Tag Archives: Zach Walters

Q&A With Andy Kolle

Andy Kolle after a tough fight

Andy Kolle

The Fistic Mystic recently had an opportunity to visit with Minnesota middleweight champ Andy Kolle (21-2 with 15 kayos) about his past, his upcoming (June 17th) fight, and his hopes and plans for the future.

Fistic Mystic: Andy, after a slow couple of years (only four fights in 2008 and 2009 combined), you’re about to fight for the third time in 2010. What’s different?

Andy Kolle: Well, two years ago I still lived in Fargo and was traveling back and forth [to the gym in Duluth] so it was hard to get the proper training in! I mean I was training hard but I wasn’t able to polish my skills as much as I felt I needed to so we kept the fighting to a minumum. Then after the Paul Williams fight we felt we needed to get back to the drawing board and make some adjustments with my game. But now I am living up here full time and in the gym daily.  At the begining of the year we sat down and came to a mutual agreement that it was time to make a run at this boxing thing and keep plugging along until something big comes along!

FM: Do you have the name of your next opponent yet? What do you know about him?

AK: I know the name of the guy I am supposed to fight but I can’t release it until we get his contract back, he is taking his sweet time so if it falls through we have a couple back up plans!

FM: Minnesota boxing fans know that you’re a diligent trainer and a bit of a fitness nut. How is your training camp going?

AK: Your right about that!! Training camp is going great up here, I am lucky to have up and coming boxer Tyler Hultin in camp with me again so I get a lot of rounds in with him and RJ Laase. With the combination of these 2 guys to spar with I am getting good quality sparring in where I am able to hone my skills and work on new tricks! Now that its summer I spend a lot of time on the ski hills in Duluth getting my roadwork in so I am always able to keep myself in top physical condition.

FM: You’ve won four in a row against respectable competition. What are you hoping will happen next? From your vantage point, is your career going in the direction you want it to?

AK: Absolutely, I am very happy with how my team has been moving me.  With the exception of two setbacks [losses to Andre Ward and Paul Williams] I think my career is going in the right direction! I hope in the next year so I am able to land a fight with some of the other prospects out there that I can test myself against – and God willing beat – and set myself up to get ranked in the top 10!!

FM: It’s been two years since you moved to Duluth to further your career. Has the move been good for you? What’s your favorite thing about living there?

AK: The move is the best decision I could have maded for both my boxing career and also my personal life.  I love it up here!  I love having constant supervision in the gym so I know whenever I make a mistake and don’t fall back into old habits as easily!

FM: With the retirement of Zach Walters, you’ve become Duluth’s featured veteran and Gary Eyer has stepped up to become a solid #2 attraction. Please share your thoughts on the incredible shrinking boxer, Gary Eyer.

AK: Gary is a crazy kid, its hard to put a label on the type of fighter he is!  Everyday in the gym he is a completely different person!  Some days he is a crazy brawler who just wants to throw punches and the other he is a slick boxer!  I don’t think people outside of the gym know just how slick the kid is and how good of a straight up boxer he can be when he wants to be.  He just loves to put that shock factor into the fight game!  I think Gary has a very bright future ahead of him and I think in time there will be nobody in the Midwest that can touch him at whatever weight he plans on settling into.

FM: Do you still hope to fight Caleb Truax in the near future or is that off the table now?

AK: Yeah, I would love to fight Caleb anytime.  My only request is that it’s not a Seconds Out promoted show.  I don’t care who promotes it, it just can’t be them for reasons I don’t care to get into – except to say that Tony G and I really butt heads whenever we run into each other!

FM: What can we expect to see from you on June 17th?

AK: Fireworks!  As you know, I try to bring a little something different to the ring everytime I fight and I have been working on some new things in the gym that I think are gonna bring me to another level, I plan on showcasing that in my next fight!

FM: Thanks again for your time. Take care and God bless.

AK: Thanks a lot Ben! I hope everybody who plans on attending the show and supporting us fighters get a chance to make it.

The Fistic Mystic says: I once read a comment from a prominent journalist that to publish an interview in the Q&A format is the laziest thing an interviewer can do, so I feel appropriately guilty as I post this article.  Just the same, I think that Kolle’s candor redeems the effort.

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Andy Kolle Moves Forward, Looks Back

Boxer Andy Kolle (20-2 with 15 kayos) is in the midst of preparations for the April 2nd rematch of his 2007 unanimous decision victory over Matt Vanda.  The first time these two met was in the fall of 2007, when Vanda had a record of 37-4.  Vanda has gone 5-6 since, while facing a high level of competition.  Kolle has tallied 5 wins and 1 loss since that day, the loss coming to world-class competitor Paul “The Punisher” Williams and the most important win coming in a Minnesota middleweight title fight against then-champ Anthony Bonsante.

I asked Kolle why he felt that Vanda was the right opponent for him right now.  “Vanda has done some great things since our first fight,” Kolle responded.  “I told him after that fight that I would give him a rematch.  It took a couple years, but I believe that this is the best Vanda has ever been and I want the challenge for myself!”  As a boxing fan you might be thinking that Kolle should be facing bigger national names at this point in his career, and he has an answer for you.  “I…want to stay busy and fight as much as possible, but unfortunately the national fights aren’t [as easy to make] as we thought they would be.”

Andy Kolle

The situation in which Kolle finds himself is a reflection of where he is in his career as well as his social status, identity, and geographical location.  What nationally notable prizefighter would want to risk their career against an obscure but talented white Midwestern southpaw whose only two career losses have come in his only two televised bouts?  Just the same, Kolle remains upbeat.  “Training camp is going great!  I have gotten a lot of great sparring in and I’m ready to fight right now!  I feel great, hungry, and ready to repeat with another victory.”  Kolle is equally positive about the outcome of the fight, declaring that “I am going to win!  To me it doesn’t matter how, or what I have to do, as long as I walk away with the victory.”

Though reluctant to talk about what a win would mean to him, Kolle is happy to reflect on his progress since that first fight with Vanda nearly two and a half years ago.  At the time Kolle was 15-1 but virtually unknown; a young college student, a part-time boxer, and a resident of Fargo, North Dakota.  “Back then I spent a lot of time in the gym by myself training alone and trying to push myself.  Since then I have moved up to Duluth and have become a legit full-time fighter.  I am always in the gym training so I am always ready to fight….I was unknown at the time so I knew  had to prove myself, and I went in there to beat him at his own game.  I fought his fight, going toe-to-toe with him for eight rounds – that first fight made me grow a ton as a fighter and as a man because I knew after that fight that I could handle the deep rounds without any problems.”

Aside from Jason Litzau, who is busy asserting himself at the worldwide level, Kolle and Vanda are Minnesota’s highest-profile professional boxers right now.  Accordingly, the fight is naturally getting a lot of attention – maybe more attention than usual.  It’s all part of the resurgence of boxing in Minnesota.  “I love being part of bringing the sport back to its prominence,” declares Kolle.  “There are a lot of great fighters coming up in this state, and it’s only going to get better!”

One Minnesota boxer who is no longer on the scene is Kolle’s close pal, Zach Walters.  The Jungle Boy announced his retirement in December after compiling a career record of 24-5 fighting out of Horton’s Gym.  Though Kolle says he feels his friend’s absence in the gym, “I don’t let that affect me too much.  When Jungle was in the gym we would push each other to the limits, so the only thing that really changed is that now I’ve gotta try and push that work ethic in othe other fighters so we can all grow together.  But personally nothing much has changed; we still kick it – the only thing different is that he is back to his old self: not always tired and drained from training and cutting weight, so it a more upbeat vibe when he is around now. [laughs]

The Fistic Mystic says: Andy Kolle is a young veteran at the age of 27, an optimistic and upbeat figure in the paradigm of Minnesota boxing.  Not only the standard-bearer for his home gym, Kolle is our state’s most self-intentional representative to the boxing world.  If Kolle defeats Vanda for a second time, as I suspect he will, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can move on to bigger an better things while still preserving his Minnesota ties.

“If You Laid All the Professional Boxers in Minnesota End-to-End…”

“If you laid all the professional boxers in Minnesota end-to-end, it would look a lot like a Friday night on the road.”

In a moment of good humor a local boxing professional shared this wry observation with me.

It’s certainly true that Minnesotans haven’t done well on the road in the last few years.  It’s a well-established pattern that our local boxers rack up the wins and fatten up their records in Minnesota and then go on the road to try to step up.  It’s a good thing that they get paid, because that’s usually all they get for their trouble.  Even our best boxers do it.  Here, for example, are the 2008-09 road records of some of Minnesota’s most popular and successful pugilists:

  • Joey Abell 3-2 (Ratko Draskovic, Maurice Wheeler, Alfred Cole, Jason Nicholson, Billy Willis)
  • Anthony Bonsante 0-1 (Adonis Stevenson)
  • Willshaun Boxley 1-3 (Barbaro Zepeda, Eric Hunter, Arash Usmanee, Ronny Rios)
  • Raphael Butler 2-4 (Kerry Biles, Eddie Chambers, Homero Fonseca twice, Marvin Hunt, Malik Scott)
  • Chris Holt 1-0-1 (John McLean, John McLean)
  • Andy Kolle – 0-1 (Paul Williams)
  • Jason Litzau 2-1 (Robert Guerrero, Verquan Kimbrough, Johnnie Edwards)
  • Caleb Truax 1-0 (Thomas Rittenbaugh)
  • Matt Vanda – 0-4 (Sebastien Demers, JC Chavez Jr twice, John Duddy)
  • Zach Walters 0-1 (Byron Mitchell)
  • Phil Williams – 0-1 (Don George)

 

  • Cumulative Record: 10-18-1

So seven of the ten fighters listed here compiled losing records on the road in 2008-09.

It’s appropriate at this point to acknowledge the extenuating circumstance: It’s a given in boxing that the tougher fights are on the road.  Once a fighter has made himself road-worthy, it’s normal for him to get tough tests on the road and showcases at home.

But there are a couple of flies in that ointment, for while Minnesota boys occasionally go on the road and lose to big-name opponents, the reverse isn’t true; big-name opponents don’t come to Minnesota and lose to local boys.  It may be that the best home-state win for a Minnesota boxer against an out-of-towner in the last two years was Wilton Hilario’s trouncing of Leon Bobo, decidedly un-super despite his 18-3 record, in November 2009.  Also, it’s pretty obvious that only one of the ten victories listed above was truly significant, and that was Jason Litzau’s pasting of then 21-1 Verquan Kimbrough.  Not surprisingly, Litzau is the only boxer in Minnesota who has established his world-class credentials.

Is there any hope for improvement?  There sure is!  There are some really promising young fighters coming up through the ranks who could reverse this ugly trend, most notably unbeaten middleweight prospect Caleb Truax of Osseo and light middleweight Javontae Starks, a new pro with a stellar amateur resume, of south Minneapolis.  Not to be forgotten is Robert Brant, an amateur with his eye on the 2012 Olympics in London – Brant’s natural giftedness already has people talking about his potential as a professional.  And there are others – too many to list here, in fact.  Things are looking up!

The Fistic Mystic says: Keep your chin up, Minnesota boxing fan – we have some good prizefighters operating now, and there are reinforcements coming!

Happy New Year, and Good-Bye to 2009

Here’s a new tradition: the Happy New Year article.  Just like last year, I’m going to outline which Minnesota boxers gained ground, which backslid, and which ones didn’t make a move in 2009.

Risers:

  • Jason Litzau – Some people may have thought that Litzau was toast after being manhandled and kayoed by world champ Robert Guerrero in his only fight of 2008.  But in 2009 Litzau shined while moving up from 126# to 135#, and then back down to 130#.  It was his fight with Verquan Kimbrough that really put him back on the map, as Litzau battered the 21-1-2 Kimbrough on his way to a 3rd-round win by retirement.  That win earned him a date with ESPN, but his win against Johnnie Edwards was less than glamorous.
  • Caleb Truax – Truax was on this list last year, too.  Everything has come up roses so far for the 14-0 prospect from Osseo, though he had his bell rung by Patrick Perez before coming back to win in his fourth bout of 2009.  Truax also looked gassed at the end of his ten-rounder with Kerry Hope in November.  Nevertheless, Truax won all five of his bouts in 2009, three of them by KO or TKO.
  • Matt Vanda – It’s a bit of a surprise to me to find Vanda on this list at this point in his career, but a 3-1 record in 2009, including wins against 40-6 Tocker Pudwill and 11-1 Phil Williams, got Vanda back on track.  Vanda has reached the point in his career where he accepts that he isn’t world-class, but he still loves to fight and he’s pretty good at it.  Kind of like a woman who is appealing and desirable despite not being beautiful, a Vanda fight is usually a fun spectacle despite not being a work of art.
  • Andy Kolle – People are talking.  I have people ask me all the time why Kaos Kolle isn’t fighting more frequently.  All I can tell them is that I know he wants to, and his team is trying to make it happen for him.  For now, Kolle can look back at his March 28th win against Tony Bonsante and feel good about being Minnesota’s middleweight champion.  We’ll see how long he remains satisfied with that.
  • Antwan Robertson – How can Robertson go 1-1-1 in three fights and still be on the list of risers?  Because he looked so very good in his October 23rd win against then 6-0 Brad Patraw.  Robertson started the year as an untested 4-0 prospect whose opponents had only one win between them.  He ended the year as Minnesota’s bantamweight champ.  That’ll lift you.
  • Gary Eyer – For some reason I hesitated before adding Eyer to this list, but he went 3-0 in 2009 and won Minnesota’s fight of the year against previously unbeaten Levi Cortes in December.  Eyer, now 7-0-1, is in a pretty good place for a prizefighter: he’s undefeated and he’s exciting to watch.

Fallers:

  • Anthony Bonsante lost to Andy Kolle in March and announced his retirement.  That was a pretty good move by the Bullet.  At the end of the summer rumors were flying that Bonsante would fight again, but he didn’t and that’s a good move too.  Here’s hoping that Bonsante finds other ways to keep busy, like working for the boxing commission.
  • Zach Walters lost twice in three bouts this year.  The loss to Byron Mitchell was a bummer, but not a dealbreaker.  The win over 11-12-3 James Morrow really wasn’t meaningful.  The first-round loss to smaller opponent Larry Sharpe was the deal-breaker.  Well, it was really the 1-3 stretch that started with a loss to Shawn Hammack in ’08 that was the dealbreaker – the loss to Sharpe was merely the final straw.  Walters is retired from fighting now, and it’s for the better.
  • Allen Litzau lost his only boxing match of 2009, to unbeaten prospect Wilton Hilario.  As Litzau is less and less active his stock continues to plunge.  We need to see something good from the elder Litzau before he falls off our radar entirely.
  • Cory Rodriguez also lost his only boxing match of 2009.  Rodriguez is a good fighter – a very good fighter, but he doesn’t fight often and he’s already 30 years old.  Something’s got to give in the new year, because a 4-1 prospect on the wrong side of 30 isn’t in a position to be choosey.

Sideways:

  • Phil Williams – It’s hard to know what to do with Williams.  He had two important results this year: a TKO win against Antwun Echols and a split decision loss to Matt Vanda.  I expect to see Williams on the ‘Risers” list next year, but this time all I can do is acknowledge his mixed results for 2009.
  • Brad Patraw beat Antwan Robertson handily in March but got knocked down twice and lost to Robertson in October.  In between was a make-work fight with tough but limited Javier Segura in August.  The two fights with Robertson are what interest me.
  • Willshaun Boxley fought six times in 2009, winning two and losing three (one fight ended in a no-contest due to weather).  His wins came against pretty good fighters and his losses came against very good fighters.
  • Jon Schmidt – It probably seems odd that a 9-1 guy ends up here after going 3-0 in 2009, but Schmidt’s three wins came in the form of a split decision against Joshua Rodriguez (then 4-5, now 4-10) and blowouts against a couple of MMA guys in the boxing debuts.  The bottom line is that a guy could do worse, but not doing worse isn’t the goal.

Make a Move!

  • Kenny Kost would be a non-factor if he hadn’t recently announced that he was going back to the gym to get ready to fight again.  He’s young enough and good enough to keep fighting, and he’s been mentioned as a possible opponent for Andy Kolle, Caleb Truax, and Cerresso Fort.
  • Jon Laboda fought just once in 2009, versus Patrick Cape back in April.  It’s time for another fight.  Does Jon know that Javontae Starks wants to fight him?  I’m not sure.

Non-Factors:

  • Antonio Johnson – The Saint Paul Kid still wants to fight, he’s told me so.  But he only fought once in 2007, once in 2008, and once in March of this year.  I don’t know what the holdup is, but the clock is ticking on this once-promising career.

Boxing Dreams: Minnesota’s Fantasy Matchups (Part 2)

It’s a known fact: bloggers are empty-headed know-it-alls.  It’s the empty-headedness that gives us such liberty to say anything.

Now consider these possibilities:

Jason Litzau -vs- Tyrone Harris – Litzau’s prospects are actually a little tough to sort out.  Harris is a nice match on paper, though – he has a good record and his worldwide standing is pretty close to Litzau’s.  But Harris is a couple inches shorter than Litzau and has less power, he’s been kayoed twice in his five losses, and he’s almost local (Michigan).  Litzau needs a good step-up fight, and this could be it.  Fly in the ointment: Harris is already penciled in against South Korea’s Ji Hoon Kim for February 12th.  Hopefully the promoter has Litzau’s number handy in case Kim falls out.

Andy Kolle -vs- Ronald Hearns – Two years ago I wanted Kolle to fight Gee Cullmer of Philadelphia, and that would still be a nice one to pad his record, but Cullmer hasn’t progressed as Kolle has.  Then I was agitating for a Kolle match with Harry Joe Yorgey, but Yorgey was demolished by Alfredo Angulo in early November, and there’s speculation out of Philly that the 32-year old Yorgey may choose to retire.  This leaves Hearns.  Hearns is 23-1 but doesn’t have nearly the resume that Kolle does, and didn’t look good in a loss to Yorgey earlier this year.  Bonuses #1 and #2: Hearns is an orthodox fighter and has a suspect chin.

Phil Williams -vs- Matt Vanda II – This one has already generated some talk, so why not?  Williams has told everyone who would listen that he could have gone another ten rounds in the first fight, and that if he had it to do over he would have unloaded on Vanda in the early rounds instead of waiting till late.  Vanda isn’t known for backing down from a challenge, but he may feel that there’s little reason to do it again.  Just the same, fight fans would like to see it, and that’s usually reason enough!

Willshaun Boxley -vs- Allen Litzau – Two confident fighters who must be disappointed with their recent results and who have already established the beginnings of a rivalry.  It’s ready-made!  This one seriously must be on some promoter’s to-do list, and I think  know whose!

Gary Eyer -vs- Jeremy McLaurin – Eyer (7-0-1 with 5 kayos) put himself on the statewide map by winning his thrilling battle with Levi Cortes on December 4th.  At the same time, he showed that he can get down to lightweight territory, weighing in at 133.5 for the Cortes fight.  McLaurin (5-0 with 4 kayos) just cut his ties with Seconds Out Promotions and seems to be looking for challenging fights to move him up the ladder.  This fight has the potential to be a real crowd-pleaser, and the two fighters’ undefeated records would look nice on a fight card.  Alternate plan: McLaurin -vs- Levi Cortes.

Javontae Starks -vs- Patrick Cape – The conventional wisdom says that this isn’t as much a matchup as it is a measuring stick.  Starks was understudy to Demetrius Andrade on the USA Boxing team.  Andrade made his professional debut against Cape a little over a year ago, winning by TKO in round 2.  It would be interesting to see how Starks performs against Cape, wouldn’t it?

The Fistic Mystic says: Before we ride off into the sunset, let’s review my proposals from last time (March 31, 2008) and see what actually transpired:

Anthony Bonsante -vs- John Duddy II – didn’t happen, and never will, because Bonsante is retired, and hopefully that’s a permanent state of affairs.  Duddy is less of a prize than he was back then anyway, since Billy Lyell deflowered him.  (Billy Lyell!)

Boxley -vs- Wilton Hilario – boy, this one is a long way off now.  Boxley is still a tough and talented fighter, but he’s lost three in a row.  Hilario is back on track and riding high, following his UD win against then 18-3 Leon Bobo in November.

Raphael Butler -vs- Eddie Chambers – this one happened, and frankly it wasn’t pretty.   Chambers, not a heavy-handed slugger by any stretch, TKO’d Butler in the sixth.  Chambers has gone on to win four subsequent bouts and is scheduled to face the younger Klitschko (Wlad) on my birthday (March 20th) in Germany.  Butler, by contrast, has gone 3-3 with a no-decision since, though he is on the record saying that two of the losses (a split decision and a majority decision to Homero Fonseca of Houston, in Houston) were gamey.

Jason Litzau -vs- Cristobal Cruz – this one hasn’t happen, and likely never will.  Cruz is the IBF world champ at 126#, and Litzau appears to have found a home at 130#.

Matt Vanda -vs- Sebastian Demers – This is another one that happened, and went poorly for the Minnesota guy.  Few Minnesotans saw it, but it was reported to have been an entertaining battle.  Vanda lost a landslide decision (shut out on all three cards) and has gone 5-3 since, but has continued to spring surprises on boxing fans (a close loss to Julio Cesar Chavez in 2008, a close win against Tocker Pudwill in 2009, the surprising win against Phil Williams at 165# in 2009) while Demers has gone 6-1 since.

Zach Walters -vs- Hugo Pineda II – Here’s another that will never happen.  This looked like a good revenge fight a year and a half ago, but that was before Walters lost three out of four starting with Shawn Hammack in August 2008.  Walters retired following his latest loss, and it’s for the better.  It’s good for a Minnesota kid to get out while the getting is good.

Want to talk it over?  Go to the Minnesota Boxing Forum for for discussion!

Big Swat, and Other Thoughts from Target Center

If I could pick one theme to characterize tonight’s fights at Target Center, it would be Big Swat.

Some guys had it and others didn’t, but as much as boxing fans love it, it isn’t always the deciding factor in a fight.

One guy who had Big Swat didn’t win.  That was Silas Ortley, who showed good power while losing to Dave Peterson – a fight that was stopped by the referee after the fourth body-shot knockdown.  Oddly, I thought that when Ortley wasn’t dropping to his knees from body shots, he looked like the stronger and more effective fighter, despite his soft and pudgy appearance.  (Yes, I have looked in a mirror lately.)

Two little guys who have Big Swat fought each other.  Gary Eyer -vs- Levi Cortes was the fight of the night and a legitimate candidate for Minnesota’s Fight of the Year, 2009 Edition.  In round 1 Cortes looked stronger and more effective.  Things were not looking good for Eyer, of Horton’s Gym in Duluth.  But starting in round 2, the two young lightweights pounded each other silly almost nonstop until the end of the six round fight.  Eyer won the decision, but this was one of those fights where you wish they could both be rewarded.  I talked to Eyer briefly after his fight, and he seemed in awe of what he had just experienced.  What did I say to Eyer?  I told him to take some time off, because he has earned it!

Two big guys whose hallmark is Big Swat fought each other, but that one ended badly due to an unfortunate case of Late Swat.  Initially ruled a DQ win for Raphael Butler (and a corresponding DQ loss for Joey Abell), the outcome has reportedly been changed to a No Contest.  Thank goodness – that was the right decision.  Thank you, Boxing Commissioner Scott LeDoux!

One man’s attempt at a Big Swat hurt his shoulder. That would be Ronnie Peterson, in his fight with North Dakota’s Tomi Archambault.  Peterson had shoulder surgery before he turned pro, and he suffered another shoulder injury tonight.  Tonight’s injury forced Peterson to quit on his stool, not something that any fighter wants to do, and certainly not with his dad working in his corner.  Get well soon, Ronnie.  If you have to have surgery again, let me know where to send the flowers.

A man who is known for Big Swat lost by quick knockout to a man who is not.  Zach Walters, nineteen of whose twenty-four wins have come by knockout, lost an incredibly quick fight by kayo after he was roughed up by Larry Sharpe, who only managed eleven knockout wins in thirty prior fights – as a light middleweight!  Sharpe moved up to super middleweight and battered a bigger, ostensibly stronger opponent.  It just goes to show you that sometimes Big Swat shows up in unexpected places.

Hector Orozco isn’t a great fighter, but he has conjured up some Big Swat before.  Against Tony Lee tonight, Orozco could sure have used some more of that BS, but Lee was too quick, too elusive, and summoned too many Little Swats.  Orozco just couldn’t find it when he needed it.

Yevgeniy “Boris” Shishporenok showed a great facility for snuffing his opponent’s attempts to uncork a Big Swat.  Totally unexpected, and very impressive.  Don’t try this at home, kids: Boris twice caught his opponent’s incoming punches in his own very strong hands like a catcher catching a fastball.  I don’t know how to convey the image to the reader, so I’m going to repeat myself: he just caught those punches in his hands and tossed them away like fungo balls.  For his part, Boris landed a phantom Big Swat that nobody really seemed to see or hear, but which flattened his opponent just the same.  Philosophical query: if a punch lands on a man’s jaw and nobody hears it, does it still hurt?  Evidently the answer is yes.

Last of all, Saverino and Jacob.  Saverino Garcia and Jacob Dobbe put on a good show, but neither man particularly impressed.  A small dose of Big Swat would have spiced things up a little bit, guys.  Maybe next time one of you could, you know, let his opponent land a big haymaker.  Just a suggestion.  Because everybody loves to see a fight end with a great big Swat!

Joey Abell/Raphael Butler and Zach Walters/Larry Sharpe Round-by-Round

Good evening, and welcome to Abell/Butler and Walters/Sharpe at Target Center in Minneapolis!  We’ve got quite a complement of media here tonight, which is a welcome change of pace for Minnesota boxing.  It’s 7:20 and the crowd is just beginning to file into the arena, so we might see a little delay in the  start of the show.

  • Note to my favorite reader: I left the phone in the van, and I’m not going back out there to get it!
  • An announcement has just come down requesting that officials report to ringside.  Let’s get this show rolling!
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to follow along – the fights are listed in reverse chronological order.

Joey Abell (now 25-5 with 24 kayos) loses to (is not defeated by) Raphael Butler (now 36-8 with 28 kayos) by disqualification in round 1 of 10 scheduled.

Round 1

Abell is jabbing and backing up, Butler jabbing and coming forward.  Butle lands the first good shot of the night, a short right hook after Abell missed with a left.  Abell connects with a left hook to the chest of Buter, and a pause…both men fire at the same time, no advantag yet.  Now Butler jumps in and there’s a clinch.  Bobby Brunette breaks the two apart.  both men are circling to their left, and Abell zaps butler with a left.  Butler lands a big right to the head of Abell, Ice bounces off the ropes and moves across the ring.  Abell sticks a hard left into theches of butler, and Butler can be seen saying something…unclear what.  Abell bounces a good right off  the head of Butler, gets  butler backing up, and pounds him into a corner!  butler goes down to his knees, rises slowly, and the men begin punching again after the bell!  NOBODY SEEMS TO HAVE HEARD THE BELL, and referee Brunette isn’t trying to break them up!  Abell clocks Butler with a thundering left hand, Butler appears to be knocked unconscious, and all hell breaks loose – the O’Connor crew storms the ring in protest, Ron Lyke and Jim Maurine go to the aid of their man, and now there’s a huge melee.  Ron Lyke is at the bottom of the pile, and Abell is arching his body of Lyke’s to protect him.

I hope this fight is ruled a no-contest and not a DQ…we’ll have to wait and see.

Ring announcer Dan Cole has announced that Raphael Butler is now the Minnesota heavyweight champion.  I’m not sure this is the case – we need a ruling on whether a title can be won on a disqualification, pronto!

Zach Walters (now 24-5 with 19 kayos) is defeated by Larry Sharpe (now 24-7 with 12 kayos) by TKO at :56 in round 1 of 8 scheduled.

Round 1

Sharpe comes right out and gets into Walters’ face, cornering Walters and battering him with an extended barrage of hooks and overhanded shots that put Walters down no more than thirty seconds into the fight!  After a mandatory eight count it’s more of the same, and Walters ends up sunken in a neutral corner, red-faced and helpless.  Referee Bobby Brunette stops the bout after just 56 seconds.

Memorable: in his post-fight interview with ring announcer Dan Cole, Sharpe calls out Matt Vanda!

INTERMISSION…

Ronnie Peterson (now 3-1) is defeated by Tomi Archambault (now 1-1) by TKO due to an injury after 2 rounds of six schedulued.

Round 1

This fight begins tactically, with neither man committing to an attack, but feeling each other out.  As it develops, Archambault looks like the aggressor, but Peterson is comfortable (or seems so) backing up and fighting from a Money Mayweather-like posture.  Archambault traps Peterson against the ropes and pummels him for a good ten or fifteen seconds, but Peterson finally escapes and scoots across the ring.  Archambault may have hurt Peterson there, it looked like a right hook and it left Peterson rubbing the left side of his face.  Now Archambault has Peterson against the ropes again, and lands a long series of grunting body shots before Peterson escapes.  Peterson is not impresssing so far in the first round.  The round ends with Archambault coming forward.

Round 2

Archambault gets Peterson into the ropes yet again, and though Peterson punches his way off the ropes, he doesn’t get away and takes more punishment than he should.  Peterson is a sharp puncher, but seems to be in the habit off walking straight backward to get away from trouble, and that doesn’t work.  Archambault lands his best punch of the fight, a left to the head of Peterson, and peterson retreats again.  Peterson walks backwards into a corner again, but this time deftly executes a switcharoo, putting Archambault into the corner before – you guessed it – retreating again.  Archambault impresses by feinting a left, and when Peterson flinchhes, nailing him with a right from outside his field of vision.  This round ends as the last one did, with Archambault coming forward.

Round 3

This fight has been stopped due to a shoulder injury – we can only assume it’s to Peterson, as no one has said yet.  Archambault has now been declared the winner by TKO.

 

Gary Eyer (now 7-0-1 with 5 kayos) defeats Levi Cortes (now 3-1 with 2 kayos) by unanimous decision (58-54, 57-55, 57-56) after 6 rounds.

Round 1

Cortes throws the first punch, a left jab, and there’s a short lull before both men commence to throwing power shots.  Now another moment of quiet, and Cortes comes in throwing extremely hard right hands.  Eyer counters with at lesast one good body shot that could be heard throughout the arena, and after another lull Cortes charges in with a vicious left that snaps Eyer’s head back.  Cortes comes in and puts his head down, allowing Eyer to get off a monster shot to the body.  Cortes is a beast, throwing hateful punches that have Eyer ragdolling around the ring, but each time Eyer comes back with credible counters that show he’s still game.  Now Eyer tries to lead with a  right, but Cortes ducks it, pushes him into a corner, and nails him again.  Cortes lunges in and lands another snapping right, and Eyer retreats to the ropes, where Cortes flurries again until the bell rings.

Round 2

Eyer lands a good left jab that snaps Cortes’ head back at the start of the round, Cortes comes forward and misses with a right, taking a big left to the head as his comeuppance.  Eyer lands a left, ducks two big shots from Cortes, and lands a hook or uppercut.  Cortes measures, measures, and throws an overhanded right that lands flush to Eyer’s cheek.  Cortes tries the same move again, this time Eyer craftily ties him up and drags him backwards across the ring.  Cortes ducks and charges, and Eyer lands a big counter left.  Cortes’s ragin bull routine might be losing its effectiveness.  cortes connects a right hook to the body froma wide angle, eyer feints a punch and Cortes flinches.  cortes shortens up his hook and lands wit hless powerr.  Cortes jumps in again, and catches Eyer repeatedly.  Eyer backs up into the ropes and there makes a stand, firing back with hooks and uppercuts that make the crowd roar!  Wisely getting off the ropes, Eyer is again retreating while Cortes throws power shots of every variety from every conceivable angle until the bell rings.

Round 3

Cortes is stalking but not throwing for the first twenty seconds of the round.  eyer is moving back and to his left, changes direction, head fakes, and then atacks.  Cortes goes on the attack, eyer steps back and to the right, throws a big left hook , and drops Cortes hard.  Back up after the count, Cortes looks like easy prey, but when Eyer tries to finish him off, Cortes latches on hard and won’t let go until both men crash ito the ropes, and Eyer does a twisting body slam.  Cortes is looking lost, but at just the most desperate moment, lands a big hook that snaps Eyer’s head all the way back.  the two men separate, and referee bobby brunette stops the action so Cortes can be inspected by the ring doctor.  Upon the approval of the ring doctor, cortes comes back out looking for blood.  Cortes lays into eyer with a ferocious extended combination, eyer fires back in turn, and the two go toe-to-toe in the center of the ring for what seems like a full minute!  When it’s over both men are looking rough, but Cortes’ face is covered in blood from the eyes down.  Cortes is landing his leads, but Eyer is countering effectively through the end of the round.  What a round!

Round 4

eyer leads, Cortes lands two effective shots.  eyer may be better off countering.  cortes continues to come forward, suddenly eyer charges and lands one big right.  Cortes gets him back twice, and eyer finishes the encounter with a hard left.  Back to the center of the ring, where cortes attacks but is hit flush witha horrorizing eyer right that sprays blood across the ring.  Cortes is back to stalking, and as he jumps in there’s a sickening thud as the two men’s heads clash.  As the fighters separate, eyer hard a splash of blood on the back of his right shoulder.  No telling where that came from.  Cortes is throwing mostly single shots now, bleedding heavily from the mouth, Eyer waits until there’s five seconds left in the round and then flurries with his back to the ropes.  As the bell rings, the crowd applauds what is developing into a possible FOY candidate.

Round 5

The lips of Levi cortes, I must say, look like punctured and oozing sausages.  Cortes is attacking again, and Eyer seems to be getting tthe upper hand with ferocious counters that would knock a horse cold.  Cortes attacks again and again, Eyer, sometimes eats big power shots, but equally often connects with deathly counters.  cortes is down!  eyer hit him with another counter and his knees buckled – but cortes is up before bobby brunette can count .  eyer pursues cortes into a corner and pummels him, but as the two men meet once again the center of the ring, cortes hits Eyer with three big rights.  Cortes is still pursuing Eyer as the bell rings, round 5 is in the books.

Round 6

Cortes starts the scoring with a hard left-right-left that freezes Eyer momentarily, but Eyer collects himself and resumes countering.  Eyer charges forward with a left and right hook that both miss, and the combatants take a short break.  Cortes is bleeding heavily from his nose.  Cortes , coming forward, lands two straight rights and backs Eyer into a corner, but may be too tired to capitalize – at any rate, Eyer walked out of the corner.  Cortes is coming forward again, but putting his head down, he is hit with a tremendous right uppercut that the crowd didn’t seem to notice.  Two tired warriors are trading, toe-to-toe, an extended flurry like I have never seen before!  The round ends with an exhausted Cortes taking terrible punishment from Eyer’s hooks and uppercuts.

Dave Peterson (now 12-0 with 7 kayos) defeats Silas Ortley (now 4-8 with 3 kayos) by TKO at 1:22 in round 4 of 6 scheduled

Round 1

Ortly throws an alligator-armed right jab to start things off, Peterson lands a soft shot, and Ortlye goes hard to the body three times.  Peterson sees this kid is earnest, and bangs on him for a few seconds, Ortly gets inside and lands big looping hooks to the body and head of Peterson.  Peterson is moving well but punching softly, Silas is a charging bull, but despite all his uncouthness he lands.  Peterson lands a good rigth hook to the ribcage, and Ortley  leans uncomfortably to this right.  Peterson had better use that jab!@  Ortly comes charging in and lands several more winging punches.  Peterson lands three softies and Ortly misses with a big right.  Peterson’s smooth boxing is beginning to show.  Peterson alnds three more body shots without getting touched back, but on his next foray into Ortley’s body, Peterson eats another big hook.  Peterson puts his right out to hold Silas at bay, but Ortley signals bad intentions by throwing a hook at the outside of Peterson’s straightened elbow.  The bell rings with Ortley landing two more hooks on Peterson’s melon.

Round 2

Peterson is trying to be elegant, but Ortley counters his soft hook with a big heavy-handed right that moves him.  Peterson puts his head down and gets caught under Ortley’s armpit.  Ortley sportingly lets him out after throwing just two more punches, and they’re back at it.  Simultaneous punches – a right from Ortley and a Left from Peterson – land knuckle-to-knuckle in mid-air.  Ortley lands another big power shot, and Peterson counters while  moving backwards.  Peterson ducks again, and gets caught in the armpit of Ortley again.  Peterson is landing very soft lefts, then suddenly comes to life, landing three resounding rights to the body of Ortley.  Ortley is throwing with lless conviction now…Peterson lands a big liver punch to Ortley, and Ortley hesitates before taking a knee.  he’s in obvious pain, and looking like a deer in the headlights as Miezwa counts eight or ninee before Ortley rises.  Ortley’s mouthypieces is out.  Now as the bout resumes, Ortley shakes off the effects of the punch and throws a flurry of big shots that may have hurt Peterson.  The bell rings, and as Miezwa steps in between the men, Ortley throws three angry overhanded punches and then makes a challenging gesture at Peterson.  Things just got more interesting!

Round 3

Ortley is looking like the ggressor here, landing several good one-twos.  Petreson ducks inside, and Ortley lands a huge right to the ribcage!  Peterson backs up, and Ortley nails him in the face, drawing out a big “Oooooh!” from the crowd.  Peterson is ahving a hard time figuring Ortley out.  now Peterson gets smart and digs to the body with several big hooks that would hurt a bronze statue.  Ortley is punching down at the larger, crouching Peterson, and peterson is continuing to geo hard to the soft body of Ortley.  Ortley absorbs one too many body shots and goes down on his knees again, but after the mandatory eight count, it’s business as usual.   Peterson, countereintuitively, is going downstairs consistently on his shhortter opponent.  Now ortley catches Peterson with a big body shot as peterson moves backward.  Peterson flurries again as the round comes to a close, and again Ortley goes down from yet another body punch!  Ortley jumps to his feet at the count of nine, and the timekeeper rings the bell as soon as the fight recommences.

Round 4

Despite al the hurting, Ortley comes out game for the fourth.  A lunging hook from Ortley lands on Peterson, Peterson ducks duwon and to the right, and ortley alertly targets his exposed side.  Ortley catches Peterson on the ropes and lands two big shots, and Peterson escapes.  Back in the center of the ring Peterson lands three good body shots, Ortley puts his head down and bulls him backwards into  a corner – both men still punching all the way to the ropes.  Peterson gets out, and as the two reengage catches Ortley with another big body shot, and this time Miezwa waves the fight off immediately.  TKO.

 

Hector Orozco (now 1-4) is defeated by Tony Lee (now 1-0 with no knockouts) by unanimous decision (39-36, 40-35, 39-36) after four rounds.

Round 1

Orozco extends a hand of greeting as the fight begins, and Lee ignores it.  Orozco throws a few sharp jabs to the body to kick things of…there’s a pause in the action – I think that Lee lost his mouthguard.  Upon returning to action lee throws some ineffective but straong-looking hooks at Otrozco.  Lee traps Orozco against the ropes and lands at least two very hard shots to teh head of Orozco, but the two clinch and  have to be broken up by referee Gary Miezwa.  Lee lands a big right to the head of Orozco, and Orozco leans hard into the ropes…is he baiting Lee?  Apparently not, because as Orozco comes off the ropes Lee caches him with another shot that puts Orozco off balance again.  Orozco puts both hands on the mat, and that’s going to be a knockdown.  After the mandatory eight count, the fight resumes with Lee trying unsuccessfully to follow up and end things early.  At the sound of the ten second warning, Lee puts on a flurry that has Orozco reeling, but Orozco is a tough dude and he withstands the storm.

Round 2

the second round begins with Orozco trying to come out aggressively, but a stiff jab puts hm back in his place.  A period of tentative jabbing ends with Orozco landing a rock-hard right hook to the head of Lee.  There’s more tactical boxing with no advantage to either man, then on a clinch Lee lands a right handed rabbit punch that escapes the ref’s notice.  Orozco tries to attack but gets hit with a good two handed coutnerattack from Lee.  Lee is landing loud and hard punches, but they seem to be mostly to the upper arms and shoulders of Orozco.  Orozco shoots out a right jab and gets hit hard with a counter right.  Orozco is coming forward, but lee is getting the better of the exchanges.  Ten seconds to go, and neither man is in attack mode…now Orozco comes lunging forward, but Lee backpedals out of danger and the bell rings.

Round 3

Tony Lee is a fast and artful boxer, but Orozco is a tough buldog, not a chihuahua as his nickname suggests.  Lee lands a good flurry of power shots, but Orozco is unmarked and bounching on his toes.  Orozco shoots out right jab and sits down on a left hook to the body that lands.  Lee, coming forward, misses badly with a right hook.  Orozco comes forarrd and lands a good right, but follows through too far and ends up turning away from Lee.  No counter from Lee.  Orozco tries another right and misses completely.  Lee isn’t a bomber, but his jabs are scoring.  Orozco comes in with fire, but lee gets underneath and flurries with five punches to the abdomen.  Orozco comes back blazing, but can’t score as the round ends.   As he returns to the corner, Orozco is sporting a big, long welt above his right eyebrow.  Head butt?

Round 4

Our combatants touch gloves as the round begins, then both unload all their best shots.  Lee is a more accurate puncher, thus he got the better of that exchange.  Now Orozco is on his toes and bouncing to his right and backwards..Lee is attacking hard, but  now as he lunges in to attack there’s an apparent clash of heads.  based on the position of his head as they met, I’ll guess that Lee got the worst of it.  Orozco is smiling as he attacks, landing a nice right that lands to Lee’s head.  Lee bulldozes lee backwards into a neutral corner but does not appreciable damage, and Lee gets out.  Lee may be losing some speed, and he’s getting caught with  more regularity as a result.  lee lands abig right hand, but Orozco comes bakc hardder and rocks lee!  Lee’s hand touches the mat, but referee Miezwa ruels it a push, not a knockdown.  Not sure I agree.  Orozco, for his part, was offended that as Miezwa  broke the two men up, his gentle push put Orozco off balance, resulting in a butt splat on the canvas.  Back at it, both men are eager but unable to do any damage, the ref breaks apart a clinch just as the ten-second alert is sounded, and the round ends before any  more punches are thrown.

Yevgeniy Shishporenok (now 7-1 with 6 kayos) defeats Will Gillette (now 0-1) by TKO at :57 in round 2 of 6 scheduled.

Round 1

Boris enters the ring to Queen’s masterpiece, ‘Fat Bottom girls.’  He is introduced as a ‘rock solid 280#,’ which may be optimistic.  The two fighters come out with guns blazing, and Gillette briefly traps Boris in a neutral corner, but Boris gets out unscathed.  gillette is landing hard shots to the head and body, fighting from a crouch that might put him too far from Boris to do any real damage, but then he reaches up and lands a righthanded haymaker that snaps booris’s head back.  boris is now coming forward, but gets hit with a hard body shot.  boris catches gillette with a  good shot, but my view is obscured by referee Gary Miezwa.  Boris continues to walk forward.  gillette throws a big looping hook that boris catches with one hand and tosses aside.  Now gillette puts his head down and bulls straight into bori’s midsection, and  the referee has to break the two apart.  A lot of artless feints and head bobs lead up the the end of the first.

Round 2

Gillette lands a right jab to the body of Boris, but Boris catches another punch with his hands and casts it aside.  Gillette is ducking his head while he comes forward, and Boris, stepping back and to the left, lands a tremendous knock that puts Gillette flat on his face.  Gillette is quick to his feet, but after looking into his eyes, ref Gary Miezwa makes the call to stop the fight.  TKO!  Speculation at ringside is that Gillette may have hit his face hard on the mat and done a little self-inflicted damage.

 

Saverino Garcia (now 1-0-1) defeats Jacob Dobbe (now 0-1) by unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 39-37) after four rounds.

Round 1

The fight begins with a spirited exchange, Dobbe landing three hard straight rights in a row, Garcia shooting back with harder shots, but fewer.  The action moves to another corner and Garcia comes out on the wining end of another slugging exchange.  In the middle of the ring Garcia scores big with a single right hook to the head of Dobbe, and the pace finally slows.  Now Dobbe is stalking, Garcia looking to counter with lefts and rights.  Garcia scores with a snow left-right-left-right, but Dobbe gets him back with a nice counter.  Dobbe is slowing noticeably now, and Garcia is landing with both hands to the head and body.  Dobbe is trying to be the aggressor, but doesn’t have any steam left.  No sooner do I say that, than Dobbe lands a good straight right, but moments later Garcia scores with a powerful right at the bell.

Round 2

Round two begins with Dobbe coming forward, right into a hard left from Garcia.  Dobbe connects with his best punch of the night, a right o the chin of Garcia.  Then another!  Garcia counters, but Dobbe hits him hard to the left side of his ribcage.  Garcia misses with a soft right, but Dobbe fails to counter.  Garcia lands one three punch combo, then another, then too many punches for me to count!  dobbe is hurting, but he throws back and connects with two good shots.  A hard left to the face of Dobbe brings a smile or a grimace from Dobbe – hard to say which.  Now the two sluggers trade in the center of the ring, Garcia rocking Dobbe repeatedly.  Garcia tries a big left hook – Dobbe fails to move, but Garcia misses completely.  Garcia now lands several good shots from both hands.  Dobbe is stil coming forward, Garcia moving back and to his right.  Garcia lands  anice right that snaps Dobbe’s head back.  Garcia senses the round is drawing to a close and flurries…and flurries…now the bell rings and Garcia lands a hard right significantly post-bell.  Dobbe is staggered, regains his balance, and puts his hands on his knees.  I think he’s considering quitting, but he returns to his corner via a crooked line.

Round 3

No penalty to Garcia for the late shot.  Garcia comes out agggressive, dobbe counters a flurry with a well-deserved elbow.  the two trade again, and dobbe appears to be spitting blood.  A hard left jab rocks Dobbe, then another…but Dobbe returns fire, landing a good power shot.  dobbe may have connected with another left elbow to the face of Garcia.  Dobee is ducking and lunging, and landing occasionally.  Garcia is moving around…then Johnny Johnson can be heard shouting ‘Now! Now! Now!” and Garcia flurries again, but dobbe is nothing if not tough.  Garcia lands a good right hook and dobbe nods at him.  Dobbe paws with a left jab and Garcia misses badly with a right.  Garcia lands a tremendous left that impresses the crowd.  dobbe’s punches have little behind them – Garcia parries a punch in the old-fashioned style just before the bell, and this round is over.

Round 4

Dobbe looks reluctant as the round begins, but he finally lands a strong shot, a big straight right that sends s spray of sweat up from Garcia’s head.  Dobbe lands a second, similar punch, but Garcia is unmoved, backs Dobbe into his own corner and batters Dobbe.  Garcia stuns Dobbe with a left-right, then flurries again.  Dobbe continues to come forward, but is not effective.  Dobbe wipes his face with his mit and looks at the blood, casually wipes the blood on his pants, and returns to fighting.  Dobbe lands several rigths over about thirty seconds, but Garcia again sshrugs him off and flurries with a series of power shots that wilts Dobbe further.  the two nearly clinch, but mutually push each other away.  Referee Gary Miezwa breaks the two after a clash, and now the en second warning, and Dobbe lands one more big right before taking two hard counters from Garcia, and the bout is over.