By: William Holmes
You can smell it in the air, boxing season is almost here.
I know, technically there is no “boxing” season, but with Hopkins vs. Dawson, Mayweather vs. Cotto, and Pacquiao vs. Bradley on the horizon, tonight’s card almost felt like spring training.
It was also a card, that on paper, looked to be a competitive one. Russell Peltz is well known in the boxing community for a reason: he matches up his fighters well and rarely gives them a pushover fight.
The first fight stayed in line with the reputation of the promoter, an exciting bout between Gabriel Pham (4-0) and Michael Mitchell (0-0) in the super middleweight division.
It’s been two years since Pham last fought, but he showed no signs of ring rust as he cleanly and impressively won every round. He landed his check right hook often early on, which paved the way for his straight left to find its mark.
Mitchell had brief moments of success when he attacked the body by the ropes, but Pham’s accuracy proved to much. Gabriel Pham won with scores of 40-36 on all three cards.
The next bout on the card was between Julio DeJesus (5-3-1) and Korey Sloane (2-3) in the junior welterweight division.
Sloane was listed as being three inches taller than DeJesus, but the difference in height appeared to be much greater in person. Sloane was often able to use his height to keep DeJesus at bay, but the latter man’s punches appeared to be the harder shots.
Most in the press scored it for Sloane by slim decision, but the judges ruled it a draw, with scores of 39-37 for Sloane, 39-37 for DeJesus, and 38-38.
Elvis Rodriguez (0-0) made his pro debut against Joshua Reyes (1-0) in the featherweight division.
Reyes kept the fight in tight, and did well when he smothered Reyes and made him fight inside a phone booth. Rodriguez had his moments when he was able to stay on the outside, but the constant pressure of Reyes was too much for Rodriguez to overcome. The official scores are 39-37, 40-36, and 40-36 for Joshua Reyes.
Undefeated Niam Nelson (5-0) was up next against Dontre King (6-9-2) in the welterweight division.
The fight started off slow–somebody must have forgotten to tell King he was in a fight. Nelson controlled the action from the outside and was able to keep his jab in the face of King. Nelson finally hurt King badly in the fourth round with a straight right hand that sent King falling backwards. Nelson followed it up with combinations in the corner and forced the referee to stop the bout at 1:53 of round four.
The best fight on the undercard was Christopher Finley (4-4) and Osnel Charles (9-2) in the lightweight division.
Finley blasted Charles in the first round and hurt him, with the referee giving Charles a standing eight count even though his glove didn’t appear to touch the ground. In round two, both fighters’ mouthpieces went flying and they both landed shots at the same time. Charles got knocked down by Finley again in the third round, and the two knockdowns proved to be too much for Charles to overcome, even though he came on strong at the end. The official scores were 59-53, 58-54, and 58-54 for Christopher Finley.
The main event featured a rematch for both the USBA and NABA Cruiserweight titles between Andres Taylor (20-1-2) and Garrett Wilson (12-5-1), who fought previously for a draw.
Wilson has been on a tear since he moved up to the cruiserweight division, and he appears to be improving with each and every fight. Revenge must have tasted sweet, as Wilson knocked Taylor down in the first round, and nearly knocked his head off in the 11th round. The referee could have stopped it at the knockdown and nobody would have questioned him, but instead allowed the bout to continue.
The fight should have been stopped.
Wilson viciously knocked Taylor out with a lead left hook in the 12th round and the referee didn’t need to count him out this time. Garrett Wilson wins by KO at 2:50 of the 12th round, to retain the USBA Cruiserweight Championship and win the NABF Cruiserweight Title.
The last fight of the night was between Todd Unthank-May (2-0) and Ronnie Lawrence (0-1) in the light heavyweight division. Unthank-May wasted little time in knocking out Lawrence, winning by KO at 0:27 of round 1.
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