Tag Archives: David Laque

The Best of Minnesota Boxing: 2010

It’s almost time to close the door on 2010, but before we do, let’s talk about the Best, worst, and most remarkable moments of the last year.  I don’t know whether anyone – fan, media, or official – has been to all the pro boxing shows in Minnesota in 2010.  The most likely candidate for that achievement would be Jesse Kelley of Minnesotaboxing.com.  But I’ve been fortunate to attend many of them.  This year’s “Best Of” awards are based partly on media reports and partly on word of mouth, but mostly on my own eyes.

Rules:  A fighter is eligible for consideration if he’s from Minnesota, regardless of where his fights have taken place or who he was fighting.  A fight is eligible if it took place in Minnesota or if one or both of the combatants was a Minnesotan.

Knockout of the Year

Javontae Starks TKO1 Alexander Tousignant on May 22nd at Shooting Star Casino – Starks displayed his preternatural punching power in this springtime bout in Mahnomen.  For not the first time in his career, Starks started slowly, allowing his opponent to take some free shots while Starks leaned back on the ropes.  I have no idea why he does that.  But then Starks let his left hand fly and sent Tousignant reeling.  Taking advantage of Tousignant’s vulnerable state, Starks flattened him with one more punch, and though Tousignant did somehow make it back to his feet before he could be counted out, referee Mark Nelson had no choice but to stop the fight.

Honorable mention: Andy Kolle TKO1 Darryl Salmon, Joey Abell TKO2 Josh Gutcher, Andy Kolle KO1 Francisco Ruben Osorio

Fight of the Year

Tony Lee UD4 David Laque on December 18th at Target Center in Minneapolis – Lee dominated the early going and looked to have Laque outclassed after two rounds.  But Laque refused to be worn down, and after scoring with a nice combination in the third, managed to bloody Lee’s nose before the round ended.  The fourth and final round showcased each man’s best attributes: Lee’s volumes of crisp and accurate punching versus Laque’s grit and determination.  This one turned into a real crowd-pleaser.

Honorable mention:  Caleb Truax SD10 Phil Williams, Corey Rodriguez and Charles Meier 6-round draw in which each man is knocked down once,  Ismail Muwendo RTD5 David Laque

Worst Moment of the Year

Matt Vanda’s suspension revealed in the morning on the day of his scheduled main event bout with Phil Williams – This episode hurt everyone involved.  Vanda looks unprofessional for failing to apprise the state commission of his true status, Williams is cheated out of a bout that he both wanted and needed, the commission looks inept for not knowing that Vanda had been suspended in New Jersey and was ineligible to fight in Minnesota, and both the promoter and the venue failed to notify the fans that the Main Event was no longer an officially sanctioned bout until the fans were in the building.  Some of these criticisms may turn out to be unfounded, but the appearance of wrongdoing can be as damaging as the reality.

Dishonorable mention:  Jon Schmidt and Josh Crouch are forced into a No-Contest due to a nasty cut caused by a clash of heads in round 4 of 6 scheduled.

Best Moment of the Year

If you were smart enough and lucky enough to buy a ticket while they were available, you saw the remarkable fruit of a remarkable labor when the brand new Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame honored its first class of inductees at Jax Cafe in northeast Minneapolis on October 12th.  This event, and the effort that it signifies, will have a more significant and lasting impact on the boxing scene in Minnesota than any boxing match or fight card we’ve seen in the last year.  The event was granted more coverage by the local media than they would ever give to an actual fight – even an important one – but maybe in the spirit of the moment we should be thankful for the attention given rather than resentful of perceived slights.

Honorable mention: Jason Litzau’s big win – read the next item!

Upset of the Year

Jason Litzau SD10 Celestino Caballero on November 27th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – Though it’s true that some local fans were predicting a Litzau victory based on a variety of factors (styles, weight classes, body types, Litzau’s commitment to the sport), the underlying factor is undeniably homerism.  Anyway, it’s the Vegas odds that count, and by various accounts Litzau was a 12-1 or 15-1 underdog when he stepped into the ring.

Honorable mention: Hector Orozco UD6 Jeremy McLaurin, Bobby Kliewer SD8 Anthony Bonsante, Christopher Martin SD10 Chris Avalos

Best Performance on the Road

Jason Litzau SD10 Celestino Caballero on November 27th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – It’s been reported by enough sources just how Litzau did it, but what’s most important for boxing fans in Minnesota – in the Upper Midwest as a whole – is that one of our own went out on the road and won the big one.  This win was the biggest road triumph for an Upper Midwest boxer since Will Grigsby beat Victor Burgos for the IBF Light Flyweight title in 2005.  That contest, interestingly, was also hosted by the MGM Grand.  Keep an eye on that venue, fight fans.

Honorable mention: Jason Litzau TD7 Rocky Juarez

Prospect of the Year

Ismail Muwendo (7-0 with 6 kayos) – The lithe young Ugandan billed as the “Sharp Shooter” has his sights set on the big time.  He has already come a long way, but his destiny as a prizefighter is only partly in his hands – like any fighter, his career will be influenced by outside forces including (but not limited to) frequency of boxing shows in the local market, the performance of manager and trainer Scott Tolzmann, his own health, cash flow within the industry, and other factors.  Based on the part of the equation that Muwendo can control – his performance in the ring – his future looks very, very promising.

Honorable mention: Tony Lee, Jamal James, Gary Eyer

Boxer of the Year

Jason Litzau (28-2 with 21 kayos) – Litzau’s metamorphosis from an irrepressible brawler with untapped potential into a legitimate contender at the worldwide level is the biggest and best news in Minnesota boxing in 2010, though it didn’t all happen just in the last twelve months.  One attestation of Litzau’s transformation is the fact that the man who started his career with 14 straight KO or TKO wins and once sported a record of 20-0 with 18 kayos has now gone four bouts without putting away an opponent.  Litzau has embraced the virtue of winning his fights by any possible means, even if that means substance over style.

Honorable mention: Andy Kolle


Round-by-Round: December 18th at Target Center

Correspondent Joel Bauman

Guest Correspondent Joel Bauman

By Joel “Broomsticks” Bauman

Matt Vanda -vs- Phil Williams [ed: the featured bout of the evening, this fight was changed from a ten-rounder to a six-round exhibition due to a licensing issue on Vanda’s part.  Though no official reason has been given for licensing problem, rumors abound that Vanda failed a drug test in conjunction with his last bout, a loss to Ossie Duran in New Jersey on November 12th.]

Round 1

Early on Phil stays constant. Landing multiple jabs to the head.  Vanda answers back with a nice body body head combination. Williams continues to keep Vanda on the outside of his jab throughout most of the round.  Vanda slips past and lands a nice shot to the body.  They end the round with foreheads touching throwing short uppercuts and hooks.

Round 2

The round starts out with Vanda landing a nice head-body combination to set the pace.  Vanda continues to throw hard punch combinations landing shots to the head and body.  Phil answers with repeated jabs and pushes Vanda back into the ropes where he keeps the pressure on him picking his shots. Most of the round is spent with Phil having Vanda on the ropes picking his shots decisively with Vanda answering with hard three to four punch combinations.

Round 3

The round starts out with Vanda coming out the aggressor throwing many three to four punch combinations to the head and body. Phil answers with stiff jabs keeping Vanda at a distance and outside.  Vanda contninues to close the distance to land quick explosive body shot combinations.  Williams presses forward to put Vanda on the ropes again where he throws short arm punches to the head and body to finish the round.

Round 4

Williams comes out and lands a stiff jab and Vanda answers back with heavy hooks to the body.  Williams closes the distance and continues to throw short arm uppercuts and hooks while Vanda is against the ropes.  They break and Vanda lands multiple hooks and jabs with Williams answering with straights and uppercuts. The round ends with fighters exchanging unfriendly looks and statements that makes the ref step in to corner them.

Round 5

Williams comes out the aggressor taunting Vanda putting his hands down and landing multiple hooks.  Williams continues to push forward putting Vanda on the ropes where he lands short arm punches. Vanda answers with hard body and head combinations.  Both men getting action in on the exchange by the ropes. The round ends with Vanda against the ropes taking more short uppercuts answering with hard body combinations.

Round 6

Vanda comes out swinging landing a looping left hook right away that makes Williams taunt by dropping his hands. Both fighters now drop their hands to taunt each other.  Both fighters throw heavy shots and big punches keeping each other honest and making them stay elusive. At the end of the fight Williams connects with a big left hook that sends Vanda back to the ropes where he crowds him to look for the finish to end the round.

Scores: None; exhibition

Jamal James (now 3-0 with 3 kayos) defeats Ryan Gronvold (now 1-6) by TKO in round 1 of 4 rounds scheduled

Round 1

Each fighter comes out quick looking to find their distance. James lands early with a stiff jab. He starts to capitalize on his reach advantage backing Gronvold up with more jabs keeping him on his outside. Gronvold presses forward and gets tagged with a counter left hook that sends him back to the ropes followed by more hooks to the head and body. Gronvold regains himself and looks for the hold. As Gronvold makes his way forward he gets tagged with a big left hook that drops his hands and makes the referee step in to call it at 1:49 in the first round for James.

Anthony Bonsante (now 32-12 with 18 kayos) is defeated by Bobby Kliewer (now 11-12 with 5 kayos) by Split Decision after 8 rounds

Round 1

The match starts with Bonsante showing his elusiveness dodging a combination while answering with a stiff jab to the body. Both fighters are looking to find distance for their shots. Kliewer starts to work the jab and get the upper hand early.

Round 2

Kliewer starts to work his jab early in the round and presses Bonsante to the ropes to put him down. Bonsante rises to his feet and advances forward looking for a lunging combination and gets tagged with a counter right straight to bring him down again. Bonsante rises to his feet to finish out the round.

Round 3

Bonsante starts to show some aggressive nature early in the round and tags Kliewer with a stiff combination. Kliewer answers with more jabs looking to land his straight. Bonsante seems to have gained confidence and continues to push forward most of the round landing big hooks to the body Winning the close exchanges .

Round 4

Bonsante looks determined and comes out swinging landing a big combination to the head right away. Kliewer fights him off with 1-2 combinations to the head. Bonsante continues to press forward most of the round being the more aggressive fighter while Kliewer looks to counter.

Round 5

Both fighters come out exchanging jabs early. Bonsante continues to move forwards scoring a knockdown off a hook from a hold. Kliewer comes back aggressive and holds Bonsante. Bonsante lifts and drops him losing a point. Fighters exchange heavy combinations in the middle of the ring. The 10 second bell rings and Bonsante catches a straight to his right eye that sends him to the mat for an 8 count to end the round.

Round 6

Both fighters come out with Bonsante looking for jabs with Kliewer countering with straights. Bonsante continues to look for big punch combinations as Kliewer looks to capitalize on his straights and jabs. Bonsante starts to work his 1-2 and lands multiple combinations through the round.

Round 7

Bonsante comes out throwing some jabs followed by straights connecting with multiple combinations. Kliewer counters and steps forward landing some shots to make Bonsante look for the hold. Both fighters stay aggressive landing big shots to the body and head.

Round 8

Kliewer lands a nice 1-2 to start the round with Bonsante answering with a hook to send him back. Bonsante continues to push the pace landing many jabs and straights pushing Kliewer to the ropes and corners landing big punches. Kliewer continues to answer with counter straights. Both men exchange big shots all over the ring with Bonsante pushing most of the pace throughout the last round with Kliewer answering with counters.

Tony Lee (now 2-0 with no kayos) defeats David Laque (now 2-7-1 with 2 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 4 rounds

Round 1

Both fighters are elusive right away with Lee breaking forward with big punches backing up Laque early. Laque begins to answer by moving forward trying to find his distance. Lee continues to keep the pressure on Laque throwing big punches

Round 2

Lee again comes out swinging with big shots and backing up Laque early in the round. While Lee comes forward Laque looks to score ducking and weaving looking for counters.

Round 3

This round shows to be the most promising for Laque as he comes out landing a combination to head and body early. Lee answers with more big shots and combinations to the head and body. Laque lands a big counter left hook in the middle of the round that makes Lee’s nose start to bleed. Laque starts t gain confidence, getting close and landing some big shots.

Round 4

Laque starts to pressure Lee and begins to gain confidence crowding Lee and landing some shots inside. Lee begins to retaliate with the same onslaught of head and body counter hooks backing up Laque yet again. Laque answers by keeping the pressure forward and his hands moving. Lee continues to look and land big hooks late in the round that land hard but don’t seem to bring Laque down. Laque moves forward to continue to pressure till the end of the round showing his heart.

Scores: 40-36 40-36 40-36, all in favor of Lee

Antwan Robertson (now 6-4-1 with 4 kayos) is defeated by Brad Patraw (now 7-3 with 4 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 6 rounds.  Patraw regains the Minnesota State bantamweight belt that he lost to Robertson in October of ’09.

Round 1

Much respect shown by both fighters early with Brad being the first to move forward. Patraw is backing up Robertson with a lot of forward movement not giving him time to set his feet while sticking him with multiple hooks to the body. Robertson seems to be looking to find some distance to land some punches but continues to get crowded by Patraw. Patraw gets Robertson to the ropes throughout the round and lands multiple hooks to the head and body.

Round 2

Early Robertson comes forward making Patraw miss landing a counter right straight sending Patraw to the ropes. Robertson chases him but can’t seem to take advantage of the situation making Patraw have to hold. Patraw regains his composure and starts to move forward again landing more big shots to the body of Robertson. Robertson lands another big counter straight to let Patraw know he is still in the fight; however Patraw still is the more aggressive fighter keeping Robertson on his heels the majority of the round.

Round 3

Patraw begins to pressure early in the round landing some hooks to the body and head. Robertson starts to become passive trying to move more while Patraw continues to back him up with body shots and combinations. Robertson doesn’t seem to be throwing many punches and looks comfortable with Patraw being the aggressor. Robertson lands a few counter hooks and straights in the round, but most of the big shots are from Patraw.

Round 4

Both fighters meet in the middle early with Patraw coming out swinging. Robertson starts to let his hands go early but can’t seem to answer Patraw’s constant pressure as he continues to get backed up and and hit in the corner. Robertson holds and looks to land big hooks on the breaks landing few but he continues to get backed up against the ring throughout the round and hit hard in the body.

Round 5

Robertson starts to let his hands go early pushing the pace to back up Patraw. Patraw answers with big shots staying comfortable with his newly acquired slowed down pace. Robertson continues to press forward, looking for powerful combinations to the head and body while Patraw continues to stay and look comfortable. Patraw stays passive while focusing mostly on his movement, landing some jabs and straights to finish the round.

Round 6

Robertson comes out the aggressor with Patraw being elusive and defensive. Patraw starts to move forward backing up Robertson with body shots leaving himself open for a big counter. Patraw stumbles back with Robertson looking for the finish landing heavy shots on Patraw. Patraw regains himself and pushes Robertson back again. The round ends with Patraw landing shots on Robertson against the ropes to solidify his victory.

Scores: 59-55 59-55 59-55, all in favor of Patraw

Don Tierney (now 3-2 with 1 kayo) is defeated by Bobby Butters Jr (now 1-1) by Unanimous Decision after 4 rounds

Round 1

Butters startss to look to find the distance of his jab early while being the immediate aggressor. Tierney is picking his shots and is so far (early in this fight) being a defensive counter puncher. Butters gets Tierney up against the ropes early and looks to land big shots, however Tierney lands nice counters on the breaks. Butters puts his hands down to taunt and gets tagged with a right straight. The bad blood is eminent; however Butters seems to be pressing the action with big punches to the body and ribcage.

Round 2

Again Butters comes out being the aggressor with Tierney moving around the ring trying to create space, backing Butters up with stiff counters. Butters stays resilient in looking to land many hooks to the body with Tierney countering with many shots to the head. Butters continues to look for mostly body in round two while Tierney is looking to passively counter.

Round 3

Tierney starts out being the immediate aggressor; however, Butters backs Tierney up to the ropes and lands a nice left upper cut with Tierney countering hard with a straight right. This sends Butters back into the ropes where he lands another straight that forces Butters to hold. On the break, Butters presses forward to work for the body as Tierney continues to counter and land very hard straight rights that send Butters back to the ropes yet again. The bell rings as Butters regains himself from a hold.

Round 4

Both fighters come out early throwing big shots looking to win decisively against the other. Butters starts to taunt and gets back up to the ropes. Tierney continues to look to counter as the action slows. Tierney gets backed into the corner where he lands some big hooks that questionably downs Tierney with Tierney immediately rising to his feet landing a lunging straight right that lands while he begins to get counted. Tierney is upset about the call and both fighters meet in the center throwing a borage of punches to end the round.

Scores: 40-35 40-35 38-37, all in favor of Butters

John Jackson (now 15-1-1 with 13 kayos) and Willshaun Boxley (now 6-7-1 with 4 kayos) fight to a majority draw after 6 rounds

Prefight: A very intense staredown from both fighters.

Round 1

Jackson starts working the jab early keeping his hands high. Both fighters are looking to find their distance early. Boxley finds Jacksons early and continues to work it many times throughout the first. Jakcson is landing more combinations, while Boxley shows his power early with counter hooks and straights to the body. Very intense, action-filled first round.

Round 2

Jackson starts to look for the jab early. Boxley lands another hard straight to the body. Jackson starts to let his hands fly and lands a mean 4 shot combination. Boxley is moving forward while Jackson is looking to stick and move. More punches are being thrown by Jackson this roundl

Round 3

Boxley moves forward early landing another bod shot. Jackson lands a nice combination of 3.. Answered by jab to a hard hook that seemed to wobble Jackson. Both fighters are landing powerful shots. Jackson starts to move forward after he lands a nice combination of multiple shots to the head and body, and continues to move forward until the end of the round with Boxley landing nice counter hooks

Round 4

Jackson comes out and lands a nice two jab combination with a straight down to the body. With Boxley answering with 3 straight rights to the body. Both fighters are landing nice counters. Jackson seems to be the aggressor in these later rounds with Boxley landing nice counters in the exchange.

Round 5

Jackson comes out the aggressor pumping the jab and throws a nice right hook that landed. Boxley lands a nice counter shot and continues to look to counter throughout the round. Jackson is looking to let his hands fly landing big shots to the body backing up Boxley. Boxley is landing a nice counter 1-2 however that makes Jackson aware that he is still in the fight. Jackson continues

Round 6

Both fighters meet in the center looking for jabs and straights early with Jackson landing the cleaner shots. Jackson backs Boxley up to the ropes and lands powerful shots making Boxley hold him, Backson again gets him in the corner sending hooks to the body making Boxley hold. Jackson continues to be the aggressor Boxley landing nice shots on the break.

Scores: 57-57 57-57 58-56, Draw

Afterwards both fighters talk in the center of the ring

Jonathan Perez (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Randy Ronchi (now 0-2) by TKO in round 1 of 4 rounds scheduled

Round 1

Perez starts to push the action landing the first shots including a jab and a nice left hook to the body. Ronchi begins to look for counter shots and is seeming to respect the power of Perez’s punches.. Perez scores a knockdown in the first from a left hook. Perez lands another knockdown from a counter left hook to the head. Ronchi again makes it to his feet. Perez immediately comes out to look for the finish, lands a counter right straight to get the final knockdown at 2:31 of the first for the win.

Boxing Results: Seasons Beatings, December 18th, 2010 (Vanda, Williams, Bonsante, etc)

A blow-by-blow account of tonight’s proceedings will be posted as soon as it’s received from our correspondent at ringside, Joel “Broomsticks” Bauman.

Matt Vanda (43-12 with 23 knockouts) -vs- Phil Williams (11-3-1 with 10 knockouts), super middleweights, scheduled for 10 rounds – this fight was changed to a six-round exhibition due to “a licensing problem” that the promoters’ representative said was unknown to the promoter until 10am Saturday morning.  The licensing problem is said to be related to Vanda’s last fight, a wipeout loss to Ossie Duran in New Jersey on November 12th.

Jamal James (now 3-0 with 3 knockouts) defeats Ryan Gronvold (now 1-6) by TKO in round 1 of 4 scheduled

Anthony Bonsante (now 32-12 with 18 knockouts) is defeated by Bobby Kliewer (now 11-12 with 5 knockouts) by decision after eight rounds.

Tony Lee (now 2-0 with no knockouts) defeats David Laque (now 2-7-1 with 2 knockouts) by decision after 4 rounds.  Fight is said to be a thriller!

Antwan Robertson (now 6-4-1 with 4 knockouts) is defeated by Brad Patraw now (7-3 with 4 knockouts) by unanimous decision after six rounds.  Patraw reclaims the Minnesota State bantamweight title that he lost to Robertson in 2009.

Don Tierney (now 3-2 with 1 kayo) is defeated by Bobby Butters Jr (now 1-1 with no kayos), light middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

John Jackson (now 15-1-1 with 13 knockouts) and Willshaun Boxley (now 6-7-1 with 4 knockouts) fight to a majority draw after 6 rounds

Jonathan Perez (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Randy Ronchi (now 0-2) by TKO in round 1 of 4 scheduled

Announcing: Professional Boxing in Duluth on October 28th

Professional boxing returns to Duluth on October 28th with a ton of fights featuring an abundance of prospects.

It’s still too early to judge, but the preliminary fight card looks promising:

  • Gary Eyer (8-0-1 with 6 kayos) -vs- TBA (Main Event)
  • Javontae Starks (4-0 with 4 kayos) -vs- Hector Orozco (3-6 with no kayos)
  • RJ Laase (4-1 with 2 kayos)-vs- David Laque (2-5 with 2 kayos)
  • Al Sands (debut) -vs- TBA
  • Jamal James (1-0 with 1 kayo) -vs- TBA
  • Donnie Tierney (3-1 with 1 kayo) -vs- TBA
  • Tony Lee (1-0 with no kayos) -vs- TBA
  • Derek Winston (2-0 with no kayos) -vs- TBA

Highlights: Fight fans in the Twin Ports get their first look at Twin Cities prospects Winston, Lee, and James…heavyweight Al Sands makes his pro debut after an amateur career that culminated in an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves title and a trip to Nationals…RJ Laase makes his long-awaited return to the ring following a loss to the O-bandit Hector Orozco in May of 2009…Javontae Starks lays his unbeaten status on the line against the dangerous and tough Orozco, and always-exciting and heavy-handed counter puncher Gary Eyer headlines a fight card for the first time.

There’s been some uncertainty about the date of this event; it seems that there was a scheduling snafu at the venue (Grandma’s Sports Garden) which resulted in the wrong date being reserved with the state commission.  That’s all cleared up now, and the date of the 28th is said to be solid.

What: Professional boxing

Where: Grandma’s Sports Garden in Duluth

When: The evening of Thursday, October 28th

How: Presented by promoter Chuck Horton of Horton’s Gym, with matchmaking by Cory Rapacz (on loan from Midwest Sports Council)

Upcoming Boxing Event: July 17th at the St Paul Armory

What to watch for: Joey Abell looks to put history, sloppy defense, bad luck, and all excuses behind him by rematching with Arron Lyons, the man who gave him the first of his four career losses.  Abell has sometimes been considered one of the unluckiest men in boxing, but he’s been on a small roll lately and this match with Lyons is an opportunity to exorcise an old demon.  Jeremy McLaurin wants to get back on a winning track and he’ll have to go through gritty brawler David Laque to get there.  Brad Patraw and Vicente Alfaro make a compelling tactical matchup, and seem to promise an exciting bout.  Old-timers Marty Lindquist and Frank Quinn throw back to an earlier era – Jesse Kelley reports that the two were considered for a match back in the ’90s.  Also, slugging youngster Jose Hilario goes for career win number 3 against debuting Matt Borgen, Bobby Butters Jr makes his pro debut against MMA crossover Travis Perzynski, and Gavin Quinn debuts against winless Ryan Stock.

Joey Abell (26-4 with 25 kayos) -vs- Arron Lyons (11-8 with 8 kayos), heavyweights, scheduled for 10 rounds

Jeremy McLaurin (7-1 with 5 kayos) -vs- David Laque (2-5 with 2 kayos), lightweights, scheduled for 6 rounds  **FIGHT CANCELED**

Brad Patraw (6-2 with 4 kayos) -vs- Vicente Alfaro (3-0 with no kayos), bantamweights, scheduled for 6 rounds

Marty Lindquist (13-8 with 10 kayos) -vs- Frank Quinn (6-0 with 4 kayos), cruiserweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Jose Hilario (2-0 with 2 kayos) -vs- Matthew Borgan (debut), light welterweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Bobby Butters Jr (debut) -vs- Travis Perzynski (0-1), middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Gavin Quinn (debut) -vs- Ryan Stock (0-2), welterweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

The Fistic Mystic says: I would have covered this event live, but my request for a press pass was rejected by the promoter.  So pay for a ticket and see it for yourself!

Kissing Your Sister

Well, this was an up-and-down boxing show.  Unfortunately, instead of ending on a thrilling up, it kind of went splat at the end.

Who would have thought that Truax-Williams would go the distance?  Moreover, who would ever have thought that Williams could hit Truax with his best shot and it still goes the distance?  This bout was a snoozer for the first eight rounds, but the last two were exciting and fun to watch, and the last minute of the last round was an absolute thrillride.  For both the fans’ and the fighters’ sake, it’s disappointing that such a fabulous ending could generate no more than a draw.  As the old cliche says, the outcome was akin to kissing your sister; sure she’s a girl, but she’s not what you were hoping for.

Phil Williams is a monstrous puncher, and this fight was sometimes billed as an opportunity for us all to see what kind of a chin Caleb Truax has.  What did we learn?  Caleb Truax is as gritty as sandpaper.  In the final round Williams hit Truax with everything but the corner stool, and Truax stayed vertical with his feet under him.  After it was over, a broadly smiling Caleb Truax was adamant that he was never hurt, that he never felt his knees buckle, and that he only stumbled in the final round because “I caught a punch on my glove and my glove hit my face and it knocked me off balance.”  I noted that his face was unmarked and he responded: “No, no!  That’s because he never hit me!  He never hit me with a right hand or a left hook until the final round!”

I should mention that from a financial standpoint, based on the size of the crowd, the concession sales, and the amount of merchandise changing hands, this show had to have been very successful.  The St Paul Armory was packed to capacity and perhaps beyond, and I’ve never seen so many $5 beers consumed – heck, I’ve never seen so many beers consumed at any price!  In addition to the local popularity of the fighters involved, some of the credit for the crowd and the buzz has to go to the Star Tribune for running Myron Medcalf’s article on Caleb Truax.

Joey Abell’s win tonight came against a game but unworthy opponent.  Josh Gutcher entered the ring wearing a gray T-shirt with ARMY printed across the front.  It didn’t make him look any more imposing; he looked like a boot camp runaway.  Nevertheless, Abell’s knockout of Gutcher was one for the highlight reel – Gutcher went straight down like an imploded building.

Ismail Muwendo could be forgiven for feeling that he wasn’t matched fairly tonight.  His opponent, David Laque, was coming off a knockout win in the welterweight division just two weeks ago.  Muwendo is accustomed to seeing his opponents react to his punches, but Laque shrugged off a lot of shots before the accumulation of hard shots finally did him in.  In the end it was a successful night for Muwendo, but he had to work really hard for it.

I can’t help wondering how much John Hoffman and Antwan Robertson knew about James Owens going into tonight’s fight.  It turns out that Owens is the real deal – a fast, strong, and fearless fighter with good power.  Tonight’s Antwan Robertson looked more like the confused and dismayed Robertson we remember from the first fight with Brad Patraw than the confident, poised, and successful Robertson who knocked Patraw down and won a decision in the rematch.  Robertson had a couple of good moments on offense tonight, but not many.  When Owens connected with a good shot, Robertson seemed to withdraw and go defensive.  It’s proof that natural born  athleticism and a fit body aren’t enough in this game: you also need a good plan and some confidence.

Charles Meier may not be a world-beater in the middleweight division, but he was a far faster and stronger puncher than Dan Copp.  Copp showed toughness and a determination to compete, but he was never going to win this fight.  I don’t have anything else to say about this fight.  It ended the way everyone expected.

I’m still waiting to see the Derek Winston who has been called an “ultimate badass” show up to a fight.  After two official fights and tonight’s exhibition against Jake Backus, he’s still not put together a convincing performance.  I still believe in Winston because I’ve heard such good things about him, but I have yet to see it with my own eyes.

April 23 Round-by-Round, Truax -vs- Williams

All of tonight’s report is written from a table about twelve feet from a neutral corner ring post, with an obstructed view.  I appreciate your indulgence as I attempt to give an accurate description of the action from this unfavorable vantage point.

The national anthem was offered tonight by a lovely lady who hit every note pitch-perfect, but who altered the meter awkwardly at several points.

Caleb Truax (now 14-0-1 with 9 kayos) and Phil Williams (now 11-3-1 with 10 kayos) fight to a draw after  10 rounds.  Scores are 97-94 Truax, 96-94 Williams, and 95-95 draw.  This was a boring fight for eight rounds, but it ended in thrilling fashion.

Round 1

The fight starts tentative.  Truax throws a soft uppercut after about fifteen seconds.  A more spirited attack comes about ten seconds later.  Williams doesn’t return fire effectively, so Truax attacks a third time, more boldly now.  Now Williams begins to throw the jab, and Truax catches him extended to land one or two good shots.  Williams sticks a jab through Truax’s defense and into his face.  Williams is backing up and looking to counter.  Truax throws a left and a right and Williams ties him up.  Williams is inching forward now and jabbing.  Truax is showing Williams a lot of respect here.  Truax connects a single left.  The round ends without any major damage to either man.

Round 2

Truax throws two left jabs that land to Williams’ face.  Now Truax is scooting forward and attacking on the move, but the attack peters out.  The fighters circle to their left in a tight circle.  Williams thows a double left jab and then a right cross that misses.  More circling and jabbing.  Truax throws a left-right that doesn’t score.  Williams begins to retreat, then jas with his left.  Circling again., always to their left.  Truax finally gets through with a right-left-right to the body of Williams, whose impassive expression doesn’t change.  Back in the center of the ring, Williams resumes circling and forces Truax to dance with him.  Williams seems to be waiting for an opportunity to counter.  Truax is trying to get closer, and Williams popps a right.  Now Truax lands two or three hooks that force Williams to back off, but when Truax tries to follow Williams pops him back.  Bell.

Round 3

The round begins with more tactical aggression from both  men.  Truax, in close, throws wide hooks to both sides of Williams’ body.  Williams shoots back a hard jab.  We return to circling, but now Truax is getting bolder with his attacks.  Williams lands two good left hands to Truax’s face and the two clinch.  After the break Truax goes to the body and scores with some long shots.   Williams is absorbing those body shots but landing little in return at this point.  The fighters circle some more.  Ten seconds to go and Williams begins to attack, then thinks better of it and there’s no further action before the bell.

Round 4

Truax lands a beautiful left jab to start things off.  Williams returns fire with some meaningful shots from both hands.  Truax is headhunting – no, now he goes to the body and lands.  Williams lands a straight right, hesitates, then puts together two power shots and ruax changes direction.  Truax snaps a hard left into Williams’ face, snapping his head back.  Williams flurries, but truax goes earmuffs and none of the shots land.  More circling, Williams misses a jab and Truax connects a jab.  Williams scores with a left, but Truax responds with a flurry to the abdomen and ribs.  Williams shakes his head “no,” but we all know that means “yes.”  More circling, and Truax pokes a strong jab into williams’ face.  Williams is waving his right hand in the air as if to taunt, but doesn’t throw it, and the round ends.

Round 5

This round begins with circling and jabbing, but Truax goes on a sudden attack that forces Williams to latch onto his left arm.  Truax uses his free right hand to club Williams, and the clinch is broken.  They’re circling again, and both men are shooting jabs.  Truax is scoring more.  The crow begins to chant “Caleb,Caleb.”  Finally there’s some action, Truax throws a mighty left-right.  Williams jabs, and Williams jabs back and connects.  Williams raises his left shoulder to his cheek and slaps his let shoulder wit his right hand.  Not sure what that means.  More circling.  Williams zings Truax with a single left jab but generates no more offense.  Truax catches another jab with his right hand.  Finally, with ten seconds to go in the round, Truax wades in and starts throwing shots, but Williams neutralizes the attack by moving and blocking the punches, and the bell rings.

Round 6

Truax lands a clean left to Williams’ midsection.  Williams pauses a few moments, then attacks with both hands.  One good shot appeared to land, and the flurry is over.  Williams is left-jabbing but appears unable to pull the trigger on the big right.  He’s loading up and loading up.  Now there’s a clinch and the fighters are unable to punch out, so referee nelson breaks them.  Jab, jab, jab.  Williams triples up o nthe left jab then misses with a right.  A moment later Williams connects solidly with a left jab.  Truax catches Williams going backwards and lands two power shots, Williams reverses direction and scores with one or maybe two power shots.  The circling has stopped for the moment and we have more feinting and bobbing.  Truax shoots out the left jab and then misses with a right as Williams ducks it beautifully, and the bell rings.

Round 7

Williams comes out aggressive, Truax gets him off with the jab.  Truax shoots out a rising left jab that lands and does good work.  Now Truax is moving laterally – left and then right, left and right.  Both men are respecting the other.  Williams lands a good shot that makes Truax halt and change direction.  Williams lands a big left and Truax seems badly affected – his shoulders slump and he lays his head on Williams’ shoulder.  Williams is getting brave, he’s bobbing up and down and looking for an opening.  Truax finds an opening and cracks him to the head.  Williams retreats and Truax sticks a big straight right into his side just above the hip.  That was a good shot.  Williams wants to show that he’s unhurt and makes a convincing case of it.  More circling to the bell.

Round 8

Williams is having more success landing his jab now, but jabs won’t win this fight for him.  Truax  goes left upstairs and right downstairs.  We revert to the clockwise circling and ineffective jabbing of earlier rounds.  Williams jumps forward with a left hand but misses.  Now Williams charges forward and misses his punch, so he grabs ruax’s ears and hangs onto his head until the referee orders him to let go.  Truax whiffs on a hook, now we go back to our jabbing contest.  Williams ducks and comes forward and Truax catches him with one good shot.  Williams grabs Truax and manhandles him.  Now Williams connects with two straight lefts that make Truax momentarily lose his footing – he isn’t badly hurt but he appears to be tiring.  We have a clinch and a break, and the round ends.

Round 9

Truax comes out looking for blood and batters Williams with a barrage of power shots.  Truax pauses, then lands three or four more.  Williams gets his feet back under him and the two begin to circle again.  But now we have more action – Truax comes forward with a right hand and Williams counters with three good head shots.  Truax goes down to the body to score twice more.  Truax jabs to the head of Williams, who moves awkwardly to his right, he looks like he’s hurt but he’s really just dodging.  Williams puts a left into Truax’s face and Truax’s knees seem to buckle, but he keeps his feet.  Now Williams is moving irregularly around the ring instead of circling, and Truax has to figure out this movement.  Ten seconds to go in the round and Williams throws a five—punch flurry that may not have landed flush, but which thrilled the crowd.  Truax responds with one scoring shot, Williams responds in kind, and the bell rings.

Round 10

Williams charges forward beihinda triple left jab.  The fighters clinch and pound each others’ bodies.  Now separated, they circle again.  Truax sits down on a right hand that connects but doesn’t hurt Williams.  The two tangle again and Truax scores better, landing two shots that snap Williams’ head back.  They trade, and the crowd roars its approval.  Both jab at the same time, and both punches connect.  More circling.  Williams attacks, but Truax ducks his hook.  Truax attacks and drives Williams backwards, but Williams rebounds and connects one good shot in return.  Williams throws a three punch combination and the last punch lands.  Williams connects another good shot and Truax’s knees buckle.  Williams sees his opportunity and attacks furiously – the crowd is on its feet.  Williams is mercilessly pummeling Truax with all his best shots, and though Truax appears for a moment to be helpless, he collects himself, stays on his feet, and keeps his upper body moving until the final bell.  What a finish!

Joey Abell (now 26-4 with 25 kayos) defeats Josh Gutcher (now 18-12 with 13 kayos) by TKO in round 2 of 8 scheduled.

Out-of-towner Gutcher is being seconded tonight by Johnny Johnson of the Rice Street Gym.

Round 1

Gutcher is trying to be the aggressor in the early going, but Abell quickly drives him backwards into the ropes with four or five hard left jabs.  Gutcher puts his head down and tries to bull rush Abell, but Abell responds with an extended flurry of hooks from both hands.  Gutcher feints, then charges in and misses badly, he takes a big Abell hook as his punishment.  Abell throws a double right jab that lands.  Gutcher continues to come forward, but he fails to get off.  Abell is potshotting gutcher now, and referee Mark Nelson leans in for a close look at Gutcher.  A welt is rising under Gutcher’s right eye.  Gutcher misses with an overhand right and Abell connects with several hooks and two uppercuts.  Gutcher throws a right that might have landed, Abell cracks him with several shots to the head and upper body, and the bell rings.

Round 2

Gutcher chases Abell with his head down and lands one good right hand.  Abell hammers Gutcher with a big left that leaves him wobbly and the crowd roars with delight.  Gutcher steadies himself and bravely soldiers on.  Abell jabs with the left and then connects a world class right hook that crumples Gutcher, and referee Nelson waves off the fight.

Ismail Muwendo (now 5-0 with 4 kayos) defeats David Laque (now 2-4-1 with 1 kayo) by TKO (referee stops it between rounds) after the 5th of 6 rounds scheduled.

Round 1

Muwendo shows his speed right away with a couple of lightning-fast left jabs.  Laque is going to have a hard time getting inside.  Muwendo is working that jab effectively, but Laque throws a couple of wide looping right hooks that land, and Muwendo suddenly looks less unbeatable.  Muwendo is a strong small man, but Laque has been fighting at much higher weights.  Muwendo’s punches are landing, but not affecting Laque as we have been accustomed to seeing.  Muwendo misses with a hook and Laque connects a big left hand, but Muwendo comes back with a couple of hard jabs looked effective.  Laque’s mouthpiece is out, short delay while he gets it cleaned and reinserted.  Coming back into action Laque lands a thumping hook.  Muwendo’s fast hands find their target two more times, and the bell rings.

Round 2

Muwendo is throwing more abs to start the second, Laque shrugs off the first salvo but the second attack shows.  Muwendo is freeing up his hands now, and landing heavier shots with greater frequency.  Laque has a limited arsenal, but his punches have more mass behind them, so it’s effective when it lands.  Following a brief brawl on the ropes, Laque turns away and indicates that his head is hurt.  Back to action, and Muwendo continues to be faster and more accurate, but Laque lands three big hooks in a period of about twenty seconds that have the crowd roaring.  Muwendo is retreating now, and backs himself into a corner.  Laque lands a good left hand,  with about ten seconds left in the round, but Muwendo returns fire with an intermittent flurry of power shots from both hands until the bell rings.

Round 3

Muwendo is jabbing again, and laque is coming forward with confidence.  Muwendo lands a left, then a hard right to the body that make laque reconsider.  Now Muwendo seems intent on trading, which may not be his best strategy.  Muwendo returns to the jab, and uses it to set up a couple of body shots.  A left jab snaps Laque’s head back.  Again, the jab finds its mark.  Muwendo bends to his left side and throws a hookercut that lands.  Now’s Muwendo’s speed and conditioning are beginning to show, as Laque’s punches slow.  Finally Laque lands a shot, but Muwendo returns fire immediately, and Laque’s nose is bleeding.  Muwendo lands two more head shots and Laque grimaces.  Muwendo misses a cross as Laque ducks, but Laque is unable to capitalize, and Muwendo lands one more good left before the bell.

Round 4

Muwendo is snapping off phantom jabs now’ they make a noise but they don’t land.  Finally he puts one on the button and Laque’s knees buckle.  Laque continues to stalk Muwendo, hoping to land a big shot that will end the fight.  But Muwendo continues to be too fast for him.  Laque lands a solid right but Muwendo shoots back a jab and is gone.  Muwendo retreats counter-clockwise around the ring, then comes forward and hammers the unlucky Laque with a series of head shots.  Laque absorbs a terrific punishment but continuesto come forward.  Muwendo shows that he can counterpunch while moving backwards.  Now Muwendo stops short and lands another series of big shots and for the first time fight fans are shouting at referee Bobby Brunette to stop the fight.  Muwendo puts another two-handed hurt on Laque and the bell rings.

Round 5

Muwendo shots out a double right jhab and the second jab lands.  Laque puts his head down and comes forward, but Muwendo is now picking his shots, wearing Laque down.  It’s targetpractice for Muwendo.  Muwendo eludes a lunging attack from Laque and makes Laque chase him to the opposite corner.  Again Muwendo lands three punches in a row, but they’re not a proper combination – just three single shots in quick succession.   Laque is eaging shot after shot, now Muwendo attacks the body for a change of pace.  Laque corners Muwendo against the ropes, but Muwendo is countering more effectively than Laque is attacking.  Now Muwendo comes forward and lands another series of shots.  Laque lands a single shot that makes Muwendo paw at his nose.  Muwendo, perhaps realizing the danger of toying with a tough opponent, throws a vicious barrage that has Laque twisting and tottering, but the bell rings before Muwendo can finish it.

Round 6

After a bewildering long moment of uncertainty, it’s announced that referee Bobby Brunette has stopped the fight before the beginning of the sixth round.  Laque’s corner doesn’t seem to like the decision, but everyone else in the building realizes that it’s an act of kindness.


Travis Reddinger defeats Elias Jones in a horrendous mismatch.

Zach Juusola defeats Shaine Emmons

Antwan Robertson (now 6-2 with 4 kayos) is defeated by James Owen (now 4-0 with 2 kayos) by unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 39-37) after 4 rounds

Robertson’s entourage is led into the ring by a young man holding the Minnesota bantamweight championship belt over his head.  Nice touch.  Owens is introduced as “Superstar” to Robertson’s “Little Superman!”

Round 1

Owens comes out on offense and there’s an immediate clinch.  Owens is pressing Robertson, and Robertson retreats, off balance, into the ropes.  Robertson misses with a left, Owens with a counter left.  Now Robertson jumps forward with a right that misses.  We have some major inside fighting, and a right from Robertson finally lands.  Robertson again charges, and Robertson lands a good counter right hook to the head.  Now there’s a clinch, and referee Mark nelson has to break ‘em up.  The two now circle to their right, and a lot of awkward missing ensues.  Now we have another punching clinch, nelson let’s them go until they get themselves separated.  Robertson is bouncing, Owens charges in again and lands a slapping right, Robertson lands his best punch yet, with a counter.  Robertson ducks and comes up with a good left hook that connects.  Owens goes on offense again and tries to manhandle Robertson, but the round ends with neither man looking any worse for wear.

Round 2

Each man misses with a jab, then Owens flurries to no effect.  Robertson nods, and Owens nods back.  Robertson charges in but gets tied up and then hammered to the body.  Owens ducks down and comes up on the inside, but it’s another clinch.  Robertson keeps letting Owens inside, he’ll have to find a way to stop that.  Owens lands a crossing right that makes Robertson shudder and the two separate again.  Owens is definitely the aggressor here, Robertson looking to counter.  Low blow from Owens, nelson stops the action to give a mild warning.  Now we’re back inside again, Robertson lands a good counter that the crowd doesn’t catch.  The men clinch and Owens pounds the back of Robertson, which earns him a scowl from Nelson.  Inside again, and Robertson rubs his forehead as if he’s been butted.  Robertson lands a glancing right, but it’s his last score of the round, as Owens does all the work from here to the bell.

Round 3

Surely Robertson is being warned by his ccorner that he isn’t doing enough to win the fight.  Must have been, because he comes out throwing to start the round.  Both men score, and the pace slows.  Now Robertson punches out of a linch, landing a big left hand to the tempe of Owens, Owens responds with two of his own.  Owens puts his head down and bulls his way in on Robertson, landing another good shot.  Robertson is bouncing backwards into a neutral corner, then into the ropes, then into another corner.  There’s a clinch, then a lot of wrestling.  Owens lands a good left to the abdomen of Robertson, now they’re trading.  Owens is getting the upper hand again.  This is an ugly fight to watch, full of clutching and grabbing.  The bell rings, and we’re another round closer to the end.

Round 4

Owens is pacing in his corner before the round begins.  Owens comes out and lands a hard right immediately after the bell, Robertson counters with a hard left that lands.  Robertson is coming forward but not throwing, and Owens is doing good work to the body.  Now Owens traps Robertson in a corner and lands a big right and left, then a few seconds later another left that must have  hurt.  Robertson comes to life for one second, landing a left hand.  Owens is working the body again, and he gets away with a couple of low blows.  Robertson is standing up to the barrage, but taking a lot of punishment.  Owens is throwing furiously, hooks, straights, and even an uppercut.  Owens cracks a left to the body of Robertson, and now he’s just battering Robertson around the ring.  Another low blow goes unnoticed.  Owens is jumping in with his hands down, but Robertson isn’t seeing the big opening.  Owens backs Robertson into the ropes and punishes him again and again.  The warning sounds and Robertson makes little move to flurry, and as the bell rings his corner must know that he’s been soundly beaten.

Charles Meier (now 4-1 with 2 kayos) defeats Dan Copp (now 1-4 with no kayos) by unanimous decision after 4 rounds

Round 1

Copp is on his toes as the bout begins, showing off his foot speed.  There’s a lot of jabbing to no effect in the first thirty seconds.  Now Maeier comes a little close and Copp lands a left.  Meier keeps coming forward and lands a thudding right that thrills the crowd.  Copp circles the ring to his left, after traversing three quarters of the ring he’s finally caught with another good shot.  Meier now knows that he can walk through Copp’s punches, so he’s coming forward fearlessly.  Meier comes inside again and again gets cqaught with a single scoring shot.  Meier and Copp trade for about ten seconds, only one shot lands; a big right from Meier.  Copp has a habit of bouncing across the ring on his toes and changing direction suddenly – it isn’t working for him, as Meier has fast enough hands to score when Copp gets into range.

Round 2

Copp is trying to get in and get out fast, but Meier again catches him and lands a right-right-left-right to the body.  Copp finally gets the upper hand for a moment, landing a long flurry of hooks to the body, but after retreating to the ropes, Meier comes out punching and escapes.  Copp is now coming forward in windmill-fashion, and it’s getting him a few points.  Meier is bleeding on the left side of his face, can’t tell from where.  Copp is flurrying with hooks from a squared-up posture, and Meier’s speed seems to be dissipating.  Meier’s punches still have more steam, but they’re coming at longer intervals and landing less frequently.  Copp continues to charge forward with those slow hook-flurries, Meier lands a counter right at the bell.

Round 3

The fourth begins with Copp working his feet again.  There’s a lot of feeling-out, but no telling punches are landing.  Copp shuffles forward with his left out front, meier retreats across the ring diagonally, landing counters with every step.  Now meier lands a glancing right to the jab of copp and dducks out of harm’s way.  Meier is bleeding freely again, and Copp is trying to capitalize.  Copp comes forward again and meier lands a stinging right that puts him of balance.  There’s a short break and Meier again lands oen of those ducking rights, Copp is affected.  Copp collects himself again and returns to his advancing strategy, relentless rights and lefts, and Meier is countering effectively.  And that’s what’s happening as the round ends.

Round 4

Copp starts this round moving laterally, but soon returns to his forward-and-back route.  Meier comes forward and lands another big right that snaps Copp’s head back.  Meier goes downstairs to land a left hook to the body of Copp, but Copp lands a couple of hooks upstairs while Meier’s hands are in transit.  Meier lands a good left-right, then a jab.  Copp returns fire and lands at least one big shot.  Meier follows Copp into a corner and lands a huge right that thrills the crowd, then another about ten seconds later.  Now a right uppercut from Meier finds its mark.  Copp is tough as nails, but slow and doesn’’t have much strategy.  Meier again lands a flurry of power sohts and Copp rabs on, the first hard clinch of the fight.  Copp is reeling now as Meier pursues him around the ring, landing shot after shot – Copp stumbles forward into the ropes and gets his head and shoulders tangled.  Copp untangles himself and stands up,  and it’s unclear whether Bobby Brunette intends to break the combatants apart or stop the fight, but the bell rings so it’s a moot point.

Exhibition: Derek Winston (2-0 with no kayos) –vs- Jake Backus (0-1)

Round 1

We have some jabbing to start things off, and Backus ducks down and comes in low on Winston – no significant blows are landed, and the two resume a tactical standoff from the outside.  Backus is jabbing at Winston’s hands, but little else happens.  Now Backus lands a right to the hip of Winston.  The two disappear behind a ring post, and I don’t know what’s going on.  The finally reappear, and now Winston comes inside with a single left and Backus retaliates with a combination to the body.  Thirty seconds pass and Winston gets close again, landing a one-two.  Winston charges again, but Backus ducks his right and comes up punching.   No further action, and the round ends.

Round 2

More outside stuff begins this round.  Backus dips down and comes up with a single shot that lands.  Winston is walking Backus down, but landing nothing of note.  Winston throws a left hook that originates down at his hip and misses.  Backus is having some luck coming in with his knees bend.  Now finally Winston gets off, landing three straight lefts at an approaching Backus in about five seconds.  Winston tries to corner Backus, but Backus spins out of the corner and scoots to the center of the ring.  Now Backus is backing up, Winston follows again.  Backus retreats to his left.  The two meet in the center of the ring and Backus lands a flurry of body shots on Winston, who covers up and doesn’t respond.  We have a few more jabs and the round ends.

Round 3

There’s a pause at the beginning of the round and referee Bobby Brunette tugs up the back of Winston’s britches.  Now they’re at it, and it isn’t much.  Winston and Backus are circling clockwise in the center of the ring, and each man lands a couple of shots – Winston gets the better of it.  Circleing again, and Backus gets inside, where he punches out of a near-clinch, landing a right to the head of Winston.  Winston misses a right and a left, and then wags his head to taunt Backus.  Backus backs into a neutral curner, where Winston lands his best shot of the night, a left hook I believe, that snapped Backus’s head to the side.  Backus is on the move now, ducking and countering.  Backus lands a good shot to the head of Winston and the crowd “oohs.”  Backus is circling to his left now, and Winston has trouble catching up.  Backus lands two the body and Winston responds with one or two of his own.  Backus’ face shines with a Johnny Tapia-like grin, which tells me that that shot hurt.  The bell rings, round 3 is history.

Round 4

Winston comes out shooting the left jab, Backus tries to come in low again and Winston catches him with a glancing blow.  Winston misses two lefts; Backus is elusive.  Now there’s a punching clinch and Winston Winston lands several good body shots.  Twenty seconds later Winston lands several good shots – if this was a real fight I would say the tide may be turning.  Backus is more inclined to go toe-to-toe now, and Winston is getting the better of these exchanges.  Both men are now throwing a lot of shots to the bodies, especially jabs.  Backus misses a right hand badly, and Winston catches him with a shot that makes him stumble.  As we come to the end of this exhibition the two fighters flurry, but neither man comes out on top.  Bell.