By Jackie Kallen
Admittedly it’s not the IBF or WBC title, but a belt will definitely be put on someone’s waist Friday night in Detroit when Lanardo Tyner faces Angel Hernandez for the WBU welterweight title. Neither fighter is an undefeated prospect, but it should be an entertaining 12-round outing at the Masonic Temple.
Tyner, from Detroit, is the favorite. He is 38 years old and has a 30-8-2 record. In 2009, he fell victim to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who is one of the best in the sport. He has fought top names like Lamont Peterson and Jesse Vargas, among others. He has never been knocked out. He recently picked up a USNBC belt by beating Tyrese Hendrix.
Henrnandez, on the other hand, is from Gary, Indiana and doesn’t have an impressive record. Though he’s 10 years younger (29), he has lost 12 of his 29 fights, having been KOed six times. Whether he wins or loses won’t change his career, but he has made it clear that he is coming to fight, which is exactly what Tyner is hoping for.
This is the kind of fight that could be balls-to-the-wall from the opening bell. Tyner has a lot to prove to his hometown supporters so he is going to go out there and take it to Hernandez. Both men have equal punching power, so neither has an advantage there. Both have tasted defeat, and both want the ornament around their midsection.
In the co-main event, another local fighter, 39 year-old Rico Hoye comes back to the Detroit area for the first time in a decade. He hasn’t fought at home since he stopped Maris Virgil in 2003. He quit fighting in 2009, but popped back out of retirement a couple of months ago to beat Brandon Winner in Milwaukee.
Hoye is scheduled to face 44 year-old Jackie Beard from Bay City, Michigan in a six-round heavyweight fight. If he loses badly, this could be Beard’s last hurrah. Heavyweights tend to survive in this business longer than the smaller guys. But at his age, with 11 losses on his record, this could be the last time Beard steps through the ropes.
The undercard is bringing some interesting young fighters to center stage. There are several boxers who are looking for their first wins. Rick Graham (0-0-1) will fight Peter Bianca (0-0-1) at junior middleweight. Cruiserweight Darius Harris is making his pro debut against 3-0 Thad Barkhausen. It’s always impressive when a fighter takes a risk like this in his first pro outing.
Local favorite Dwayne Williams (4-1) will be working hard to beat Terry Van Every in a 4-round light heavyweight match. Having lost his last fight, Williams is vowing to put his career right back on track. His November KO loss to Toledo’s Paul Parker was embarrassing and he has said that he has no plans on losing again any time soon.
Two 1-0 fighters will put their 0 on the line when Ronnie Austin takes on Namah Daghir in a junior welterweight battle. 0-1 Will Hill takes on 1-0 Rolando Moses at junior middleweight. The final fight will feature 0-1 Mponda Malunga versus 0-1-1 Christopher Franks.
This is the first show of the year for Darkside Boxing. They are planning shows every other month throughout the year. Detroit fighters are excited to have opportunities to show their skills and build their records. Activity is what these guys need and the more shows–the better.