Lubash Tops Sanders to Remain Undefeated
By Tracy Morin at ringside, Memphisboxing.com
The March edition of Fights at the Fitz offered up five bouts that showcased a range of styles, from hard-hitting heavyweights to slippery southpaws.
The welterweight main event saw Pittsburgh’s Jesse Lubash (14-0, 8 KOs) taking on the more experienced Germaine “Silky” Sanders (27-8, 17 KOs) from Chicago. Round 1 was a feeling-out round, with both fighters testing their jabs, though Lubash also found success with several snapping body shots.
Lubash dominated round 2 as he hooked off the jab and landed two solid rights en route to a knockdown. Sanders fell again while pressed to the ropes (ruled a slip by referee Randy Phillips), and Lubash continued throwing left hooks and body shots that left Sanders disoriented—and in the wrong corner—after the bell.
In the third round, Sanders emerged more active, and both fighters worked their jabs. Meanwhile, Sanders began to live up to his nickname with more bobbing and weaving, though a right to the temple from Lubash landed flush.
Round 4 saw the overall busier Lubash have trouble splitting through Sanders’ increasingly solid defense (most of his attempted body shots fell on Sanders’ arms), while Sanders found a home for several left uppercuts as Lubash leaned in.
Lubash emerged for Round 5 throwing left hooks and combinations to the body, and Sanders tried to keep his aggressor at bay with jabs and the now-reliable left uppercut. Lubash adjusted his assault by mixing in his own uppercuts and a right cross.
In Round 6, the opponents frequently fought head-to-head; after a combination from Sanders, Lubash answered with his own flurry of punches before returning to the jab. Sanders now worked the uppercut with both hands and threw a chopping left, but Lubash closed the round with a sequence of rights.
Sanders used his legs more in Round 7, and Lubash attempted to stop him in his tracks with combinations to the body. Sanders continued his uppercuts as Lubash answered with solid rights.
In the final round, Lubash became more active despite a gash above his right eye, but Sanders slipped punches and tried to lead Lubash in by keeping his left hand low. Lubash attempted a left hook and then a lead right to close out this tactical, less crowd-friendly fight. Judge Gerald Deming scored the fight 79-72, but judges Louis Henry and Reccia Mullins saw the fight closer, at 77-74 and 76-75, respectively, all in favor of Lubash.
In the opening bout of the night, a four-round junior welterweight contest, Philadelphia’s Julian Williams (5-0, 4 KOs) squared off against Memphis’ Marteze Logan (billed as a “veteran of over 40 fights”). Williams emerged as the early aggressor, backing up Logan with body shots and right hooks, then using his jab to find distance and set up the right hand. Logan, often against the ropes, landed a right and left hook in Round 2 to briefly back up Williams, but Williams scored with combinations and left hooks that left the counterpunching Logan reeling in the fourth. The judges approved of Williams’ aggression, with all three scoring the fight in his favor: 40-36 (Henry and Deming) and 39-37 (Mullins).
The second fight was the definitive crowd-pleaser of the evening, thanks to both fighters tasting the canvas in the first round. Jaden Booth, a former MMA fighter, made his pro boxing debut against heavyweight Jonathan Perry (2-0, 2 KOs), who annihilated his last opponent in less than a round during January’s Fights at the Fitz. Perry was aggressive from the opening bell, closing in on Booth with body shots and a barrage of rights and lefts; the accumulation of punches led Booth to take a knee early in the fight. However, with the crowd on its feet, Booth weathered the storm and exacted revenge by landing a trio of crushing rights that knocked Perry down and out in dramatic fashion, at 2:23 of Round 1.
The third fight was a battle between southpaw comeback kids: Super middleweight Grover Young (4-1, 3 KOs), whose only loss came a month ago on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights against prospect Dominic Wade, took on the game and durable Nathan Bedwell (4-6, 3 KOs), who lost his last fight by KO in January. The fighters engaged immediately after the opening bell, and the bout was to remain competitive, if slightly one-sided, throughout. Young displayed impressive body work and hooked with both hands, while Bedwell advanced behind jabs and countered with rights. Though referee Phillips warned Bedwell twice for head butts, the stalking, patient Young waited to land lefts, then as rounds progressed began to lead with the left hook. After absorbing a chain of combinations in Round 6, Bedwell fell to his knees—ruled a slip—and was obviously fatigued, but ended the final round with a flurry; too little, too late, said the judges, who scored it 58-56 (Henry) and 59-55 (Deming and Mullins).
In the final match before the main event, junior welterweight Dedrick Bell (6-4, 4 KOs) attempted to avenge an October 2010 decision loss to southpaw Tyrone “TNT” Chatman (6-1, 5 KOs). Bell is the only opponent of Chatman’s to go the distance with him, and tonight he would take a tactical approach to repeat the effort—using his height and reach advantage to circle and move in and out with jabs for the entire six rounds, avoiding engaging with the heavy-handed Chatman. This discipline would allow him to finish the fight, but not unscathed, taking a series of thudding body shots and right hooks despite Chatman’s inability to successfully cut off the ring throughout the six rounds. Ultimately, Bell’s jabs were not enough to win over Chatman’s more telling punches: The judges gave Chatman his second decision over Bell, with scores of 60-54 (Mullins) and 59-55 (Deming and Henry).
The next Fights at the Fitz will be a special MMA edition held on May 21, 2011.