The Sky was Falling in Planet Hollywood!
By Andre Courtemanche
Even though the showdown was shortened by the paralyzing right hand of Michael Grant, boxing enjoyed a fun Friday night when “Big” Michael Grant leveled Tye “Big Sky” Fields on March 11 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
It was hard to pick a clear favorite going into this battle of big men (Grant stands 6’ 7 and Fields 6’ 9”), but what was certain was that the loser would be facing oblivion as a serious contender, while the winner would receive some life-saving breath to fight on for heavyweight sized paydays.
At the opening bell Fields seemed the more confident of the two as he advanced toward a very cautious Grant, winning the round by throwing heavy one-twos.
Realizing his advantage in hand speed, Grant stepped it up in round two and began finding his range with lead right hands, especially. Still, it was Fields who finished the round strongly by pouring it on in the final thirty seconds.
It was a fight where one of the combatants would crumble to the matt and be “exposed”. The other would demonstrate to the world they still have something to offer.
The demonstration came in the third as Grant tried a series of straight hands to an onrushing Fields until one found pay dirt, crumbling his opponent in a heap. Fields tried valiantly to get up, but couldn’t find his legs for several minutes. Referee Joe Cortez waved it off at 1:06.
The winner, Grant, is now 47-4, 35 KOs. The disappointed Fields is now 45-3, 41 KOs.
Casamayor Saves Career
Fighting in the super lightweight division, 39-year-old former two-time world champion Joel “El Cepillo” Casamayor (38-5-1, 22 KOs) took a razor-thin 10-round split decision over Mexico’s tough Manuel Leyva (20-2, 12 KOs). Casamayor was able to floor Leyva with a body shot in round five, but it was neck and neck before and after that.
Despite coming off a lengthy layoff, Leyva professed he was ready for war and it showed. His clever boxing mixed with old-fashioned Mexican aggression gave the older and shorter Casamayor fits in spots. But the crafty future hall of famer Casamayor seemed to know when to turn it on and take over enough to steal several rounds.
At the completion of 10, the scores were 97-92, 96-93 on two cards for Casamayor and a tally of 95-94 for Leyva.
Las Vegas via Cleveland cruiserweight Aaron Williams (21-3-1, 14 KOs) made quick work of opponent Shane Steele (7-4, 5 KOs), knocking him out in one one-sided round. After two knockdowns, the fight was waved off at 2:27. With the victory, Williams picked up the WBC USNBC title.
294-lb heavyweight Alvaro Morales (6-8-6, 0 KOs) spoiled the pro debut of formidable former Olympian and amateur world champion Razvan Cojanu by four-round majority decision. The scores of 39-37, 39-37 and 38-38, reflected the way the portly but determined Morales simply outworked his foe.