Tag Archives: Marcus Oliveria

Roger Cantrell is Looking for Marcus Oliveria

I heard from Roger (Never Can Tell) Cantrell today. The 15-1 light heavyweight has his sights set on sometime Seconds Out fighter Marcus Oliveria, and here’s why:

Roger Cantrell: “Because we are both Native American fighters and I think I am the best 175# one out there. I heard he is strong and hits hard. I’m a good boxer with some pop myself. I think it’s a classic boxer/puncher fight.”

Fistic Mystic: “Are you expecting to fight Oliveria soon?”

RC: “This is something that has not been discussed with my promoter or manager but when it is I’m sure they will not disagree.”

FM: “Why is Oliveria an attractive opponent for you?”

RC: “I think it would be competitive, but we share a common opponent in Rayco Saunders, who I handled with ease and whom marcus struggled against. But it’s all about the Native American thing; I dont want there to be any mistake on who is the best native out there.”

The Fistic Mystic says: There are a million interesting fights out there waiting to be made.  Cantrell has suggested the match, but it’ll be up to his management to make it happen.


The Best of Minnesota Boxing: 2009

Here’s the final End-Of-Year article from the Fistic Mystic commemorating the events of 2009.  In the first two articles (Minnesota Boxing P4P and Risers/Fallers) we discussed who’s the best fighter in the state and who’s had the best year.  In this article we’ll take a broader look at the best and worst moments and the most outstanding achievements in Minnesota boxing in 2009.  Now please enjoy, and if you think you know better, honor me with a comment!


Knockout of the Year

Marcus Oliveria KO2 Otis Griffin on June 5th at Grand Casino Hinckley – Griffin used his speed and effective jabbing to blunt Oliveria’s attack in the first round, but somehow Griffin lost the plot in round 2.  Maybe it was because Oliveria quit going to the body, or maybe it was because the pace of the fight had slackened, but Griffin allowed Oliveria to slip inside and land a wrecking-ball right uppercut that knocked Griffin full out.

Honorable mention: Andy Kolle TKO3 Anthony Bonsante, Caleb Truax TKO7 Patrick Perez, Dion Savage KO4 Jeffrey Osborne Jr, Javontae Starks KO2 Dan Copp (body shot)

Fight of the Year

Gary Eyer UD6 Levi Cortes on December 4th at Target Center – Cortes came out throwing bombs and for a short time it looked like Eyer might not even make it past the first round.  But Eyer began landing counters and Cortes slowed, so that what had started out looking like a Cortes walkover turned into a thrilling slugfest.  The pattern that held through most of the fight was that Cortes came forward throwing rights, while Eyer gradually figured out how to time him, sidestep him, and counter with both hands.  The last 30 seconds of the fight consisted of a toe-to-toe punching contest.  When it was finally over Eyer looked like he had been brutally beaten, but Cortes looked even worse – like he had been trampled by horses.

Honorable mention: Cerresso Fort UD6 Lamar Harris, Christopher Holt SD8 Jonathan Corn, Caleb Truax TKO7 Patrick Perez, Dave Peterson MD6 Corey Rodriguez

Worst Fight of the Year

Cerresso Fort KO1 Yancy Cuellar on August 14th at The Myth in Maplewood – In the first round, the hapless Cuellar went down like he’d been shotgunned, and laid on his face until he was counted out.  Then he got up and casually walked back to his corner.  I don’t know, maybe he really did recover that quickly.  But it looked like shenanigans.

Dishonorable Mention: Tomi Archambault RTD2 over Ronnie Peterson (Peterson retires with a shoulder injury)

Worst Moment of the Year

Joey Abell NC1 Raphael Butler on December 4th at Target Center – This fight and its aftermath have been talked to death.  It’s enough to say that the way it ended (an after-bell knockout following the first round) was a disaster for everyone involved, and hopefully none of the corner dwellers are proud of their in-ring behavior afterwards.

Dishonorable Mention: Michael Davis TKO6 Jesse Barbot (scary-violent knockout, Barbot suffers bleeding on the brain)

Best Performance on the Road

Jason Litzau RTD3 over Verquan Kimbrough on August 15th at Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, MS – Litzau beat the tar out of 21-1-2 prospect Kimbrough in a supporting bout on the Roy Jones-Jeff Lacy card, the fight was stopped after three rounds to save Kimbrough from further injury.  With the win Litzau earned himself an appearance on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, which he used to beat Johnnie Edwards.

Honorable Mention: Jason Litzau UD10 Johnnie Edwards, Joey Abell, TKO3 Billy Willis

Prospect of the Year

Javontae Starks – Starks’ amateur credentials and professional potential will compel his management to handle him very thoughtfully and with great care, but Starks is confident and ambitious.  He wants to fight a lot and go up the ladder quickly.  Given the right opportunities at the right times, Starks should reach the upper echelon of Minnesota boxers quickly.  After that, who knows what might happen?

Honorable Mention: Cerresso Fort, Wilton Hilario, Ismail Muwendo, Derek Winston, Danny Figueroa, Dave Peterson, Jeremy McLaurin

Boxer of the Year

Jason Litzau (26-2 with 21 kayos) – The American Boy got better press than any other Minnesota fighter this year with his relatively high-profile wins against Kimbrough and Edwards.  Add that to the totality of his career work, and there’s nobody who can share this podium with him.  Litzau is one of the best reasons to pay attention to boxing in Minnesota, even if he doesn’t often fight here.

Honorable Mention: Andy Kolle, Matt Vanda

Risk/Reward and Other Thoughts from “Cornered”

The title of tonight’s boxing event at Grand Casino Hinckley was “Cornered,” but the underlying theme seemed to be Risk and Reward.  Several fighters were taking big big risks and hoping for great results – not all got what they were looking for.

Willshaun Boxley took on a 10-1 opponent from the East Coast, and it did not pay the dividends he was hoping for.  Boxley is an extremely talented boxer with exceptional power and an engaging personality.  He can still go far in boxing, but he’s going to have to dust himself off and start over.  Boxley lost an important fight for a bad reason: inactivity.  I thought that Willshaun was going to get the decision because his opponent was on the retreat for at least half of their bout.  But he just didn’t generate enough offense  to secure the win.

Caleb Truax fought a tentative and uncertain bout but still got the win against his most pedigreed opponent.  Durrell Richards claims a 46-4 amateur record and carried an 11-2 pro record into his match with Truax.  Combine Truax’s performance with Richards’ penchant for technical boxing, and you get a real snoozer.   But a win is a win, and though some will say this fight proves that Truax isn’t ready for Andy Kolle, all it really proves is that Truax can beat Durrell Richards.  Tack another win on Truax’s record and he’s still an undefeated prospect.

Phil Williams is obviously the big winner here.  He put on a hair-raising display against a nationally-known opponent with lots of power.  He took the punches he had to in order to deliver his best shots, and he got the big win.  Not only that, but he got an enthusiastic endorsement from his vanquished foe.  And not only that, but he got some great highlight footage to put in his portfolio.  Williams saw his stock rise dramatically tonight, and as a result he might not have been bluffing when he said that he isn’t interested in Jungle Boy Zach Walters any more.

Marcus Oliveria, though he isn’t a hometown guy, deserves an honorable mention here.  He fought the highest-profile opponent of his career in Otis Griffin, and he won in definitive fashion.  He threw an uppercut that landed flush and was astonishingly effective against a tough and well-traveled pro.  Oliveria’s stock rises for another reason, too – his win against Phil Williams last August will get him a lot more mileage tomorrow than it did yesterday.

Congratulations to Michael Faulk on his first professional win.  Probably the first of many.  I wanted to talk to my friend Sean Hickman about his young charge afterwards, but I couldn’t find him. Personal to Sean:  Your man has respectable power and a good chin. But could you ask him please to not let future opponents hit him so easily?

I apologize to boxing fans who were following my round-by-round account of the fights.  I was using a computer with a diminished battery that didn’t last like it should have.  It must have been a comical (or exasperating) sight for those around me, as I kept darting for the power outlets after every fight (and during a couple of them as well).  In addition I suffered some connectivity challenges that I haven’t had in previous visits to Grand Casino Hinckley.  At one point I lost my connection completely and had to log back into the Grand Casino wireless system while a fight continued without me.  Consequently two rounds worth of description disappeared into oblivion, never to be seen again.  Hopefully this is a one-time thing.

I also want to apologize to Antwun Echols for the low-rent behavior of some local boxing fans.  A few taunted him from the safety of the expensive seats, some even shouting foolishness like “Nigger keep your hands down.”  Echols showed a lot more class than some of the fans at this event.  I didn’t turn around to look when it happened, but I wonder whether the clown who splashed his drink on my back was one of these jerkwads.

Live Boxing Report: June 5 at Grand Casino Hinckley

Results for tonight’s card (“Cornered”) at Grand Casino Hinckley will be updated on a round-by-round basis, for as long as my laptop battery lasts.

First bout of the evening:

Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo (now 3-0 with 2 kayo)s defeats Josh “Jungle Man” Jungjohann (now 0-2), featherweights, by KO in round 1 of 4 scheduled.

Round 1

Early action is all Jungjohann pressing while Muwendo counters.  About a minute in Muwndo catches him with some vicious shots, lefts and rights, that wobble him.  Jungjohann stays wobbly while he takes thirty seconds  more shots, then goes down in the ropes.  He’s up quickly enough, but he’s clearly not all there.  This would be a good time to stop the bout.  It continues, however, and Muwendo hits him with an awful right that puts him down hard.  Jungjohann falls backwards into the ropes, the back of his neck landing on the bottom rope and gets a little bit of a whiplash.  The crowd goes silent as the fight is obviously over.  The doctor keeps Jungjohann on his back for a couple of minutes, then he gets up slowly with the assistance of his stool.

Second bout of the evening:

Michael Faulk (now 1-0) defeats Marvin Rodriguez (now 1-2) by majority decision after 4 rounds

Round 1

Early on Faulk establishes that both his left hand and his right are effective weapons.  Rodriguez is undaunted, lunging in with hooks.  Rodriguez lands a good right coming out of a close engagement, signaling his seriousness.  Faulk appears to have more power, but he gets hit pretty frequently.  A big right hook lands to the top of Rodriguez’ head.  The two circle, both missing with haymakers.  A lull in the action lasts until Faulk lands a pair of good right hooks afew seconds apart, and now both men are warned against leading with their heads.  It would have been reasonable to warn Faulk for hitting on the back of the head.  The two jab until the bell.

Round 2

Rodriguez comes out jabbing, Faulk hooking.  Both men are tentative, and then they clinch.  Rodriguez throws a hook to the ribs on the break, and is warned.  The two circle to their right, each man throwing (and occasionally landing) power shots.  Faulk lands a right-right-left.  Now a jab to the abdomen lands for Faulk, and he takes a shot from Rodriguez in return.  More circling, and Faulk catches Rodriguez coming in.  A vicious right landed but had no discernible effect.  Another clinch, followed by more jabs.  Both men duck in at the same time, and they may have clashed heads.  Just before the bell Rodriguez lands a useful body shot.

Round 3

 This round begins with a token jab from Faulk, then he launches and lands a good left and a good right.  A strong right lands to Rodriguez’ head, but he keeps coming.  Now he appeals to the ref, motioning to the back of his head.  Rodriguez is pursuing Faulk, occasionally landing good shots but just as often eating them.  In a clinch Faulk lands a heavy right hook to the left temple of Rodriguez.  Tentative boxing ensues, punctuated by another right from Faulk, which lands on the bridge of Rodrigeuz’s nose.  Rodriguez continues to pursue, and finally lands a huge right to Faulk’s head.  Rodriguez’ corner is going crazy, but their man fails to capitalize.  Near the end off the round Faulk loses his balance and puts a hand to the canvas, but referee Mark Nelson rules it no knockdown.  No further action before the bell.

Round 4

Comedy in the corner as Faulk’s corner forgets to insert his mouthguard, then juggles and drops it on the floor.  Once we get started the two combatants trade hooks until Faulk lands a monster that wobbles Rodriguez.  The tough Mexican keeps his feet and the fight continues.  Now Rodriguez is chasing, landing a flurry of good power shots.  Faulk showboats with a bolo punch.  Sweat flies as the two brawl in the center of the  ring.  Rodriguez chases Faulk into the ropes, Faulk bounces off the ropes and comes back at him.  Both men are landing good shots, neither is backing down.  Rodriguez lunges in and eats a shot, then lands his last good punch of the fight.  Round and fight are over.

Third bout of the evening:

Willshaun Boxley (now 5-1 with 3 kayos) is defeated by Thomas Snow (now 11-1 with 8 kayos) by majority decision after 6 rounds

Round 1

Snow comes out aggressive as advertised, but Boxley shrugs off his early punches.  Tentative jabbing takes over, Boxley dancing but throwing little nor nothing in the early going.  Snow occasionally touches Boxley with a light jab, but nothing effective.  Boxley is now following his opponent, but waits to throw punches with anything behind them.  Boxley begins to come around halfway through the round, staggering Snow with a right.  Now Snow clinches, spins around Boxley, and shoves him away.  Dirty tactics.  Boxley is lunging in with power shots, but now he slacks off.  The two are sizing each other up.  Boxley lands a power shot to the body, then Snow clinches and bulls him backwards  into the ropes.  Snow ducks under a hook and ends up in Boxley’s armpit, and that’s the round.

Round 2

Both men are in a hurry to engage, but ref Gary Miezwa holds them back until the bell.  Snow lands a good jab-jab-hook combo, but Boxley is unintimidated.  Boxley lands a right hook but doesn’t follow up.  Lots of tentative boxing, then Boxley lands a good left hook.  Boxley gets off balance but saves himself from falling by leaping and spinning back to his feet.  Both men are jabbing carefully now, little aggression is to be had.  The southpaw Snow seems to pose a riddle for Boxley.  Boxley gets off balance again as he lunges and punches at the same time.  Snow is awkward for him, but has yet to hurt him.  Those jabs can be annoying though, and Snow has plenty of them.  Ron Lyke can be heard in Boxley’s corner pleading for more offense, but the round ends without any fireworks. 

Round 3

Boxley ducks under some hooks from Snow, and Snow settles for a few more soft jabs.  Now Snow flurries with hooks but it’s unclear whether any landed.  Boxley picks a spot and lands a big right, but follows it with no more punches.  Boxley finds himself inside but musters no offense.  Snow is on the run now, and Boxley is chasing.  Boxley is avoiding a lot of punches by ducking and dancing, and he’s good at covering up, but defense alone won’t win this fight.  Boxley blocks a couple of uppercuts from Snow.  Snow is trying every form of offense he can think of, and sooner or later something’s going to work if Boxley doesn’t respond.  Now Boxley lands a couple of power shots.  More dancing and spinning, and the round ends.

Round 4

Boxley alternates between a defensive clinic and reckless showboating.  Boxley drops down and lands a good right to the midsection of Snow, but it’s a single punch and Snow gets away.  On a wild punch Snow spins himself out and has to touch the mat with his hand to stay up.  Finally Boxley, encouraged, comes alive and lands a flurry of power shots.  Lyke calls for body shots, but Boxley refuses to be coached.  Snow lands his punches mainly to Boxley’s arms.  Snow finally lands three successive punches.  Now he’s on the run again, and all Boxley can do is chase him and lunge.  Boxley lands a big right hook just before the bell.

Round 5

The round begins with dancing, then Snow lands a hard punch to the head of Boxley.  Snow lands another good punch and Boxley can be heard saying audibly, “Nice shot, nice shot.”  Boxley lands another flurry of power shots, then a lull is followed by a lesser flurry from Snow.  Boxley is walking flatfooted around the ring, following Snow.  He appears uninspired.  Lyke continues to shout at Boxley to do something, anything.  “Come on, you’re giving him the fight!”  Both men look like defensive wizards, but that doesn’t make an entertaining fight.  For about the fourth time this fight Snow clinches and then spins around Boxley as if to mount him from the rear.  And the bell rings.

Round 6

In the sixth round Boxley finally comes out with fury and desperation.  Boxley is landing good punches from all angles, and Snow is tired.  Now Snow tries to plant his foot for a punch and slips and fals.  Getting up, Snow immediately lands a low blow.  Boxley is literally running after Snow, but Snow is doing a good job of punching as he retreats.  Boxley settles down.  Again Snow spins behind boxley.  Boxley is showing all the aggression in this round, and it’s finally showing some effect.  A left hook catches a retreating Snow, and Snow responds by holding.  Boxley is shredding Snow’s defenses, and all Snow can do is keep running.  Now Snow runs around the ring with his hands in the air, as if in celebration, and the bell rings.  Fight over.

The Fistic Mystic says: I’m mystified by this decision.  Boxley didn’t show much offense tonight, but Snow showed even less.  What exactly was Snow rewarded for?

Fourth bout of the evening:

Marcus Oliveria (now 19-0 with 15 kayos) defeats Otis Griffin (now 19-6 with 7 kayos) by KO in round 2 of 8 scheduled.

Round 1

Griffin comes out aggressive but is bounced back by a strong hook from Oliveria.  Oliveria uses good body punching to score in this round with Griffin landing occasional strong jabs.  Much infighting ensues, but at this point my computer dies and I’m forced to begin rescue measures.

Round 2

 Oliveria starts strong, perhaps not wanting to fade like he did against Rayco Saunders.  Oliveria gets Griffin into a corner and lands a number of strong power shots, but Griffin escapes and resumes his effective boxing strategy.  Oliveria suddenly catches Griffin with a breathtaking right uppercut that puts him down and out.  Instant knockout, and referee Mark Nelson hesitates only a second before waving off the whole affair.

Fifth bout of the evening:

Caleb Truax (now 12-0 with 8 kayos) defeats Durrell Richardson (now 11-3 with 4 kayos) by split decision after 8 rounds

Round 1

Both men come out quiet, and after excessive inactivity Richardson landing the first punch of the fight, a soft right jab to Truax’s jaw.  The two are measuring each other, neither taking any risks early.  Richardson inches forward, Truax inches back.  Truax is feinting but not throwing.  Truax is pawing at Richardson’s right mitt, way off target.  Richardson throws a lazy jab and Truax connects.  Richardson jabs low and does not connect.  Truax throws an earnest jab that does not connect.  Much jabbing, but no further connects in this round.

Round 2

Let’s see whether some emphatic coaching in the corner has any effect on Truax’s game.  First thirty seconds is spent backing Richardson up, and Truax finally lands a sort of a hookercut.  Richardson is trying to do his work from the outside, but he is too slow and  heavy on his feet.  Truax is pursuing, but Richardson is doing a good job of staying away.  Not such a good job of fighting.  Richardson lands a left that resounds but does not work.  After a long lull Richardson lunges with a jab.  That lunging jab lands a couple more times.  Richardson’s footwork isn’t great, he’s seen to stumble occasionally.  No significant action for the remainder of the round.

Round 3

Truax is more aggressive in this round, and eventually connects with a straight right that pushes his opponent into a corner.  Richardson escapes, but a point is made.  Richardson isn’t tring to work behind his jab, he’s trying to do all his work with the jab.  Truax dances straight back from a power combo.  Nothing notable is happening here.  Lots of jabbing and dancing.  Richardson lands an okay shot.  Truax is walking him down but not attacking.  Richardson appears to be running scared now.  It’s tough to describe a round in which nothing really happens.  Bell rings.

Round 4

Richardson comes out with a frenetic but ineffective attack.  Truax is pumping the jab but not connecting.  Now a good right jab connects for Caleb.  the crowd chants for Truax, who is puching with greater frequency now, though seldom landing.  The jab is aimed at the head now instead of the hands.  Richardson dodges and runs.  Richardson is feinting but not often throwing.  Now he lands two punches about five seconds apart.  Truax finally corners Richardson but Richardson uppercuts his way out of the corner after eating just a couple of power shots.  A counter right cross lands to Richardson’s face.  Truax lands a glancing straight right.  Now Richardson seems off balance again, but he may just be tired.  Bell.

Round 5

Let’s end this thing quick, Caleb – before my battery goes kaput.  Richardson lands a nice jab and gets gone before Truax can make him pay.  Truax continues to pursue as Richardson runs two thirds of the way around the perimeter of the ring.  Truax is getting closer and closer to catching Richardson off, working very hard to do it.  The crowd is chanting again.  Richardson tries a power shot and Truax counters effectively.  Later while trying to escape from the ropes Richardson stumbles and falls but it’s no knockdown.  Truax is pressing the action but with little result.  Richardson throws a right and a left hook, but both fall short.  Truax jabs but misses.  A hook lands to the midsection of Truax. Bell, round.

Round 6

 [connectivity issues]

Round 7

 [connectivity issues]

Round 8

This round begins with more aggression from Truax, and his better physical connection shows.  A good left jab catches Richardson on the right cheek as he attempts to escape from a corner, but Richardson does escape.  Both men are primarily jabbing, but Truax’s jab is more snappy.  Truax continues to give chase, and finally corners Richardson.  Directly in front of his cornermen Truax throws a barrage of hooks, but none manage to damage his opponent.  Richardson runs some more, and all Truax can do is run after him.  Richardson lands here and there, but nothing to write home about.  Bell rings, bout over.

Sixth bout of the evening:

Antwun Echols (31-10 with 27 kayos) -vs- Phil Williams (10-1 with 9 kayos), light heavyweights, scheduled for 8 rounds

Round 1

Williams immediatley begins walking down his opponent, echols holding his hands high and waving at the Drill.  After a lengthy period of measuring Echols jumps in with a hook.  Williams is switching up from right to left handed with regularity, and is landing infrequent, but powerful, hooks.  A left hand from the southpaw stance lands for Williams, but Echols is not subdued.  Echols charges but is stopped but a good counter and pauses to regroup.  The two are trading power shots like battleships: infrequent but powerful.  Williams deftly ducks a right from Echols with ten seconds left in the round, and the two dance and feint for the remainder.

Round 2

Williams begins to retreat but with his back to the ropes, lands a thunderous right hook to the head of Echols.  Echols hasn’t lasted this long for nothing; he’s game.  Echols grabs and wrestles Williams, but he is unable to stop the onslaught as Williams bulls him into his own corner and lands several very effective power shots.  Williams is connecting coming and going, all Echols can do is complain to referee Mark Nelson.  And he gets hit while he’s doing that, too.  Williams is moving Echols with almost every punch, even his seldom-used jabs.  Echols finally lands some good shots, including a hurtful right-left combo while Williams was trapped in a corner.

Round 3

Echols is dropping his left hand and stomping in on Williams, and the Drill makes him pay, chasing him across the ring and into the corner, landing power shots with every step, and pummeling Echols in the corner.  Echols escapes the corner and fights back, but Williams is the stronger man.  A pattern is emerging where every time Echols is hurt he looks incredulously at the referee and compains about something.  Redfaced, Echols is throwing dangerous power shots at Williams, but Williams continues to get the better of the exchanges.  A killer straight right lands for Williams, and Echols comes back with power shots that back Williams into the ropes.  Just before the bell Williams ducks and steps backwards at the same time, getting tangled in the ropes and requiring an intervention from the referee.  As he returns to his stool Echols face is streaming blood from somewhere around the right eye.

Round 4

Two mad bombers are putting on an incredible show tonight, with Echols repeatedly landing killer rights and Williams answering with both hands.  If there were questions about Williams’ chin he’s answered them by taking the best “Kid Dynamite” has to offer and throwing it back at him.  Again Williams backs Echols up and hits him with the kitchen sink, and again Echols shows tremendous aggression and toughness.  A right-left combo hurts Echols.  Now Echols moves Williams back with a series of hooks, and continues to throw and land vicious shots as Mark Nelson tries to break them.  Echols is getting the better of Williams as the round comes to a close, and does not stop throwing punches with the bell, hurting Williams with two shots in overtimne.

Round 5

A shot from Williams hurts Echols, and he nods and invites Williams to do it again.  Williams seems more tentative in this round, having been on the run at the end of the last.  Weak shots are landing for both men, doing little damage.   Now Williams lands a right over an Echols left jab, then a huge right to Echols’ ear, to which Echols’ response is to compain to the ref.  Echols is following and jabbing, and Williams is coming back over the jab to hurt  him.  Now Williams hits Echols with a shot that wobbles him, but is unable to follow up effectvely.  Echols goes to the center of the ring and when Williams approaches, hits him again with a hard right.  Pawing with the jab, Echols is doing a better job now of keeping Williams on the outside.  Williams lands a counter right at the bell, but Echols makes a show of being unimpressed.

Round 6

Both men appear exhausted, perhaps Echols more so.  Echols is trying to get inside, where he is very dangerous.  A left jab from Williams staggers Echols, but he quickly recovers and comes forward.  Williams is landing that jab consistently, but now Echols lands a counter jab that gives him pause.  A left from Echols rattles Williams’ head, but Williams retreats and regroups.  Williams is huffing now, but he’ll need more ammo to win this bout.  Three left jabs in about five seconds slow Echols down.  A few more land, but now Echols counters effectively.  It looks like Williams, though stronger, is feeling every punch from Echols.  A second before the bell Echols turns his back and walks away from Williams.

Round 7

The round begins as the last round ended, with Williams landing left jabs that move Echols’ head.  Echols attempts to counter but is caught with two hooks that stagger him and send him reeling into a neutral corner.  Williams chases Echols into the corner and pummels him.  At this point one of Echols’ cornermen jumps up on the apron and begins whistling at referee Nelson.  Nelson, unaware of where the whistling is coming from, allows the bout to continue.  Echols runs across the ring seeking respite, but is unable to escape.  Williams continues to pursue and to beat Echols to a pulp.  Finally Nelson stops the bout, but it’s unclear whether it’s in response to the corner’s urging or because it’s clear that Echols needs to be rescued.  Win for Williams by TKO!

The Fistic Mystic says: Echols shows  real class afterwards, using his time on mic to praise Williams.  Paraphrased:  “I was in with Bernard Hopkins and he couldn’t do nothing with me.  This man is for real…when it comes time for him to make a step up, he’s going to be the man!”

June 5 at Grand Casino: Shaping Up Nicely

The June 5 boxing card at Grand Casino Hinckley, for which tickets went on sale May 9, is filling out and taking a very comely appearance.

Contracts have been signed for all the announced fights, including Willshaun Boxley -vs- Thomas Snow, and another is currently in negotiations.  I won’t name names, but it’s going to be a well-known local fixture against an out-of-town name that’s become familiar to local boxing fans.

Though Joey Abell won’t be appearing on this card, promoter Tony Grygelko tells me that we can expect to see Abell in Minnesota in July, along with Caleb Truax and Mohammed Kayongo.

Updated Card for June 5 at Grand Casino

Tony Grygelko of Seconds Out Promotions has released an updated fight card for June 5 at Grand Casino Hinckley.

Jaidon Codrington (19-2 with 15 kayos) -vs- Phil Williams (10-1 with 9 kayos), light heavyweights, scheduled for 10 rounds

Caleb Truax (11-0 with 8 kayos) -vs- James Brian Cook (11-3 with 8 kayos), middleweights, scheduled for 8 rounds

Marcus Oliveria (17-0-1 with 13 kayos) -vs- Otis Griffin (19-5 with 7 kayos), light heavyweights, scheduled for 8 rounds

Willshaun Boxley (5-0 with 3 kayos) -vs- Thomas Snow (10-1 with 8 kayos), super bantamweights, scheduled for 6 rounds

Jeremy McLaurin (3-0 with 2 kayos) -vs- TBA, lightweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Ismail Muwendo (2-0-1 with 1 kayo) -vs- TBA, featherweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

Rayco Saunders Talks About His Loss to Marcus Oliveria

Rayco Saunders has some things to say about his recent visit to Minnesota, and they aren’t all good.

On Saturday, January 24 Saunders appeared in a light heavyweight boxing match at Grand Casino Hinckley, losing a majority decision to 17-0-1 Marcus Oliveria of Kansas.  This writer reported live round-by-round from the event, and when it was over Saunders didn’t like all I had written about his performance.  His first objection was that I reported he was spitting blood near the end of the fight, and the conversation begins there.

I ask the reader to keep in mind that these comments come from a fighter who is bitterly disappointed that the judges didn’t give him a win he feels he earned.  I don’t know Saunders and I’m not saying he’s right or wrong, but I asked for his opinion and I feel obligated to convey it in full.  One thing I’m reluctant to do, however, is to get in the middle of a he said/he said dispute between fighter and promoter, so I ask all involved not to shoot the messenger.

Fistic Mystic: About whether you were bleeding from the mouth – If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  I thought I saw you spitting blood.  It wouldn’t be honest for me to change my report after the fact so I won’t, but I appreciate your setting the record straight.

Rayco Saunders: Yes, you were very wrong!  I was never even hit in the mouth!  I work hard on defense, and I feel mine is pretty damn good.

Fistic: Please tell me a little bit about your strategy.  What did you know about Oliveria coming in, and what was the reasoning of your corner in reining you in during the early rounds?  What do you think would have happened if the fight had gone on longer?

Rayco: Artie Thompson, who worked my corner, although he is a good trainer, is not my trainer.  He was a fill-in guy because my guy couldn’t make it.  I informed him that Oliveria’s favorite punch was his overhand right.  Our strategy was to take that away from him, as we did.  Show him things that he’s never seen before, as we did.  Touch that body, as I did.  And break him down, as I started to do, which forced him to literally run away from the fight…but you didn’t write that! [ed: I did write repeatedly that Oliveria was retreating and that Saunders was the aggressor in the later rounds, read it for yourself.]  Where I disagreed with my team, was I wanted to take Oliveria to war from the opening bell.  But I pay these guys for their instruction, so I listen to them.  Every bell from the first till I became the aggressor, I told my corner I wanted to go get him.  They instructed me to move to my right, put the jab on him, and keep moving my head.  The round that I came out as the aggressor, I couldn’t take moving and jabbing anymore.  Artie gave me the go-ahead to become the hunter.  After the fight, Artie informed me that he thought it was a 10 round fight, and apologized for being misinformed.  Before the fight I told Tony Grygelko and Tom Brown that Oliveria was not ready for me.  I told Tony that I would stop him.  If he wouldn’t have ran, literally he would have got stopped!  If it was ten [rounds] like Artie thought, he would have got stopped!

Fistic: Please give me a scouting report on Oliveria.  What does it take to beat him, and what would you do differently if you had another chance?

Rayco: Oliveria is still learning.  He still does very amateur things.  There is something that he does not do, but I won’t open his eyes to it because of the possibility of a rematch.  If I fight him again, I take him to war as I wanted to do, and stop him early.

Fistic: How were you treated on your visit to Minnesota, and would you return for another fight?

Rayco: My treatment in Minnesota by Seconds Out Promotions was terrible!  I was told that me and my team would be brought in on 22 January, 2009.  We weren’t brought in until [the next day].  While I’m on the plane to Minnesota, I was informed through text message that the weigh in would be held at 7pm on 23 January.  When we were picked up from the airport, it took us two hours to ge to the hotel.  After the ride left us we found out that we were dropped off at the wrong hotel!  45 minutes later, at 6:30pm, we get to the correct hotel.  At this moment Tony Grygelko asks me did I get his text about the weigh-in taking place at 7pm, and to meet him in a few minutes so we can go back to the hotel from which we just came from, where the weigh-in will take place.  Then after the fight, at 12:55am, I received another text from Tony Grygelko stating, “The limo will pick up fighters at 7am.  If any fighter misses the pickup, they will have to find their own transportation to the airport.”  My flight didn’t leave Minnesota till 2pm!  Then two of the judges give those terrible scores.  They can’t count too good neither.  Add the scores up!  You asked would I return for another fight…absolutely!  There are people in this world whose struggles are far worse than what I went through in those few days.  I would definitely come back.  Especially if it’s to fight one of Seconds Out Promotions’ fighters.  The people of Minnesota treated us well.  They also know who won the fight, as was evident by the cheers for me and the boos for Oliveria.