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Professional Boxing: August 25th 2017 at Grand Casino Hinckley

Caleb Truax (now 28-3-2 with 18 kayos) defeats KeAndrae Leatherwood (now 20-5-1 with 13 kayos) by TKO at 2:23 of round 10 in a fight scheduled for 10 rounds.

Round 1

Our combatants start the fight with circling.  Leatherwood is inching forward and throwing light jabs that don’t connect.  Now Truax begins coming forward, throwing jabs and little more in the early going.  About a minute in Truax throws a jab followed by a right hand that loops over top, but it’s mostly blocked by Leatherwood.  There’s a clinch, broken up by referee Mark Nelson.  More circling and jabbing.  Round one ends with no significant action.  Was anything learned?  Round 2 will tell.

Round 2

Leatherwood comes out and immediately throws a double jab, followed moments later by a left-right that lands to Truax’s head.  They trade, then clinch, and ref Nelson breaks them up.  Truax lands a hard jab that pushes Leatherwood back.  Leatherwood lunges in, Truax doesn’t give way, and there’s another break.  More circling, more jabbing, Leatherwood tries to duck in but gets caught in another clinch.  Truax comes forward and Leatherwood counters.  Referee Nelson pauses the action to warn Leatherwood – it appeared it was for swinging his elbows.    More tactical movements, then Leatherwood scores a glancing right hand to the head of Truax.  There’s a flurry at the bell, but nothing of importance is landed.

Round 3

Leatherwood opens the round with a jab to the body.  After much  mauling, Truax lands a straight right to the body of Leatherwood.  In the event, Leatherwood’s head clashes with Truax’s and the fighters are both warned.  Almost immediately they go back to a clinch, and try to punch their way out but in the end Leatherwood is warned to keep his punches up.  The pace is picking up as Truax ducks under a hook and it bounces off  the top of his head.  Both men want to get in close, and the result so far has been a close-quarters clash with few clean shots landed.

Round 4

Leatherwood jabs effectively for the first seconds of round 4, but before long we’re back in a clinch and it’s a shoving match.  Truax deftly slips a jab but doesn’t counter.  Leatherwood steps forward and let hooks Truax.  Things are getting rougher.  In a clinch again, Truax is throwing rights to the body.  Truax is bleeding profusely from the left side of his nose, but I didn’t see how it happened.  More clinching, and the bell rings as ref Nelson pulls the tangled fighters apart.

Round 5

Leatherwood jabs crisply to start the round, but again Truax pulls him into a clinch.  Break.  Leatherwood jumps in and throws a big right to the body of Truax.  Ref Nelson warns Leatherwood again, but I don’t know for what.  They’re back in a clinch again.  Neither man can create the distance necessary to land anything significant.  Now they’re shoulder to shoulder and their hands are working more freely.  Leatherwood grunts as he digs an uppercut to the body of Truax.  Still in close, but finally the hands are moving.  Leatherwood is getting the better of it now, throwing hooks to the body and head of Truax.  Truax punctuates the round with a 2 or 3 punch combination at the bell.

Round 6

Leatherwood is trying to throw double and triple jabs.  it doesn’t take long before they’re head to head, shoulder to shoulder again, with Truax throwing multiple uppercuts to the body.  We come to a point where there’s an inch of space between the fighters and they both try to attack, nullifying each other completely.  Mark nelson calls time out and talks to both fighters, but I couldn’t hear what he said.  After the confab we have more mauling and brawling and the round ends without resolution.

Round 7

Both fighters are showing more urgency now, hopefully having been warned that they’ve been very ineffective and inconclusive.  Still, each encounter seems to end with more clutching.  Finally there’s a clinch in which Leatherwood throws two borderline-legal punches to the side-back of Truax, then a punch to the back of the head, and ref Mark Nelson deducts a point from Leatherwood.  Though it continues to be an ugly fight, the activity level of both fighters has been improving.  Still, it would be hard to award this round to either man without the point deduction.

Round 8

An exchange at the start of the round sees Leatherwood lose his mouthpiece.  Once it’s reinserted the fighters resume their wrestling match.  Suddenly Truax lands a big shot, followed by a right that stumbles Leatherwood.  The crowd thinks that Leatherwood is more hurt than he is.  There’s another clinch and Truax gets away with a hard uppercut landed during the break.  More grabbing and dancing, and Leatherwood connects with a hard right, but only one.  There’s more holding, and Nelson warns Leatherwood for holding.  “One more time,” he shouts.  Immediately the fighters go back to head-to-head and maul to the bell.

Round 9

Chest-to-chest to start the round, but again there’s an interlude of action in which both en land good hooks.  Truax puts his head down and pushes Leatherwood into the ropes.  Leatherwood hooks his right arm around Truax’s left and they grapple.  Truax finds the space to land a big right hook that electrifies the crowd, but only for a moment.  Again Truax’s head goes down and it looks like he’s bleeding from his left cheek.  Truax suddenly lands a thunderous right to the head of Leatherwood that gives him the momentum for thirty seconds or so, until Leatherwood lands a glancing right that backs him off.  The crowd sees resolution coming and enthusiastically cheers the end of the ninth.

Round 10

Leatherwood loses his mouthpiece in the early going.  Truax has the momentum now, and he’s throwing everything at Leatherwood, but at times that leaves him vulnerable.  Leatherwood loses his mouthpiece again in a clinch, and though the crowd (and Truax’s corner) are accusing him of spitting it out, I don’t think he did.  Moments later Leatherwood has another point deducted for holding.  Truax is going to town, and Leatherwood is now bleeding – a lot – from the mouth.  Referee Nelson calls time and brings Leatherwood to the doctor, who briefly inspects Leatherwood.  Nelson stops the bout.  It’s over, and Truax is the winner.

Markus Morris (now 11-3 with 7 kayos) defeats Tony Lee (now 11-2-1 with 3 kayos) by TKO at 2:16 in round 3 of a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.

Round 1

Morris opens the action with jabs, but he doesn’t land.  Tony Lee follows suit.  After some inconclusive swinging, Morris catches Lee going backwards and lands a right in the red corner. Early on Lee is bouncing, moving, going backwards.  Morris is following, but nobody is scoring.  Lee connects with a good left, but only one.  Morris follows Lee into the blue corner, tries to catch him, but Lee attempts to spin away.  It’s a messy one so far.  Now Lee lands a big right (?) that momentarily stuns Morris, and though he pursues, Lee is unable to capitalize.  By the time the round ends, Morris looks recovered.

Round 2

Immediately there’s a clinch, but the fighters punch their way out of it.  Lee is working backwards, Morris following him again.  Lee’s corner wants straight punches: “One-two, straight down the middle!”  These two are not powerful punchers, so the fight is likely to go long.  Morris misses a series of punches, Lee misses with a triple jab.  Morris lunges forward and misses his target, nearly falling into the ropes.  Morris comes forward and Lee catches him, freezing him momentarily.  Lee begins to come forward, but Morris zaps him with a right hand that leaves Lee discombobulated for a moment.  Lee pulls himself together, and bell.

Round 3

Both men comes out winging, and though considerable skill is in play, it has an artless look.  Neither man scores for a time, and then Morris catches Lee with a left to the belly that drops him to his knees.  Lee is up quickly and resumes the fight, but Morris has renewed confidence and moments later knocks Lee’s mouthguard out, then pounds him into the ropes with a right.  Referee Gary Miezwa begins the count, but I don’t think he finished it before calling the fight to an early end.

Al Sands (now 20-2 with 18 kayos) defeats Mengistu Zarzar (now 6-1 with 5 kayos) by TKO in round 8 of 8 scheduled.

Round 1

Sands, substantially taller than Zarzar, comes out jabbing.  Zarzar opens up with a frantic attack of incredibly wide and wild hooks, and flails away until he loses his balance and falls down.  No knockdown is registered.  The fight resumes and Sands is punching from outside.  Sands comes forward and lands a single right to the body.  Zarzar’s counter is so wild that he spins halfway around.  Sands steps forward and thrwows a left that Zarzar ducks underneath.  Sands follows Zarzar into a corner and lands a one-two, then Zarzar torques himself into the center of the ring.  Sands is moving deliberately, Zarzar is out of control.  Sands throws, Zarzar latches on, and when Sands backs up Zarzar falls on his hands and knees.  No knockdown.

Round 2

Sands is moving forward from the start, jabbing.  Zarzar attacks furiously, but ineffectively with those wide hooks.  Sands follows Zarzar into a neutral corner and lands a jab, then a sharp left hook.  Zarzar is all anger and aggression.  Sands is coming forward, beginning to potshot his opponent.  Sands catches Zarzar bending forward and uppercuts him.  Zarzar lashes out and connects with a hard shot to the shoulder, and Sands raises his eyebrows.  Sands follows Zarzar into a corner (again) and lands a jab, then Zarzar grabs onto him and pushes him into the center of the ring.  Sands follows Zarzar ito a corner (again) and lands two punches of a flurry.  Zarzar is moving herky-jerky, like he’s exhausted.  Sands ducks a big left hook and the bell rings.

Round 3

Sands jabs forward and Zarzar explodes with aggression.  After a moment of clutching Zarzar throws a wild flurry full of attitude and anger.  There’s a clash of heads and Zarzar is cut in the corner of his right eye.  Sands is jabbing, jabbing, and finally follows with a right.  Both men throw left hands at the same time, and though Zarzar’s lands harder, Sands looks better.  Zarzar throws a left-right and both punches land.  Sands is cool and collected and continues to stalk.  Zarzar is trying to push his shorts down and Sands attacks, catching him by surprise.  Zarzar is gasping now, throwing one or two punches at a time instead of the extended flurries that characterized the early going.  Sands sharpshoots him and Zarzar clinches as the round comes to a close.

Round 5

Sands is following, Zarzar lunging for single punches now.  Sands is getting the better of it, being  more aggressive in the early part of round 5.  Zarzar backs into a corner for the umpteenth time and Sands pursues.  Zarzar looks absolutely exhausted, and Sands continues to follow, throwing more than he lands, but scoring occasionally.  Zarzar scores a single left, and the clock runs out on round 5.

Round 6

Zarzar comes out jabbing, but there’s nothing behind the jabs.  Sands continues to follow, using the formula that has worked so well thus far: follow Zarzar till he runs out of real estate, then connect with a one-two.  Sands lands a power shot to the body, then another to the  head, and Zarzar is wilting.  Zarzar is reeling, Sands picking his shots and beating him mercilessly.  Zarzar puts h is head down, with ten seconds to go comes back up and lands one wide left that lands flush and thrills the crowd.

Round 7

Referee Mark Nelson calls time and the doctor examines Zarzar’s bleeding eye.  The fight resumes and Sands comes forward – this time Zarzar doesn’t retreat but counters, and both men land.  There may also have been a clash of heads.  Sands continues to stalk, throwing one-twos, but he looks less fresh, and less balanced than he has looked.  Zarzar backs into the blue corner ropes and Sands catches up, throws a weak arm punch and then a stiff one-two that scores.  Zarzar lands a big single shot.  Sands comes forward and Zarzar catches him coming in, but Sands walks through it and scores another left-right.  Zarzar is bleeding from the nose.  Sands stumbles, but then keeps coming forward, landing more effective shots.  The bell rings and Zarzar sneers before returning to his corner.

Round 8

Zarzar comes right out, mauls Sands, and then lands a glancing left that sprays sweat into the air.  Sands is going downstairs-upstairs and though he looks tired and wobbly, and somewhat stiff-legged.  Sands chases again, Zarzar bends down, and Sands goes body-head, scoring with both.  Zarzar is throwing back, but Sands lands a big right that sends Zarzar stumbling backwards across the ring.  He rights himself in the ropes.  Zarzar is attacking, but his attack plays out and Sands catches him with a left to the temple.  Sands clobbers Zarzar and it looks like it’s all over, but somehow Zarzar keeps his feet even as Sands pummels him with more rising hooks.  Zarzar stumbles the entire width of the ring to his own corner, and referee Mark Nelson stops it.  Sands wins.

Ramiro Hernandez (now 9-0 with 7 kayos) defeats Nate Rubin (now 4-1 with 2 kayos) by Unanimous Decision (60-54, 59-55, 59-55) after 6 rounds.

Round 1

Hernandez opens the bout with some off-target jabs.  The fighters circle, and Hernandez lands a right to the ribs.  Rubin is inching forward, now inching back.  Hernandez scores again.  Rubin snaps a triple jab that connects.  Rubin is switching stances and moving.  Referee Miezwa warns Hernandez to keep his punches up, then pauses the action moments later to pull Rubin’s shorts up.  Now the fighters exchange in the center of the ring, neither man gaining an advantage.  Hernandez is trying to be fast and throw short punches, causing to short-arm several times.  Hernandez lands, and Rubin shakes his head dismissively.  Ten seconds to go, and Hernandez goes on attack, outlanding Rubin to close the round.

Round 2

Hernandez comes out aggressive, touching Rubin to the body and head.  Rubin comes forward but isn’t connecting.  There’s an exchange, and Rubin connects with a right hook.  Hernandez looks more polished.  Hernandez comes into range and Rubin connects with a good body shot.  Hernandez smiles as Rubin jabs him to the body.  Hernandez is moving in and out with alacrity, scoring with fast power shots.  Rubin jabs and Hernandez clinches.  Hernandez attacks and connects, but then Rubin holds his arm and throws a couple to the body.  Rubin connects with a left and a right to show he’s still in the fight, and round 2 ends.

Round 3

Both men are trying to out-quick their opponent.  Hernandez lands a left that rocks Rubin, but Rubin shows no concern and comes forward again.  Now they’re circling to the left, Hernandez inching forward.  More circling, Rubin keeping his hands low.  Hernandez with a left to the body.  Rubin connects to the head of Hernandez.  Hernandez is getting aggressive, and things are getting heated.  Rubin scores twice.  Hernandez snaps Rubin’s head back with a hard jab.  Rubin ducks and Hernandez scores with an uppercut.  The pace quickens with seconds to go in the round, but no significant punches are landed.

Round 4

Both men land jabs. Hernandez is punching from angles.  Rubin comes forward and scores with a left, then shoves Hernandez away.  Hernandez lands a jab, then misses with a crossing left.  Rubin is having trouble catching up with Hernandez’ speed.  Hernandez is having trouble landing clean punches. Hernandez comes forward, throws a flurry, and lands a right to the head of Rubin.  Rubin counters and lands the same. Hernandez attacks and scores with several power punches.  There’s a tactical lull, and Hernandez comes forward.  Rubin seems more comfortable inside, but he isn’t scoring enough to win when he gets there.  Round 4 ends with mauling and glancing blows from both men.

Round 5

Hernandez is being encouraged by his corner to come forward, and he endeavors to comply. Rubin lands a thudding right, but doesn’t follow it up and Hernandez seems unaffected.  Hernandez is coming forward and scoring.  Rubin ducks a punch but doesn’t counter – he has the elements to win, but isn’t putting them together.  Hernandez holds and hits but isn’t warned.  Hernandez attacks again and scores – not a lot, but more than Rubin.  Hernandez holds and hits again, and is warned this time by a scowling Gary Miezwa.

Round 6

Hernandez comes forward, misses a right, and retreats to the ropes.  Rubin scores with a single punch.  There’s an exchange, both fighters land, and Hernandez is warned again, this time for low punching.  Now Hernandez comes forward, Rubin retreats, and Hernandez chases.  Hernandez has trouble scoring as Rubin clutches and ducks.  Each man scores, but Hernandez outlands Rubin by 2-to-1.  Rubin lands a punch to the back of Hernandez’ head and is warned by ref Miezwa.  Rubin is looking for an opening, but he can’t fill it when he sees it.  Now Rubin scores a couple of times, then a third time…but Hernandez fights back with effective power shots.  The fighters are trading power shots for the last fifteen seconds or so of the final round, both men landing but neither man hurt.

Ve Shawn Owens (now 7-0 with 7 kayos) defeats Brandon Phillips Black (now 1-3) by TKO at 2:45 of round 2.

Round 1

Owens comes out with intent to end it early.  After some quick jabbing from both parties, Owens lands a one-two and then corners Black, trapping him in a corner and throwing a large number of punches in a very short time.  Black is hurt and on defense, and Owens gives chase, battering him all over the ring.  After a complete circuit of the ring Owens corners B Black again, but Black surprises by landing a single hard counter shot that causes Owens to pause for a moment.  But the pattern is set, and Owens spends the remainder of the bout chasing and throwing.  With about five seconds left in the round Black catches Owens again, but those are his only two good moments in the entire round.

Round 2

Black comes out standing up and jabbing.  Owens resumes stalking, and follows Black into the blue corner where he lands a number of big punches.  Black backs away again, eventually sneaking in two good counters.  Owens is shuffling forward, setting his feet, and throwing combinations – more leisurely now.  Owens catches Black on the ropes and lands three right hooks in a row.  Black looks alert though, and continues to look for opportunities to shoot back.  Owens looks in danger of punching himself out – can anyone sustain this pace?  Owens continues to attack, and referee Mark Nelson stops the bout at 2:45 of round 2.

Anthony Palmisano (now 2-0 with 2 kayos) defeats Ivey Nixon (now 1-2) by TKO at 1:58 in round 1 of 4 scheduled.

Round 1

The bout begins with aggressive work from both men.  Palmisano looks the stronger of the two, but Nixon looks slippery.  Palmisano is the aggressor, working with cool detachment and a serene face, Nixon looking to counter.  Mid-round Palmisano lands a single monster right that crumbles Nixon – Nixon collapses as if boneless.  A dazed Nixon  surprises everyone by rising to his feet, and though he’s wobbly, referee Gary Miezwa permits the fight to continue. The outcome is a forgone conclusion.  Palmisano pounds away at Nixon, who seems to need to fall but can’t, and finally Miezwa steps in and calls – it – Palmisano by TKO.

Delorean Caraway (now 10-1 with 5 kayos) defeats Gilbert Venegas (now 15-30-5 with 8 kayos) by Split Decision (54-56, 60-54, 59-55) in six rounds

Round 1

Caraway strikes first, landing a left-right-left to the body of Venegas.  After Caraway flurries a few times, Venegas responds with shots to the body.  Caraway is starting quicker tonight than the last time we saw him, intending to send a message.  Caraway is busy, throwing tons of power shots with impressive speed.  Venegas, however, is occasionally landing a big right hook to the head, when he can time Caraway.  This is an action round, and the fighters trade leather to the end.

Round 2

Caraway goes first again, landing a single jab, then throwing an extended combination.  Venegas is pursuing Caraway, but Caraway is alert and aggressive as he retreats.    Caraway is jab-jab-jabbing as he backs around the ring.  Venegas throws a few jabs, but he’s really looking for an opening for a big overhand right.  Caraway has a lightning fast jab, and he’s using it effectively.  Caraway goes to the body, and Venegas counters with a big single left to the head.  Another exchange, and Caraway is landing more frequently than Venegas.  Round 2 ends with ten seconds of tense inactivity.

Round 3

Caraway starts with three jabs, then three more.  NA single jab.  Caraway with a right-left to the body, then he looks to the head, and now he goes back downstairs.  Venegas is standing in there, shuffling forward, but unable to pull the trigger.  Venegas with a single jab.  Caraway throws a right and Venegas finally responds with three power shots.  Caraway scores again, then Venegas comes out of his shell and lands a nice combination to the head and body.  Venegas with a single right, but it’s a soft one.  Caway is backing up, leading Venegas all over the ring, pausing occasionally to sharpshoot him.  Venegas continues to come forward, but his punch output – though powerful – is low.  Venegas again lands a single soft right to the head, but follows with an effective flurry. Two hard jabs from Venegas cause Caraway to shake his head.

Round 4

Caraway starts the round with about ten fast, unanswered shots.  Caraway lands a glancing left that causes Venegas to wobble, only momentarily.  Venegas is stalking, but Caraway is leading with greater volume, power, and accuracy.  Finally Venegas throws a five punch combination that lands to the body of Caraway.  Caraway likes to throw that jab from a low position, and Venegas takes advantage, landing a hard right, but Caraway is wearing him down.  Venegas is tiring, but Caraway loks the same as he did in round one.  Venegas flurries to the body while Caraway simultaneously flurries to the head.  Caraway continues to lead Venegas on a chase, potshotting him as he retreats.

Round 5

Venegas throws the first punch of this round, but Caraway responds with a long, hard flurry.  Venegas is throwing single punches now.  Venegas lands, Carway counters and bounces backward.  Caraway misses with a series of jabs.  Venegas misses a right, and Caraway counters.  Caraway’s corner calls for more punches and Caraway obliges.  Referee Mark Nelson breaks ups a clinch.  Caraway lands a number of showy punches. Venegas backs hi into a neutral corner and connects with two or three hard body shots, but Caraway flutters away.  Venegas is coming forward, but he can’t catch Caraway.  Venegas lands one punch, Caraway counters with a single shot, and the bell rings.

Round 6

Venegas’ left eye is looking swollen.  Caraway starts the round with jabbing again, but Venegas stifles him.  Caraway throws a long combination, and finishes with a single head shot that freezes Venegas.  Venegas continues to come forward, and he can’t land.  Caraway looks the best I’ve ever seen him.  Caraway is talking to the crowd, then he ducks his head and clinches.  Venegas throws a one-one-two, but Caraway moves him with a hard counter.  Venegas comes forward, Caraway pummels him again.  Venegas doesn’t have the tools to catch up with Carraway’s speed and movement, but he’s dogged, and finally gets Caraway backed into a corner and lands a series of hard punches.  Caraway comes out of the exchange looking no worse, and goes back to work.  Ten seconds to go, and Venegas lands a single right, then both men trade punches to the bell.

Adrian Taylor (now 4-0 with 3 kayos) defeats Tristan James by UD (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) in four rounds.

Round 1

The first round begins with both men engaging in tactical exploration.   It doesn’t take long for the strength of Taylor to show, as he bulls, clinches, and pops James with impunity.    Taylor’s quick hands allow him to land straight punches that seem to shock and annoy James.  Mid-round the fighters get in close and James manages to get his hands under Taylor’s guard, and he throws a flurry of uppercuts, landing one in particular that makes Taylor flinch. The round ends as it began; Taylor scoring with more straight punches.

Round 2

James intends to come out jabbing, but Taylor gets inside in a hurry.  Taylor finds a target for his right hand on James’ face.  The bout is becoming less competitive, a Taylor is able to avoid James’ punches, which are quickly losing their steam.  Taylor lands a one-two to the body.  James responds by backing up with a sequence of ineffective jabs.  James clinches, and referee Gary Miezwa separates the combatants.  Taylor measures the distance with a stationary left hand, and James responds with a flurry that fails to impress.  Additional activity produces no action before the bell.

Round 3

James looks frustrated as the round begins.  Taylor jabs the head, then the body.  Taylor lands power shots to the body.  James is circling to his left, but Taylor’s crisper punching breaks his pattern and forces him to retreat again.  Taylor lands a hard jab, James responds with three punches that score.  James, the taller fighter, is trying to keep his distance, but Taylor is stalking him.  Taylor strikes James’’ ribs with a hard right that shudders James.  James comes forward throwing punches – Taylor’s corner shouts “I want pressure, don’t you dare go back!” and Taylor responds with a flurry of effective power shots.

Round 4

Taylor leads with a jab and then lands a huge straight right that impresses the crowd.  James dances around the ring, then comes forward with an aggressive rally.  Taylor lands a right-left-right that drives James backwards. Taylor is sharpshooting him now, scoring almost at wil.  James blocks a right and counters, but his punches are ineffective.  Taylor shuffles forward, measure the distance, and lands a short flurry that ends with another big right.  Now they’re mauling, and James puts his head down and bulls forward, pushing Taylor into the ropes in his own corner.  They return to the center of the ring and trade short power punches.  Taylor gets the better of the exchange, and they separate.  James is trying to score as the round comes to a close, Taylor counters sporadically and then ducks the remainder of James’ offensive output.

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Boxing and Figure Skating

Quick, name a sport where the winner is determined by judges instead of by an objective scoring system.  If you said figure skating, you were right.  And if you said boxing, you were also right.

One of the great beauties of boxing is that it’s a one-on-one encounter, and either competitor can end it at any time, leaving absolutely no doubt about who’s the winner.  One of the great flaws of boxing is that if neither competitor is able to end it, the outcome is decided by judges.  Three of tonight’s boxing matches were decided by the judges, and in each case (Quinterio/Farmer, Amouta/Perzynski, Caraway/Rodriguez) there was a substantial contingent of fans and friends who were dissatisfied with the result.  This writer, in all candor, thinks that Farmer, Perzynski, and Rodriguez deserved the wins in those three bouts.

It’s risky business to make sweeping generalizations based on a small sample size, but Tony Palmisano looked like a promising up-and-comer tonight against MMAer BJ Lacy.  Palmisano is big, strong, and fast.  He’s also fit and good looking.  Of course one match doesn’t make a career, but give him a few more fights and Palmisano could become a fan favorite in Minnesota’s paper-thin cruiserweight division.

It was a heartwarming moment when RJ Laase, fresh from his one-round destruction of Jacob Fox, proposed to girlfriend Brittany Koller in the ring, in front of an enthusiastic and supportive crowd.  As you might expect, Laase was walking on air afterwards.  All talk was about desired rematches with Benito Tovar and Rondale Hubbert.  There were legitimate questions asked about the matchmaking between 12-3 Laase and 2-2 Fox, and perhaps those questions deserve to be answered, but for now, it’s easy to just be happy for such a talented and likable young man.

Veshaun Owens, you have been overlooked.  Coming into this bout you were 5-0 with 5 knockouts, but that was against dismal competition.  Tonight you faced a strong and difficult veteran in Romon Barber, and you dominated the match from beginning to premature end.  Is it time to move up to bigger and better things, Mr. Owens?  You made it clear that you think so when you asked for Mohammed Kayongo and Antonio Johnson in the near future.

Joe Amouta is an affable and likable man, and easy to cheer for.  Unfortunately I find myself the same position twice now, with young Amouta.  A year ago, on April 15th 2016, Amouta received an undeserved victory against George Carter Jr, and tonight he was gifted a split draw in a bout that it appeared he had clearly lost.  One onlooker argued earnestly that Amouta was displaying ring generalship and defensive mastery in this bout, when all I saw was a guy sucking wind and running.  I don’t mean to be unnecessarily harsh, and I know boxing is harder than it looks, but I thought that Travis Perzynski had thoroughly tamed Amouta in tonight’s bout.  I was astonished when the result was announced as a draw, and so was a very large and very vocal segment of the crowd.

It’s becoming clear by now that Delorien Caraway is a tremendous athlete with a limited repertoire.  Caraway is really good at loading up, springing lightning-fast attacks, and hurting opponents with limited numbers of unexpected punches.  Why does this work?  Because the punch that does the most damage is the one you didn’t see coming.  What happens, then, when Caraway faces an opponent who is calm, collected, and savvy enough to keep his eyes open and to anticipate the attack?  He’s stymied, that’s what happens.  Tonight Jerome Rodriguez was that calm, collected, and savvy opponent.  For unknown reasons the judges saw things differently, but to these eyes Rodriguez was the clear winner.

Live Round-by-Round, April 21st 2017 at Grand Casino Hinckley

Richard Quinterio (now 2-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Jeff Farmer (now 3-9 with no kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 4 rounds

Round 1

Farmer comes out at a frenetic pace, quivering with excitement, but does little work at first.  Quinterio lands the first punch, but Farmer counters effectively with a short right.  Moments later Farmer lands a hard left that moves Quinterio visibly.  In an exchange Quinterio stumbles backwards and  ends up on one knee, but referee Mark Nelson rules ‘no knockdown.’  Several fast-paced exchanges follow.  Quinterio lands solidly, sending Farmer reeling, but Farmer doesn’t go down.  Quinterio backs Farmer into the blue corner, but Farmer punches his way out.  Quinterio tries to step up the pace, but to little effect.  Now both fighters slow things down. After a break Farmer comes forward and lands a short right hook to the body.  In further exchanges Farmer lands more hard, short punches.

Round 2

Farmer misses a jab, then an overhand right.  Quinterio flurries furiously, landing but failing to affect his opponent.  Farmer is moving side to side.  Quinterio attacks and lands some glancing blows.  Quinterio scores with a power shot that drops Farmer.  Farmer is clearly upset, on his hands and knees.  After the count, Farmer looks a little unsteady and Quinterio comes forward throwing smoke. Farmer lands a single straight right.  Quinterio lands, then Farmer responds.  These two look evenly matched. Quinterio charges in, Farmer lands a hard right.  Quinterio attacks again, Farmer crunches a right hand to the body.  Quinterio winces for a split second, then goes on the attack again, but ineffectively.

Round 3

Farmer misses with a right but lands a good left.  Quinterio is tough as nails and comes forward again.  There’s a close exchange and possibly a clash of heads.  Some tactical pawing from both fighters, then Farmer comes forward and lands a good single shot.  Both men punch at the same time, Farmer is first to counter, landing hard to the head.  Quinterio is having a hard time avoiding Farmer’s one-two – especially the two.  Farmer scores a big left, tries to follow up, and misses.  Quinterio lands three right hooks in quick succession, energizing the crowd.  Farmer is unfazed and comes forward.  Farmer’s corner is calling for more work and more heart.  Farmer comes forward throwing lead rights, southpaw Quinterio is backing up throwing counters, and the bell sounds.

Round 4

The fighters touch gloves, then begin circling.  Farmer is coming forward, Quinterio dodges an attack and plays the matador.  Both men land some pitty pats.  Farmer lunges in with both hands flying.  Quinterio escapes, then comes forward, and lands a combination to body and head.  There’s a clinch and Mark Nelson tells Farmer to keep his head up.  Farmer rushes in, misses a right haymaker, Quinterio counters effectively, scoring impressively.  Farmer remains aggressive, missing more that he’s connecting, but finally landing another short power shot.  Both fighters look gassed, and they’re clinching now.  After another break Farmer lands a right but fails to follow up.   Farmer is coming foward, Qinterio countering.  Ten seconds left and both  men know they need to impress, so they battle across the ring, both connecting but Farmer scoring fractionally more.

Tony Palmisano (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats BJ “The Beast” Lacy (now 1-2 with 1 kayo) by TKO in round 1 of 4 scheduled.

Round 1

The bout starts slowly, with both fighters missing jabs and hooks. Palmisano comes forward, and about 20 seconds into the fight, corners Lacy and lands some power shots.  Palmisano looks like a fighter as he stalks Lacy, landing power shots with both hands.  Palmisano corners Lacy again, scores, and then lets him escape.  Palmisano is aggressive and Lacy looks overmatched.  Palmisano rushes in again, and Lacy lands a solid punch for the first time in the fight.  Moments later Palmisano lands a big shot and Lacy lurches across the ring to the red corner.   The pace slows as Palmisano is picking his spots and Lacy is looking to counter.  With only seconds to go Lacy jabs at Palmisano, and Palmisano responds with a huge right hand!  Lacy is out on his feet, and he topples backward into his own (red) corner, his head crashes to the mat with a sickening smack, and referee Gary Miezwa might have counted to three before waving the fight off.

Celso “El Nino” Ramirez (now 6-0 with 6 kayos) defeats Ryan White Mountain (now 4-7-1 with ? kayos) by TKO in round 1 of 4.

Round 1

Long, lanky White Mountain is seeking to land the left jab at the start of the fight.  Ramirez is dancing on his back foot, looking for an opening.  Ramirez stuns White Mountain, but White Mountain responds like a warrior, trading punches with Ramirez until a shot sends him stumbling and falling into a neutral corner. My angle was bad – I didn’t see the punch that did the damage.  White Mountain lost his mouthpiece and was a little slow finding it and stuffing it back in his mouth.  He springs to his feet and bounces a few times, makes eye contact with referee Mark Nelson, and nods that he’s okay to continue.  The combatants re-engage and Ramirez tags White Mountain again, sending him reeling into the red corner.  Ramirez batters White Mountain until Nelson can let it go no longer, and stops the match.

RJ “T-Rex” Laase (now 13-3 with 9 kayos) defeats Jacob Fox (now 2-5 with 1 kayo) by TKO in round 1 of 6 scheduled.

Round 1

Fox lurches in first, trying to land a jab, but Laase responds with two-handed power and punishes him harshly for the effort.  The early going is brawling, and Fox manages to sneak in a hard hook that lands flush, but Laase is unimpressed and continues to attack.  There’s a quick knockdown – Fox is hurt, but jumps to his feet and the end will have to wait.  After some further mauling, Laase digs his left into Fox’s right side and it’s clearly over, as Fox writhes in agony on the mat.  Referee Gary Miezwa stops the fight, and we have a third straight 1-rounder!

After the fight is over, Laase thrills the crowd by proposing to his girlfriend in the ring.  She said yes!  Congratulations, RJ.

“Samoa” Joe Amouta (now 7-1-1 with 2 kayos) and Travis Perzynski (now 2-2-1 with 1 kayo) fight to a split draw in 6 rounds.  Scores are 58-57 Perzynski, 59-55 Amouta, and 57-57 (even).  The crowd boos the decision lustily.  The prevailing opinion seems to be that Perzynski deserved the win.

Round 1

Amouta jabs low to start things off.  Amouta throws left and right hooks that miss.  Amouta is taking the initiative here, but to little effect.  Perzynski lands a counter, the first earnest punch of the fight to find its mark.  Amouta connects with a couple of big hooks a few seconds apart, the second – a right – moves Perzynski a foot backwards.  Amouta is on offense while Perzynski is attempting some science. Amouta charges in and Perzynski sidesteps him, traps him in the corner, but lands only a single glancing right before Amouta escapes.  Amouta is using speed and quickness and Perzynski hasn’t found his timing.  The first round ends (a miracle!) with some ineffective trading.

Round 2

Amouta begins round 2 coming forward again.  Amouta is loading up for power shots while Perzynski gets low and tries to get to the body.  Amouta lands a right that shudders Perzynski, but Perzynski recovers quickly.  Amouta continues to attack and is landing with more frequency.  Perzynski isn’t overwhelmed exactly, but he seems non-plussed.  Amouta is circling to his left, then lunges in with a right hook, but it misses.  Perzynski’s corner is asking for a “shotgun jab,” but he’s tentative.  There’s a clash on the ropes but it leads to nothing.  Amouta lands an uppercut to Perzynski’s armpit.  Amouta chases Perzynski into a corner, but Perzynski comes alive, landing a couple of hard hooks to Amouta’s head and then flurrying to his body as the round ends.

Round 3

Perzynski is coming forward to start the third.  Amouta is backing up with his left hand low.  Amouta changes direction and pokes a thudding right hand into Perzynski.  Neither man scores for some time, then Perzynski lands a lightning quick jab but doesn’t follow up.  Amouta pops him back.  This is an unscientific boxing match.  Amouta lands a right, Perzynski finally throws a two handed combination and connects.  Both boxers are throwing indiscriminately, and though some punches land, nobody gains the upper hand.  Perzynski lands a very low percentage of his punches, Amouta only slightly higher.  As the round ends the fighters are trading punches near the blue corner, Amouta’s back to the ropes.

Round 4

The fighters continue to fight on more or less even terms, but for the first minute of the fourth Amouta is moving backwards.  Perzynski again looks tentative.  Amouta lands a right.  Perzynski follows but can’t catch him.  Amouta is making a fighting retreat and Perzynski’s corner is convinced that Amouta is exhausted.  Amouta showboats, staring at Perzynski’s corner, points that them, then suddenly lunges in and lands a right.  Perzynski just can’t reach him, and Amouta is playing it safe.  Amouta continues to back up, frequently changing direction, and occasionally throwing a single power shot.  Perzynski lands a couple of glancing punches to Amouta’s body as the clock runs out on this round.

Round 5

Perzynski comes out jabbing from a southpaw stance.  Amouta continues to retreat, throwing occasional counters.  Perzynski traps Amouta against the ropes and finally lands several hooks, but Amouta is shifty and experienced, and scoots away.  What an ugly fight to watch.  Amouta backs into the blue corner, but Perzynski is too tentative to let his hands go.  Perzynski tries to land one or two punches at a time, while Amouta potshots him.  In the center of the ring now, Perzynski lands a flush right that snaps Amouta’s head to the side with a spray of sweat, and the crowd cheers appreciatively.  Perrzynski lands again, but Amouta’s expression is impassive.  After some more mauling, Perzynski traps Amouta agains the ropes and batters him furiously with a barrage of lefts and rights.  The crowd is roaring.  Amouta isn’t out – he’s still turning with the punches and throwing back, but this is Perzynski’s best moment of the fight, and it lasts the remainder of the fifth round.

Round 6

Perzynski comes outaggressive and the action to start the sixth is entertaining, but now Amouta is running again.  Amouta suddenly changes direction and lands a big left hook that freezes Perzynski for a split second.  Perzynski resumes the chase while Amouta is sucking wind and actually running away.  Perzynski is pouring it on, but he can’t land cleanly on the more skilled an experienced Samoan.  Amouta stands still for a moment and Perzynski cracks him with a good right hook. Amouta wakes up and boxes the remainder of the round, and connects at least one solid power shot.  The crowd is cheering now, but mostly just to break the monotony.

Veshawn Owens (now 6-0 with 6 kayos) defeats Romon Barber (now 7-14 with 6 kayos) in round 1 of 6 scheduled.

Round 1

Owens is bobbing and jabbing to start the bout.  Barber isn’t intimidated, and throws a right.  Referee Gary Miezwa pauses the action momentarily to instruct Owens to keep his punches up.   Owens keeps up the fast pace for a few moments longer, but it isn’t sustainable, and Barber is a difficult and frequently underestimated boxer.  Owens is jabbing and throwing one-twos, trying to outquick Barber.  Barber is taking a beating but occasionally countering to score.  Owens traps Barber in the red corner and hurts him to the body.  Barber goes down, takes some deep breaths, and rises.  The action resumes, and Owens goes on offense, tagging Barber mercilessly to the head and body.  Finally a combination culminates with (I think) a right to the head and a left to the body, and Barber goes down slowly, remains down for a count of ten, and rises unsteadily as Miezwa waves the fight off.

After the fight Owens tells the crowd that his burning ambition is to fight Mohammed Kayongo next.  Of course Kayongo is scheduled to face world-ranked Carson Jones on May 5th, so we will see what develops.  **Update – I am told that Kayongo is injured and will not be fighting May 5th after all.**

Delorien “Lord” Caraway (now 9-1 with 5 kayos) defeats Jerome Rodriguez (now 7-7-3 with 2 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 6 rounds.  Scores are 59-56, 58-56, 59-55

Round 1

The bout begins with a lot of fast feinting from Caraway, then he tries a couple of power shots that miss.  There’s an early clinch, Caraway punches on the break, but is not penalized as it was only once and appeared inadvertent.  Rodriguez is warned by Mark Nelson to keep his head up.  After some tactical movements Caraway clobbers Rodriguez and sends him reeling across the ring, to be caught by the ropes.  Caraway sticks his left hand in Rodriguez’s face and shoots some rights into him, and is instructed by Nelson not to hold his hand in his opponent’s face.  Caraway is determined to impress with speed and power.  Caraway does the bulk of the scoring in the first round with fast, wide hooks and overhand rights.

Round 2

Rodriguez comes out jabbing in round 2.  Caraway counters with hard hooks, forcing Rodriguez to hold.  Rodriguez is coming forward now, Caraway is countering with stinging hooks.  Rodriguez gains some confidence and chases a flustered Caraway into a neutral corner, scoring along the way.  Caraway is fast and confident, but he can freeze when pressed.  Rodriguez keeps coming, Caraway has found the jab to keep him outside.  Rodriguez gets inside the jab, lands a left hook, and Caraway counters with a couple of low left hooks that land on or below Rodriguez’s hip.

Round 3

Caraway is relying on his speed again in round 3, but Rodriguez looks to time him.  There’s some trading, and Caraway lands a right to the abdomen that bends Rodriguez halfway over.  Rodriguez shakes it off and keeps coming, but Caraway is concentrating on the body now.  Rodriguez is coming forward, taking his time, and lands a straight right to the body of Caraway.  Caraway stands his ground and them comes forward again.  Rodriguez seizes the initiative and is coming forward once more, looking for an opening.  Rodriguez isn’t particularly fast, but he knows when to flurry.  He scores with four or five punches with seconds to go – the bell rings before Caraway can respond.

Round 4

Rodriguez is inching forward, ducking under Caraway’s hooks, and landing occasionally.  Caraway stops backing up and stands up to Rodriguez, landing a couple of hard hooks.  Rodriguez is better than advertised, and Caraway’s face is starting to show some wear.  Rodriguez is beginning to pull away, although Caraway has lightning in his hands and can occasionally land dazzlingly fast power punches. Rodriguez is backing up, circling to his left, and jabbing.  Caraway pops him with a big straight right, and Rodriguez comes forward again.  Rodriguez scores well with a power combination, and the bell rings with Caraway trying to score back.

Round 5

Both men are tentative to start the fifth.  Rodriguez again inches forward shooting the jab, and catching Caraway rushing in, lands a jab and a follow-up counter.  Caraway shows a moment of energy, but he’s covering up more now. Rodriguez is controlling the middle of the ring, picking his shots, and punishing Caraway.  Suddenly Caraway comes out of his shell with a beautiful right hand that puts Rodriguez off balance.  The fight is turning into a back-and-forth battle now, with each man taking turns scoring. Caraway throws a single straight right to Rodriguez’s midriff in an otherwise uneventful stretch.  Rodriguez lands a couple more power shots, the bell rings, and Rodriguez weaves back to his corner with blood oozing from his nose.

Round 6

Caraway wants to end it all at once, but Rodriguez catches him in mid-flurry, snapping his head back. Caraway is dangerous backing up, but Rodriguez continues to come forward.  Caraway lands a right-left and grins.  Caraway lunges in and bangs heads with Rodriguez.  Now they’re mauling, grappling. Rodriguez creates some space and chases Caraway across the ring, popping jabs and scoring.  Caraway eats a right from Rodriguez and they clinch.  Ten seconds to go, the fighters trade, the bell rings, and they smile and hug.

This is one of those inexplicable bad decisions where one fighter dominates the bout and gets stiffed.  I can not fathom how anyone gave  Caraway the win, let alone all three judges.

Bye-bye, Ouch, Oops, Wow,Well Done,Oh Heck, Congratulations!

Some disorganized thoughts about tonights fights and what they mean, if anything…

Rob Brant’s emphatic destruction of Delray Raines means that we’re unlikely to see Brant fight in his home state of Minnesota for a while.  As Brant observed in his post-fight interview, nine of his first twenty professional fights have taken place at Grand Casino Hinckley.  But his next bout is already listed for May 21st in Las Vegas, and provided he wins that one, he’s probably off to bigger and better things.  If/when he does fight in Minnesota again, it’ll probably be in the distant future and at a larger venue in the Twin Cities.

Speaking of Brant/Raines, a person in the know was heard to say that the reason Raines was unable to continue after his first-round knockdown was a dislocated rib.  This writer has never experienced a dislocated rib (let’s keep it that way) but it is said to be one of the most painful conditions in human experience.  Hopefully a video playback of that short fight will become available soon, but until then, I have to say that I didn’t see Brant land a body punch against Raines, and to his credit Brant acknowledged that he didn’t remember throwing one.  So the rib injury must have been suffered in the event of the collapse following a head punch, not as the direct result of a punch.

The Fistic Mystic does not like to criticize our local boxing officials or the indispensable work that they do, but once in a while they do err, and the Amouta-Carter fight is one of those instances.  Two of the three judges scored that bout for Amouta, and though he fought admirably against the odds, so did Hiroo Onoda.  (Look him up.)  It’s a shame that George Carter Jr has to take a loss in this fight, because he certainly didn’t deserve it.  Hopefully a prompt rematch can be arranged.

Tonight’s six-rounder between Dennis Hogan and Angel Hernandez was brought to you by the roulette wheel.  First Hernandez was scheduled as an opponent for 12-1-1 Antonio Johnson of Saint Paul, who holds the Minnesota light middleweight title.  Johnson suffered an eye injury and dropped out of the fight; 18-5 Mohammed Kayongo, the man who Johnson beat for the MN title, was named as Johnson’s replacement.  But that match didn’t last long, as Kayongo withdrew for undisclosed reasons.  So 22-1-1 Dennis Hogan of Australia was named as the third dance partner for Hernandez.  Now Hernandez might have been perceived as the hapless opponent, but he clearly didn’t see himself that way.  Hernandez was an aggressive, stubborn, tough, and clever opponent for the well-regarded Australian, and he made the paper mismatch an entertaining brawl.  Kudos to both fighters, but particularly to Angel Hernandez!

Markus Morris earned his win against Mike Fowler, though.  Good job, Markus.  It looked to me like Morris had a definite size advantage, but it wasn’t just size that won this fight for him; this victory was earned by way of aggression and tempo.

Sometimes a boxer encounters an unexpectedly tough opponent early in his career.  This happened to Michael Carbajal when he debuted against future world champion (and virtual unknown) Will Grigsby back in 1989, and it happened to Cory Thompson tonight, when he stepped in the ring with Michael Thunder.  Thunder is shorter than Thompson and he looks a little soft in the body.  I don’t know Thunder’s amateur credentials, but Thompson was an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves champ who was thought by some to be Minnesota’s most sweet-boxing amateur a couple of years ago.  Thompson is also tall, lanky, quick, skillful, and very fit.  But Thunder was a tough and persistent opponent who wouldn’t lie down or go away.  I hope that rather than be discouraged, Thompson will be inspired to work harder and learn more, to further his career in pugilism.

Ryan Watson looked like a man while fighting a man tonight.  He took some big punches and kept coming forward.  I know that BJ Lacy thought the fight was stopped prematurely, and maybe I should be more sympathetic, but it must have been clear to onlookers (as it was to me) that Lacy was overmatched and outclassed by the big-shouldered youngster from Duluth.

Last of all, let me offer congratulations to Phillip Adyaka, a tough young man who has dealt with some hard luck.  Adyaka is a tiny bull of a fighter, diminutive in height and densely muscled.  That means that he’s always at a disadvantage in height and reach.  But Adyaka won his super featherweight bout with Dale Bennett tonight in impressive fashion.

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Round by Round Report: April 15th, 2016 at Grand Casino Hinckley

Philip Adyaka (now 5-6 with 3 kayos) defeats Dale Bennett (now 1-2 with 1 kayo) by TKO in round 2 of a super featherweight bout

Round 1

Bennett rushes to the center of the ring and mauls Adyaka.  He lands a number of plodding punches, but no damage is done.  Bennett is coming forward.  He isn’t a highly skilled boxer, but he’s aggressive, lunging.  Adyaka lands a hard counter, which cuts Bennett’s aggression by half.  Adyaka is beginning to take the initiative, coming forward and throwing a lot of power shots that miss.  Finally he lands – left or right I couldn’t see – and Bennett begins retreating.  Adyaka pursues, scoring with a couple of short, glancing lefts.  Adyaka scores well and wobbles Bennett, who collects himself quickly and wrestles Adyaka to the canvas.  But Adyaka is all offense now.  Adyaka lands a huge looping (left?) that drops Bennett, who is clearly distressed, tapping his chin and flexing his jaw.  Bennett rises, and there’s a brief delay while his mouthguard is reinserted.  The round ends as soon as “time in” is called.

Round 2

Adyaka rushes Bennett, swarming and landing power shots, battering him from one end of the ring to the other.  Adyaka’s right lands, and Bennett reels backwards into the ropes, but does not go down.  Adyaka slows the pace of his attack.  Now coming forward but looking to counter, Adyaka lands a number of power shots and Bennett goes down.  Adyaka follows Bennett into the red corner and batters him, and finally referee Mark Nelson stops the bout.  Nelson calls for the doctor.  There’s talk in Bennet’s corner of a broken or dislocated jaw.

Ryan Watson (now 2-0 with 2 kayos) defeats BJ Lacy (now 0-1) by TKO in round 2 of a cruiserweight bout

Round 1

This round begins tentatively.  Watson jabs, then Lacy jabs.  A few seconds more and there’s a halfhearted exchange, but no one is tagged.  Watson cautiously double-jabs, backs up, and Lacy lands the first earnest punch of the bout, a left to the body.  Watson comes forward out of the corner and loops a left hand over Lacy’s guard, popping him in the head.  Lacy backs up and tells the younger Watson, “come on.”  Both men are too cautious to attack, so this round is tactical thus far.  Lacy throws a two punch combo, but it is ineffectual.  Watson is letting his left hand hang low.  Lacy comes forward landing a left and then a hard right to the head, but Watson is unaffected and comes forward.  After a more active exchange from both men, Watson scores nicely with a one-two.  The fighters both try to score as the bell rings, which pleases the crowd.

Round 2

Watson is circling to the right.  Lacy comes forward and tries him, and Watson clobbers him, but it was evidently ruled a trip, because Lacy jumped up and there was no count.  Watson misses on a counter, then Lacy attacks and lands a hard left to the body.  Watson disengages, re-engages, and lands a stiff jab.  Then another jab and a follow right.  Now Watson attacks, backs Lacy into a corner with a huge barrage, and batters him there.  Lacy puts his head down and pushes forward, all the while getting beat around the head and shoulders.  Lacy tries to go on offense, but Watson’s boxing is too precise, and Watson scores with many power shots.  Though Lacy is still trying to fight back, referee Russell Mora seems to have decided that the bout is no longer competitive, because he stops the fight over Lacy’s incredulous objection.

Michael Thunder (now 1-1 with no kayos) is defeated by Corey Thompson (now 2-0 with 1 kayo) by Unanimous Decision (39-36, 39-36, 39-36) in four rounds

Round 1

Thompson opens with some jabs, then pauses, and then misses with a sweeping left.  Thompson  clearly doesn’t respect his soft-bodied opponent, because he’s coming forward, trying to score early with big power shots.  Thunder, for his part, is moving his head and throwing counters, and it is he who scores first.  Thompson is trying to figure out this riddle.  Thompson is missing with his punches, and Thunder’s counters are landing with some frequency.  Thompson tries working from close in, and lands a couple of hooks.  Now Thunder is coming forward, albeit slowly, taking the initiative.  This is more favorable to Thompson, who scores a few times.  Ten seconds to go in the round, Thompson leads with a straight right that lands cleanly, and as the bell rings, Thunder responds with a right that scores.  Thunder’s corner congratulates him, telling him that he wobbled Thompson, but I’m afraid I didn’t see that.

Round 2

Thompson, who is much more physically imposing than Thunder, is sent out by his corner, who instruct him to ‘win this round.’  After about 30 seconds Thompson takes the fight to Thunder, coming forward and landing a left, then a right hook to the head that drops Thunder.  Thunder is hurt and angry, and he gets up, but now Thompson is taking more risks to put this fight away.  Thompson attacks and lands, but Thunder connects with a hard counter.  Referee Mark Nelson breaks the fighters, and Thompson attacks again.  Thunder lands a shot as Thompson steps, and Thompson is off balance, falling into a neutral corner and catching himself on the ropes.  Thompson shakes his head, signifying that he wasn’t hurt.  Now a moment of hot action, with both men attacking and a number of power shots landing.  Thunder is looking ragged and tired now.  Thompson lands a flurry of power shots as the bell rings.

Round 3

The round opens with a left from Thunder that misses, and a counter left from Thompson that lands and moves Thunder.  Thompson is looking sharper now, and he comes forward, landing some hurtful shots, but also eating a big left from Thunder in the bargain.  Thunder tries to come forward,  and Thompson sharpshoots him, landing to the face and head.  Thunder, who looks tired, puts his head forward and bulls forward, but he and Thompson both miss.  Now an exchange, and Thunder lands firt, but Thompson lands harder.  Thunder scores with a single right.  Thompson throws a five  punch combination, landing the last three.  Thompson attacks Thunder’s midsection.  Thompson connects with a single jab.  Thunder finally responds, landing a soft right.  Thompson goes on the attack, but Thunder moves his head and counters with a hard shot that Thompson shakes off.  There’s another exchange as the bell rings.

Round 4

Thunder’s corner acts disgusted in between rounds, telling him it’s the last round, and he should ‘suck it up.’  Thunder starts this round coming forward, but a precise Thompson makes him miss and counters successfully.  Thunder comes forward, but Thompson steps forward and tags him.  There’s a wild exchange in which Thunder misses with all his punches and Thunder goes body-head.  Thunder continues to pursue, and lands two shots.  The two fighters clash, and Thunder lands two more.  Thompson is moving and circling, going forward and back.  Thompson attacks, and Thunder connects with a left hook to the head.  Thompson is tentative now, and Thunder connects again.  Thunder is breathing hard though his mouth, and Thompson attacks.  Thompson scored more, but Thunder did land a parting shot.  Thompson attacks again, and outlands Thunder, but fight fans appreciate that Thunder is game and does land another big straight right.  After a further exchange, the bell rings and the fight is over.

Markus Morris (now 8-2 with 4 kayos) defeats Mike Fowler (now 5-2 with 2 kayos) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a super lightweight bout

Round 1

Morris jabs, Fowler counters, and the fight is on.  Morris is chasing and Fowler retreats to the ropes, where Morris lands a right that buckles his knees, but Fowler seems alright and the fight continues.  Morris, emboldened, attacks and chases Fowler across the ring.  Morris catches fowler, but Fowler counters and mauls, tying Morris up.  Morris attacks and Fowler tries to jump away a la Mayweather, but Morris lands a right as Fowler springs backwards.  Morris attacks again, and there’s an exchange along the ropes near the blue corner.  Morris follows Fowler across the ring to the red corner and scores nicely, but back in the center of the ring Fowler lands a power shot, his best scoring shot of the fight so far.  Morris continues on the prowl, but Fowler ducks under a wide ranging hook.  Now Morris does the same, ducking a Fowler punch.  But Morris catches Fowler and as the round ends he lands one good punch.

Round 2

Morris is aggressive as the round begins, but Fowler wants to exchange now, and so they do.  Fowler is putting up a little stiffer opposition in round 2, hitting and sidestepping, popping Morris and moving away.  After 30 seconds of advantage fowler is stymied as Morris stands up to his attack, landing one counter.  Now the pace slows.  Morris triple jabs but misses.  Fowler lungers forward from the southpaw stance, landing a straight left that snaps Morris’s head back.  Morris comes forward and catches up with Fowler, landing a one-two.  Fowler comes forward, lands two single shots, ducks a counter from Morris.  Morris chases Fowler and lands a couple of glancing blows.  Fowler is inching forward with his hands down.  Morris is unable to land, there’s a tie-up, now Morris lands a left a fraction of a second after the bell.

Round 3

The pace is faster at the start of round 3, and lands with some success.  Fowler is warned by referee Russell Mora for head butting.  In an ordinary exchange Morris lands a left hook to the head that wobbles Fowler, and Fowler wilts under continued attack, finally going to his knees.  There’s an eight count, and the bout continues.  Now Morris attacks with abandon, chasing Fowler around the ring and missing more than he dconnects, but finally cornering Fowler against the ropes in the red corner and powering in a straight right that hurts Fowler.  Fowler looks damaged, but he recovers nicely and slickly dodges some more of Morris’s most earnest punches.

Round 4

Morris is in full attack mode as round 4 begins, backing Fowler into the ropes, but Fowler exchanges with him on even terms.  Fowler can be a pretty good fighter, in spurts.  Morris follows Fowler across the ring, landing a one-two, but Fowler gets away.  Morris chases him down again…Morris lands a straight right that bent Fowler back.  Some more shuffling around and Morris does it again.  Morris is trying to keep the pressure on, and it’s having the desired effect.  Fowler dodges a punch and throws a counter that misses.  Morris comes forward again and Fowler ties him up.  Morris punches out of the tie-up and lands two more, then Fowler fires back.  Morris and Fowler trade in a phone booth, but Fowler’s punches land with less authority.  There’s another tie up, and the bell rings just before Morris lands one more punch.

Round 5

Morris is chasing again in round 5.  Fowler tries to trade, and Morris pops him with a hard right hand.    Fowler is moving okay and looks alert, but his aggression is waning.    A Morris attack ends with a tie up, and Fowler’s corner yells at him “now is the time!”  Fowler attacks with good effect, makes Morris miss, then throws another combo that ends with a hard right hook to the body.  Morris continues to chase, traps Fowler against the ropes, and lands a straight, but Fowler is resilient.  Morris attacks again and Fowler retreats.  Morris attacs again, but Fowler makes him miss.  Tensconds left in the round, there’s an exchange of hard punches and Morris outlands Fowler, bouncing him backwards.  The two engage again as the bell rings.

Round 6

Fowler comes out aggressive and the two exchange, but the exchange ends badly, with a clash of heads.  Fowler is the more bothered. The fight resumes and Morris lands some hard shots in the red corner, hurting Fowler, but Fowler escapes.  Morris chases him down again and there’s a tie up.  More chasing and Morris lands a har left to the beak of Fowler.  Fowler is overmatched but game, and now the two are shoulder to shoulder, trading power shots in the center of the ring.  There’s a clinch, and a break.  Fowler lands a single hard left, ducks a Morris flurry, and runs away.  Morris chases and lands one left that snaps Fowler’s head back.  There is no artistry to this fight.  More mauling, and Morris lands another single shot.  As the ten second warning sounds, both men attack, but neither lands effectually.

RJ Laase (12-2) -vs- Ricky Smith (3-8), welterweights, scheduled for x rounds

No Result – this fight was canceled due to Smith’s failure to make weight

Dennis Hogan (now 23-1-1 with 7 kayos) defeats Angel Hernandez (now 17-18-1 with 13 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 6 rounds (59-55 on all three scorecards) in a light middleweight bout

Round 1

Hernandez is the more active fighter in the earely going, probably recognizing that his best chance of victory is a lucky punch before he runs out of steam.  So Hernandez attacks and attacks, and Hogan sidesteps or dodges most of the punches.  After a lengthy wait, Hogn finally throws a couple of power shots that connect.  Hogan punches Hernandez into the ropes, but Hernandez rebounds and aattacks with urgency.  Hogan steps into an attack that stuns Hernandez against the ropes – when Hernandez just stands there, Hogan attacks with gusto and punches him out of his daze.  The remainder of the round consists of Hogan being sharper and Hernandez being tougher than expected.

Round 2

Hernandez comes out aggressive again, but Hogan counters his jabs with greater precision.  Hernandez does sneak in a hard left that scores for him, but Hogan grabs him and holds on, pounding Hernandez in the ribs until referee Mark Nelson calls a break.  Hernandez is looking for an opening, and attacks gamely, but Hogan deftly dodges a punch and attacks with far greater effectiveness.  Hernandez is showing that Hogan can be hit.  Hogan follows a retreating Hernandez and lands a rising right hook to the body, and Hernandez tries not to react.  Hernandez is fighting from the outside now, and Hogan is making more of an effective to catch him.  Hogan corners Hernandez and lands hard, flush shots that bend Hernandez over, but Hernandez explodes in an attack that pleases the crowd, even if it won’t influence the outcome of the fight.  There’s a break, and then a bell.

Round 3

Hernandez attacks at the bell, Hogan clinches, and there’s mauling until the ref calls a break.  In the center of the ring Hogan lands a looping right, then another one.  But Hernandez won’t go easily, and he comes forward again, flailing and landing.  Hogan comes forward and lands a right to the belly, then sidesteps Hernandez’s attempted counter.  Hernandez ducks into an attack, but it fizzles out.  Hogan is coming forward now, then tries to punch out of a clinch, landing something more than shoeshine but less than serious punches.  Hogan is inching forward, but Hernandez is a wily veteran and grabs his arm.  Hogan lands a right that sends Hernandez’s mouthpiece into my lap.  After a brief break the fight resumes, and Hogan’s superior timing is showing.  However Hernandez won’t back down, and does land a couple of scoring shots.  Hernandez comes forward, but Hogan counters and sends Hernandez reeling, then presses the attack as the bell sounds.

Round 4

Hernandez comes out jabbing hard.  Hogan comes forward, and there’s a hard exchange in which both men land good shots.  Another exchange ends with a headbutt, and Hernandez scurries across the ring complaining of a painfully injured brow.  After a brief interlude, Hernandez goes on the attack again, but Hogan reverses his momentum and presses forward.  The bodies clash, and another exchange devolves into a clinch.  Hogan comes forward and lands a hard right to the Hernandez’s side.  Hogan is looking to do real damage now.  Hernandez back into a corner then comes out with guns blazing, and both men land.  I couldn’t tell you who landed the better punch.  Both men circle right, then stop and Hogan comes forward.  Hogan punches Hernandez into a corner, but Hernandez bulls out again.  Hernandez, who knows a few tricks, lands a right hook and a left elbow just before the bell.

Round 5

Hernandez is out for blood in the sixth, lands a power shot, then powers forward and actually punches Hogan into a corner for the first time.  From Hogan’s perspective this fight has gone on too long already, and he’s coming forward again.  Hernandez lunges forward in an off-balance attack, and that would have been a good time for Hogan to score, but the moment passes.  Hogan is moving a lot now, forward and back, side to side, and lands a good scoring shot.  There’s a break and Hogan steps into a right hand that lands, but without much steam.  Another exchange ends with Hernandez landing and Hogan countering much harder, jolting Hernandez’s head.  Ten seconds to go, Hogan  double jabs and follows Hernandez, who fires forward just before the bell.

Round 6

Hernandez rushes forward with a furious attack and pops Hogan a good one, spraying sweat into the crowd.  Hernandez is jab-jab-jabbing, but he’s jabbing at Hogan’s hands.  Now Hogan attacks, step-jabbing and landing, then following with a good right to the body.  After a break Hernandez attacks and lands, but in an exchange Hogan knocks Hernandez’s mouthpiece out again.  Referee Nelson lets the exchange peter out before pausing the action for reapplication of protection.  In the next exchange Hogan lands a jab that snaps Hernandez’s head back, but soon after another exchange sees Hernandez exchange on even terms with Hogan.  Hogan seeks the momentum and attacks with hard, damaging punches to the head and espectially the body, scoring well.  Hernandez responds with an attack of his own and with about fifteen seconds left in the round Hogan knocks his mouthpiece out yet again.  The exchange continues and the round (and the fight) end before Nelson calls time.

Hernandez gave a good account of himself, but for harder and more effective punching Hogan should get the win.

Joe Amouta (now 5-1 with 2 kayos) defeats George Carter Jr. (now 13-2-1 with 7 kayos) by split decision (58-56 Carter, 58-56 Amouta, 58-56 Amouta) after six rounds in a super middleweight bout

Round 1

This bout begins with both fighters emphasizing caution and quickness.  The first effective punching doesn’t occur until, after 30 or 40 seconds of tactics, Carter backs Amouta into a corner, but the action is short-lived   Both fighters are feinting and feeling each other out.  Carter backs Amout into a corner again, but fails to make hay.  Back in the center of the ring Carter comes forward punching and lands a left to Amouta’s head, to which Amouta nods in respect.  The round ends with no further effective activity.

Round 2

Orthodox Amouta and southpaw Carter are jabbing tentatively in the early going, but Carter inches forward until he traps Amouta against the ropes and bangs him to the body.  Amouta is eager to rumble though, and after backing into the ropes again, he hammers Carter back with both hands.  Carter is using his shoulder and his weight to force Amouta to go places he doesn’t want to go, but he hasn’t visibly hurt Amouta.  Carter is a physical presence in this ring, but Amouta isn’t backing down, and even as Carter using great speed and quickness to land power shots to the head, Amouta doesn’t flinch.  Nevertheless, Carter is gaining the advantage here.  Here’s an exchange, and both men land once.  Amouta attacks at the ten-second hammer and for the first time forces Carter backwards, landing one and perhaps two power punches before the bell.

Round 3

Our fighters are stationary in the center of the ring, both jabbing for position.  Amouta inches forwar and lands a flush right to Carter’s head, then moments later does the same thing again.  Carter stands his ground and fires back.  Amouta steps forward and lands anotehre right, and then another.  Cartr terns him nto the ropes and lands a hard,, short right hook.  In an exchange Amouta seems to drag his foot and loses his balance, but Carter doesn’t capitalize on his momentary discomfiture.  More jabbing, and both  men are showing respect.  Carter rushes Amouta into a corner, but Amouta counters more effectively than Carter attacks.  Amouta launches a counterattack and wobbles Carter with a flush-landing punch.  Amouta is gaining confidence and feinting, covering up, coaxing…trying to lure Carter into an attack, but Carter withholds until the bell rings.

Round 4

Amouta is the more active and aggressive fighter at the beginning of the fourth, jabbing and lunging, trying to land.  Carter backs him into a corner and lands solidly, but Amouta shakes his head.  Carter is taller and looks bigger, and he is bullying Amouta into the ropes,then trying to create enough distance to land.  it works intermittently.  Break. Amouta comes forward and lands a straight right that buckles Carter’s knees.  Carter is sturdy though, and responds with equal aggression, though not equaling Amouta’s result.  The rest of the round includes much activity but little action, and produces no further scoring.

Round 5

Amouta is backing up, but suddenly changes direction and lands a left hook to Carter’s head.  Carter comes alive, attacking and scoring.  One senses that Carter is more physically gifted than Amouta, and his physical advanges need to be greater than Amouta’s stubborn toughness.  Carter shoulders Amouta into the ropes again, and begins to outwork him, effectively shoving Amouta to create enough space to land power shots.  Amouta gets free and circles to his right.  Both men attack at the same time, neither scores, and they tie up.  Break.  Carter is dancing and feinting in the center of the ring; he feels his advantage now.  Amouta tries to attack and score just before the bell, but Carter moves his head and nothing lands.

Round 6

The boxers sportingly touch gloves before beginning the sixth.  Carter is staying on the outside, jabbing and pawing.  Amouta comes forward and lands one hard straight right.  Carter responds with a flurry that scores.  More jabbing from Carter.  Carter tries to follow that right jab with a straight left, but Amouta dodges it.  Now in the center of the ring the two men trade, and Amouta gives ground to the bigger Carter.  They tie up in the ropes, break, and move to the center of the ring.  Amouta rushes forward and Carter ducks under his offense.  Amouta attacks again, and Carter counters with a right hook that scores.  Carter again pushes Amouta into a corner – Amouta turns him, but the referee steps in and breaks them.  Now they trade, and Amouta landed last and got the best of it.  Carter steps into a lead left hook and lands it.  Ten seconds to go, and the two wait until the last second to flurry, with Amouta landing the harder punch.  The fight is over.

Samoa Joe Amouta took the SD win in this bout, but the Fistic Mystic cannot countenance this result.  It is thought here that Carter was clearly the stronger and more effective fighter.

Rob “Bravo” Brant (now 20-0 with 13 kayos) defeats Delray “The Rainmaker” Raines (now 19-13-2 with 14 kayos) by TKO in round 1 to defend his WBA-NABA Middleweight title.  The bout is stopped by ref Mark Nelson at :55 of the first round.

Round 1

Raines tries to touch gloves, but Brant ignores his outstretched hand and rushes forward with a triple jab that misses.  Raines tries to attack but loses his balance, stumbling toward the ropes in Brant’s (blue) corner.  Raines shrugs, circles, and decides to fight from close in.  Raines attempts an attack, but Brant responds with a furious flurry to the head, and Raines drops.  Raines attempts to rise to his knees, then drops in obvious pain, holding his side.  His agonized grimace alarms referee Mark Nelson, who waves the fight off and motions for medical assistance.

Special thanks to Mike Loge of Unishippers for logistical assistance.

Unishippers logo

Round-by-Round Report: August 28th, 2015 at Grand Casino Hinckley

Markus Morris (now 7-2 with 4 kayos) defeats Patrick Cape (now 6-12 with 3 kayos) by TKO at 1:54 of round one.

Round 1

The round begins with the fighters circling left.  Morris attacks first, catching Cape with an awkward punch, moving Cape’s head.  Cape escapes, no worse for wear, but Morris is the aggressor and resumes the attack.  Cape is is blocking Morris’s punches with his head in the early going.  Our fighters get into a phone booth and in a near-clinch Morris lands a solid left that drops Cape to his knees.  After the fight resumes there’s lots of rough stuff, with Morris landing lots of short hooks.  Cape is dropped again but beats the count, but looks a little disoriented in the neutral corner.  After another resumption, Morris attacks with purpose and Cape takes another short right, drops a third time.  Referee Mark Nelson stops the fight at 1:54 of round 1.

Raul Munoz (now 23-20 with 16 kayos) is defeated by Mohammad Kayongo  (now 18-4-1 with 13 kayos) by TKO at 2:14 of round 1

Round 1

Munoz starts out circling to Kayongo’s right.  Kayongo rotates to face his opponent.  Munoz throws several jabs to open the fight, but there’s no intent.  Munoz is moving, moving, moving.  Now Munoz steps forwar and lands one good left jab and moves out    Munoz is looking to score, but the next time he comes in Kayongo lands and chases him.    Munoz is moving, circling…he comes close again and Kayongo counters with a power shot.  ow the pattern is set, with Munoz stepping forward and Kayongo landing a wicked series of power punches.  Munoz looks wobbly for a moment, but collects himself and moves away.  One last time, the fighters close the gap, and Kayongo lands a killer combination of hooks to the body.  Munoz crumbles.  He’s grimacing as he rolls onto his back, and there’s no doubt it’s over.  Referee Gary Miezwa counts him out, and that’s a TKO win for the African Assassin.

Antwan Robertson (now 10-14-1 with 6 kayos) defeats  Philip Adyaka (now 4-6 with 2 kayos) by Unanimous decision after five rounds.  (48-47, 48-47,48-47)

Round 1

Adyaka leads things off with a snappy jab.  Both men feint, then both jab.  The fighters are measuring.  Robertson attacks like I haven’t seen him do in years, landing a one-two that scores nicely.  Robertson attacks again, but Adyaka counters.  Now Adyaka comes forward, landing a one-two.  Adyaka isses with a left hook and Robertson makes him pay with a double counter.  They tie up in the ropes, and breakk.  Adyaka is inching forward, leads with a triple jab, and scores.  Robertson is moving more, shuffling to his left.  Now Robertson retreats and gets into a corner.  Adyaka comes forward, but robertson runs.  They circle the ring, Adyaka finally attacking.  There’s an exchange that benefits neither man.  Ten seconds to go and Robertson tries to get busier, but Adyaka ties him up and lands several shots in the clinch.  The bell rings with Robertson trying to connect overhanded.

Round 2

Adyaka is coming forward in round two, the taller Robertson moving his feet to stay outside.  Now Robertson picks a spot and a clinch.    Robertson tries to touch and go, but gets caught by a left hook.  Adyaka comes forward, jabbing, and Robertson flurries then scoots.  Adyaka comes forward again and lands two of three power shots.  Robertson is staying outside, moving to hiss left.  Adyaka is looking for a big scores.  Robertson sticks and moves.  Adyaka steps in and lands a big left-right.    Adyaka steps forward and leads with a left hook that scores.  Adyaka is chasing, throws a double jab that bothers robertson.  Adyaka jabs and Robertson throws a counter that misses.  ten seconds to go, Robertson lands a hammering one-two.  There’s some shuffling, but no more offense before the sound.

Round 3

Adyaka is coming straight forward, leading with lunging jabs.  John Hoffman, in Robertson’s corner, keeps saying “He can’t tough you.”  But then Adyaka touches him with a serious one-two.  Robertson tries to swoop in, land, and move away.  Adyaka is getting closer, and there’s an occasional score, but …Adyaka finally gets inside and there’s a furious exchange.  Adyaka, bleeding from the mouth, rushes in and takes a big shot from Robertson.  His knees give, but he springs back up before hitting the deck.  Adyaka is infuriated, and comes forward again, throwing power shots.  Adyaka’s blood is on robertson’s shoulder and back.  Adyaka lunges forward, missing with wild power shots.  Robertson counters, landing a nice scoring shot.  Adyaka gets inside again, and Robertson ties him up.  They’re getting rough in there.  Miezwa tries to break them up, but Adyaka keeps throwing.  The bell rings.

Round 4

Adyaka comes looking for Robertson’s blood this round, and lands a number of power shots on Robertson’s guard.   Robertson is trying to keep him outside, but Adyaka’s aggression is hard to deny.  After a big flurry, Adyaka reins it in.  Adyaka tries to get inside, and Robertson lands a thunderous punch to the head that leaves Adyaka weak in the knees.  Adyaka is alert though, and resumes stalking Robertson.  now Robertson is glaring and flexing.  That kind of showboating can backfire.  Adyaka steps back and beckons Robertson, but Robertson isn’t biting.  Adyaka comes forward again, but Robertson stays away.  Robertson steps back one time to omany, gets his back into the ropes, and Adyaka catches him, but Adyaka can’t capitalize.  Ten seconds to go and Adyaka goes on the attack again, nearly ending up in a clinch, landing a left to the body at the bell.

Round 5

Ayaka knows he’s behind, and he’s looking for a big round.  Double jab, right hand from Adyaka.  Adyaka charges forward, Robertson has to leap out of the way and misses with a counter.  Tiny Adyaka, muscled like a bull, just can’t get inside on the lankier Robertson.  Adyaka comes forward with a triple jab but misses.  Adyaka charges forward again, landing several jabs to the body, but nothing showy.  Robertson seems content to run.  Adyaka traps Robertson against the ropes and lands two or three power shots to the body.  Coming forward again, Adyaka lands a big snapping right to the head.  Then again, and again.  Robertson retreats into a corner, Adyaka pursues and lands again.  This is Adyaka’s best round, as he has scored repeatedly on a shrinking Robertson.  The bell rings and both men turn away.  There is no evident love here.

The crowd boos the decision because they view this bout as a fight, instead of as a boxing match.  If it’s a fight, Adyaka wins.  Because boxing matches are scored like figure skating, Robertson wins.

George Carter Jr (now 12-0-1 with 6 kayos) defeats Ricky Smith (now 3-7) by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Round 1

Smith and Carter meet immediately in the center of the ring, but they start out by pawing and feinting.  There’s a momentary pause, and Carter explodes with sudden power shots.  Smith is unfazed and scoots away.  Carter lands a power shot to the head, but Smith walks through it and clinches.  After the break, Carter attacks again with speed and power, but Smith is cagey and tough, refusing to be hurt.  Carter is forced to respect his opponent’s chin, if not his speed.  Smith dodges a left hook from Carter, and they clinch, then break.  Now there’s an exchange in which Smith actually lands a couple of punches, and for the first time this evening we’re going past the first round.  Bell.

Round 2

Smith looks more confident this round, poking the jab out and moving his head.  Carter is jabbing for measure.  There’s a break, then a clash that includes a bump of heads. Smith lands a right to the body before Miezwa breaks them up.  Carter is coming forward, looking for a big scoring punch, and bends Smith over with a punch to the midsection, but Smith doesn’t go down.  Smith is retrating and moving left, Carter is trying to put him away.  Smith’s corner tells him to “give him the business once in a while.”  Smith is holding his own this round.  He won’t hurt Carter, but he is scoring occasionally.  There’s another break, and Smith lands  ajab to the body.  Carter’s frustration is starting to show.  Smith dodges a punch and Carter growls in frustration.  Smith is showing some nifty moves, but one looks at that soft body and wonders how long he can keep it up.

Round 3

Carter is coming forward and loading up.  Smith is circling left.  Carter lands a flush shot to the head.  Smith responds with a glancing jab.  Carter’s speed and power are obvious, but his ring IQ is unfortunately not high.  Carter lands with a lead left that jolts Smith, but fails to follow up.  Smith is circling left again.  Carter misses with two jabs, but then lands two power punches.  Smith feints.  Carter throws a sweeping right that misses.  Smith throws a one-two that Carter ducks.  Carter is coming forward again, but Smith is proving hard to catch.  Now Smith comes forward with a triple jab, but nothing lands.  Carter with a left hook to the body.  Carter with a left jab to the head.  Smith is attacking ineffectually as the bell sounds.

Round 4

Carter is landing single shots to the body.  Now Carter flurries and lands a bomb.  The two meet in the center of the ring and trade, and the crowd cheers.   Carter continues to pursue and occasionally score.  Smith with a power punch to the head, there’s a rarity.  Carter comes forward and throws three punches, but Smith blocks.  Carter throws, Smith ducks, and Carter lands an overhand right.  There’s a close encounter and Carter is warned to keep his punches up.  Carter continues to press the action, and finally is rewarded when he lands, then lands again.    Smith jabs.  Carter steps into a left hook.  After a break, Carter attacks and lands big.  He follows Smith and lands several hurtful shots.  Smith, surprisingly, gets angry and trades with him.  Now the crowd is roaring!  Carter has his back to the ropes as the round ends, but seems unhurt.

Round 5

Carter is loading up, Smith pawing in the early going.  Carter steps forward and stabs a jab into Smith’s body, but Smith dances away, pounding his chest and belly.  The crowd likes the showmanship.  Smith leads with a left hook that misses and Carter reaches outside to land a right hook to the body.  Carter pushes Smith into the ropes, and Gary Miezwa breaks them up.  Carter is chasing, and lands a downhill right that leaves Smith wobbling.  The chase is on!  Carter is walking forward and throwing power shots, Smith is retreating, looking hurt.  Carter lands a big hook!  Smith, retreating, throws a straight right that lands flush.  Smith is an unlikely looking fighter, but he seems to hold up okay.  Ten seconds to go, Carter is lo0king to put Smith away, but Smith ties him up, then flurries with him as time expires.

Smith never had a chance in this physical mismatch, but he seems pleased to have frustrated his younger, fitter opponent, and the crowd is amused.

Cerresso Fort (now 18-4-1 with 12 kayos is defeated by Romon Barber (now 5-9 with 4 kayos) ; referee stops fight before the start of the sixth round

Round 1

The fight begins with tactical sparring, a lot of jabbing.  Barber is a tough guy, a gamer.  Fort hasn’t looked great the last few times out.  About midway through the round Fort steps into a jab that knocks Barber off balance, but when Fort pursues, Barber counters effectively and scores.  Barber is coming forward, but Fort is taller and stymies him for a moment.  When Barber gets inside, Fort ties him up.  Barber is getting more aggressive as the fight progresses, but Fort makes him pay.  There’s a near clinch, but they wrestle out of it, and the round ends.

Round 2

Barber comes right out to start the round, and though Fort at first proves hard to hit, Barber keeps charging in, and there’s a series of power shots, a tangle, and Fort goes down in the ropes.  Referee Mark Nelson pauses the bout to have a brief word with the combatants, and the fight resumes.  Fort is trying to stay ouside and  box.  Barber is trying to make it a war, coming forward and ducking.  Barber finally gets close and Fort ties him up.  After the break, Barber lunges forward and misses with a straight left.  fort’s footwork  and balance seem off.  Barber gets inside, throws a punch as he steps back, and rocks fort.  All of Fort’s movements seem compromised, from his exaggerated upper body movement to his clumsy feet.  Just before the round ends, Barber throws out a lead that Fort counters.

Round 3

Barber is eager to begin.  he comes forward and ducks a couple of sweeping lefts from Fort.  Fort jabs tentatively – that would have scored nicely if he’d put more behind it.  Barber is energetic, on his toes, coming forward.  Fort is jabbing and moving backwards.  Barber’s eagerness puts him in awkward positions, but Fort doesn’t take advantage.  Now they’re jabbing, with neither man taking the initiative.  Barber comes forward again, but Fort wards him off with a slow jab.  Fort is coming forward now, throwing wreckingball rights.  Barber ducks a bunch of them, but some connect, and the audience is impressed.  Barber comes forward again, but runs out of time in the third.

Round 4

Fort is jabbing to start the round, but Barber gets close enough to turn Fort’s head with a right.  Barber is coming forward again, and lands a big lunging left hook that staggers fort.  Barber has the definite advantage at this moment.  Barber continues to hunt his opponent.  Fort ties Barber up and walks forward, pushing the smaller Barber backwards and into the ropes.  this fight is devolving into a wrestling match.  Back in the center of the ring, Barber is dancing.  The fighters trade, and fort scores.  Barber hurts Fort with a power shot, chases him, and does it again!    Barber pursues Fort to the blue corner and lands a huge left that leaves Fort wavering, but the bell rings.  Fort does not look good.

Round 5

At the starting bell, Fort is called to a neutral corner to be inspected by the doctor.  The doctor nods at Mark Nelson, and the fight resumes.  Barber goes back on the attack, but Fort nullifies it momentarily.  There’s a clinch, and another break.  Fort is retreating, Barber coming forward.  Barber knows what’s been working, and he’s reluctant to take a backward step.  Barber steps into a counter left from Fort, a small victory for Fort in a fight that isn’t going well.  Barber comes forward again and eats a jab from Fort, but he again comes forward.  Barber steps forward and swallows a jab – Is Fort coming out of his stupor?  Barber continues to come forward, but he’s missing with those power shots this round.  Ten seconds to go, and Fort throws a big right, Barber ducks under it, and Fort nearly topples over.  This observer is concerned for Cerresso Fort’s health.

There’s some confusion in the ring.  Has the fight been stopped?  Yes, on the doctor’s advice referee Mark Nelson has stopped this bout.  Romon Barber wins.

Robert Brant (now 17-0 with 11 kayos) defeats Lekan Byfield (now 6-11-2 with 1 kayo) by TKO at 2:19 in round 3 of 8 rounds scheduled.

Round 1

Brant comes out immediately shooting a serious jab that connects.  Byfield, not to be intimidated, throws back.  Brant is staying in close, looking to put on a show.  Byfield steps forward with a one-two.  Brant responds in kind, flurrying as he comes forward.  Brant has a major league jab, and he is using it – a lot.  Brant pursues Byfield to the ropes, landing a left-right-right.  Byfield waggles his tongue as he retreats.  Brant doesn’t want to be shown up, so he turns on the juice, battering Byfield, but Byfield is a serious fighter.  Brant is taking some chances now, trying to trap and pummel his belligerent opponent.  Brant lands a series of power shots, punctuating the attack with a reaching left hook on a retreating Byfield.  byfield loses his mouthguard.  Action resumes for a few seconds before the bell, Brant scoring with hard shots.

Round 2

Brant comes forward, looking to score, and Byfield lands a left-right, two very good punches. Brant shakes it off and resumes thattack.  There’s a roving exchange, and Brant gets the better of it, sending Byfield reeling.  Byfield lands an uppercut.  Brant comes forward, leaves himself unguarded, and Byfield scores.  Brant fires a fusillade of hot power shots, and Byfield is hurt.  Brant chases Byfield into the blue corner and rocks him with a series of fast and hard punches from both hands.  Byfield escapes momentarily, but Brant clobbers him with a right.  Byfield barely kept his feet after that.  Brant is coming forward.  Byfield jabs to the body, then throws some arm-swinging punches that have no effect.  Brant continues to attack, and though Byfield blocks some punches, he absorbs more.

Round 3

Byfield comes out swinging.  He’s regained his swagger.  He’s better stop sticking his tongue out, or it’ll get mailed home.  Byfield lands several power shots on Brant – Brant comes forward.  Brant steps forward and eats a big right hand that buckles his knees, but his eyes are impassive and he regains his footing.  Byfield is fighting in close, and Brant wants to sharpshoot him.  Brant steps in again, but he’s stopped short by a series of punches from different angles.  Brant steps through the counters, batters Byfield from angry angles, and drops him with a big left to the head.  Byfield is up before the count, but he’s wobbly.  Brant jumps on him, cracks him like an egg, and Byfield stumbles across the ring while referee Gary Miezwa chases him, trying to catch him while waving off the fight.  It’s over, TKO for Brant.

Al Sands (now 15-2 with 13 kayos) is defeated by Phil “The Drill” Williams (now 15-7 with 14 kayos) at 2:36 in round 1 of ten rounds scheduled.  Williams becomes the new Minnesota State Cruiserweight Champion.

Round 1

Sands throws first tonight, jab, jab, jab, double jab.  Nothing connects.  Williams ducks and jabs, and lands to the body.  Everything is jabs to start with, then Sands finally follows a jab with a straight right.  Williams stabs his foot forward and jabs to the body.  For the first time Williams turns his hips and throws a right, but it grazes Sands’ body.  Williams gets inside and throws a combination, but Sands counters and scores.  Williams sticks a hard jab to Sands’ midsection.  Williams steps and throws a left hook that lands on Sands neck and shoulder and staggers Sands.  He hesitates just a moment, then jumps on Sands.  Williams pounds Sands without mercy, beating him from pillar to post, and Sands staggers toward the ropes and then collapses.  Sands is up quickly, but has to hold on to a rope to stop from falling over, and referee Mark Nelson calls it!  TKO win for Williams, and Minnesota has a new cruiserweight champion.

Two Minnesota Fighters to Perform on TV in April

On April 11th, Caleb Truax challenges Danny Jacobs in New York City for Jacobs’ WBA World Middleweight Title. (This title represents what we used to call #1 contender, as the actual WBA “SUPER CHAMPION” is Gennady Golovkin.) This event will be televised on NBC.

Then on April 17th we have Robert Brant -vs TBA at Grand Casino Hinckley. Brant is a boxing prodigy – won a national amateur title within a year of putting on the gloves for the first time. Rumors are circulating that Brant is hoping to fight another local middleweight with impressive amateur credentials. This event will be televised on CBS Sports Network.