Tag Archives: Carl Daniels

What’s News?

I heard the familiar thud-thud-thud of helicopter rotors tonight, a sound that – oddly – warms my heart.  That distinctive sound of a helicopter reminds me of the last few months that I lived with both of my parents before they separated for good.  My dad was a soldier (still is, in fact) and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  In those days the sound of helicopters, loud and low, was a constant accompaniment to daily life; a happy memory, bittersweet to recollect.

I glanced up at the night sky in time to see a medivac helicopter, only a few hundred feet up, racing toward the hospital on the north end of town.  I thought to myself, “I wonder who’s hurt or dying up there.”  I pondered some possibilities – a victim of violent crime, a farmer fresh from a machinery mishap, a motorist hurt in a traffic accident…I wondered, “Will I find out from the ten o’clock news?”


But here’s a strange thing about “the news” – it’s only news if “the news” tell us that it is.  In the spirit of the old cliche (if it bleeds it leads), let’s consider the most prevalent variety of news item: how many crimes are committed every day in an American city?  How many of those crimes are reported on the TV news?  The newspaper presents a greater volume of news, it’s true, but even they don’t get it all – especially considering the widespread cutbacks which have afflicted their industry lately.

A few weeks ago a professional athlete nearly died in competition, right here in Minnesota.  Jesse Barbot suffered a subdural hematoma during a boxing match at Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen and had to be rushed, in a 100 mph ambulance ride, 75 miles to the big hospital in my adopted hometown of Fargo for emergency surgery.  Barbot’s story is well on its way to a happy ending; it appears that the doctors were able to avert any permanent neurological damage, and Barbot was able to check out of the hospital and go home yesterday.  News coverage: Zero.

The next four weeks will bring Minnesota fight fans more fights than we’ll know what to do with.  Starting with November 13th we have a sold-out, televised show featuring two of the highest-profile boxers in Minnesota in the main event (Matt Vanda and Phil Williams), as well as the professional debut of an elite amateur (Javontae Starks).  From there we move on to November 20th in St Paul, when a local boy (Caleb Truax) fights a former world champ (Carl Daniels) for a minor title belt, then a Minnesota-based African immigrant (Mohammed Kayongo) fights a California-based prospect who is bringing in an entourage of his Welsh compatriots (James Todd) for another minor title belt.  Finally, on December 4th, Minnesota’s top two heavyweight prizefighters (Joey Abell and Raphael Butler) duke it out for bragging rights and a state championship belt at Target Center.  Supporting fights for this downtown Minneapolis event will feature a Jungle Boy, a Freight Train, and a Prodigy.

Will any of these events be considered news by the mainstream press?  I wouldn’t bet on it.


Minnesota Boxing Scene: In Overdrive

These are heady days for the Minnesota fight scene.  Join me as I survey the the Minnesota boxing fan’s calendar…

  • November 4 at Camp Lejuene, NC Jason Litzau faces Johnnie “The LumberJack” Edwards (15-4 with 8 kayos) at 130# in a bout to be televised on ESPN2.  Following his seemingly effortless demolition of Verquan Kimbrough (then 21-1-2)  in August, a win here would appear to set Litzau up nicely for something bigger in the near future.
  • Willshaun Boxley takes on another big challenge November 6 when he meets Salvador Sanchez (16-3 with 8 kayos) in a six-rounder in Las Vegas.  Boxley has shown a ton of ambition in the past year, jumping up from the usual early-career patsies to face men with records of 12-7 (Boxley won by unanimous decision), 10-1 (Boxley lost by majority decision), and 10-1 (Boxley lost by unanimous decision).  Sanchez is a pretty good young fighter, but he may have bitten off more than he knows with Boxley.
  • November 13th at Grand Casino Hinckley we find a stacked card – by Minnesota standards anyway – presented by promoter Midwest Sports Council.  Phil Williams and Matt Vanda headline, supported by Wilton Hilario -vs- Leon Bobo, unbeaten prospect Cerresso Fort, Javontae Starks’ pro debut, and more.  Four bouts from this event will be televised on Fox Sports North immediately after the conclusion of the Minnesota Wild hockey game.
  • November 20th in St Paul we’ll see Caleb Truax fight the faded former WBC world title holder Carl “The Squirrel” Daniels (50-18 with 32 kayos) for some IBA Intercontinental hardware.  Daniels has lost seven straight and fourteen out of fifteen, but this fight will force him to train harder than he’s done in a long time – Daniels hasn’t fought below 170# in nearly two years.  A supporting bout gives this event a higher profile: young Welshman James Todd (2-1-1) meets Mohammed Kayongo (14-2 with 10 kayos) for an IBA welterweight title.  Todd’s supporters are talking about making the trip to St Paul to lend their support, and we all know that British boxing fans travel well.  (There has also been a rumor floating that Todd’s countryman Kerry Hope will face Robert Kamya on this card, but I haven’t confirmed that one with promoter Tony Grygelko of Seconds Out Promotions.)
  • The heavyweight bout that Minnesota has waited too long for headlines a December 4th event at Target Center in Minneapolis.  Joey Abell (25-4 with 24 kayos) meets his pal and fellow Minnesotan Raphael Butler (35-8 with 28 kayos) with the vacant Minnesota heavyweight title on the line.  Zach Walters faces Larry Sharpe, who is the man who beat the man (Bruce Rumbolz) who beat the man (Shawn Hammack) who beat Walters back in August of 2008.  Travis “Freight Train” Walker, Ronnie Peterson, Gary Eyer, and Dave Peterson also support this card.
  • No specifics are available at this writing, but Showtime will be in town on December 18 to televise a boxing event at Grand Casino Hinckley.  Expect some locals to get a boost from this show.

Boxing Results: September 20 at Treasure Island Resort and Casino

These results will be updated as information becomes available.  Initial postings are taken from messageboard reports and will be confirmed Sunday morning.

Tony “The Bullet” Bonsante (now 32-10 with 18 knockouts) defeats Carl “The Squirrel” Daniels (now 50-15 with 32 knockouts), by UD after ten rounds

Matt “The Predator” Vanda (39-7 with 22 kayos) defeats Dezi Ford (24-24 with 9 kayos) by kayo in round 8 of 8

Raphael Butler (32-6 with 24 kayos) defeats Lyle McDowell (27-11 with 18 kayos) in round 1 of 6

Antwan Robertson (4-0 with 3 kayos) -vs- Ronnie Peterson (amateur) – EXHIBITION

Harley Kilfian (6-2 with 5 kayos) defeats Ron Krull (4-34 with 6 kayos) by kayo in round 1 of 4

Terrance Trottier Jr (1-4 with 1 kayo) loses to Daniel Schlienz (7-13 with 4 kayos) by TKO in round 4 of 4

Ceresso Fort (3-0 with 3 kayos) defeats Mike Krull (0-7) by kayo in round 1 of 4

Upcoming Boxing Event: September 20 at Treasure Island Resort and Casino

The following schedule has been confirmed as final by Cory Rapacz, who takes well-deserved pride in being a newsmaker (not a news writer).  According to Rapacz, all contracts have been drafted and sent out for signatures. 

What to watch for: Anthony Bonsante tries to bounce back from an embarrassing outcome against Adonis Stevenson on August 1, Matt Vanda stays busy (and tries not to get hurt) in the runup to his November 1 rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Raphael Butler tries to generate some momentum after the first back-to-back losses of his career, promising super flyweight Antwan Robertson gets in the ring with the larger Brandon Quintanna for a second time, Terrence Trottier Jr and Daniel Schlienz match up nicely in a lightweight match, Harley Kilfian looks for a win against venerable cruiserweight Ron Krull after a surprising loss last time out, and promising new pro Ceresso Fort of St Paul looks to add another win to his unblemished record against Mike Krull, who has yet to win a professional boxing match.


Tony “The Bullet” Bonsante (31-10 with 18 knockouts) -vs- Carl “The Squirrel” Daniels (50-14 with 32 knockouts), middleweights, 10 rounds


Matt “The Predator” Vanda (38-7 with 21 kayos) -vs- Dezi Ford (24-23 with 9 kayos), light middleweights, 8 rounds


Raphael Butler (31-6 with 24 kayos) -vs- Lyle McDowell (27-10 with 18 kayos), heavyweights, 6 rounds

Antwan Robertson (4-0 with 3 kayos) -vs- Brandon Quintanna (2-2 with 2 kayos), super bantamweights, 4 rounds (noted on boxrec as an exhibition)

Terrance Trottier Jr (1-3 with 1 kayo) -vs- Daniel Schlienz (6-13 with 3 kayos), lightweights, 4 rounds

Harley Kilfian (5-2 with 4 kayos) -vs- Ron Krull (4-33 with 6 kayos), cruiserweights, 4 rounds

Ceresso Fort (2-0 with 2 kayos) -vs- Mike Krull (0-6), light heavyweights, 4 rounds

Jungle Boy Zach Walters Beats Carl Daniels!

Zach Walters was confident coming in, and his performance backed up his words.

Back on February 9 Walters wrote this in his blog: “My team was able to secure a fight for the African title through my living in Madagascar for 11 years as a missionary kid.  Ever since I left the island I wanted to go back somehow. This fight is a big step in that direction. The big picture for this fight is to win [the] title, defend it in Africa a few times, then win a world title, and make my first defense of the world title in Madagascar.”

Tonight at the Mertz Mortorelli Gym in Superior Wisconsin, Walters took the first step down that road, forcing the opposing corner to retire their man, Carl Daniels (now 50-12, 32 kayos) before the beginning of the eighth round.  According to Duluth News Tribune boxing writer Jon Nowacki, who was at ringside, Walter ignored a number of solid power punches to the head and body in the early rounds, and trapped the less conditioned Daniels against the ropes and abused him mercilessly with power punches to the body.  Daniels’ corner threw in the towel between the seventh and eighth rounds, giving Walters the TKO win and the WBC African Boxing Union light heavyweight title.

Amusing: Walters, born in Madagascar to Christian missionary parents, had the Madagascar national anthem played before the fight, in addition to the Star Spangled Banner.

Fistic Mystic: Picks for February 23

The Fistic Mystic doesn’t smoke, drink, or bet.  But he’s a big fight fan and he speculates.

Tonight we have the Klitschko-Ibragimov event at MSG in NYC and locally, the Jungle Boy-Carl Daniels event at Mortorelli Gym in Superior, WI.  Here are my picks:

  1. Jungle Boy Zach Walters beats Carl Daniels by KO.  Walters is a fit, young, up-and-comer who is probably better than his record indicates.  Daniels lays claim to certain advantages; he is a veteran and a southpaw, but his impressive record (50-11) hides the fact that from December 2004 to March 2007 he lost seven straight fights, and only broke the losing streak by beating Fred Moore, a man who had lost four straight coming in.  Walters will continue his climb into the boxing elite by knocking Daniels out.
  2. Ibragimov beats Klitschko.  I’m picking Ibragimov because he’s deceptively fast, deceptively strong, and always fit.  He has an intangible advantage over Klitschko: toughness.  A lot of people (including most of the “experts”) are picking Klitschko, but I think it’s a glamor pick.  They don’t seem to recognize that people just look different; you can’t judge a fighter by his cover.  See for yourself the cosmetic difference between the two men:

Klitschko shows off his bumpsCalm and comfortable, Ibragimov smiles sweetly

Results for Mortorelli Gym, Superior Wisconsin, February 23

The page will be updated as results become available.

  • Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters defeats Carl “The Squirrel” Daniels by RTD (retirement) after 7 rounds.  Walters wins the vacant WBC African Boxing Union light heavyweight title
  • Phil “The Drill” Williams defeats Butch Hajicek by TKO in round 6
  • Gary “Stone Cold” Eyer defeats Harold McLeod by TKO in round 1
  • RJ Laase defeats Mike Krull by TKO in round 1
  • Patrick Cape defeats Terrance Trottier Jr by UD in 4 rounds

 Jungle Boy Zach Walters