Tag Archives: Phil Williams

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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Live Boxing Round-by-round from Grand Casino Hinckley, November 21st, 2014

We have a busy card from Hinckley tonight – nine bouts were scheduled and one was scratched, but that still leaves us with eight nicely match prizefights.  Tonights bouts will be listed from main event (top of page) to preliminaries (bottom of page), so scroll down and follow along!

Eric Draper (now 8-7 with 3 kayos) is defeated by Robert Brant (now 13-0 with 7 kayos) in round one of eight scheduled.

Note: This was a very impressive performance by Brant – much needed after a lackluster win over Marcus Upshaw in August.

Round 1

Draper, slightly taller and larger than Brant, comes out cautious, jabbing.  Brant jabs him back and then smashes Draper to the mat with an evil straight right.  What are we, ten seconds in?  Draper gets up and continues, Brant hurts him with a hard jab, then knocks him down again in the blue corner.  Again Draper rises, looking irritated.  Referee Mark Nelson checks him out and allows him to continue.  Brant rushes in and again knocks Draper down, this time leaving him tangled helplessly on the wrong side of the ropes in the red corner.  Draper looks okay, though a little wobbly, and gets up quickly enough, so Nelson allows him to continue after three knockdowns.  This time Brant traps Draper against the ropes and unleashes a merciless barrage of vaporizing power shots, and Nelson jumps between the two, ending the fight.

Jeremy McLaurin (10-8 with 5 kayos) is defeated by Rondale Hubbert (now 8-0 with 5 kayos) in round two of eight scheduled.

Note: after this emphatic win Hubbert called out Gary Eyer, the tough multiple-class fighter from Duluth.  “Somebody make that fight happen,” he says.

Round 1

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Round 2

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Hubbert knocks McLaurin down and halfway out with a furious barrage of power shots.  Against odds, McLaurin gets up, and referee Mark Nelson allows him to continue, but wisely stops the bout after one more undefended power shot from Hubbert.  TKO win for Hubbert

[Originally reported as a 3rd round TKO for Hubbert.  I am advised that the bout was actually stopped in the 2nd.  I was experiencing technical trouble during this bout and my attention was divided.  I regret the error. -Ben]

Gary Tapusoa (now 6-3 with 5 kayos) is defeated by Phil “The Drill” Williams (now 14-6 with 13 kayos) at 2:39 of round one

Note: Williams makes a ridiculously long ring entrance, circling the ring counter clockwise before climbing in.  The crowd is entertained.

Round 1

Tapusoa looks a little nervous, jabbing and throwing tentative hooks.  Well, Williams is an imposing figure.  Williams is deliberate, coming forward in a southpaw stance.  Tapusoa tries to attack and gets countered effectively.  Williams is watching for his spot.  Reaches out once and slaps tapusoa on the scalp with his right hand, pawing with his jab, using footwork to avoid Tapusoa’s punches.  Finally Williams backs Tapusoa up and floors him with a left to the body.  There’s a sickening BANG and Tapusoa sinks slowly to the mat.  Referee Mark Nelson gives Tapusoa the courtesy of a count, but nobody in the building thought Tapusoa was going to get up.

Colby Courter (now 6-5 with 5 kayos) is defeated by Antonio “The Saint Paul Kid” Johnson (now 11-1-1 with 6 kayos) by TKO at 1:45 in the fourth round.

Round 1

Johnson is scowling.  Courter tries to lead with a jab, and Johnson immediately lands a hard right.  Courter, a southpaw, isn’t fast, but he’s trying to make use of his jab.  Johnson is adept at countering that right jab with a counter right.  In the early going this fight looks like no match; Johnson will eventually time Courter and dispose of him.  Johnson comes in with his lead hand at his waist, throws a rising jab and follows with a power right.  Johnsson throws a right to the body – it looks legit when it lands, but referee Miezwa steps in and warns him for low punching.  Courter has slow hands and questionable balance, but manages to flick a right jab into Johnson’s abdomen.  Ten seconds to go and Johnson erupts, landing three consecutive right hands to Courter’s head, but the bell rings before he can really hurt Courter.

Round 2

It looks like Johnson wants to end this one quickly – he charges across the ring and attacks, but the knockout doesn’t come.  Courter trips over Johnson’s foot and reels into the ropes.  Grins in embarrassment – no knockdown.  Johnson is coming forward, coming forward – Johnson lands a lot of glancing blows, Courter lands one flush shot that jolts Johnson but does  not hurt him.  Johnson holds the body and hits.  Courter is hurt by a hard right but collects himself and soldiers on.  Courter’s corner tells him he can’t win going backwards, so he comes forward.  Johnson is snapping a fast jab that comes up just short of damaging courter, but then attacks the body and scores.  Johnson goes to the body again and Courter gestures to the ref that the punch was low, but it didn’t look that way.

Round 3

Courter is coming forward and Johnson looks a little skittish, dancing away.  Courter lands a right to the head, and Johnson responds with a counter right, only harder.  Courter charges forward, Johnson sidesteps him, and Courter stumbles into the ropes.  In a similar situation Floyd Mayweather KO’d Ricky Hatton as he passed by, but Johnson fails to capitalize.  Courter is trying to land, but keeps missing the quick and elusive Johnson.  Courter leads with a right hook and Johnson catches him again with a hard counter right.  Courter is game, but every time he attacks he either misses or takes a power shot.  Johnson punishes Courter with a hard jab once, twice.  Courter comes forward again and Johnson lands a round right hook.  Courter circles to his left as the bell rings.

Round 4

Four rounds is longer than I expected this fight to last.  Courter is tough, but slow.  Johnson counters Courter with a right, then a wicked left hook to the side of the head, and Courter goes down hard.  He gets up quickly – maybe too quickly – and the fight continues.  Johnson furries, but Courter seems okay, and things are back to nrmal.  Nor for long, though, as Johnson again catches Courter in an exchange an dd puts him off balance, then drops him hard with a left.  Referee Miezwa takes a careful look at Courter before permitting the fight to continue.  Finally Johnson catches Courter in a corner and pummels him.  I don’t know which punch did the deed, as Johnson has fast hands, but courter goes down and stays down on his elbows and knees.

Guy Smith Jr (now 2-2 with no kayos) is defeated by Delorien Caraway (now 4-0 with 3 kayos by unanimous decision after five rounds.

Round 1

Smith jabs int he early going, Caraway comes forward.  About fifteen seconds in Caraway starts throwing fast combinations of power shots, trying to make a statement.  Caraway takes a break, and Smith returns to jabbing.  Caraway is coming forward, smith retreating, and Caraway lands the first telling shots of the bout.  Smith is trying to be quick an delusive, and to hit without getting hit.  He succeeds once, then Caraway charges in and wraps both arms around him.    Caraway again goes on the attack, but Smith is unflappable, reeling backwards and steadying himself by the ropes, keeping his head up, and jabbing.  Caraway wants a spectacular outcome, and he is being very aggressively.  Finally Caraway jabs, and pokes Smith right in the chin.  But Caraway returns to his reckless attack for the last fifteen seconds or so.

Round 2

Caraway lands a hard left to the head of Smith.  That was a hard shot.  Caraway goes on the attack, landing more power shots, and sending Smith stumbling backwards.  Smith rights himself, Caraway gets himself under control, and begins to attack in a more technical manner.  Caraway is still coming forward, but Smith is continuing to jab.  Now a slow jab earns Smith a hard left to the face.  Smith backs into a neutral corner, and Caraway reaches out and tags him with a lead left.  Circling to the left, the fighters traverse the ring and Caraway shoots a hook at the body.  Smith gets away, Caraway follows, and lands a right that snaps his head back.  Smith isn’t jabbing so much now, mostly just trying to avoid the attacks of Caraway.  Caraway jabs to the body.  Now to the head.  Ten seconds to go, and both men jab a couple of times as the clock counts down.

Round 3

Caraway is the aggressor in the early going again.  Smith has found his jab, and tries to use it to keep Caraway at bay.  Caraway attacks with power shots, but misses and stumbles.  he keeps his feet and the fight resumes.   Caraway is hunching down, coming forward slowly, loading up.  Smith is getting better at anticipating the attacks and skittering away, though he stil hasn’t scored a serious punch in this fight.  Now the fighters are circling at close quarters, and Smith jabs.  Did he get his hand in Caraway’s eye?  Caraway raises a hand as if to call time, baks up, shakes his head, and the fight resumes.  This fight has become largely tactical, with Caraway coming forward unable to score, and Smith circling, moving around out of range, and throwing occasional jabs and double jabs.

Round 4

Caraway is ducking down and shooting low jabs now.  For the first time tongith Smith commits to a power combination – he missses, and Caraway counters.  Smith is moving confidently, but Caraway gets close enough to land a lead left to the body.  Caraway is showing more jabs now, but nope – forget that, back to power shots.  Caraway is crouching, coming forward, reaching, looking for any opening, but none presents itself.  Smith is backing up, throwing a jab every once in a while.  Caraway misses with a left hok, Smith misses with a jab.  Smith might never win this way, but he’ll avoid most of those power shots.  Smith misses with a jab, Caraway scores with a hard jab, then volleys and scores.  In the last ten seconds of the fourth Smith misses with a couple of wild one-twos.

Round 5

Caraway comes out wild in the fifth, and Smith latches on hard to avoid any damage.  The clinch is broken, and Caraway tries hard to score with more power shots.  Smith is backing up, Caraway is chasing and throwing bombs.  This is the pattern.  Smith is in a strictly defensive posture, but Caraway comes forward and connects with a  – left?  It’s hard to tell from here, but smith goes down.  He beats the count easily, but now Caraway is getting inside, throwing and landing big right hands with regularity.  Smith looks wobbly as he backs up with his hands low.  Caraway attacks and Smith goes down, but referee Mark Nelson rules no knockdown and the bout continues.  Smith is back up on his toes, dancing.  Caraway, who must be irritated by the tight defense of Smith, dramatically feigns a collapse, perhaps in an effort to trap Smith, but it’s too obvious and too late to help.  Bell.

Nick Compton (now 1-2 with no kayos) is defeated by Markus Morris (now 6-1 with 3 kayos) by unanimous decision after four rounds (39-37, 40-36, 40-36)

Round 1

Two lanky boxers, both come out jabbing.  Compton paws with his jab.  Morris is a little more aggressive at the start.  Compton is now coming forward, but Morris’s jab is keeping him at arm’s length.  compton charges in, landing glancing blows and backing Morris into the ropes, but Morris counters effectively and escapes.  After a brief lull, Compton is attacking again when Morris lands a sharp counter left hook that buckles his knees.  compton is a hard man, though, and resumes hs attack.  Morris’s power shots rake Compton’s face, but Compton stands his ground and keeps looking for an operning.  Now there’s a clinch and Compton pushes Morris back into the blue corner.  The clinch is broken and Compton throws a volley of power shots.  Morris escapes and the two stand face to face, both throw at the same moment, and both land power shots.  This is an evenly matched fight.  the bell rings with neither man gaining an advantage.

Round 2

Computer trouble in this round kept me from giving you an as-it-happens account, but I can tell you that the fight continues to be even, that Morris caught Compton and pinned him to the ropes with an extended volley, that Compton kept his hands up and weathered the storm.  The remainder of the round was an evenly matched battle of firepower and chins.  Both fighters look heavy-armed and slow as the round ended.

Round 3

Morris is the faster fighter in the third, but Compton continues to stand his ground and come forward.  Morris is trying to land the lead left hook and follow with a right uppercut, but he hasn’t quite timed it.  Morris throws nice straight punches, but then pulls his hands back wide, leaving an opening for a late counter.  As the round goes on, Compton is continuing to come forward, but Morris is beginning to get the upper hand with rising rights and straight rights.  Compton puts his head down and pushes forward, but Morris responds with a four-punch combination as the round comes to a close.

Round 4

This round begins like the rest of the fight has been conducted, with both men standing toe to toe in the center of the ring, neither giving ground.  Compton is circling to his right and seeking to counter Morris’s attacks.  Morris gets close and misses with an uppercut, but then lands one of a two-punch attack.  Back in the middle of the ring the fighters exchange, but Compton misfires and Morris lands flush.  Morris is emboldened, but Compton, weary as he is, counters with a couple of punches, finishing with an off-balance right.  Morris continues to come forward though, and his punches have more authority.  Morris throws a one and a delayed two, and Compton lands a counter.  Morris is landing more frequently now, though his pucnhes lack steam.  An uppercut lands flush for Morris.  Ten seconds to go, and Morris goes on a reckless attack, nullified by holding from Compton.  Bell, fight.

Ramiro Hernandez (now 3-0 with 3 kayos) defeats Trevor Marmon (now 1-3 with 1 kayo) by TKO at 2:40 of round 3.

Note: Marmon is an entertaining fighter and a tough dude, but his conditioning and his chin have let him down more than once.

Round 1

Both fighters are aggressive from the start.  After an initial exchange, Marmon moves backwards while Hernandez leads.  This fight is a brawl from the start.  Both men land, there’s a clinch, and referee Gary Miezwa tries to break them up, but Marmon won’t let go.  Now he’s warned for holding.  Another hot exchange, and Marmon gets the better of it, landing to both the body and head.  The pace slows about midround, hernandez trying to pick a spot.  He lands big, but marmon is a big swinger and lands equally hard.  But boy, when Marmon misses, he misses big!  Hernandez wants to box, and he’s trying hard to jab and move, but Marmon comes forward and swings wildly, landing occasionally.  The pressure is disconcerting for Hernandez, but he seems to have gotten the better of this round.

Round 2

Hernandez scores first, with a one-two, but Marmon comes forward and jabs to the body.  In the center of the ring Marmon lands a left.  Hernendeez is circling left and moving backwards, and when Marmon tries to score, Hernandez lands a power shots that buckles his knees.  Marmon shakes his head, wipes his nose, and attacks again.  Hernandez lands a right to the head, Marmon swings for the fences and lands a right to the head, Hernandez boxes and escapes.  Marmon comes forward and pushes Hernandez into the ropes, and after some mauling there’s a break.  Hernandez comes forward and ands a left to Marmon’s head.  Marmon is tired and is leaning on Hernandez and holding.  There’s another break, and hernandez, moving quickly, tries to box Marmon again.  Hernandez and Marmon trade, each landing one punch.  Hernandez charges in and bulls marmon into the ropes, but there’s no scoring as the bell rings.

Round 3

Marmon jabs southpaw at the same time Hernandez jabs orthodox.  Suddenly the two revert to brawling, and in a wild exchange, a tired and off balance Marmon is knocked down by a power shot.  Marmon is up and the fight resumes.  Hernandez is coHing forward aggressively.  A short hook to the body hurts Marmon, who has slowed noticeably this round.  Now Hernandez is hunting.  Marmon misses a big right and turns his back in an effort to escape.  In the middle of the ring hernandez is attacking at close quarters.  marmon might have gone down, but referee Miezwa breaks them up.  Now they’re clinching and mauling, which favors marmon.  After another break, Hernandez attacks a staggering Marmon, who is bleeding heavily from the nose.  That’s too many power shots for the referee, who calls a stop to the fight.  TKO win for Hernandez!

DeAngelo Curtis (now 1-1 with no kayos) is defeated by Joe Amouta (now 2-1 with 1 kayo) by unanimous decision after four rounds (39-37, 39-37, 39-37)

Round 1

The fighters touch gloves and the bout begins.  Amouta is retreating, Curtis following.  Amouta shoots out some jabs, but Curtis backs him into the ropes and crowds him halfway out of the ring.  Amouta escapes and resumes circling.  Curtis pressuring.  Curtis tries to unload some power shots and continues to come forward.  Amouta counters effectively and stuns curtis for a moment.  Amouta lands some loud, slapping power shots that affect Curtis’s balance.  Amouta tries to land a right and Curtis counters effectively.  Both men throw at the same time and Curtis lands better.  With the encouragement of his corner (“Hey, you hurt him!”) Curtis goes on the attack, but Amouta seems fine and gets away clean.  With ten seconds to go Curtis tries to attack but gets tied up.  Amouta throws a right that glances off Curtis’s head and Curtis sticks his tongue out.

Round 2

Curtis comes ou, bends forward at the waist, and throws one jab to Amouta’s body.  Amouta attacks, landing well with right hands and scores nicely to the body and especially to the head.  Curtis shakes it off and begins stalking.  He lands a couple of good shots, including one that leaves Amouta touching his nose.  Amouta is a retreating fighter, backing up the ropes and countering when he’s cornered.  In the center of the ring curtis lands a sharp jab to Amouta’s face.  He should do that more.  Curis, attacking, gets caught and stumbles back into his corner.  Amouta comes alive, attacking with gusto, landing a bunch of shots.  Curtis finally escapes, but Ron Lyke, in his corner, yells “Don’t stand there, or they’ll stop it.”  Curtis increases his output for the last few seconds, and the round is over.

Round 3

The fighters circle briefly to their right, then Amouta backs into the ropes again, and Curtis catches his chin with a nice right hand.  Curtis follows up with a barrage that thrills the crowd.  Amouta gets back to the scenter of the ring, where he counters Curtis well with a left to the forehead that momentarily staggers Curtis, but only for a moment.  Now the fight is in the center of the ring.  Curtis lands a low blow, but referee Gary Miezwa lets it go.  Curtis is wincing and gasping, but he’s still game.  Could he have hurt his shoulder or leg?  He’s still stalking, but somewhat bowlegged.  Amouta is looking sharper now, and comes forward with power shots as the round closes.

Round 4

Curtis is coming forward again.  No shots landed…now Curtis lands a jab that makes Amouta flinch.  It’s something.    Finally, near the red corner, a brawl breaks out at close quarters.  Curtis is throwing big shots, but Amouta is moving well to his right, ducking a lot of shots, and landing good shots.  Now Amouta is on the run and Curtis is chasing, but can’t catch him.  Curtis finally corners Amouta and lands a right hook to the body, but iwthout steam.  He lets Amouta escape.  Curtis is tired, Amouta still fresh.  Amouta backs into the ropes again, and a heated exchange lasts a good 15 or 20 seconds.  Amouta probably go tthe better of it.  Back into the center of thering, and Curtis lands a big, big right hand that snaps Amouta’s head back.  The crowd roars, but Amouta shakes it off and the two trade until the round ends.  good round, good fight.  Whoever wins, I’d like to see these two go four more rounds.

Live Boxing Round-by-Round from Grand Casino Hinckley, August 22nd, 2014

Rondale Hubbert (now 7-0-1 with 4 kayos) defeats RJ Laase (now 12-2 with 8 kayos), for the vacant Junior Welterweight title of Minnesota, by unanimous decision in 8 rounds (77-75, 78-74, 77-75)

Round 1

Hubbert literally ran across the ring at the start, jumping Laase and pummeling about the ring for ten seconds or so before Laase was able to wrench himself free.  Now Hubbert is bouncing and backing up, left hand at his waist,while Laase comes forward with his guard up, looking for an opening.  Laase is jabbing while Hubbert is raging.  Hubbert comes forward and lands one punch, then shoves Laase.  Hubbert is trying to win flashy while Laase sticks to basics.  Laase continues to shuffle forward and tags Hubbert with one right.  Hubbert skitters away.  Hubbert likes to walk flatfooted and throw bombs.  Laase gets close enough to throw a punch and Hubbert flails away at him.  Give this round to Hubbert on the strength of his furious opening.

Round 2

Hubbert rushes across the ring again at the start of round 2, but stops short and gets in his stance.  Lasse comes forward, then lands one gigantic right hand that has the crowd roaring.  Hubbert looks clear headed and he’s talking to Laase as Laase stalks.  Laase continues to come forward deliberately, firing crisp punches.  Hubbert is relying on spped, power, toughness, and bravado.  Laase misses badly with a punch and Hubbert punishes hi for the transgression.  Hubbert comes forward with rough tactics and scores.  Laase goes hook tot he body and it lands on the waistline of Hubbert.  Now Hubbert is moving side to side while Laase pursues.  Laase continues to stalk and jab, looking for an opening.  Hubbert throws a combination – four punches? – that rakes Laase’s face.  There’s no time for further action before the bell.

Round 3

Laase shoves a left jab in Hubbert’s face but misses the followup right.  Hubbert sticks his left out and Laase whacks it away.  Both men attack at the same time and there’s a headbutt mixed in with the simultaneous flurries.  No blood that I see.  Laase comes forward and Hubbert looks to counter, but Laase lands a good left.  Hubbert starts running his mouth and Laase sticks a fist in it.  Now there’s a rough, tumbling exchange that ends against the ropes in the blue corner.  Hubbert is wild and Laase is countering nicely.  Hubbert needs to slow things down and get back to fundamentals.  Laase lands three out of a four punch combination.  Laase nails Hubbert against the ropes as the ten second warning sounds, and Hubbert shakes his head, then attacks with fury but fails to score.  I’m sitting next to Hubbert’s corner, and one of his cornermen shakes his head and says “He’s a slippery motherfucker.”

Round 4

Laase commits to a one-two and Hubbert counters nicely, battering his face.  Laase tries to attack again and Hubbert nails him again.  Now it happens a third time.  Laase finally connects with a one-two.  Hubbert tries to score and Laase counters, then connects with a thundering roundhouse and the Duluth contingent loves it.  Hubbert throws another combination, but I wonder whether he knows that he’s tipping his attack with the faces he makes before he throws a punch.  Hubbert is coming forward on the attack, but now it’s Laase’s turn to counter, and he’s effective.  The noise in here is deafening.  Hubbert  takes a break and Laase tags him.  Hubbert tries to come forward and Laase lands another power shot.  Ten seconds to go, and Hubbert scores with a body shot.  I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Hubbert has gone to the body twice this round, with good results.

Round 5

Hubbert shots out the jab but he really wants to land the straight right, and he does.  There’s a good exchange in the middle of the ring.  Hubbert comes in reckless and gets hit to the body.  Now they’re jabbing in the middle of the ring.  Hubbert lands one left hook to the face.  Laase flurries, landing a couple of body shots and the makes a niftymove to duck two counters.  Hubbert tries to attack but Laase hits him in the gut.  Hubbert is playing raging bull now, and he is bullying laase.  Laaase needs to punch effectively moving backwards – and there he does it, landing two.  Laase gets the better of an exchange in the center of the ring, but Hubbert is tough and keeps coming forward, battering Laase.  Laase sidesteps a charging Hubbert and fires a body shot too low, catching Hubbert just above the groin.  Hubbert spends no more than a minutes recoving, then steels himself and the fight resumes.  The remainder of the fifth round is all Hubbert, on the attack, landing wild shots.

Round 6

Hubbert comes out strong, throwing punches that Laase catches on his arms.  Hubbert stands still, staring at Llase, then shrugs.  Laase ignores the gesture and keeps shuffling forward.  Now they’re brawling, and both men are landing big shots.  Laase is gonig to have a monster shiner on his left eye tomorrow, it’s already ugly.  Now Laase is coming forward, and or the first time he shoves Hubbert.  There’s a headbutt, and Hubbert is glowering.  Laase connects a jab to the jab, Hubbert resopnds with more power shots.  Hubbbert’s corner is frustrated that he’s loading up.  Laase lands a stiff jab, and now both fighters are talking.  Hubbert is bounding on his toes, Laase is still shuffling forward.  Hubbert tries to bull forward, but his attack is nullified by good defense.  Hubbert leads with a right, Laase counters with a right, but nothing comes of it.

Round 7

Hubbert comes out heavy again this round, lands a couple of bombs.  Laase, though tired and breathing through his mouth, continues to come forward.  Hubbert is doing a better job counter now than he has been.  Laase atttacks, but Hubbert is gone when he gets there.  Hubbert is showcasing his elusiveness, but finally Laase scores with a wide left hook to the ear.  Our fightersexchange again, and Hubbert’s corner is shouting that Laase has nothing left.  Hubbert is now trying to be first and last.  Laase flurries, and Hubbert resopnds.  The crowd begins an “RJ” cheer, and he responds with a bitter attack that results in a general melee.  Laase loses his mouthpiece, and there’s a brief pause while it’s reinserted.  Hubbert is being reckless in his pursuit of a knockout, and that gives Laase a chance to land a hard counter.  What a round, and what a fight!

Round 8

Hubbert rushes in and there’s an ugly moment where he finds himself stuck in Laase’s armpit.  Some exchanges, and it happens again.  Hubbert scores with a few shots, then bulls Laase across the ring and into the ropes.  Back in the middle of the ring there’s a good exchange.  Aside from one flush shot from Laase, that all went Hubbert’s way.  Laase comes forward and lunges with a jab, but Hubbert gets him back.  Laase comes forward again, and jolts Hubberts with a stiff left jab.  Hubbert looks sharper and fresher at this point, but Laase has a good chin and keeps coming and countering.  They’re going all out as the bell rings, and the crowd roars its appreciation.

Wayne Martell (now 25-5-1 with 15 kayos) is defeated by Jamal James (now 14-0 with 7 kayos) by TKO in round 1 of 10 scheduled.

Round 1

Martell is coming forward and swinging away at the beginning, but James is quick and is dodging most if not all of his punches.  James is waving that left jab but not throwing it, but then bam! Martell is down.  Martell is up instantly and shaking his head in disbelief, but that’s a knockdown.  James knows he’s got this, and he opens up on Martell immediately.  James is moving in and out, throwing double hooks, attacking with both hands.  Martell has seen better days, and he’s having trouble getting close.  Martell looks nicked up, but comes back aggressive and just as he connects on a punch to James, James puts him down again.  But the fight isn’t over.  Martell is up again and he wants to trade.  James gets him again with a left to the body and Martell is down again.  Once more he beats the count, but we know how this will end.  One more  engagement, and James puts Martell down again.  James throws one more punch as Martell is on his knees, and he’s lucky that one didn’t connect – it was close.  Martell gets up, but his eyes aren’t right, and referee Gary Miezwa rightly calls a stop to things.

Marcus Upshaw (now 17-13 with 8 kayos) is defeated by Robert Brant (now 12-0 with 6 kayos) by Unanimous Decision after eight rounds (77-75, 79-74, 77-75)

Round 1

The beginning of the bout was delayed momentarily as Upshaw casually got a drink from his trainer, then another drink.  

Brant comes out quick in this one, showing his great speed and good power.  Upshaw is not nothing.  He’s significantly taller than Brant, he can take a punch, and he has some skills.  Upshaw can jab, but he doesn’t fight tall against the shorter man.  The pace has slowed a bit since Brant’s showy start.  Now Brant is playing the surgeon, using two and three punch combinations to score.  Upshaw lands a good jab to the head or hook to the body here and there.  Brant is jabbing and moving, and throwing combinations from angles.  Coming forward, Brant throws a nice combination that’s so quick, when it’s over I don’t know whether it was three or four punches.  Bell.

Round 2

Brant rushes out, leading with three jabs.  Upshaw is trying to counter, shouting “yah!” with each punch.  Brant throws punches faster than I can record them, and he connects nicely, but he is getting hit more than you’d like, considering the disparity of talent.  Brant lands a one-two and Upshaw responds with at least one solid counter.  Now Upshaw throws three earnest punches and the last one lands solidly.  Brant is unfazed and continues to stalk him.    Brant splits Upshaw’s guard with a one-two, then a pause.  Upshaw is pushing the pace now, coming forward and landing respectably, especially to Brant’s left ribcage.  Two more jabs from Upshaw.  Brant counters, there’s a momentary exchange, and Brant sidesteps Upshaw and is left looking at Upshaw’s back.  The fight resumes and there’s a flurry from both men, then the bell.

Round 3

Upshaw opens the round jabbing, then Brant flurries with good power shots, but one well-placed counter left from Upshaw stops himi in his tracks.  Brant is coming forward again now, and lands one good shot out of a combination that snaps Upshaw’s head back and induces Brant to come fowrard more.  Upshaw tags him with an effective shot, and the pace quickens.  Both men are throwing freely now, and Brant lands a shot that draws “Ooooh” from the sellout crowd.  The pace slows again.  Brant throws a one-two that is blocked, but makes a lot of noise, and the crowd is impressed.  Upshaw is trying to comforward now, and Brant is mostly potshotting him, picking spots and hitting them.  upshaw attacks again, but and scores a couple, but Brant looks better as the round closes.

Round 4

Brant is throwing punches from the outside – too far away to be effective – but Upshaw, instead of staying outside and using his greater reach to score, is coming fowrard.  There’s a good exchange in the center of the ring – neither man has the advantage.  Brant gets inside and then backs out.  Upshaw tries come forward and Brant has his best moment of the fight so far, battering him with an extended combination that puts Upshaw off balance.  Upshaw regains his composure and attacks again, scoring nicely with short hooks.  Brant lands a left jab and then misses a left hook.  Now Brant steps in and lands a big left hook to the body that moves Upshaw, but I’m not sure he realizes he had Upshaw hurt and doesn’t press his advantage.  There’s another exchange as the round ends, and the crowd is getting into this fight.

Round 5

Upshaw is aggressive again in the fifth, coming forward and scoring with jabs and the occasional power shot.  Brant takes his turn, landing a number of good shots to the head and body – really digging the body – but then Upshaw comes alive for a brief but effective assault.  Now the two men are measuring each other, and resting.  Brant throws a three punch combination – only the second punch lands, but it’s a sharp right to the midsection of upshaw.  Brant scores well when he goes to the body.  Upshaw is up on his toes, bouncing and showing he’s game.  Upshaw is jabbing a lot now, and his jab is coming back lower and slower than it should.  Upshaw tries an attack at the close of the round, but Brant counters nicely and Upshaw looks weary as he zigzags back to his corner.

Round 6

The first punch of the sixth is a right from Brant, but Upshaw counters over the top and lands a shot on Brant.  Brant responds with a long flurry, tagging Upshaw to the head and body.   Brant is opening his hands up as he jabs.  With every left handed punch he drops his right, and that’s cause for worry.  But Brant is doing nice work in this found, attacking Upshaw and countering effectively when Upshaw tries to attack him back.  There’s a lull about midround.  Now Brant is bombing upshaw’s guard, and that impresses the crowd but won’t do much in the eyes of the judges.  Upshaw tries a wide right hook, but Brant counters up the middle.  Now Upshaw lands solid and snaps Brant’s head back, but Brant has the chin of a champion and goes back  on the attack as the round ends.

Round 7

Brant comes out coiled to land big shots, and he throws some nice combinations that land in the first thirty seconds of the seventh.  Brant comes forward off balance and leads with a right, but that won’t work.  now Brant is working the body hard, and his fans like what they see.  Upshaw takes advantage of a moment of rest, then comes forward with power shots, but Brant is blocking most of those with his gloves now.  Brant lands a jab here, another jab there.  A right to the head scores for Brant.  upshaw steps forward and Brant punishes him with a right.  But suddenly Upshaw explodes out of his guard to land a right to the head of Brant.    Both men step forard at the same time, and Brant coems out on top, taking advantage of Upshaw’s momentary befuddlement to score with a couple of shots.  Brant ducks an Upshaw right and the bell rings.

Round 8

Upshaw jabs twice Brant throws a one-two.  Upshaw starts coming forward again, but Brant is ready and pops good a couple of times.  Upshaw isn’t going away though, and he continues to throw with both hands.  Now they’re in a phone booth, now they’re at arm’s length.  Brant lands a jab, but has his following right blocked by a glove.  Upshaw is moving forward and to his right, and in mauling Brant, lands a good right uppercut to the chin.  Brant is lively and throwing harder punches, but Upshaw can still score.  Brant lands a good right hook to the head and follow sup with a flurry, but Upshaw responds with good work of his own.  Upshaw lands two big left hands, one to the body and one to the head of Brant, then backs Brant up.  Brant is retreating and jabbing.  Ten seconds to go, and brant comes alive, scoring with a sharp combination.  That’s the end of the fight, and it goes to the judges.  Though I would score it for Brant, this fight is close enough that it could go either way.

Galen Brown (now 42-28 with 25 kayos) is defeated by Phil Williams (now 13-6-2 with 12 kayos) in round 2 of 8 scheduled

Round 1

Two southpaws – this should be fun.  The bout begins with a feint by Williams and a jab by Brown.  After some feeling out, Brown comes in with a right hand, but ducks his head and covers up right away.  He’s respectful of Williams’ power.  There’s little action in the early stages, so Brown begins baiting Williams, dropping his hands, waiving his arms, and waggling his head.  Now Brown charges forward and traps Williams in a corner.  he may have landed a punch, I’m not sure.  But Williams counters.    Now they’re in the center of the ring again.  Williams lands a hard jab but doesn’t follow up.  Brown is circling, then he lunges forward and to his left, striking a glancing blow on Williams and disappearing behind Williams’ shoulder.  Despite the clowining Brown is in earnest, as he shows when he scores a clipping blow at the bell.  Brown’s corner is shouting “perfect round, perfect round.”  I think it went about as well as he could have hoped.

Round 2

Round two begins with a lot of waving hands and bobbing heads.  Brown is trying to come forward, and Williams is moving away and to his left.  Williams throws that hard jab of his, once, twice, but it doesn’t land solidly.  Williams is getting a little bolder, but Brown is experienced and larger than Williams, and is unfazed by anything Williams has done so far.  Brown is clowning again.  Both hasnds are at his waist.  Williams sticks his right hand out and measures the distance, but doesn’t throw.  Brown jabs and scores.  There’s a lot more movement without any action, and Williams drops his hands and stares defiantly at Brown.  Now as the round draws to a close Williams charges forward and clocks Brown with a shot that leaves him crosseyed.  Brown gets up in time and he’s game to go, but he looks unsteady and referee Gary Miezwa doesn’t like what he sees in Brown’s eyes and calls it a TKO.

Jonathan Perez (now 8-0 with 5 kayos) defeats Antwan Robertson (now 9-10-1 with 6 kayos) with by Unanimous Decision after 5 rounds: 50-45, 50-45, 50-45

Round 1

Perez throws a jab and thena  short-armed hook that miss Robertson.  Perez jabs and misses again, but then connects a single hook to the head of Robertson.  Perez seemed to have slipped and then turned his back on Robertson.  Robertson was charging in when referee Mark Nelson stepped in between.  Now there’s a lot of feints and ineffective punching.  Perez is making a show of lunging in with stomping jabs, but they don’t land.  Perez attacks wildly this time, but his punch is blocked.  Robertson is moving back and to his left, waiting for something.  Perez is coming forward, but Robertson is dodging his punches with some nifty moves.  Ten seconds to go and Perez flurries, but Robertson just grins at him.

Round 2

Perez comes forward at the outset, but Robertson counters with a big haymaker that misses its mark.  Perez comes forward again, and finally throws a four punch combination that may have scored.  Robertson is mugging and taunting now.  Has he been laying a trap, or is he just playing to the crowd?  Perez is cautious, working his way in.  Finally Perez connects with a big straight right, but then mars his progress by shoving Robertson hard into the ropes.  Perez is coming forward again, gaining confidence.  Robertson is the quicker man, but he is showing absolutely no offense.  In the last ten seconds Perez flurries, but from too far away to do any damage.

Round 3

Perez comes out aggressively jabbing, but a few seconds in the ref stops things to get something wiped off Robertson face.  On resuming the fight, Perez is showing less respect for Robertson, throwing punches with more intent, if not more frequency.  Perez attacks and overshoots Robertson, and there’s a tie-up.  Now Perez lands another good single shot.  Robertson sure isn’t showing much urgency.  The fighters circle slowly to their left in the center of the ring, Perez feinting and Robertson watching.  Perez is now coming fowrad,a nd lands one jab.  After a pause, he tries to flurry but his momentum is gone.  Despite what I said earlier, Perez is showing Robertson a great deal of respect.  Ten seconds to go, and Perez charges into Robertson, pinning him against the ropes, but both mens’ punches are smothered at close quarters.

Round 4

Initially it looked like Robertson would begin countering Perez in this round, but the workrate is still slow.  Perez is inching forward, and Robertson is inching backward.  Perez tries to attack, but gets tied up.  This is uncharacteristic of Robertson.  Perez is moving his hands plenty, but seldom connecting.  Perez comes forward and shoots a single jab.  Then another single jab.  Perez throws a showy uppercut witih his right.  It connects, but he doesn’t follow up.  Now the fighters are circling again.  Finally Robertson fires a lead right hand, but Perez sidesteps it.  Such a tactical fight.Perez attacks again, Robertson dodges again.  As the bell rings, Robertson is grinning at Perez.  I don’t know what he’s smiling about, because he is accomplishing little or nothing.

Round 5

The fighters touch gloves, and commence to jabbing.  Perez comes out of a crouch with a big right hookercut that misses.  Robertson is backing up again.  Perez throws a one-two that passes for a scoring shot.  Robertson is fighting for style points, but the don’t give style points in Hinckley.  Perez is crouching, prowling, coming forward, and lands a good right.  Now he lunges forward and lands another good right.  there’s a lull, and again Perez lunges forward.  Perez shoots a double jab, then a let hnd.  Perez gets too close, and finally Robertson counters.  Another jab and a wild right hand by Perez.  Perez lands a shot and Robertson counters.  Now Perez is rushing forward and Robertson is continualy backing up.  Perez tries to flurry and Robertson counters, landing one good right hand.  There’s the bell, and this sleper is over.

Mark Sainci (now 1-0 with 1 kayo) defeats Andrew Selvig (now 1-4  with 1 kayo) by TKO in round 3 of 4 scheduled

Round 1

Selvig comes out with the first punches, throwing soft jabs to test the waters.  Selvig decides he’s good to go and starts throwing power shots, then Sainci explodes on him, forcing him into a corner and landing multiple power shots.  Slevig escapesmomentarily, buSainci catches up with him on the ropes and flurries, finally catching him with a right handed haymaker that sends Selvig reeling.  Selvig is game, but Sainci is definitely the busier and harder hitting fighter in the early going.  Selvig is fighting with his back to the rropes, bleeding from the nose.  Selvig gets loose for a moment, but Sainci follows with is head down, throwing hooks and uppercuts as he pursues.  Sainci now has Selvig trappedin the blue corner. Selvig tries to tie him up but can’t get the job done.  Sainci resumes the chase, punding Selvig with power shots.  Selvig’s blood is rolling now, and the bell rings.

Round 2

Selvig scores first in the second, landing to the body and head of Sainci, but Sainci returns fire with more power.  Sainci’s right hook traveling a long distance to meet Selvig’s right-leaning head, but it’s doing the job.  After a brief tour of the ring, Selvig finds himself in a  neutral corner getting hammered again.  Selvig rushes across the ring to the far ropes, where Sainci catches him again, knocking him down and putting his mouthpiece out.  Slevig is up again, and throwing the best shots he can muster.  A stronger fighter might have Sainci in trobule, because Selvig is landing a good percentage of his shots, but Sainci is rough around teh edges.  Selvig comes forward and lands some light stuff. Sainci, taking a break, shoots back some soft shots in return.  This emboldens Selvig, who improves his workrate as round 2 comes to a close.

Round 3

Selvig resumes his attack in round 3, but Sainci comes forward hard, trapping him briefly in a corner and landing a big right hook.  Selvig escapes, but Sainci pursues and eventually catches him in a neutral corner where he lands several earnest power shots, and referee Gary Miezwa stops the bout.  Good stoppage.

 

Lucas St Claire (now 3-5 with 2 kayos) is defeated by Joe Lorenzi (now 3-5 with 3 kayos) by TKO in round 4 of 5 scheduled

Round 1

St Clair stays in the middle of the ring, Lorenzi circles to his left.  About thirty seconds in, St Clair scores with some power shots to the head, then the body.   St Clair is coming forward, landing clipping shots with the right and then flurrying.   Lorenzi is calm, but on his heels.  St Clair pursues Lorenzi to the ropes, where Lorenzi scores for the first time.  The pattern is Lorenzi is backing up and St Clair is pursuing.  A change of pace – St Clairs takes some steps back and then stop and fires, scoring again.  lorenzi is throwing occasional shots, but scoring only rarely here in the first.  St Clair bulls in with his ghead down and Lorenzi sticks a right handed upperscut into the body.  St Clair is less aggressive now.  There’s blood on St Clair’s soulder, but I cn’t tell where it came from.  The crowd begins to chant “Joey” as the round closes.  Lorenzi tries to close out strong, but doesn’t connect solidly.

 

Round 2

St Clair jabs coming in, then flurries with big power shots.  Lorenzi connets one left-handed lab, St Clair chases, and then there’s a big clash of heads.  Both men are hurt by the accidental headbutt.  Blood is flowing freely from Lorenzi’s brow.  After a quick inspection by the doctor, it’s time-in.  St Clair is flyurrying furiously again, but he isn’t hurting Lorenzi.  Lorenzi turtles up, lets St Clair throw a volne of punches, then lands one big left hook that brings the rowd to life.  St Clair is red faced and breathing hard.  St Clair tries to attack, but a counter shot from Lorenzi puts him down hard.  St Clair is up quicly, but then immediately goes down again from a left to the body.  Again St Clair is up quickly.  The action is fast now, and Lorenzi is timing and countering St Clair’s fading assault.  Ten seconds to go and the pace is slowed, both men auling and throwing single and double power shots.  The round ends with both men throwing caution to the wind, and both men scoring.

 

Round 3

There’s  a brief delay for water on the mat in St clair’s corner.  Now St clair is moving forward with more cautious backhanded jabs.  There’s an exchange and Lorenzi comes out ahead with a nice counter.  St Clair is coming in with his head down now.  There’s a risk of another bad headbutt.  Lorenzi is coming forward now.  St Clair is losing steam, but he has the presence of mind to tie Lorenzi up.  Lorenzi is on the attack now, St Clair blocks some punches and blocks others with head movement, then throws a quick five-punch flurry.  There’s mauling now, and St Clair scores with a one-two, but Lorenzi is definitely the fresher man now.  St Clair  leads with an upper cut and eats a hard counter.  As Lorenzi comes forward St Clair’s legs give out and he goes down, but we’ll call it a slip.  Lorenzi comes forward.  He’s attacking and connecting, but his punches lack snap.  There’s the bell, and that’s round 3.

 

Round 4

St Clair comes out raging in round 4, and backs Lorenzi up in the ropes, clubbing him with perhaps ten straight right hooks to the head and body.  Lorenzi comes out little worse for wear, and St Clair is tiring  Now Lorenzi comes forward and I can’t see what punch puts St Clar down, but he’s down.  St Clair is up again, but he’s wild.  His head movment is putting him off balance and he’s eating pjunches in bunches.  Lorenzo backs him into the blue corner and pummels him until referee Mark Nelson mercifully ends the bout.  TKO Lorenzi.

Midwest Boxing Outlook: Mid-Winter 2010

Here are some things that I know that I know…

  • Of interest to those who saw Edwin Rodriguez and Aaron Pryor Jr win their fights with James McGirt Jr and Dyah Davis at Fargo’s Scheels Arena on November 13th: Rodriguez and Pryor face each other in a super middleweight bout tonight on ESPN.    Though Pryor (15-2 with 11 kayos) has a pronounced advantage in height and reach, those seem to be his only advantages over Rodriguez (17-0 with 13 kayos), a hot prospect approaching contender status, who will be widely favored.  The Friday Night Fights broadcast will originate from beautiful Key West, Florida.  Peter Manfredo -vs- Daniel Edouard tops the bill and the broadcast.
  • Joey Abell, who faces Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola in California on January 28th, will be accompanied on the road by fellow ACR Gym denizen Jon Schmidt (10-1 with 6 kayos).  Schmidt is slated to face former Olympian Shawn Estrada (10-1 with 9 kayos) of East Los Angeles in a six-rounder.
  • Seconds Out Promotions brings us an IBF light heavyweight title eliminator on February 4th.  The fight will feature Otis Griffin and Yusuf Mack.  At this time the Fistic Mystic has no information on the undercard.
    Emily Klinefelter (9-0 with 3 KOs)

    Emily Klinefelter (9-0 with 3 KOs)

  • On February 5th in Iowa City, Adam Pollack of Win by KO Promotions will present a mixed show with amateur Muay Thai (4-5 bouts) and professional boxing (6-8 bouts) at the Johnson County fairgrounds.  The show will be headlined, as usual, by one of the Klinefelter girls.  The one sure thing on the card so far is the main event, which will pit super bantamweight Emily Klinefelter (9-0 with 3 kayos) against Christina Ruiz (5-3 with 3 kayos).  Tickets are available at Sushi Kicchin at the Old Capital Mall or by calling Win by KO Promotions at 319-338-1633.  The fairgrounds is located at 4261 Oak Crest Hill Road in scenic Iowa City.
  • Hortons Boxing presents a once-postponed show in Duluth on February 12th.  It can be confirmed that the following fights have been inked: RJ Laase -vs- Hector Orozco (rematch), Al Sands -vs- Zach Ziegler, and Aaron Green -vs- Jordan Ziegler.  Gary Eyer hasn’t been matched yet but is still expected to appear on the card.
  • Philip Adyaka is now managed by Scott Tolzmann.  It was originally believed that Adyaka would fight Gary Eyer in Duluth on February 12th, but Adyaka is now penciled in opposite Jonathan Perez for the 26th of February at Grand Casino Hinckley.  As of Thursday night the Hinckley show was reportedly 99% confirmed.  The headlining bout there is the much-anticipated rematch of Caleb Truax-Phil Williams, which ended in a surprising Split Draw back in April of 2010.  In that fight Truax had swept the early rounds but Williams took that last couple of rounds with effective power punching – it looked like a decisive points win for Truax until the scores were read, but in the end it’s the scorecards that do the deciding.  Supporting that bout is an interesting mix of fighters from Seconds Out Promotions and Midwest Sports Council (MSC).  Could this signal an era of greater cooperation between the two promotions?  That’s an eventuality that this writer has persistently hoped for, and in print.

The Best of Minnesota Boxing: 2010

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

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

Knockout of the Year

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

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

Fight of the Year

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

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

Worst Moment of the Year

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

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

Best Moment of the Year

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

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

Upset of the Year

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

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

Best Performance on the Road

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

Honorable mention: Jason Litzau TD7 Rocky Juarez

Prospect of the Year

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

Honorable mention: Tony Lee, Jamal James, Gary Eyer

Boxer of the Year

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

Honorable mention: Andy Kolle

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.

Holiday Murmurings

Murmur murmur…grumble grumble…Minnesota sports fans are seldom happy.

  • Twin Cities-based promoter MSC (Midwest Sports Council) is taking some lumps over its handling of Matt Vanda’s suspension and resulting ineligibility to fight this Saturday past.  The story is that Vanda had a clean Fight Fax early in the week of his bout, but on Saturday morning the promoter learned from the Minnesota Boxing Commission that Vanda is under suspension by the New Jersey Boxing Commission.  The reason for the suspension hasn’t been announced, but it’s widely speculated to be related to a failed drug test.   Since Vanda’s fight with Phil Williams was the main event of Saturday night’s show, the promoters found themselves in a bit of a pickle with little time to ponder a solution.  Their lesser evil of choice was to have the fight go on, but as an exhibition.  Long story short, Vanda and Williams fought a six-round exhibition rather than a ten round fight.  Both men agreed to reduced pay under the circumstances, so it’s difficult to make a case against the promoter for that move, although ideally it would have been good for Vanda’s purse or a portion thereof could have been diverted to Williams, who is the blameless party in the matter.  The real gripe from most fans seems to be that they (the fans) didn’t know about the change in the nature of the Vanda-Williams clash until they were at the arena.  In MSC’s favor: the card’s supporting bouts included lots of fun and entertaining action.
  • Prospect Jamal James of Minneapolis, who on Saturday improved his record to 3-0 (3 knockouts), got some positive press in this article from the DL-online website.  “I was more than happy to get a chance to fight James,” James’ opponent Ryan Gronvold is quoted saying.  “The promoter came up to me after the fight and told me they couldn’t find another boxer to fight James.  Now I know why.”  James dispatched Gronvold with sharp and hurtful punching in the first round.
  • In the same article we read that the attendance at Target Center that night was 2,505 – a higher number than is reported by most eyewitnesses.
  • There’s no doubt that Jason Litzau would like to fight in his hometown, but it may turn out that he has bigger fish to fry.  According to the Nevada Athletic Commission Litzau was paid $50,000 for his most recent fight, a ten-round split-decision defeat of then 34-2 Celestino Caballero.  That victory put Litzau on the boxing world’s map and gave a big boost to his earning power.  After earning a raise, to fight in Minnesota would require Litzau to take a voluntary pay cut – it would be a labor of love.  How much does Jason Litzau love Minnesota?  Considering how little love he has gotten from his home state fans and media and the fact that the major television players are interested in his services, we may find that Litzau is less inclined than ever to fight in small local shows.
  • Horton’s Boxing in Duluth has announced that Tyler Hultin has been added to their February 12th show at Clyde Iron Works restaurant and bar.  Hultin joins Gary Eyer, RJ Laase, Al Sands, Aaron Green, and Dustin Mason on that card.
  • KO Promotions will present another boxing card at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City on February 5th.  The featured fighters will again be Emily and Katy Klinefelter, with a mixed undercard of male and female fights.  For ticket information call 319-338-1633.