredeemably stained by his loss to Matt Vanda. It’s true that it doesn’t look great on paper, but it was a split decision, Williams was never in danger of being stopped, and Vanda has a very impressive record. Williams looked good but not great against an opponent who some very definite advantages over him. No, Williams isn’t ruined, but he needs to get back on track with some wins. One possibility is a rematch with Vanda, though I wouldn’t advise it. Another possibility is a match with an opponent the caliber of Lamar Harris, who also appeared on this card. Just something to chew on.
- Is Wilton Hilario ready for Jason Litzau? Despite his dominating performance against 18-3-2 Leon Bobo, Hilario confidant Luis Reyes doesn’t want that fight for his good friend. “What’s in it for Wilton? He needs to get up to eighteen or nineteen wins before he thinks about someone like Litzau again.” Apparently Reyes’ reasoning is that Hilario needs to get more experience and build up his resume before taking the kind of step up that a win against Jason Litzau would force him into.
- Ceresso Fort’s bout with Lamar Harris seems to be the consensus pick for fight of the night, but it revealed some serious flaws in Fort’s game. His punches were loose, loopy, and sometimes wild. His footwork was unpolished and that nearly got him in serious trouble once or twice. And Fort blew off his head of steam in the first round when he seemed to have Harris in trouble, only to get in deep later on when Harris recovered and threw hundreds of power shots at him in the late rounds. Fort is a promising young guy with a head like an anvil and fists like bricks. Minnesota boxing fans, we have a diamond in the rough here. Let’s not demand too much of him just yet – he needs to take some advice from legendary Twins manager Tom Kelly: “You’re never too good to work on your fundamentals.”
- Javontae Starks – as if we didn’t already know – is the real deal. Starks took a round to get used to the pro game, then went to town on game but overmatched opponent Dan Copp. Starks’ body-shot knockout of Copp was a thing of beauty, and after the way it was set up, it came with a sense of inevitability. Starks is fast, strong, and well-coordinated. He isn’t ready for the big time yet, but his win tonight gave me some serious warm fuzzies. Too bad for Dan Copp he can’t say the same!
- Congratulations to Zach Schumach on his first career win. I won’t say “the first of many,” but it was well deserved. He showed better speed and more aggression than opponent Don Tierney.
- I thought that Sam Morales had a win sewn up tonight, but the judges didn’t agree with me. Okay, they’re judges and I’m not. But I don’t understand how Morales’ effective aggression and crisp punching goes unrewarded. I also thought it was pretty obvious that Morales had Taggart hurt twice, and Taggart was unable to return the favor until the last ten seconds of the fight.
- Let’s all give some credit to Grand Casino Hinckley and Midwest Sports Council for an entertaining and commercially successful show. I’d also like to show some love to Fox Sports Net for televising this event. Now I’m going to go home and watch it. Hopefully it looks as good on the small screen as it did from ringside.