SHOWDOWN AT SHENANDOAH
By Jackie Kallen
It was a great night at the Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield, MI on May 29 as seven top, local prospects stepped into the ring to keep their streaks going. All but one kept their records intact. The crowd enjoyed each fight, however, and left asking when the next event would be. This was the first event promoted by Connie Shamoun and I, in association with Big Al Promotions and Dbouk Promotions.
There were plenty of Detroit boxing stars in attendance. Of course Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns showed up to support the guys, as did his former teammate Hilmer Kenty (former lightweight champ.) Also on hand was former featherweight champ Tom “Boom Boom” Johnson and former Junior Middleweight champ Bronco McKart. Motown legend Martha Reeves sang the national anthem, which added a definite Detroit feel to the evening.
Light heavyweight James Ballard got the night off to a rousing start. The dinners were still being cleared away as he touched gloves with Jerome Black for the first fight of the night. It was apparent from the start that Ballard was quite the favorite. He was sharp from the opening bell and Black was unable to fend off the attack. The fight was over in the first round with Ballard being awarded the KO.
Two popular MMA lightweight fighters made their pro debuts as boxers on the card: Darryol Humphrey and Anthony Flemming. This was a well-matched bout that was entertaining and went the distance. Humphrey won a unanimous decision.
The super bantamweight battle between Anthony Gallerani and Jesus Gonzales was a real crowd pleaser. It was toe-to-toe for the entire fight with Gallerani receiving the loss via majority decision. It was a surprise, since Gonzales was a huge underdog and was given little chance to win. Either Gallerani had the worst night of his young career, or Gonzales had his best.
Another exciting bout was the one between Michael Portillo (a hometown welterweight favorite) and Lionel Jiminez. This was another back and forth affair as both fighters threw and blocked as much as they could. It was non-stop action and Portillo got the majority decision. Some thought it was the closest fight of the night.
Undefeated welterweight Nick Givhan always puts on a show. His confidence and style shines in the ring and he brings many fans with him, He fought a rematch with a game Gilbert Venegas. Despite the journeyman’s best efforts, Givhan ruled the fight and Venegas failed to come out for the 5th round. Givhan is now 15-0 (9).
In the co main event, Dorrell Van Horn, jr. got some much-needed rounds in against Chicago’s Bruce Rumholz. It was a lopsided fight, with Van Horn, jr. winning every round easily. After a long layoff, it was a good chance for the middleweight to shake off some rust. He’s on his way to bigger and better things.
Zach Shamoun (The Chaldean Kid) closed the show with a dazzling TKO in the third round against a game, but out-classed Antonio Gonzales. Shamoun had the crowd on its feet and they went crazy with every punch he landed. If he continues along this path, he’ll be a star.
It was a full night of boxing in a classy setting with an enthusiastic audience. We can’t wait to do it again.