Tag Archives: Mohammed Kayongo

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

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

Round 1

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

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

Round 1

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

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

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

Round 4

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

Round 5

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

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

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

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

Round 4

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

Round 5

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

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

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

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

Round 4

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

Round 5

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

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

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

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

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

Round 1

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

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January 19 Round-by-Round: Truax -vs- Vanda

The show is scheduled to begin at 7pm, and you know what that means.

It’s now 7:28pm and the first fight is about to begin.  Updates will begin at the bottom of this page.

At 10:41pm all the preliminaries are over and we’re getting ready for the start of Truax-Vanda.

Main Event: “Golden” Caleb Truax (now 21-1-1 with 12 kayos) defeats Matt “The Predator” Vanda (44-15 with 24 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after 10 rounds.

Round 1

Vanda comes out jabbing, and goes to the body of Truax early.  Truax’s first punch landed is a left hook to the head.  Truax, the larger man, is going hard at the body of Vanda, and Vanda is coming back equally hard at the head of Truax.  Truax counters Vanda’s right with a left that puts Vanda momentarily off balance, but does not hurt him.  After some tactical work, Traux comes at Vanda again with some hard shots.  Harder than is the norm for a first round.  Vanda throws three left hooks at the body of truax, then latches on and the two ggrapple, Vanda bulling Truax into the ropes.  Now Truax lands a big stright right to Vanda’s face.  The two circle to their left and Vanda doubles up on a head shot.  A few more seconds and the bell sounds.

Round 2

Vanda comes out aggressive again, throwing three to the body and one to the head of Truax.  Truax backs off and then comes forward again, jabbing to set up something bigger.  Vnda goes to the body again.  Now Vanda goes down from an inadvertent leg sweep by Truax.  Action resumes, and a brawl breaks out.  Truax lands a couple of huge rights to Vanda, who responds with three big shots of his own.  though the two are trading shots, Truax’s punches seem more effective.  The two land simultaneous jabs.  Thre’s a loose clinch and Traux tries to punch out of it, but Vanda fires back.  Now Vanda lands three shots to break the clinch. All the work is being done inside now, with the fighters standing shoulder to shoulder and hitting each other to the body.  Truax backs off and jabs, then forces vanda to cover up with a flurry of power shots.  Vanda throws two shots to end the round; one might have landed.

Round 3

Trua lands a couple of jas to start the round, then Vanda attacks with power shots, and another period of brawling ensues.  After trading on equal terms, Truax lands a hook to the body that moves Vanda.  Vanda is being aggressive, but he finds himself retreating more than he would like.  Now both men drop their shoulders, and body shots are flying.  It’s head shots that break a clinch, though.  Truax is doing a good job of bullying his opponent, but Truax is tough as nails, and comes out of a tussle slugging.  You get the feeling that Vanda really thinks he can win by having fun in there, and for him brawling is fun!  Truax lands a bunch of good shots only to have Vanda fire up the crowd with a single flurry as the round comes to a close.

Round 4

Truax lands four, five, six big right hands to Vanda’s head.  Vanda comes off the ropes swinging, but Truax definitely got the better of him there.  Truax is again coming in with power shots.  Now Vanda turns him around and rains power shots on Truax for a few seconds.  Truax is having good success with power combinations.  Vanda’s punches are starting to get slower, but he’s giving it all he’s got.  ther’s a clinch and referee Mark Nelson breaks the fighters.  Truax lands a left hook and then a right uppercut.  Vanda fights back with a shoeshine.  Truax is the crisper puncher.  Truax misses with a left, then lands a right and a left.  Vanda fights back, but Truax puts together another series, culminating in a hard right hand just before the bell.

Round 5

The fighters are circling to their left.  Truax is getting through with his left hand, over and over.  Vanda never seems in trouble though, because nothing fazes him.  Truax doubles his left hand and then lands a hook to the head of Vanda.  Vanda comes forward swinging, landing a few, but Truax again stops him and forces him into a shell with counters.  Truax blocks Vanda’s left with his hand, but Vanda’s left lands with some power.  Truax increases his head movement, dances a bit, and comes in with body shots.  There’s some daylight between the two men now, and Vanda takes a few potshots.  Truax steps inside and tries to get rough, but Vanda pops him once and they wrestle on the ropes.  Now they separeate and they’re just slugging it out.  Truax gets Vanda on the ropes and shoots a few good shots into him, but the bell rings with Vanda still having fun.

Round 6

both men are jabbing again to start the sixth, but then Truax lands a seeries of power shots from both hands, and for the first time tonight, Vanda looks frustrated.  Truax beats Vanda to the punch again.  Vanda is circling and coming forward.  he ducks a shot from Truax, comes up and lands a left, but then ruax pops him three or four good ones.  Vanda sneers at Truax.  Truax lands the sedond half of a 1-2.   There’s a clinch, and Vanda comes out of it looking tired.  Truax corner Vanda and goes head-body.  Vanda worms his way out, but Truax pours it on.  finally Vanda lands three punches of a four-pounch combo.  Truax is boxing, Vanda is trying to brawl.  Now Truax forces Vanda into a corner where he lands two shots.  The bell rings as Vanda is about to throw an overhand right, and he pulls back his punch.

Round 7

Vanda comes out aggressive this round, but his force peters out after a good sequence.  Truax is battering Vanda to the head, but vanda reverses course and comes forward, landing two shots.  Truax counters, and the two clinch again.  Out of the break Truax is jabbing, backs off, and then steps in and lands two good shots.  Vnda comes forward and lands a wicked, whipping left ot the body.  this boxing match is beginning to devolve to a wrestling match.    Traux steps back and then charges in again, but they’re mauling, not landing clean shots.  Now vanda steps back and both men land power shots.  Truax leads with a soft left and hten lands a hard right.  Vanda pushes Truax into the ropes, but Truax punches his way out.  Vanda counters, but can’t sustain his aggression.  Truax lands a right to the ribs of Vanda.  Vanda lands a left, there’s the sounding for ten seconds left, and he lands two more.  The fighters trade shots, and Vanda lands the last one of the round, much to the delight of his numerous supporters.

Round 8

Vanda comes out swinging again, but truax lands more shots and harder shots in the exchange.  Vanda raises his right hand and grins at Truax, which incites the crowd.  Backing Truax into a corner, Vanda lands his best shot flush on the chin of Truax.  Truax cturns on him, landing a couple of big shots.  More mauling now, and and more mauling…finally Truax punches out of it, landing one big right to Vanda’s head.  Truax lands some arm-weary punches on Vanda, Vanda fires back.  Truax lands two in earnest, and Vanda fires bak again.  There’s a break, and Truax comes in hard, landing a big right that puts Vanda on his heels. Vaanda stays with him, comeing back with power shots.  Now Truax lands a huge straight right that has Vanda reeling, and he chases Vanda across the ring landing power shots at will.  Just before the bell Vanda comes back to life, rocking Truax with two mule-kick power shots.  More screaming from the crowd!

Round 9

Truax comes out throwing in the eighth, but Vanda finishing his combination for him.  Vanda lands some har jbabs, and Truax comes back at him with both hands.  Truax lands three big shots, steps back, and then steps back in and does it again.  Vanda continues to throw back.  Truax gets the better of almost every exchange, but Vanda is tough.  Truax comes inside to throw power shows, Vanda sucks him in and lands a big right.  After a brief break they go back to mauling.  Vanda lands several left hands and Truax can’tget free to answer back.  Truax comes in aggressive, and Vanda has his best moment of the fight, landing a dozen or more spower shots.  Finally Truax breaks free, raises his hands, and smiles that famous smile.  Both men are tired, but they’re warriors and they’re still going at it.  Truax traps Vanda on the ropes and lands one punch out of a flurry, but it’s a big right that snaps Vanda’s head back.  The bell rings with Vanda sneering at him again.

Round 10

Vanda might be counting on Truax to fade, but Truax is coming forward with power shots again in the tenth.  After landing two good shots Truax eats one good one in return.  There’s some more mauling, in which Vanda lands a couple of body shots at close quarters.  The crowd is chanting Vanda’s name again for about the tenth time this fight.  Truax has Vanda in the ropes and lands a tremendous left that seems to slow Vanda.  Vanda finally comes back with a two-handed assault that increases the noise level in this auditorium.  they’re trading now!  Finally the exhausted men both fall in, leaning on each other and taking a mutual break.  Truax steps in and lands a left right that move Vanda.  Vanda throws a right and Truax’s counter just about turns him sideways.   Truax tries to attack but Vanda neutralizes his attack and throws a tremendous volley, which Truax returns.  Now they’re both stumbling across the ring throwing monsterous shots from every angle – it’s the fight of the year!  The bell rings and the fight is over.  The combatants hug – what else could they do?

Summary: Vanda is a warrior, but Truax is bigger and stronger.  A ball-out brawl between a bigger man and a smaller man predictably goes in favor of the bigger man.

“Sir” Charles Meier (now 7-2-2 with 3 kayos) defeats Travis Perzynski ( 2-3 with 1 kayo) by Majority Decision after 8 rounds.  I could not hear the first score, but I believe the last two were both 76-74.

Round 1

The fight starts out slow, with lots of jabbing and feinting.  Perzynski finally lands the first punch, and moments later, Meier lands the first power shot.  Meier is looking a little loosey-goosey out there, and indeed his corner is calling for him to button things up.  Perzynski comes forward, missing with most of his punches – Meier is moving his hands a little, jabbing some, but mostly watching for an opening.  Meier throws a clubbing overhand right to the head of Perzynski, who continues to come forward.  Meier lands a let and right to the face, then a right to the abdomen of Perzynski.  Perzynski’s right hand is a little slow, and Meier is countering it well.  Meier again goes head-body.  Just before the bell Meier lands a left and right to the gut, and though Perzynski didn’t show it, that must have hurt.

Round 2

Perzynski isn’t chasing Meier in the second as he did in the first; there’s more circling and jabbing.  Perzynski doubles the left jab, but Meier fires back with much faster hands, landing two shots.  Perzynski is pumping the jab now, which is a very good idea.  He gets Meier off balance and chases him all the way around the ring twice, but does little to follow up the initial score.  Meier shuffles forward, throwing a left to the body and then retreating.  Perzynski scores with a single shot to the face.  After a brief lull, Meier lands a haymaker right hand to the head of Perzynski.  it was a very dramatic looking punch, and the crowd is impressed.  Perzynski is showing more aggression now, but Meier likes to counter and makes the most of it the opportunity as the round draws to a close.

Round 3

Perzynski is coming forward again, and the lanky Meier is jabbing him away.  Perzynski lands a tentative righ to the body of Meier.   Now Perzynski comes forward and lands an overhand right to Meier’s head, but there’s no follow-up.  perzzynski throws a sort of an uppercut that just clips the chin of Meier.  Now there’s some trading, and each man lands.  Meier in particular lands a good short left that turns Perzynski’s head.  Meier is coming forward now, and Perzynski is jabbing.  Meier must feel he’s got Perzynski where he wants him.  Perzynski again throws that terribly slow double jab.  Meier comes forward and lands a big right that snaps Perzynski’s head to the side and puts him off balance.  Perzynski scores with a 1-2 of his own.  The fighters get a little bit tangled at the end of the round, and it looked like Meier got one good shot in.

Round 4

After plenty of jabbing from both men to start the round, Pezynski lands a picture perfect jab and straight combination, but again with not much mustard.  There’s a little bit of trading, and then a pause in the action as Perzynski seems to have some discomfort in his eye.  Not sure what that was about.  This is a very tactical round, with a lot of jabbing, feinting, and missing of punches.  Meier steps in and misses with a big left, and Perzynski grabs him and shoves him toward the ropes.  Perzynski’s jab seems more pesting than anything, but it is keeping Meier away.  Meier finally decides to get physical and attacks the body, then clinches.  Perzynski comes forward and there’s some good trading for the first time in this fight.  In the last ten seconds of the round Perzynski cracks Meier a couple of good shots and has Meier reeling in the ropes as the bell sounds.

Round 5

Meier is jabbing again to start this round, which induces perzynski to jab too.  Meier jabs at Perzynski’s body, the his head.  Meier lands four consecutive punches, one to the head and three to the body, and Perzynski fires back.  Meier lands a big slapping right.  Perzynski pumps the jab some more.  Meier unleashes one big overhand right that could have vaporized Perzynski if he was a bigger puncher.  Meier is starting to get more aggressive.  Perzynski rushes forward buut Meier pops him in the mouth with a left.  Perzynski times Meier and lands a single power shot, but Meier lands a 1-2 only moments later.  The fight is getting sloppy now.  With ten seconds to go in the round Perzynski tries to attack, but Meier puts together his best sequence of the fifth round, scoring with two particularly good power shots.

Round 6

Perzynski comes out very aggressive and chases Meier into and out of a corner.  Meier regroups and tries to fire back, but Perzynski gets him on the run again, landing several good running shots.  Perzynski and Meier throw at the same time, neither man landing.  Meier looks like his feet are back under him and whips a hard right into Perzynski’s midsection, then does it again seconds later.  Meier scores again, and then pops Perzynski attemting to counter.  Perzynski is a tough dude though, and keeps coming.  Meier steps back and throws a wide right that turned left on third avenue to get back into the building.  Meier knifes a left into Perzynski’s body.  Perzynski nods and comes back at him, chasing Meier and catching him in the last ten seconds of the round.  The two trade, and Meier lands the last and most effective punch of the sequence.

Round 7

Meier is jabbing again to start the seventh.  Meier reaches back and lands a straight right to Perzynski’s head.  Perzynski gives chase, but when he caches Meier he takes two hard shots for his trouble.  Perzynski raises his right hand to attack and Meier lands a huge shot that after a short delays, lands Perzynski on his butt.  Pezynski rises at about the 8 count, nodding his head that he’s okay to continue.  Meier is throwing power shots now, but having touble landing them.    Perzynski, hands up, takes a couple of big shots from Meier.  Perzynski is backing up, trying to survive the round, and Mier keeps landing single and double shots.  Meier is going body-head and hurting the head.  Perzynski comes forward at the end of the round, tries to mount an attack, but Meier counters him again.  I’ll say this for Perzynski – he may be slow and have a limited repertoire, but he is a decent tactician and he can take a punch.

Round 8

Meier comes out agggressive, trying to score with a hard jab.  Perzynski walks through the jab and lands a big left-right to the head that for a moment looked to have meier in trouble.  Meier steps out of trouble and shows his earnestness with a fair 1-2 of his own.  Meier is trying to end it, and lands a couple of hard shots at close range that have Perzynski hurting.  Still Perzynski comes forward, missing a lot of punches but finally landing two shots that fereze Meier momentarily.  Meier misses with a jab and a hook, but Perzynski can’t counter.  Meier lands a glancing right to the face.  Meier attacks recklessly, landing one but missing two more.  Perzynski sees the recklessness and attacks, landing a big right (I think?) that puts Meier on his backside and skidding across the mat.  Meier gets up quickly and the two trade as the round ends.  In the corners, Meier looks disgusted and Perzynski looks ready to go more rounds, chatting and laughing with his cornermen.

Summary: Meier is the more skilled fighter and that should score him a win in the bout, but Perzynski gave a good account of himself and certainly made it interesting in the later rounds.

Mohammed Kayongo (now 16-2 with 11 kayos) defeats Gilbert Venegas (11-8 with 7 kayos) by unanimous decision, 58-56, 58-56, 58-56

Round 1

Venegas is pushing a preventative jab at Kayongo in the early going.  No intent behind it except to keep Kayongo away, which is wise as Kayongo is a big hitter.  The two men circle to their left.  Circle, circle, circle.  Certain elements in the crowd are critical of the tentative approach.  Kayongo throws a soft triple jab.  Finally Venegas throws a straight left that connects, and Kayongo hits him back several times, hard.  Venegas lands another left, and Kayongo goes 1-2 on him.  Venegas again connects, and Kayongo pops his head.  Kayongo throws a hook that lands solidly.  Venegas wants to brawl – Kayongo lands a 1-2, and then a 1-2-2.  Venegas hasn’t got the speed or the power to hang with Kayongo for long, so he’s using aggression to try to end it early.  The round ends with a short rally that sees neither man gain an advantage.

Round 2

Both men circling to their left, throw their jabs in sync a few times.  Finally Kayongo breaks the pattern with a left hook that collides with Venegas’s head.  More circling, and a double left jab by Kayongo.  Now Kayongo puts together four left jabs.  Kayongo dips his left shoulder and throws a rising straight left.  Venegas lands a strong lead left.  Venegas is punching a little wildly now and misses a couple of times, but then connects nicely with Kayongo’s head.  Kayongo isn’t punching like a man seeking a knockout, more like a man who wants to score.  Venegas can’t catch up with Kayongo’s speed, so he’s coming forward.  A wide left hook lands for Venegas, but it lacks steam.  As the ten second warning sounds Kayongo attacks, but as his attack wanes Venegas lands his best 1-2 of the fight.  Bell!

Round 3

Venegas comes out jabbing again, but this time he’s trying to land those jabs.  Venegas lands a shot and Kayongo counters, then showboats, and his cornerman is clearly not happy about it.  “We’ve got work to do!”  Kayongo throws several uppercuts, and then several more uppercuts – that was unusual.  Venegas is following Kayongo, who is on his bicycle.  Finally Kayongo reverses direction and throws several powerful lefts.  Venegas can’t match him punch for punch, but does connect with one good right.  A brief lul, and Venegas lands another good right.  Now a hard two punch combination.  Kayongo bends forward at the waist, and Vengas hits him with a loud slapping right handed body shot.  Kayongo is biding his time, but Venegas takes the initiative, flurrying and landing several times before in the last ten seconds of the round.

Round 4

I’m not seeing the attack I had expected from Kayongo, and I recall that he hit Venegas on the elbow early in the fight.  I wonder whether he hurt his right hand then.  Kayongo triples the left jab.  He’s moving around a lot, and Venegas has to sharpshoot him.  Kayongo bends his knees and shoots a right hand at the body of Venegas.  Venegas barely misses with a grazing shot in response.  Venegas lands a wide, looping right hand.  Kayongo is getting hit a lot, or more than I had expected, and they aren’t pitty-pat punches.  Venegas goes on the attack, forcing Kayongo into an extended confrontation.  That, I think, favors Venegas, who now lands twoo big rights and then two big lefts.  Venegas is getting the better of this round.  Kayongo tries to counter, but Venegas lands a nice right hook as the round nears its close.  The round ends with flurries from both men.

Round 5

Venagas comes out confident, leading with that left jab again.  Kayongo jabs from his waist and lands it.  Now Kayongo lands a double left jab and both men stand still for a while, bouncing but not attacking.  This round is looking like a jabbing match.  Kayongo finally lands a slow, wide hook.  Kayongo snakes two left jabs through Venagas’ defense.  There’s a lot of trading going on here, but little damage is being done.  Kayongo must be leading the punch count.  Kayongo leans forward and tries to use his length to score, but Venagas potshots him and puts him off balance.  Now Venagas begins charging forward, throwing power shots.  Kayongo throws three left uppercuts, but Venagas counters with power shots from both hands.  The crowd thrills as these men trade shots – here’s 30 seconds of great action to end the round.

Round 6

Our combatants touch gloves to start the final round.  Venagas is again the aggressor, but Kayongo is jabbing effectively to stymie him.  Venagas throws a left and a right as he jumps inside, and there’s a clash of heads.  Venagas hugs Kayongo and apologizes.  Kayongo appears to score with a good power shot, but my view was blocked.  Venegas pursues him counterclockwise around the ring, occasionally landing a single shot.  Kayongo tries to attack, but Venegas pops him with a big right hand.  Now Kayongo goes down with a thud, but I think Venegas stepped on his foot.  Venegas tries to help kyongo up, but referee Mark Nelson shoos him away and lets Kayongo get up on his own.  Venegas is attacking again, but Kayongo counters with great power and great effectiveness. As Kayongo showboats Venegas lands one huge right hand to Kayongo’s temple, which precipitates an amazing flurry to end the bout.  What a barnburner!  The round and the fight are over, and frankly I wouldn’t want to be scoring it.

Jon “The Ironman” Schmidt (now 11-3 with 6 kayos) is defeated by Michael Faulk (3-2 with 2 kayos) by TKO in round 1

Round 1

Faulk throws the first feint and the first punch of the fight, and lands the first punch, a right to the body.  The two tangle briefly, but then the referee stops the fight and directs both men to neutral corners.  It’s explained that the fight doctor wasn’t present at the start of the fight.  As the bouts resumes, for about a minute there’s little or no action, just a lot of circling and feints.  Finally Faulk lands a good left to the head of Schmidt and the men clinch.  Faulk punches on the break, but the ref didn’t seem to notice.  Faulk lands a beauty of a left and Schmidt goes down hard!  Schmidt pops up too fast, a sign of a hurt fighter.  As action resumes, Faulk attacks viciously, throwing everything at Schmidt and trapping him on the ropes.  Many, many punches land, and Schmidt  can’t get away and isn’t throwing back.  Finally Schmidt gets free, and countering, lands at least one good right hand – but Faulk pursues him around the perimeter of the ring, finally catching him and trapping him again on the opposite side of the ring, whereupon referee Scott Erickson finally stops the fight with only seconds left in the first round.

Tony “2Sharp” Lee (now 7-1 with 3 kayos) defeats Leonard Overstreet (0-3) by Unanimous Decision, 39-37, 40-36, 39-37

Round 1

Lee, a slick boxer, comes out with feints and jabs.  Overstreet walks in and tries to land a left to the body, but Lee punishes him with several mean shots from both hands.  Overstreet is coming forward tentatively, and Lee is using his speed to hurt him when he tries to attack.  Lee lands a vicious left to the face of Overstreet and Overstreet grimaces.  There’s a pause in the action as Lee waits for Overstreet to commit a punishable offense.  Overstreet lands a right to the head of Lee, and afterwards Lee is bleeding from his left eyebrow.  Overstreet is misses with a left but lands a right to the body of Lee.  Lee doesn’t seem distracted by the blood, but he might not know yet that he’s bleeding.  Overstreet is moving around now, acting more confident.  He finds an attack blocked and tries to move to his right, but Lee hurts him with a left hook.  No more action before the bell.

Round 2

There’s good action to start the second, with both men throwing and circling to their left.  About thirty seconds in Overstreet leads with a left and Lee counters with a left.  Overstreet is circling to his right and as Lee turns to face him, a nasty welt is evident on his left cheek.  Overstreet is encouraged, and comes in hard, dropping a big right o the ribs of Lee.  Lee’s speed avantage is diminishing.  Now Lee flurries and misses with all his punches except a big right hand at the end, which bends Overstreet sideways.  Overstreet continues to come forward, but Lee lands a nice rising hook.  Overstreet wants to trade – Lee would be wise to stick and move instead.  As the round ends, Overstreet lands a short shot to the body and Lee misses with his counter, and Overstreet stands and grins as Lee returns to his corner.

Round 3

Overstreet comes out aggressive and lee obliges him by trading.   There’s little defensive technique to this round – some punches are missing their targets, but none appear to be deliberately blocked.  Lee comes forward with a double left jab, and that was pretty.  Overstreet  lands one power shot and eats two more.  Overstreet retreats and comes forward again – Lee jabs him to the face.  That jab is beginning to reappear, and it sets up a nice three shot combo.  There’s a clinch, and refeeree Mark Nelson looks closely at Overstreet as they break; Overstreet smiles sweetly at him.  Overstreet throws a left that misses, and Lee inadvertently connects a counter right to the back of his head.  Now there’s an exchange that clearly favors Lee, as his power shots excel Overstreet’s.  Both men miss with parting shots, and the third round ends.

Round 4

Lee doubles up his left jab, then singles it, then doubles it again.  There’s a clash of heads, and Mark Nelson pauses the fight to warn both men.  As action resumes Overstreet lands a right that shudders Lee, but Lee responds with a furious flurry that clearly hurts him.  Now Lee lands consecutvive right hooks.  Overstreet is a little wobbly, and Lee sees his advantage.  Overstreet’s lazy punches are leaving openings for Lee, who capitalizes with sharp single shots.  Overstreet comes forward with his head down.  Overstreet attacks again – his punches are slower, but they’re landing.  Lee seems willing to take a shot to land two, but with his speed he shouldn’t have to.  Overstreet lands a couple of thudding power shots, but Lee resopnds with three shots.  Overstreet comes in hard and headbutts Lee, and there’s some scuffling as the bell rings.

Summary: Lee outclassed Overstreet, but he didn’t play to his advantages as he should have.  He relied on his superior speed and power and it worked tonight, but…

Damion Hill (now 0-1) is defeated by Kenneth Glenn (now 2-0 with 1 kayo) by unanimous decision: 39-36, 39-36, 40-34

Round 1

These two are said to have a history, and they both come out firing in the early going.  Hill lands the first good shot, a thudding right to the body, but then the two back off and measure each other.  Hill comes forward and lands the second punch of a 1-2 to the head of Glenn.  Glenn shuffles in and connects with a couple of good power shots, then does the same thing again.  Both men are mostly stationary fighters, bouncing but not moving.  Hill, who is taller, is beginning to jab, then a  double jab.  Glenn is the more aggressive man, and his punches have some mustard.  He punches Hill into a corner, but Hill counters and escapes.  the two trade again, to no advantage.  Now Glenn attacks with an intent, and backs Hill into a corner, but hill again escapes.  Hill jabs, then retreats.  With a few seconds to go Hill fires a lazy left and Glenn counters with a smart right hand. Bell.

Round 2

Our fighters touched gloves at the end of the first, and again at the start of the second.  Glenn is again more effective.  Being much shorter, he has to get inside to land.  Glenn gets too close and Hill hammers him with an overhand right.  Hill’s corner tells him to attack the body, and he does briefly, but then goes back to the head and Glenn lands a big single right hand.  Neither man is putting punches together effectively.  Hill is now circling to his left, and Glenn is rotating to his right.  Hill’s corner keeps telling him what a great job he’s doing, but now Glenn attacks and lands a good straight right.  A few moments later the scenario repeats.  Glenn knocks Hill’s mouthguard out during a wild flurry with about ten seconds to go, and despite shouted alerts from the crowd, referee Scott Erickson allows the round to conclude.

Round 3

Both men are trading artlessly, shuffling forward and back in the third.  Hill is fighting with his mouth open, and standing flat-footed.  Glenn continues to attack, landing a good right hook to score.  Hill counters with a good left as Glenn tries to follow up.  Glenn is a brawler by nature, but Hill has more potential to box.  Hill, however, looks exhausted.  Glenn is’t taking the initiative as he was earlier.  Now Glenn charges in and knocks out HIll’s motuhpiece.  Hill goes down to his knees but no knockdown is called.  Insterad his corner inserts his mouthpiece while he kneels in his corner.  Returning to action, Hill has the look of a spent man.  He continues to stroll flatfooted as Glenn chases and pummels him.  Now he turns his back and walks away.  This fight should be stopped.  The bell rings, and Hill loses his mouthpiece again as he drops to his knees in his corner, but no action is taken by the ref.

Round 4

Glen is the aggressor again.  Hill is trying to counter, but he has to time Glenn or it’s all for nothing.  glenn connects with a right that knocks Hill’s mouthpiece out again.  Hill is crouching with his hand on the mat as the referee deducts a point.  Back to action, and Hill misses with a left hook and swallows several power shots from Glenn.  Hill’s corner seems to think that was a good exchange for him.  Glenn chases Hill into a corner again with a flurry that hurts, but Hill finally lands one good counter and Glenn backs away.    Hill continues to try to counter, but his punches are too slow to chase his opponent.  I spoke too soon, Hill lands a single good counter that changes Glenn’s direction, but the result is only temporary.  Glenn rushes in again, and again Hill stumbles backwards into a corner.  A clean overhand left lands for Glenn.  With ten seconds to go, Hill finally attacks and though he wins the last ten seconds, he clearly lost this round and this fight.

Summary: this was a fight without art or science; both men were merely reactive, watching for an opening and throwing a punch.  Fun to watch, though.

Jeremy “Lights Out” McLaurin (now 10-5 with 5 kayos) defeats DeWayne Wisdom (2-8 with 1 kayo) by Unanimous Decision, 39-37 on all three cards.

Round 1

Wisdom strikes firsst, a lead left to the body.  Wisdom traps McLaurin agains tthe ropes and pummels him.  Mostly to the body, and McLaurin doesn’t like it.  Wisdom pounded the body for a good 20+ seconds, before McLaurin grappled him into a clinch.  McLaurin has a great height advantage, but Wisdom is the bigger hitter and the more aggressive fighter.  Wisdom is using plenty of head movement and aggression to neutralize McLaurin and lands some good power shots in the process.  McLaurin finally lands a good left to the body but doesn’t follow it up.  Wisdom is weary and McLaurin connects with a big right to the head – a big one.  Wisdom smiles and shakes it off, then attacks, scoring well in the process.  No significant shots land in the last ten seconds of the first round.

Round 2

The second round begins with McLaurin stalking, and he does connect with some good body shots in the early going, but a taller man with a greater reach should be able to score to the head, shouldn’t he?  After a break, the two clinch, but they break themselves up without the ref’s assistance.  McLaurin flurries with light punches and scores.  Wisdom lands a couple of big left hands separated by 2 or three seconds.  Wisdom isn’t built for the long haul, but this is only a four rounder.  McLaurin smacks Wisdom, a glancing blow with his right.  Now the pace is slackening.  McLaurin traps Wisdom in a neutral corner and goes upstairs, downstairs, upstairs.  Wisdom is huffing a little bit, but ducks and cmoes back up with a big left hook.  Another haymaking left connects for Wisdom, but he doesn’t have the same snap to his punches that he had earlier.

Round 3

This round begins with McLaurin stalking again, but Wisdom stops short and fires a few power shots.  McLaurin tries to attack, but Wisdom counters with a big shot and then flurries, all the time glaring at McLaurin’s corner rather than McLaurin himself.  Wisdom bulls McLaurin into a corner and flurries slowly.  McLaurin continues to back up, but counters while Wisdom attacks.  Wisdom tries to duck under a round left punch but it catches the top of his head and his balance is momentarily affected.  Now Wisdom goes on the attack, and his aggression is very effective.  If those shots aren’t hurting McLaurin, well they’re hurting me from 20 feet awsay.  McLaurin unleashes a few disjointed power shots, but again Wisdom shrugs off the power shots and flurries back at the end of the round.  This must be disheartening for McLaurin – it clearly is affecting the morale of his corner crew.

Round 4 McLaurin is shooting out a lazy left jab intermittently to start the fourth, but Wisdom again goes on the attack, and lands at a better clip and with more effectively than McLaurin can counter.  McLaurin is trying to time him, and does finally connect with a roundhouse left.  McLaurin walks in and pops Wisdom with a right, but Wisdom doesn’t let him follow up.  A flurry from McLaurin draws a grunt from Wisdom.  Wisdom is not in the kind of condition McLaurin is, and that may be a factor here.  wisdom is plowing in with his head down now, and his punches lack force.  McLaurin, who has thrown fewer puches tonight, is punching more effectively than Wisdom now.  But Wisdom soldiers on, putting his forehead into McLaurin’s chest – an uppercut would be useful here.  Ten seconds to go and the two trade, with McLaurin getting the better of it, and the bell rings.

Summary: Wisdom clearly won the first three rounds, but McLaurin deserves the fourth.  I think the hometown crowd is going to be disappointed in this result.

Summary: I think it’ll be scored 3 rounds to 1 in favor of Wisdom.  He clearly took the first three, and McLaurin deserves the fourth.

Minnesota Boxing: 2010 Year-End Pound-for-Pound List

The sport of boxing doesn’t often reward its devotees’ loyalty and emotional investment by producing yearned-for matches.  As a result, the greater part of being a boxing fan is speculating whether, all things being equal, one fighter could best another fighter in the ring.  That’s where pound-for-pound lists come in.

Here are the Fistic Mystic’s rankings of Minnesota’s best fighters regardless of weight class.  Last year’s ranking for each ranked fighter is in parenthesis following his record.  Unranked fighters are listed in alphabetical order.

  1. Jason Litzau – 28-2 with 21 kayos (1) – This spot was occupied by Litzau a year ago, and this year Litzau has widened the margin between number one and everyone else.  Since the 2009 rankings Litzau has added two more good wins to his ledger: a technical decision win against Rocky Juarez and a split decision (which should have been a wide unanimous decision) over Celestino Caballero.  No other Minnesota boxer can claim one so prestigious a win in 2010, much less two.
  2. Andy Kolle – 23-2 with 17 kayos (2) – Kolle maintains his position in the P4P rankings this year by virtue of style, rather than substance.  Though Kolle went 4-0 this year with two first-round TKOs, none of his wins came against substantial opponents.  The best of the four wins was a lopsided decision win against Matt Vanda in April, but Kolle had already defeated Vanda (albeit in less decisive fashion) back in 2007.  Kolle gets to keep his spot, but like all of Andy Kolle’s admirers, I’m hoping for something bigger and better in 2011.
  3. Caleb Truax – 16-0-1 with 10 kayos (6) – After fighting five times in 2008 and another five times in 2009, Truax began to experience the typical deceleration of career progress that many prospects encounter when they become known; it becomes more difficult to get them fights that are winnable, useful, and profitable.  So management has to be more selective, and fights become less frequent.  Since last spring it’s been well known that Minnesota boxing mainstay Matt Vanda would like a shot at Truax, and that would be one of the biggest events that the Upper Midwest boxing scene could produce in the next year.
  4. Joey Abell – 27-4 with 26 kayos (7) – The fighter called “Minnesota Ice” benefits from some shuffling in the rankings this year.  Abell didn’t do anything wrong in 2010, but he didn’t fight very much.  The fights he did have went according to plan; Abell dispatched overweight journeyman Josh Gutcher in the 2nd round in April and then avenged a loss by punishing Arron Lyons for four rounds in July.  Abell’s fans look forward to a career-defining moment on January 28th, when he’s schedued to meet former world title contender Chris Arreola in Temecula, CA.  With a win Abell could find himself finally making waves at the national level.
  5. Phil Williams – 11-3-1 with 10 kayos (5) – The banger from North Minneapolis didn’t have a great year, fighting only twice and going 0-1-1 in 2010.  Williams’ performance against 18-0-1 Donovan George in January was disappointing, but his April performance against Caleb Truax was more encouraging.  Truax piled up the early rounds but Williams came on late, scoring with heavy shots and looking like the stronger man in the last two rounds of the bout.  In a development that must have been hard for Williams to swallow, he had a third fight scheduled for December 18th but it fell out at the last possible moment when his opponent, Matt Vanda, was found to be under suspension in New Jersey, hence ineligible to fight in Minnesota.  The bout was changed from a prizefight to an exhibition, and reduced from ten rounds to six.
  6. Matt Vanda – 43-12 with 23 kayos (4) – Some fight fans think that Vanda is slipping.  I’ll reserve judgement for now, but I will point out that Vanda was only 1-3 this year, and that one win didn’t come against a great fighter.  If it turns out that Vanda’s career really is winding down, that’ll be too bad for local fight fans.  Few professional boxers exude more joy for the sport of boxing than Vanda – the pleasure that Vanda demonstrates in plying his craft reminds me of Johnny Tapia in terms of being a guy who just seems to love to fight.  On the other hand, one local boxing authority has privately expressed to me a fear that Vanda will “end up tragic.”  Whether Vanda’s failure to disclose his true professional status to the promoters of the December 18th show at Target Center is a step in that direction or merely an instance of profoundly poor judgement remains to be seen.
  7. Wilton Hilario – 12-2-1 with 9 kayos (3) – Hilario’s career trajectory illustrates just how difficult it is to rise and how easy it is to fall in the boxing world.  After going 0-2 in 2010 Hilario has seen his stock fall precipitously.  Hilario’s loss to Martin Honorio exposed some serious flaws in Hilario’s game, and his subsequent loss to Cuban prospect Luis Franco showed that Hilario is a slow (or reluctant) learner.  The good news for Hilario: nope, there is no good news yet.  If he’s serious about his boxing career Hilario needs to do some fast learning and get a couple of rebuilding wins.  If not, there are some nice paydays out there for a fighter with a record like his.  Now I don’t want to be unfair to a good fighter, so I will point out that Hilario’s two losses came to very tough competition – Luis Franco in particular is looking very good right now.
  8. Ismail Muwendo – 7-0 with 6 kayos (-) In hindsight, Muwendo should have been on this list a year ago.  My bad.  The “Sharp Shooter” is a real talent, a young man who has impressed in the prizefighting ring and earned the respect of other fighters in the sparring ring.  Muwendo reportedly sparred with Jason Litzau three or four times before Litzau’s defeat of Celestino Caballero, to the benefit of both men.  Expect to see Muwendo fight at the Hyatt on January 7th, provided an opponent can be located.
  9. Gary Eyer – 8-0-1 with 6 kayos (14) – Are you surprised to see Eyer rise so far in this year’s rankings?  To be perfectly honest, so am I. Eyer only fought once in 2010, but it was a dazzling 2nd-round win against Brad Patraw, who has since reclaimed the Minnesota bantamweight strap that he had previously lost to Antwan Robertson.  In that lone bout this year Eyer battered Patraw unmercifully, to the point that the only people in attendance who protested the stoppage were Patraw and his trainer, Johnny Johnson of the Rice Street Gym.  Eyer’s size (he formerly fought as a welterweight but has worked his way down to super featherweight) and his power have made him rather an unattractive match, but his manager Todd Bechthold and trainer Chuck Horton are too smart to bet so much hard-earned momentum on a risky opponent.  Eyer’s next fight is scheduled for February 12th, but no opponent has been announced yet.
  10. Corey Rodriguez – 5-1-2 with 3 kayos (10) – That Corey Rodriguez could maintain his position on the P4P chart after going 1-0-2 in 2010 owes something to the quality of his in-ring competition.  Rodriguez fought only once during 2009, losing a close decision to unbeaten Dave Peterson in Rochester.  C-Rod didn’t fight again for nine months after the loss, then packed three fights into five months.  Moving up to middleweight to face Charles Meier, a very respectable boxer and a bigger man than Rodriguez, Rodriguez got a majority draw.  Traveling to Cleveland to fight unbeaten Ohioan Dante Moore resulted in another draw.  Finally, Rodriguez made the trip up I-94 to Fargo and came within a whisker of knocking out tough journeyman Nick Runningbear, earning himself a wide unanimous decision win.
  11. Cerresso Fort – 10-0 with 8 kayos (17) – That an undefeated prospect like Mr. Fort could be ranked lower than Corey Rodriguez owes something to the quality of his competition, as well.  Fort seemed poised for good things as 2009 came to a close, though a close fight with Lamar Harris may have (should have) struck a note of foreboding in the hearts of supporters.  But in 2010 Fort fought only once, earning a unanimous decision in a four-rounder against 3-8 opponent Steve Macomber in California.  That’s it.
  12. Willshaun Boxley – 6-7-1 with 4 kayos (13) – Sometimes an athlete’s struggles against tough competition can establish the level of his talent even as he tallies a loss.  Consider Boxley a case in point.  Boxley’s record in 2010 was a dismal 1-4-1.  The cumulative record of his opponents, however, was 54-3.  Not only that, but at least one of Boxley’s losses (against Pier Olivier Cote) was an egregious miscarriage, booed by the fans and mocked by the television broadcast crew.  Fortunately, Boxley ended the year on a better note, ending an 8-fight winless streak with a win in Canada and then earning a draw against 15-1 John Jackson at Target Center.  Boxley is still as talented now as when he was 5-0.
  13. Dave Peterson – 12-0 with 7 kayos (8) – Missing in action for an entire year, Peterson is an enigma.  Eventually he’ll probably cash in on his record for a nice payday or two against impossible opponents.  Else he’ll retire undefeated.  Either outcome would be disappointing for Minnesota’s boxing fans.
  14. Mohammed Kayongo – 15-2 with 11 kayos (9) – Here’s another fighter who hasn’t been seen or heard from in a year.  This lanky welterweight seemed to be in a good place when he TKO’d James Todd at the Saint Paul National Guard Armory in November of 2009.  Since then his name has come up a couple of times as a possible opponent for bigger names, but nothing has developed, and Kayongo and former manager Scott Tolzmann have parted ways.
  15. Jon Schmidt – 10-1 with 6 kayos (-) – Schmidt fought just twice in 2010: a no contest against 6-1 Josh Crouch in June when Schmidt suffered a bad cut, and a points win against dangerous but limited opponent Ryan Soft in October.  Schmidt will take a major step up when he faces 10-0 former Olympian Shawn Estrada on the undercard of the Abell-Arreola event on January 28th in California.  Schmidt’s career has been undistinguished so far, but the young man with a reputation of a workout fanatic has a great opportunity to shine.  All of Minnesota should be pulling for Schmidt when the time comes.
  16. Javontae Starks – 4-0 with 4 kayos (18) – Young Starks has looked like a monster in the ring when he’s fought, but his opposition hasn’t been great and he has pulled out several fights in the last year.  Now it looks like Starks has severed ties with his original promoter, MSC, and is appearing on the January 7th card presented by Tony Grygelko’s Seconds Out Promotions.  Only time will tell what the future holds for this talented youngster.  If he had been more active this year, Starks would surely have advanced further up the P4P list than he did.
  17. Vicente Alfaro – 4-1 with 1 kayo (-) – A year ago only the most obsessive fight fans in Minnesota knew of Alfaro, but now he’s the owner of wins against Brad Patraw and former Olympian Ron Siler.  Alfaro also suffered his first loss in November, reportedly a one-sided beating at the hands of 11-0 Efrain Esquivias Jr in Ontario, CA.  Nevertheless, Alfaro remains nicely positioned to fight local small men like Antwan Robertson, Derek Winston, Gary Eyer, or even Ronnie Peterson.
  18. Brad Patraw – 7-3 with 4 kayos (12) -Patraw, fighting out of the Rice Street Gym, had an uneven 2010.  First he lost badly to Gary Eyer in April, then he faced off against Vicente Alfaro and lost a second straight fight by 2nd-round TKO (his third consecutive loss overall).  Finally, on December 18th, Patraw stopped his skid with a unanimous decision win in the rubber match between him and Antwan Robertson.  The win against Robertson was a carbon copy of the first fight between the two, which Patraw dominated.  Patraw has big ambitions, but he might be wise to use the Minnesota bantamweight title strap as an inducement to make fights with other local small men before trying to move up on a national level.
  19. Jamal James – 3-0 with 3 kayos (-) – With Javontae Starks seemingly out of the picture, you can expect MSC to push Jamal James as the next big thing in Minnesota boxing.  And why not?  James is a talented technical boxer who seems to have found power to go with his speed, precision, and slickness.  The junior welterweight from south Minneapolis also has a quirky personality.  Watch him bow and flourish in the ring before a fight and try not to smile!
  20. Hector Orozco – 3-6 with no kayos (-) – 2010 was Orozco’s best year as a pro.  As the new year dawned Orozco’s record was 1-4.  Orozco’s 2010 unfolded this way: first Orozco lost controversially to unbeaten Jeremy McLaurin, a stoppage due to a cut that was ruled a TKO.  In a rematch with McLaurin, though, Orozco befuddled his 7-0 opponent and took the win.  Next Orozco was rematched with 3-0 welterweight Danny Figueroa, by whom he had been beaten in a technical decision in 2009, and gained another win.  Finally, Orozco would take a loss to end up at 2-2 for the year courtesy of the blinding speed and punishing power of 6-0-1 prospect Michael Anderson.  The remarkable thing about Orozco is that all three of his wins have been against unbeaten fighters (Figueroa, McLaurin, and in 2009, RJ Laase).  In fact, the cumulative records of all of Orozco’s opponents at the time that he fought them was 37-7-1.  How good would this guy be if he were more selective of his opponents and a little more lucky in the ring?

Missed the cut:

Scott Ball – The middleweight from Rochester lost his only bout in 2010, to Marcus Upshaw, to go to 10-7 with 8 knockouts.

Anthony Bonsante – Came out of retirement to fight Bobby Kliewer after 20 months of inactivity.  Dealing with some stress in his personal life, Bonsante had hoped for a cathartic experience.  Instead he got a tough fight and was handed a humbling loss by a club fighter.

Raphael Butler – Only fought once in 2010, was outpointed by Canadian heavyweight prospect Neven Pajkic.  Butler felt he had earned the win and been cheated, but what losing fighter doesn’t think that?

Levi Cortes – After bursting on the scene with a gutsy performance against Gary Eyer a year ago, Cortes has been missing in action.

Danny Figueroa – This Hastings-based fighter is a genuine talent, but only fought once in 2010, losing to Hector Orozco.

Kenny Kost has reportedly been seen in the gym recently.  Kost, who hasn’t fought since losing to Hector Camacho Jr in the spring of 2008, should be expected to require a tuneup bout before getting into any serious scrap.

Tony Lee – Two fights into his professional career Tony Lee has an unblemished record.  His first fight, a win against Hector Orozco, I saw and was not too impressed.  His second fight, an all-action victory against scrappy David Laque, I didn’t see, but Lee got good reviews from everyone who saw it.  I expect good things from Lee in 2011, and you should too.

Antonio Johnson isn’t officially retired as far as anyone knows, but has only fought three times in the last three years, so what’s the difference?  Johnson hasn’t been seen or heard from professionally since notching his first loss (to Francisco Santana) in March of 2009.

Bobby Kliewer had lost four in a row and eight out of nine before shocking Anthony Bonsante in December.  That’s not to say that Kliewer is a bad fighter; the book on “Sweet Dreams” is that he’s a short notice opponent for good prospects.  A couple of wins in 2011 would get this young (23 years old) veteran a ranking a year from now.  He only just missed the cut this year.

Allen Litzau – I refer back to the elder Litzau’s entry from last year: “not a bad fighter, but no big wins in several years.   I’m hoping to see Allen fight and win several times in 2010.” There’s been serious talk of matching Litzau and Gary Eyer in Duluth.  Wouldn’t that be interesting?

Jeremy McLaurin fought three times in 2010, winning controversially against Hector Orozco, losing a rematch with Orozco, and winning impressively against 3-0 Joel Flores of Michigan.  I don’t know what to make of McLaurin.  He’s a likeable young man and a talented boxer, but I’m not sure he has the chin of a good prizefighter.  McLaurin has a lot of options, so expect to see him gain a couple of wins and get tested in the new year.

Jonathan Perez just turned pro a couple of weeks ago.  It’s too soon to give him a ranking, but with some good wins we could see him make a splash.  Having a promotional deal with MSC doesn’t hurt.

Antwan Robertson suffered through a 1-3 campaign this year, his only win coming against 0-1 William Bellcourt.  Robertson is a tremendous athlete, but that athleticism hasn’t consistently translated into success in the ring.

Derek Winston has only fought twice since turning pro in October of 2009, both times taking wins against difficult opponents, but has yet to show the kind of potential that built him a reputation as an amateur.  A cousin of Antwan Robertson,  Winston has talent and access to good sparring.  Some say that Winston is a better boxer than Robertson.  With a little luck and some more favorable matching, 2011 could be Winston’s year to make some noise.

Minnesota Boxing: 2009 Year-End Pound-for-Pound List

Here comes the first in a series of obligatory year-end articles.  A few thoughts on these pound-for-pound rankings: (1) even though I might think a guy has the potential to be very good, he still has to earn his way up the list (2) there might be someone missing from my list, please leave a comment if you think I’ve missed the boat, and  (3) I respect every man on this list, so there’s no dishonor in being ranked lower than someone else.

  1. Jason Litzau (26-2 with 21 kayos) – No one else could have ended up in this slot this year.  Litzau went 3-0 in 2009 and made himself a factor in both the 130-pound and 135-pound weight classes.  Something big is guaranteed to happen for Jason Litzau in 2010 – either a marquee appearance on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights or a title shot on premium cable.
  2. Andy Kolle (19-2 with 14 kayos) – Kolle could only have had a better 2009 if he had fought more.  Kolle won both of his fights this year, and one of them was for the Minnesota championship in the state’s most prestigious and accomplished division (middleweight).  The news out of Duluth is that Kolle and Chuck Horton are searching high and low for a suitable opponent for a soon fight.
  3. Wilton Hilario (12-0-1 with 9 kayos) – Here’s a guy whose career was stalled due to injury for a year between 2007 and 2008, who has come back to make a major statement on the local scene in 2009.  Hilario’s record in 2009 was 3-0 with the first two wins coming by TKO.  The first win was merely work, but the second was a nice career boost at the expense of Allen Litzau.  The third and most important win was against 18-3 veteran Leon Bobo, in which Hilario showed that he can also do it the ugly way.
  4. Matt Vanda (42-9 with 22 kayos) – Skelator began his year with a February loss to John Duddy in which he was thoroughly dominated until the tenth and final round, when he landed big and had Duddy hurt, but couldn’t seal the deal.  Vanda won his last three fights of 2009, thought the first – the decision win against Pudwill –  seems to have been controversial in some quarters.  The win against Teddy Muller made an important statement – Vanda showed that he could outpunch a legitimate super middleweight.  Vanda’s defeat of Phil Williams was his highlight of the year.  With his herky-jerky dancing, taunting, and trash-talking during the fight, Vanda showed the kind of energy and bravado that were once his trademark, but which have gone largely missing in the last couple of years.
  5. Phil Williams (11-2 with 10 kayos) – This was an up-and-down year for the barber from north Minneapolis.  Down: his unanimous decision win against mediocre Isaiah Henderson wasn’t a knockout.  Up: A TKO of former contender Antwun Echols resulted in an enthusiastic endorsement from Echols, and Williams’ stock was rising fast.  Down again: the loss to Vanda was puzzling because Williams is a much bigger puncher and a much more imposing figure, but it was Vanda who took the initiative and stuck it to Williams for the first six rounds.  Williams had his moments in the last few rounds, but a few big bombs aren’t enough against a tough and determined foe like Vanda.  Williams says he’s learned that lesson.
  6. Caleb Truax (14-0 with 9 kayos) – The gregarious young man from Osseo with a college degree and a million-dollar smile did nothing but rise in 2009.  Truax won five out of five this year, with three wins coming by KO or TKO.  More importantly, Truax began to step up to tougher opponents this year; his last three fights came against men with records of 11-2, 25-6, and 12-2.  Why is Truax not ranked higher?  Because his last two opponents really stretched him.  But keep an eye on this one: a fight with Andy Kolle seems almost inevitable.
  7. Joey Abell (25-4 with 24 kayos) – Maybe you raised your eyebrows when you saw Abell ranked in this slot, but his career record of 25-4 with 24 kayos is only half of the story.  If you weren’t at Target Center on December 4th you didn’t see that Abell was one combination away from taking a knockout win in his state championship match with Raphael Butler.  That fight ended, unfortunately, with Abell getting his knockout but not the win; the knockout came on a punch after the bell.  It makes you wonder what could happen for this big heavyweight if he could just have one good night where nothing goes wrong.
  8. Dave Peterson (12-0 with 7 kayos) – Sometimes he looks like a great talent, sometimes he doesn’t.  Dave Peterson returned from a long layoff to go 3-0 in 2009, but his results were something of a mixed bag.  His win against Joshua Rodriguez was expected and his narrow victory against Cory Rodriguez looked like a big one at the time, but his TKO win against Silas Ortley should raise some questions.  Peterson was bigger and stronger, but he didn’t look tremendously fit and he got hit much more frequently than a 12-0 prospect should.  Maybe it was an unfavorable matchup, or maybe he had some bad milk before the fight.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
  9. Mohammed Kayongo (15-2 with 11 kayos) – Kayongo, aka the African Assassin, had only one fight this year, but it was an important one for his nearly comatose prizefighting career (Kayongo had fought only twice in the preceding three years).  Kayongo was favorably matched with an inexperienced 2-1-1 brawler, improbably for an alphabet title.  Kayongo was the faster and harder-hitting man in that fight, and his reward was a 3rd-round TKO win and the WBF Intercontinental welterweight title.  What a way to get your name back in the mix!
  10. Cory Rodriguez (4-0 with 3 kayos) – Here’s another fighter who had only one fight this year, but it was the close loss to Peterson.  Rodriguez is a guy who could be in a lot better place if he fought more frequently.  Promoters like to cast him as a money-grubbing prima donna, but this writer likes C-Rod personally and hopes that his 2010 is much better than his 2009.
  11. Antwan Robertson (5-1-1 with 3 kayos) – Robertson and his rival, Brad Patraw, could almost be tied in this spot.  After all, they split two fights in 2009.  But there are two reasons why Robertson is ranked above Patraw: first, he knocked Patraw down twice in his win, while Patraw never managed a knockdown of Robertson in his win.  Secondly, Robertson’s win against Patraw was the rematch.  A third bout between the two seems like a sure thing in 2010, but sure things don’t come to pass nearly as often as we expect.
  12. Brad Patraw (6-1 with 4 kayos) – In contrast to his absolute confidence before and during his March win against Robertson, Patraw seemed confused and unsure of himself in the October loss.  Hopefully Patraw returns to form in the new year.  His next bout is penciled in for January.
  13. Willshaun Boxley (5-3 with 3 kayos) – The difference between Boxley and the two men ranked just above him?  Boxley has been taking the toughest out-of-town fights he can get and losing.  One big win on the road would see Boxley leap over not only Robertson and Patraw, but a bunch of other names on this list as well.
  14. Gary Eyer (7-0-1 with 5 kayos) – Eyer is one of those guys who are just fun and exciting to watch.  After his big slugging match with Levi Cortes at Target Center in December, Eyer isn’t a well-kept secret anymore.  The lightweight from Duluth might be much more desirable to promoters now, but the retirement of Jungle Boy Walters could instead result in his being more carefully matched.
  15. Raphael Butler (35-8 with 28 kayos) – It seems obvious that Butler was in serious danger of a legal knockout before Joey Abell flattened him after the bell in their December title match.  The no-contest spared Butler the loss on his record, but at what price?  The NC result was the result of a brutal after-the-bell knockout that resulted in some short-term memory loss.  That’s serious stuff.
  16. Scott Ball (10-6 with 8 kayos) – Ball returned to the prizefighting ring after a twenty-two month layoff with an impressive first-round stoppage against journeyman Mike Davis.  Tall, slim, and young, Ball has a reputation as a good technical boxer with decent power.
  17. Cerresso Fort (9-0 with 8 kayos) – Hopefully Mr. Fort can continue to step up in terms of quality of opponent while duplicating his 5-0 record in 2009.  On the other hand, fans of Minnesota boxing would not like to see Fort fight the same way against Phil Williams or Caleb Truax that he did against Lamar Harris; a display of wild and undisciplined slugging not befitting an undefeated prospect.  Fort got the win in that one, but that kind of performance won’t do the job against Minnesota’s better middleweights.
  18. Javontae Starks (2-0 with 2 kayos) – Starks is only 2-0, but they were two great knockout wins.  This youngster is the kind of prospect that the state of Minnesota doesn’t produce very often.  The tall and slender Starks is unnaturally strong and fast.  Watch for improvement in his fundamentals – that will be a sign of how hard this ambitious and optimistic young man is working in the gym.
  19. Jeremy McLaurin (6-0 with 4 kayos) – He has yet to lose, he recently signed a promotional deal with MSC, and he is a strong and accurate puncher.  It’s unclear what McLaurin’s ceiling is, but it seems clear that he hasn’t reached it yet.
  20. Levi Cortes (3-1 with 2 kayos) – I’ll admit to not knowing anything about Cortes prior to his fight with Gary Eyer in December.  Now I’m a fan.  Cortes has a wicked right hand and looks very strong.  Other than that, I can’t tell you much.  He doesn’t seem to have much of a plan in the ring and he tired rapidly against Eyer, but that could have been the result of Eyer’s tremendous counters rather than any cardio deficiency on Cortes’s part.

Missed the cut:

Michael Faulk – keep winning in 2010 and you’ll make next year’s list, Mike.

Yevgeniy Shishporenok (Boris the Russian Giant) – One good win away from taking the 20th spot, Shishporenok has compiled a pretty good record against pretty bad opposition.

Antonio Johnson – Just one fight in 2009, no wins since 2007…I want to include Johnson on this list but it’s hard to justify it.  One win against anyone  in 2009 would have done the job.

Allen Litzau – not a bad fighter, but no big wins in several years.  I’m hoping to see Allen fight and win several times in 2010.

Kenny Kost – didn’t fight in 2009.  I have to consider Kost retired until he fights again.

Anthony Bonsante – retired after the loss to Kolle in March.

Truax Wins, But…and other thoughts

  • Caleb Truax got the win in his WBF-sanctioned International super middleweight bout against Kerry Hope.  That’s the good news.  I had Truax sweeping the first six rounds, but he was definitely sucking wind at the end, and I had Hope sweeping the last four.  Chalk it up to Hope’s cardiovascular advantage, but it’s undeniable that Truax faded while Hope seemed to get stronger.  What does it mean?  It really depends on how you’re predisposed to interpret it.
  • Kerry Hope got the loss in his fight with Caleb Truax, that’s the bad news for him.  The good news is that his punch-resistance and resilience were tested severely, and he performed well.  Hope’s strong performance in the last half of the fight shows that he’s no patsy.  However, Hope definitely needs to stick with a more suitable weight class.  If he can make junior middle, then that’s where he ought to play.
  • I’ve heard several people say that James Todd looked like crap in his loss to Mohammed Kayongo.  As usual, people are prone to oversimplifying.  The Todd-Kayongo fight looked pretty even until Kayongo landed a big bomb near the end of round 2.  After the first knockdown Todd never really got his feet back under him, and the result was that he either couldn’t get back inside where he did his best work, or he lost the nerve to try.  In any case, from the end of the second until referee Mark Nelson called the fight off, Kayongo was dominant and Todd looked like a shell of himself.
  • I thought that the Michael Faulk-Ryan Soft fight should have been judged a draw.  It seemed pretty obvious to me that Soft had won the first and fourth rounds, while Faulk won the second and third.  But as I’ve said before, I’m not a judge.  I just like to be judgemental.
  • The MMA portion of this show reminded me why I’m not a fan.  A referee who started the bouts off by shrieking “FIGHT!”, fighters punching and elbowing each other in the back of the head, and kicking.  Kicking!  Am I the only man left in North America who remembers growing up in a neighborhood where kids told each other, “Only sissies kick?!”  I just can’t get used to grown men, covered in tattoos, scowling at each other and…kicking.
  • It’s a crying shame that the Charles Meier/Marvin Rodriguez fight didn’t happen.  I’d like to know what happened to Mr. Rodriguez.  If someone who knows the story would like to contact me, all the have to do is email me at fisticmystic@hotmail.com.

November 20 Round-by-Round – Truax-Hope and Kayongo-Todd

 

8:10pm – Connectivity challenges have been overcome!  The place is getting full – probably three quarters full so far, and they’re still coming in.

8:18pm – Programming note – Tonight’s festivities begin with an no-headgear exhibition between Willshaun Boxley and Phillip Adyaka, refereed by Gary Miezwa.  There will be no round-by-round for this, but I’ll give you my judgement when it’s over.

Boxing

“Golden” Caleb Truax (now 14-0 with 9 kayos) defeats Kerry Hope (now 12-3 with 1 kayo) by unanimous decision (97-93, 97-93, 97-93) after ten rounds, for the WBF International middleweight title

Round 1

[connection temporarily lost]

Round 2

Hope is the aggressor this round, but his punches to Truax’s body have little effect.  Truax finally goes downstairs and Hope flinches away from contact.  Hope bends forward at the waist trying to get in close, and Truax unloads to the head, spinning Hope around.  Truax is having some success getting himself low and attacking the body.  Hope charges inside and is stopped short by a right, he loses his balance and Truax, pulling a punch, inadvertently pushes him down.  No knockdown.   Touch gloves and resume…boxing carefully, neither man is the agressor at this point.  Hope catches Truax with a wide right hook that travels so far it has no power when it lands.  Hope pushes Truax into the ropes, and as Truax bounces back into play the bell rings.

Round 3

Hope hits Truax with a tapping right, Truax hits him back with a hard right to the body, and Hope again reaches out and taps him.  There’s been a headbutt and both men are bleeding – Truax from above his right eyebrow and Hope from his right temple, behind the hairline.  There’s a pause while both men are examined by the ring doctor, and they come back to it.  Boxing, boxing, and Truax lands a vicious right hook to the boyd of Hope.  Hope comes back with his best body punch of the night so far.  This is developing into a more tactical fight now…Hope reaches out with a straight right arm and flicks his wrist, connecting a slapping “hook.”  Truax corners Hope on the ropes and lands a good right-left, then Hope escapes.  Truax is hitting Hope harder now, and it’s slowing Hope, may be sapping his strength and power, too.  Truax takes a jab to the head that reopens his cut and now his right cheek is covered with blood.  Hope’s hair is drenched in his own blood.  Truax ducks a Hope hook and comes back with a hurtful shot to the body.  Bell, round.

Round 4

Hope comes out for the fourth slugging, but his attack wanes after about ten seconds.   Big combo by Hope, and Truax responds with a hard right jab.  Hope scores with three consecutive right hooks, but Truax hits him and hurts him with a right to the gut.  The two circle and Truax again hurts Hope to the belly.  After about fifteen seconds Truax hurts Hope again with the same shot.  Now Truax lands a hard uppercut to Hope’s abdomen.  Hope jumps in on the attack but is repelled by a hook and then chased with a jab.  Finally Hope lands a 1-2, but the bell interrupts his progress.

Round 5

Both men start the fifth jabbing, now Truax lands a right that moves Hope backward.   Now Truax is coming forward, but Hope steps to the right and right hooks Truax to the head.  Truax lands a left and Hope counters with a mirror image left.  Hope lands a single power shot which rouses his corner, but Truax goes hard to the body, left-right-left-right, forcing Hope to retreat.  Here’s a soft clubbing right to the head by Hope.  Hope is bouncing on his toes, Truax is noticeably flatfooted.  Truax lunges and with a right, and Hope hits him at the same time with a counter right.

Round 6

Both fighters are in a hurry to begin the sixth.  Hope lands an overhand, Truax two hooks in return.  Truax goes to the body and scores with three straight shots, Hope grimacing in pain.  Hope rams a good jab into Truax’s face, but Truax responds with a right/body, left/body, right/head.  Hope, coming forward, gets inside.  Truax loads up on a right but misses and eats a counter.  Truax ducks an attack and comes back with a hard left-right to the body of Hope.  Hope backs Truax up to the ropes, Truax ducks under his attack, and comes back with a hard one-two to the body.  Hope flurries again, and Truax escapes again.  Hope lands a left hook to the body of Truax at the bell while Truax misses with a counter.

Round 7

Jabbing, jabbing…Hope lands a good left to Truax’s face.  Truax goes left-right to Hope’s head, Hope sways but does not fall.  Suddenly he comes back to score – two flurries from Hope allow him to get inside, and Hope shows that he’s willing to eat a power shot in order to land one.  Hope charges in on Truax, their bodies crash together, and Hope is thrown off balance but appears unhurt.  Truax is missing with more regularity now.  Now Truax lands a straight left, Hope responds with a good right hook.  Truax thunders back with an extended combination of which the first four power shots land – just on the strength of that strong finish Truax may have stolen away a round that he was losing.

Round 8

Hope establishes the jab to start this round.  Now he gets bold with a triple jab, but all three punches miss.  Hope connects with a right hook, Truax goes downstairs and connects to the body twice.  Hope clearly has more wind and is coming forward, but Truax is landing to the body.  Here’s a big straight left and then a right hook from Truax.  The two trade as Truax comes barrelling out of a corner, Truax connecting with 2 and Hope with just 1 punch.  Truax grabs Hope’s right arm and bangs an uppercut into Hope’s body.  At the ten second warning Hope flurries hard and Truax fails to answer back.

Round 9

Truax’s cornermen stay out of the ring while cutman Jim Maurine works on hie eyebrow.

Hope comes out jabbing again, Truax connects with a straight, Hope with a jab.  Truax throws a flurry of punches but Hope ducks and bobs away from every punch, now the fighters clinch.  A right hook from Truax lands.  Hope now backs Truax into the ropes and attacks, Truax fires back two power shots that land, but Truax is sucking wind.  Truaxs tries to clinch but Hope prevents it bwith another flurry, ending with a good right hook to Truax’s head.  Hope follows the retreating Truax into a corner, lands a right, grins at Truax, and then eats a Truax left hand that he well deserved for that cheesy move.

Round 10

Truax is gasping and panting in his corner before the tenth.

Hope comes out and immediately throws a single left, then a few seconds later a single right.  Truax fires back – it’s a Truax jab, Hope jab, Truax jab.  Now Truax is bleeding from the nose.  Hope gets off again, and he’s just too fast for Truax here in the final round.  Truax is having trouble getting off.  Hope goes upstairs, and now Truax doubles him over with a tremendous right hook to the gut.  Hope recovers and chases Truax into a corner.  Truax lands a good hook and spins Hope around, the two end up in a clinch.  Hope feints, stutter steps – is he taunting Truax?  Truax tags him with a big left to the chin.  After the ten second warning there is no action for nearly eight seconds, then both fighters try to steal the round with flurries at the bell, but neither does any damage.

 

Mohammed Kayongo (now 15-2-1 with 11 kayos) defeats James Todd (now 2-2-1 with no kayos), by TKO in round 4 of 8 scheduled, for the WBF Intercontinental welterweight title.

Round 1

This round begins as the fight will probably play out – a brawl with little artistry.  I can too you this much: Todd likes it on the inside but Kayongo does his gest work from the outside.  Midround Kayongo tagged Todd with a thunderclap of a short hook with no evident effect.  Near the end of the round referee Mark Nelson warns both fighters to keep their punches up; Kayongo turns to look at Nelson and Todd takes advantage, chasing Kayongo around the ring and landing punishing shots until the bell.

Round 2

This round begins a little more tentative.  Kayongo is jabbing effectively from the outside, not to set up any immediate power shots, but keeping Todd at bay and snapping his head back occasionally.  Todd misses with a big left-right hook combo and Kayongo laughs out loud as he scoots away.  Moments later Todd gets closer and lands a couple of nice shots to the body and head.  Kayongo  splits Todd’s defense with a serious of straight rights and lefts which score to the face.  Todd misses a big shot and his grunt turns into a  shout with the effort.  Todd lands a grunting right and Kayongo hits hi mback much harder.  Kayongo cracks Todd with a huge combination that puts his mmouthpiece out and leaves Todd rolling on the mat.  He regains his senses and rises to his feet but still looks disoriented.  A break for Todd as his mouthpiece can’t be found.  His corner locates one and is instructed to insert it, pronto.  Boxing resumes with Kayongo on the attack, but no further damage is done before the bell.

Round 3

Todd, who did good work in the first while pressuring Kayongo, is staying on the outside.  A series of jabs and straights miss, but now he gets inside and eats some hooks and an uppercut, while landing one good short right to the ribs of Kayongo.  Kayongo is moving backwards and laterally and countering Todd’s persistent attack.  Kayongo lands a glancing right to the cheek of Todd.  Todd catches Kayongo in a corner and pummels him with an extended series of soft hooks – good show at this point for him.  Kayongo hits him back harder.  Big left hook, big single right, another big left for Kayongo.  Now Todd is wobbling and stumbling into Kayongo’s corner.  Mouthpiece is out.  Todd’s left eye is very puffy.  After getting his mouthpiece cleaned and reinserted Todd resumes his pursuit of Kayongo, landing one good right.  There’s a clinch, during which Todd lands one more right.  Kayongo is taking some time off.  Kayongo lands a couple of good right hooks to the boyd before the bell, and the fighters engage in a staring contest after the bell.

Round 4

Todd comes out with murder on his mind, and connects with about five hard body shots, but Kayongo gets away.  Kayongo lands a  right hook, then another one at a weird upward angle.  Hookercut?  Todd is trying to apply pressure, but Kayongo is punishing him with uppercuts.  The welt under Todd’s left eye is turning dark in the center.  Todd charges inside, lands a good right uppercut, Kayongo backs off and lands two hard right hooks and a left uppercut.  Todd is game, and continues to throw and land a Cristobal Cruz-like fusillade of body and head shots.  Here’s the end:w Referee Mark Nelson is poised to break the fighters apart when Kayongo lands a one-two that sends Todd tumbling and rolling into the ropes, and Nelson calls the fight.  Kayongo owns the WBF Intercontinental welterweight belt.

MMA

Marcus LeVesseur (now 12-2-1) defeated Bruce Johnson (now 8-5)

Derek Abram (now 26-21 defeated Gabe Walbridge (now 23-15)

Jedidiah Jones (now 0-1) was defeated by Isaiah Mahto (now 1-1)

 

Boxing: 

Charles Meir (3-1 with 2 kayos) -vs- Marvin Rodriguez (2-2 with 1 kayo), middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds

This fight is canceled.  Rodriguez didn’t show up at the weigh-in last night, and rumor is he is still unaccounted for today.  Too bad, it would have been a barnburner!

 

Michael Faulk (now 2-0 with no kayos) defeats Ryan Soft (now 1-1-1 with 1 kayo) by unanimous decision after four rounds.

Round 1

The round begins with Soft winging some shots, high and wide, that miss their mark.  Faulk is more precise with his punches, and lands some good leads, both lefts and rights.  The pattern seems to be that Soft lunges in with shots that miss, and Faulk makes him pay.  The pattern is broken when Soft connects with a hard short right that resounds through the auditorium.  Faulk returns the favor with a flurry of hurtful power shots.  There’s a low blow mixed in, and Soft takes a moment in a neutral corner to recover.  At the ten second sounding, both men goes wings to the wind, and though Soft starts out better, Faulk connects with some shots that bounce Soft into and off the ropes.  The two continue punching after the bell and have to be broken up by referee Gary Miezwa.

Round 2

Our combatants return to form as the second begins, with Faulk throwing sharp and accurate shots that connect, and Soft bringing double the aggression with wild shots that hurt when they connect, but more often than not they miss.  Some rough tactics – pushing, I think – bring an admonishment to both fighters from the referee, and when they resume, Soft seems to have the upper hand.  At one point Faulk seeks to turn Soft’s aggression inward by crowding in, and Soft can be heard shouting “Get off me!”    Soft definitely won this round, but could he be punching himself out?

Round 3

Soft hurts Faulk to the body early, Faulk ersponds with an effective right hook and straight left to the head of Soft.  Soft’s wide punches leave him so wide open that it’s painful to watch, but he seems to be landing with twice the force of Faulk.  Soft throws more hooks to the body of Faulk, then goes upstairs and sends Faulk reeling backwards into the ropes.  Johnny Johnson, in Faulk’s corner, is demanding that Faulk let his hands go and attack the body.  Faulk lands a single right shortly before the bell and receives a hail of power shots in return.   End round 3.

Round 4

Soft resumes his lunging attack, and Faulk counters effectively while laying back into the ropes.  Another exchange ends with the two in a clinch and Faulk popping Soft’s hard on the back of the head.  Soft is slowing now, and Faulk lands a furious volley of rights and lefts that seems to take some of the fight out of him.  Faulk is now throwing wide rights that tomahawk Soft on the left ear and temple.  Ref Miezwa warns Faulk for hitting behind the head.  Faulk lands a hurtful right that seems to leave Soft dazed, then backs away.  Johnson is losing his mind in the corner!  Faulk attacks again, and scores well.  As the round ticks away the two trade in the middle of the ring, Faulk getting the better of it.

Upcoming Boxing Event: November 20th in St Paul, Minnesota

What to watch for: 

Hometown favorite Caleb Truax fights for his first title, taking on a risky opponent in Kerry “The Great White” Hope.  Don’t you just love that ring name?  Hope isn’t a big banger, but he is strong and fit and skilled and confident.  Truax and Hope will contend for the WBF International middleweight belt. 

Mohammed Kayongo, sparring warrior, finally gets a good opportunity against highly touted youngster James Todd, who not-so-coincidentally is a gym-mate countryman of Kerry Hope.  Kayongo has had just two fights in the last four years, but as mentioned before, he is an in-demand sparring partner, so he shouldn’t be too rusty.  The winner of this scrap gets the IBA Americas junior welterweight belt, which is more than a trinket but less than a big-time belt.

In what may be a sleeper pick for Fight of the Night, former amateur standouts Michael Faulk and Ryan Soft, both excellent athletes with good pop, square off in a bout to be contested somewhere between welterweight and middleweight (the Fistic Mystic doesn’t have good info on the class).

Charles Meier looks to pay back a favor to all-action Mexican import Marvin Rodriguez, who put the only blemish on Meier’s record back in January of this year, a split decision in Meier’s professional debut.  Rodriguez has proved himself to have a stone jaw in his four professional fights, and die-hard boxing fans are catching on that what he lacks in artistry, the super-tough Rodriguez makes up in excitement.

Elite referee Mark Nelson, a Twin Cities native, is currently at the WBA’s annual convention in Medellin, Colombia (www.wbanews.com), but will be departing early from that event so that he can referee Friday night in Saint Paul.

  • Caleb Truax (13-0 with 9 kayos) -vs- Kerry Hope (12-2 with 1 kayo), middleweights, scheduled for 10 rounds
  • Mohammed Kayongo (14-2 with 10 kayos) -vs- James Todd (2-1-1 with no kayos), light welterweights, scheduled for 8 rounds
  • Michael Faulk (1-0 with no kayos) -vs- Ryan Soft (1-0-1 with 1 kayo), junior middleweights or middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
  • Charles Meier (3-1 with 2 kayos) -vs- Marvin Rodriguez (2-2 with 1 kayo), super middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
  • Two MMA bouts will round out the card.

If you can make it to Brit’s Pub (http://www.britspub.com/) in downtown Minneapolis at 6pm on Thursday night, do it!  The weigh-in may be a great spectacle or a boring chore, but it’s at least worth it to see how some real Welshmen react to a fake British pub and restaurant!