Tag Archives: Dustin Mason

February 9th – Professional Boxing in West Fargo, ND

Branden Cluever (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Cody McManigle (now 0-1) by TKO in round 4 of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds.

Round 1

The fight starts inelegantly with both men ducking down and throwing simultaneously, neither man scoring.  They begin circling rapidly clockwise, with McManigle doing most of the attacking, and what little scoring there is.  Cluever lands the first shot, a big right hand that echoes.  McManigle scores next, with a counter right that thrills the crowd.  Cluever, trying to avoid a clinch, nearly turns his back on McManigle, but dodges a bullet as no damage is done.  Moments later mcManigle lands a big shot that drops Cluever.  Cluever is up quickly however.  The remainder of the rounds sees McManigle score frequently with head shots while Cluever tries to tie him up.

Round 2

Cluever would like to be the aggressor here, but McManigle is much faster.    McManigle lands a few good shots in the early going, but Cluever finally whips an overhand right in and pops him with a good shot.  McManigle is throwing bombs with evil intent.  Cluever spins around from one punch, and later turns his back on McManigle again to avoid taking a punch straight on.  McManigle is manhandling Cluever.  After some rough stuff McManigle lands a major four-punch combination that hurts Cluever.  McManigle is poking a hard jab into Cluever’s face now, scoring repeatedly.  Cluever returns the favor as the round draws to a close, and the bell rings with both men on the attack.  I’m not convinced the fight will last another round.

Round 3

Cluever, who has a strange and awkward style, scores with a couple of flurries on the inside.  Suddenly McManigle is down from a single right hand to the ear.  He looks hurt, but he gets up quickly.  McManigle is no longer circling, but rotating to face Cluever, who continues to orbit.  McManigle is huffing.  Cluever is attacking with more confidence now, and hurts McManigle with a big right to the body.  McManigle misses with a big round hook and nearly dips to his knee, but saves himself just in time.  Cluever is attacking the ribcage viciously, and McManigle is definitely hurt.  Again Cluever goes to the body, and McManigle is in agony.  Bell!

Round 4

McManigle is staying low and attacking to keep Cluever away from the body.  Cluever lands another right to the ribs, and the pain is evident on McManigle’s face.  Finally, with one more dig to the left side of McManigle’s ribcage, Cluever puts him away.  McManigle goes to a knee and referee Mike Robinson calls the fight.  What an unexpected outcome!

Nathan Seelye (now 0-1) is defeated by Dustin Mason (now 4-0 with 4 knockouts) by TKO due to injury retirement in round 2 of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Seelye has a longer reach than Mason, and in the early going he tries to take advantage with jabs and sweeping hooks, but doesn’t land anything.  Mason lands the first punch of the fight, as one of a flurry lands.  Mason is beginning to come forward and misses with a big right.  Seelye, seeking to be the aggressor, comes forward and gets hit with a  right hand.  After a lull, the two close ground and Mason does good work on the inside, landing a right to the temple of Seelye.  Mason is pursuing now, and catches Seelye backing up to the ropes, landing another power shot.  Seelye deftly clinches.  Seelye is shaking his left hand; it may be hurt.  Seelye is carrying his lead hand low.  Mason tries to attack but gets tied up again, and hits the back of the head, drawing boos from the crowd.  The round ends without further incident.

Round 2

Seelye is retreating and circling to his right in the early moments of the second.  Mason is having trouble landing a punch.  Now Seelye switches to southpaw, but Mason finally catches him with a lead left – Seelye clinches again.  Now Seelye is back to orthodox.  There’s a tie-up on the rope and Mason is getting frustrated.  Mason is coming forward and Seelye, backing into his own corner, instructs his cornerman to throw in the towel.  Cornerman Kevin Tjaden replies “Are you sure?”  Seelye says “Throw in the towel,” looks at his hand, and shakes it.  Seelye retires and the fight is over.

Nick Capes (now 0-4) is defeated by Ray Edwards (now 3-0 with 2 knockouts) by TKO about twenty seconds into the first round of a bout scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Edwards shows some respect for his opponent in the opening seconds of the fight.  The two circle for a moment, and then Capes ducks in and tries to land a haymaker.  Edwards counters, punching down at his much smaller opponent, and catches him on the top of the head.  It’s clear that this fight is over the moment Capes hits the mat, and referee Eddie Obregon waves it off.

Trenton Titsworth (now 5-15-2 with 2 knockouts) and Rondale Hubbert (now 1-0-1 with 1 knockout) fight to a majority draw after four rounds.  (36-40, 38-38, 38-38)

(The first thing you need to know about this matchup is that Trenton Titsworth is a long, lanky beanpole.  His arms are like tree limbs, so he’s going to have a big reach advantage over the normally proportioned Rondale Hubbert, who appears to be a full head and neck shorter.)

Round 1

Our combatants are circling.  After twenty seconds or so Hubbert sends out some tentative, exploratory jabs, and then fires a big hook that misses.  Finally after an extended feeling-out period, there’s a flurry, and both men seem to have landed slapping punches.  Another lull ensues, and suddenly Hubbert charge in, punches wildly.  Titsworth seemed to have parried most if not all of his punches. Tittsworth is feinting and moving his feet.  Hubbert shuffles in and attacks suddenly again, but Titsworth ties him up.  Hubbert is trying to figure out this puzzle.  Hubbert tries to duck inside but Titsworth counters and lands a right hand.  Hubbert backs into a corner, but Titsworth lets him escape.  Titsworth’s corner wants jabs, but interestingly, he likes to lead with his right, which essentially gives up his reach advantage.  Bell!

Round 2

In a four round fight you don’t get to spend much time figuring out your opponent, so Hubbert knows he needs to be aggressive.  He charges in low and gets under his opponent’s defense, then lifts him off the mat.  Now Hubbert tries the same thing again, but a clearly annoyed Titsworth punches down on him and lands.  Hubbert is coming forward now, and titsworth lands a hook to the body.  Hubbert is getting frustrated.  Now he tries getting rough, but titsworth ties him up.  Titsworth has lost his mouthpiece – there’s a pause while renowned referee Eddie Obregon gets a replacement from Titsowrth’s corner.  Hubbert attacks hard now, bulling his way inside and attacking with gusto.  Titsworth, no dummy, uses a double jab to score.  There’s some brawling going on now, and bad blood is developing.  The tide of the round seemed to flow in Hubbert’s favor as it drew to an end.

Round 3

Titsworth opens the third with some meaningful jabs.  Hubbert tries to get inside his defense but gets tied up.  Hubbert is getting rough now, charging inside, leading with his head, and throwing an elbow to Titsworth’s throat.  There’s a break, and then another clash in which a frustrated Hubbert is trying to manhandle titsworth.  Titsworth owns a slow and lazy jab, which he throws slowly and lazily.  All the fighting is on the inside now, which favors the more muscular Hubbert.  Hubbert is talking to Titsworth.  Titsworth comes forward and misses a power shot, and there’s another clinch with all the roughhousing that that involves.  Hubbert finally scores with a clean whshot.  After a clinch, Hubbert gets free and turns and walks away from Titsworth.  Did he forget to protect himself?  Yes he did, and Titsworth hits him with a hateful wing shot to the head, followed by another that he put everything into!  Hubbert tries to fight back, but Titsworth ties him up, and that was a rare moment of action in this bout.

Round 4

Hubbert knows he needs to score a lot now, and he comes out very aggressive.  He shoots his wad and seems to peter out.  Hubbert is working hard to get inside, but once he does Titsworth keeps leaning forward on him and smothering him.  Hubbert comes forward again and finally lands a good left hook to the head.  After another clinch Hubbert lands two good power shots that glance off titsworth’s head.  This is a much tougher fight than Hubbert was epecting.  Hubbert is circling Titsworth, looking for an opening to land a home run shot.  Hubbert’s hands are dropping, and if Titsworth could attack more effectively he would score here.  Titsworth tries to jab at th wide-open Hubbert and Hubbert counterattacks viciously, sending Titsworth reeling into the ropes, where he leans back to avoid Hubbert’s home run shot, and that was a close shave!  There’s grappling and infighting as the round draws to a close.  This was a better fight than I think anyone here expected.

Preston Shane (now 1-2 with 1 knockout) is defeated by Aaron Green (now 10-0 with 8 knockouts) by KO in the first round of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

About fifteen seconds into the first round Aaron Green knocks his opponent out with a jab.  No kidding, folks – it’s over.

Cheyenne Ziegler (now 3-10 with 2 knockouts) is defeated by Tyler Hultin (now 5-1-1 with 3 knockouts) by KO in round 2 of a fight scheduled for 4 rounds

Round 1

Ziegler comes out crafty, ducking down, whipping long punches, and getting bck out before Hultin could tag him.  There’s a flurry of punches by both men, which climaxes with Ziegler knocking Hultin momentarily off-balance.  Coming out of a clinch, Hultin catches Ziegler on the temple with a right hand and momentarily knocks him off balance.  Our fighters are trading in the center of the ring now.  Coming in Ziegler either hit Hultin with a right hand or with his head, it’s hard to tell which.    The pro-Hultin crowd is going wild at every opportunity, and Hultin gives them several opportunities, tagging Ziegler with several power shots in the middle of the roudn.  But Ziegler finishes strong, landing a couple of good right hands in the late going before Hultin flurries again in the last ten seconds of the round.  This looks to be a crowdpleasing bout.

Round 2

Ziegler bends at the waist to land a right hand on Hultin, and Hultin slaps him with a counter.  Hultin is going on offense, but Ziegler is a fast and shifty fighter, so most of Hultin’s punches miss.  Hultin lands a right hand that puts Ziegler off balance again, and then another one.    Ziegler moves in close and make Hultin brawl with him.  though Hultin lands several big shots, Ziegler makes him pay with tough counters and mauling.  The brawl moves into the red corner – Ziegler’s corner – where Hultin slips in a couple of hooks and a hard uppercut.  A vicious body shot puts Ziegler to the mat on his hands and knees, and though he tries, he can not get off his haunches before referee Eddie Obregon counts him out.  Hultin wins by body shot knockout and the crowd goes bananas.


Horton’s January 8th Show in Duluth Rescheduled to February 12th

Late word out of Duluth is that due to an unspecified injury to an unidentified main-event fighter, Horton’s Boxing has rescheduled their January 8th event to February 12th.  The venue remains the same – Clyde Iron Works Restaurant and bar in Duluth.

A source with knowledge of the situation says that the lineup us expected to include RJ Laase, Gary Eyer, Al Sands, Aaron Green, and the long-awaited professional debut of Dustin Mason.

Dustin Mason to Duluth

Amateur standout Dustin Mason will turn pro this winter in his hometown of Duluth, MN after years as an itinerant amateur and one abortive attempt to turn pro earlier this year.

A source with knowledge of the situation confirms that an agreement has been reached which has Mason making his final amateur appearance on December 9th in Duluth, then debuting as a professional January 8th under the Horton’s Gym banner at Clyde Iron Works Restaurant and Bar (“The Clyde”).

Dustin Mason to Go Pro in September

Amateur boxing standout Dustin Mason of Devil’s Lake, North Dakota has announced that he’ll make his professional debut on September 18th at Prairie Knights Casino.

Mason, who previously lived in White Bear Lake and Duluth, Minnesota, had long planned to join the US Army’s World Class Athlete program, but now has elected not to do so.  Rumors had been making the rounds for weeks, but nowMason has confirmed to the Fistic Mystic, “Yeah, my first fight is September 18th at the casino in Ft Yates (ND) against Tomi Archambault…I will fight at 135# and my manager and trainer is Eric Nations.”

Dustin Mason’s younger brother Dylan is the current Silver Gloves national champion for 14-15 year old boys in the 147# division.

Minnesota Boxing: Talent in the Bank

Minnesota’s boxing scene – though very much alive – is in a state of transition today.  In the last few years the old promoters who dominated the scene for years with old tried-and-true formulas have been replaced by dynamic younger men with new ideas and a better feel for the needs and desires of the modern combat sports crowd.  At the same time, we’ve seen a number of local boxers either announce their retirement or enter retirement by default due to inactivity.  Only a few of the old guard remain, and these not for much longer.

The Minnesota prizefighting fan of 2010 is treated to a troop of entertaining tusslers with an abundance of ability, but few (if any) of this group is considered elite by the wider boxing world.  Truth be told, only Jason Litzau is anything more than a blip on the national radar right now, and even at 27-2 Litzau isn’t taken seriously by a significant portion of the boxing establishment.

Sometimes good news comes when you need it most.

Robert Brant

Future star Robert Brant

Minnesota’s amateur boxing universe might look a bit depleted at the moment, with a number of young men having turned pro in the year past or not competing in the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves tournament this spring for various reasons of their own.  Worse, the Upper Midwest team nearly bombed out of the national Golden Gloves tournament last week.  Of ten weight-class champions, two didn’t compete at nationals and six of the remaining eight lost  in the first round.  One of the two who advanced made it no farther than the second round, and that left just one young man to represent our region.  But what a week that one remaining standout had!  Phenom Robert Brant added to his stellar (and growing) resumé by taking the national championship at 178#.

“Being a champion…it’s a lot of pressure, not only to win, but to win impressively, because people hold you to a certain standard,” says Brant.  “But it’s great being the champion!”  In years past we may have expected Brant to take a signing bonus from a major promoter and run to the pros, but this youngster has his eyes fixed on the pinnacle of amateur accomplishment.  “Yes, I’m going to stick around in the amateurs,” Brant confirms.  “The thought of being a professional world champion is definitely a big deal, but the idea of representing your country is even bigger.  Olympic qualifying begins next winter.  Everybody steps their game up around Olympic qualifying time – it’s going to be a hard one.”

So Brant says he won’t be turning pro for a while yet, and if all goes according to plan, not until after the 2012 Olympics in London.  Still, fans of the professional game owe it to themselves to keep an eye on this youngster.  What other local amateurs does young Brant think we should be keeping an eye on?

“Definitely the Mason brothers.  Also Jonathan Perez, he’s a very good boxer.  He was the Upper Midwest champion this year, but he didn’t compete in nationals because he had pulled a hamstring just a few days before the tournament began.  He’s going to do great things at the Nationals [in Colorado Springs July 12-17].  Oh, and there’s a 123-pounder from Circle of Discipline, Francisco [Noyola].  He’s a very quiet 17-year old kid, but when he’s competing in the ring he develops a totally different personality.”

Boxing fans in the Upper Midwest know too well that an amateur pedigree is no guarantee of professional success – we’ve seen more than one promising young caterpillar transform not into a beautiful butterfly, but instead to a drab and disappointing moth.  Historians tell you that if you want to know the future you must study the past, but sports fans know that hope springs eternal, regardless of history.  For that reason we never need to doubt that the next golden age of Minnesota boxing is just around the corner.  The talent is in the bank.

Those Mason Boys

There’s nothing new or different about brothers in boxing.  There are  many examples of brothers who have found success in the ring – in fact, Minnesota can boast some of the most illustrious fistic families in the history of the combat sports.  The Gibbons brothers, the Flanagans, and the Bobicks represent the cream of the crop, and today Jason and Allen Litzau are upholding the tradition of sibling pugilism.

There’s a pair of Minnesota boys in Devils Lake, North Dakota who have no gym, no ring, and no punching bags, yet they are some of the most accomplished amateur boxers in the US.  Meet the Masons, Dustin (18) and Dylan (15).

“We’re from Duluth, we actually started out up there in Duluth,” explains dad Ric Mason.  “Dustin sparred with Craig Butler every day for a year, and I give CJ a lot of credit for his development.  So we started out up there and Dylan went to nationals his very first year.  He’s gone for six straight years.  We moved to the Cities in 2005 so I could get the kids more fights, so we could be on the fight circuit and so I could learn more about the game.  You see, I’ve pushed them to achieve, but I have no real boxing skills myself, and just a little bit of knowledge.  They’ve really trained each other.”

Dustin and Dylan have literally had to train each other for the last eight months.  “I got in trouble with some drugs,” explains Ric.  I had a drug addiction that I’ve been battling.  I stayed sober for eight years but then I had an accident and I ended up back in the pills, but I’ve been sober again for the last two years…I’m not playing a big part in their lives right now like I’d like to.”  So the boys have been living with their grandparents for the last eight months, in a town (Devils Lake) that has no boxing gym or boxing club.  “Right now we’re playing basketball and stuff, and working out together,” says Dustin.  “It’s just hand mitts and stuff, it’s not like we have bags or spar or anything.  Other than that, we take trips to Grand Forks (90 miles away) and they open up the gym for us.”

Surprisingly, the lack of access to conventional training doesn’t seem to have hindered the development of the Mason boys.

Dylan, whose estimated record is 60-16, recently won the 2010 Silver Gloves national title for 14-15 year old boys in the 147# division after tallying runner-up finishes the last two years.  Ric explains that for winners of this title, “They get to go to Russia.  Now they’re not sure they’ll go this year because the US program is broke.  But at this point they don’t know so it’s on standby.  But the fifteen-year old Silver Gloves champs, they get automatic seeding in the 2010 Junior Olympics.”

For his part, Dustin expects to enter the US Army’s World Class Athlete program, which will allow him to pursue amateur boxing on a full-time basis while getting a free education and drawing a sergeant’s pay.  “Most likely, yeah.  That’s pretty much my goal.  I’d be going there this fall and it goes for three years, so I’d be there till 2013.  It’s going to be hard training and it’s going to keep me focused on boxing, and they’re going to try to get me ready to go to the Olympics.  At the same time they’re going to send me to college.”  Father Ric is thrilled with Dustin’s plan: “The deal is he goes to basic training, and as soon as he gets out of that he’s promoted to sergeant.  It’s the most wonderful way for him to go, because if you win the armed forces tournament you get an automatic invitation to the Olympic trials.  And that’s what it’s all about, is getting to the Olympics.”  The precondition that Dustin fulfilled to gain entry into this prestigious program is to place in the top 8  in his weight class in a major US amateur boxing tournament.  “Dusty would have been ranked higher, but he ended up losing to eventual champion Kevin Rivers in the US Nationals,” says Ric.  “I had a bad draw in that one,” Dustin laughs.  “Yeah, he went on to win the whole thing.  Then I’ve fought Michael Finney, lost a split decision.  Tony Lee, too.  I don’t know, I enjoy the travel.  I quit everything just to box.  I quit basketball to box.  I used to live in the gym.”

The Mason boys have encountered more than their share of challenges in their time in boxing.  They’ve been exposed to the highest levels of competition and held their own, and they’ve shown the ability to overcome emotional, psychological, and logistical challenges forced on them by their father’s absence.  Nobody knows what the future holds, but these kids are putting themselves in a good position to capitalize on the opportunities that have come their way.