FITZ REPORT – MAYFIELD
WINS NABO JR. WELTER
TITLE OVER LOPEZ
Report By Michael Sheffield, Post Fight Interviews by Tracy Morin, Memphisboxing.com
The 10-Round NABO Jr. Welterweight Championship between Karim Mayfield and Patrick Lopez was everything the crowd at The Fitz has come to expect over the event’s history. After a slow start, Mayfield (14-0-1 10 KOs) and Lopez (20-4 12 KOs) would open the third round wrestling into the ropes. Lopez would leave the exchange with a cut over his left eye that bled and threatened to derail the fight. However, his corner would do an outstanding job stopping the bleeding throughout the fight.During the next two rounds, Mayfield would live up to his nickname, “the Heavy Hitta,” dropping Lopez during the fifth round, and constantly landing shots that echoed throughout the Fitz ballroom. Lopez would continue to charge forward throughout the fight and open two cuts over Mayfield’s right eye. One of the cuts was caused by a head butt, which was a constant point of contention by Mayfield’s corner.
For the last three rounds, both fighters would continue to punish each other with devastating blows that would send the blood and sweat flying all over the ring and ring side, resulting in referee Randy Phillips constantly having to towel off between rounds. Phillips would have a hard time controlling the fighters off and on.
In the third round, Mayfield landed two punches to the back of Lopez’s head that probably should have resulted in a point deduction. And there were several instances when the fighters were allowed to clinch for extended periods, including in the 8th round when they went to the ground.
Mayfield would score a third knockdown that would be the deciding factor in the fight in the 10th round, but Lopez would get up before being counted out. Despite the display of courageousness, there was little doubt who the victor was. Mayfield would take the unanimous decision, 99-88, 97-90, 98-90, in what was easily one of the best, if not the best, fights in Fitz history.
Post-fight Q&A with Karim Mayfield (15-0-1), by Tracy Morin:
Q: This was a step up for you; how did you feel tonight?
A: I give myself a C. Maybe a C-plus because I got the knockdowns. I was working my jab, and I just tried to go to the body. He was definitely a sharp, sharp guy with a lot of amateur fights. You could tell he was sharp, but I took his punches well. A lot of the punches people were yelling about landed on my shoulder, and that’s why I was shaking my head no. But I just keep my head in the game.
Q: It seemed like it took a few rounds for you to really get started.
A: I had some southpaw sparring. It was good sparring–not the highest quality sparring, but good. Eventually I started getting into my groove.
Q: What’s your goal for 2012?
A: I want to fight somebody in the top 10 and move on from there.
Q: What did you notice tonight about what you need to work on?
A: My jab and going to the body, and being a little slicker.
Q: What did you think overall about your opponent tonight?
A: He was a hell of a fighter; he had a lot of heart. He kept getting back up. I’d knock him down and he’d shake it off and get up again. He was a good opponent. I wish him the best. Promising
Godfrey vs Brooks
Cruiserweight Calvin Rooks (2-2-1) would lock horns with former crowd favorite Joell Godfrey (11-4-1 5 KOs), who made an impressive return to Tunica after a 4-year absence.
Godfrey, who previously either dominated or looked disinterested in his fights gave a little bit of both in his return to the ring Saturday night.
Rooks started out looking for a knockout, but would soon settle in for a technical fight with the counter punching Godfrey. The fighters were evenly matched, size and skill-wise. And while Rooks was able to land his jab whenever he wanted, he amazingly rarely threw it during the second and third rounds Godfrey would rally during the last two rounds and would score a knockdown in the sixth round that would tip the fight in his favor, resulting in a 56-57, 54-55, 56-57 decision.
With any luck, PrizeFight Boxing will put together a rematch between these two fighters, or at the very least bring them back separately.
Post-fight Q&A with Joell Godfrey (12-4-1), by Tracy Morin:
Q: What did you want to accomplish tonight?
A: Just take him deep. I knew he was a rookie, so I wanted to take him past 4 rounds, take him deep, 5 to 6 rounds. That was the game plan.
Q: Did you find yourself gaining more confidence as the fight went on?
A: I knew he was tired by the second or third round. He didn’t have a plan B. My game plan was just take him deep, take him past 4 or 5 rounds. I’ve been 12 rounds in my career and he hasn’t.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’ll leave that up to my team. I’m not signed with anyone right now, so we’re open to negotiations.
Q: Did you learn anything in the fight that you will take back with you?
A: Yeah, I have to move my head a little bit more. I got hit too much with unnecessary shots. I can always step it up.
A group of entertaining fights warmed up a chilly early October Saturday night in Tunica during PrizeFight Boxing’s Fights at the Fitz.
Laszczyk vs Roy
Featherweights Kamil Laszczyk (3-0 3 KOs) and Terrance Roy (a veteran of over 40 fights) got the night off to a rousing start, going the distance with an action packed fight that would end with Laszczyk taking a unanimous decision.
Post-fight Q&A with Kamil Laszczyk (4-0), by Tracy Morin:
Q: Can you tell us about your amateur background?
A: I’ve had 120 amateur fights, and was a 6-time Polish champion, and won bronze in the European championship.
Q: You went to the body a lot tonight; was that part of your plan?
A: My plan was protecting myself, and that’s why I decided to go to the body. That wasn’t the plan, but I figured out during the fight that was the best way to win against him.
Q: Will you be staying busy in the coming months?
A: I have three fights coming up before the end of the year and will be fighting next on November 5 in the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Greene vs Johnson
Middleweight “Mean” Joe Greene (22-1 14 KOs) would use nearly six rounds for target practice on 35-fight veteran Pete Johnson before scoring a TKO at 2:17 in the final round. Johnson’s corner would stop the fight after Greene had an opportunity to use every single punch he knew.
Post-fight Q&A with Joe Greene (23-1), by Tracy Morin:
Q: This is your first fight since your first loss last year. How has the journey been coming back?
A: I’m just getting back in there, training and getting back into the boxing flow, and I feel good to be back. I felt great tonight coming in. Q: What have you been working on? A: Upping my punch count, being more aggressive and relaxing in the ring. I wanted to feel my way back into the ring, punch, up my punch count, move around and do things I haven’t been doing in the past. Q: What’s next for you? A: I’ll probably be fighting every month. I’ll be back in the ring November 12.
Jones vs Bedwell
Middleweight Gary Jones (21-2 8 KOs) would be unable to finish a disciplined and willing Nathan Bedwell (4-8 3 KOs).
Bedwell, who seemed like he wouldn’t have lasted more than one round may have stolen the first round because he didn’t back down. Also, Jones seemed set on being a counter puncher throughout the fight. Bedwell would be visibly hurt off and on throughout the fight, actually turning his back on Jones at times. But Jones would never actively work to finish his opponent until Bedwell made the first move. Jones would win a unanimous decision 59-55, 60-54, 60-54.
Post-fight Q&A with Gary Jones (22-2), by Tracy Morin:
Q: This is your second fight this year, but before that you had 8 years away from the ring.
A: It’s been a long time off and I’m trying to get back to it. I’m going to keep working; my next fight is in November, so I’ll be back in the gym on Monday.
Q: This was a last-minute replacement opponent, and a southpaw. Did that give you any trouble?
A: I didn’t even think about him being a southpaw until probably the third round. But once I saw that, I knew to throw the right hook–that’s what you use against a southpaw, and I was trying to double it up each time. I wanted him to come to me because he was the taller man.
Booth vs Lee
Heavyweight and crowd favorite Jaden Booth (1-0 1 KO) allowed Jarvis Lee to last three rounds in his first fight before putting him away. Lee opened the fight with a ridiculous amount of nervous energy that made the fight interesting initially, but Booth also showed his inexperience by allowing the fight to continue as long as it did.
Lee actually stopped in the middle of the action to complain about Booth holding his head. Lee spent so much time running around the ring that he was visibly breathing through his mouth for most of the fight.
Booth would finally hurt him halfway through the third round, sapping his willingness to fight, and put him out of his misery 25 seconds into the 4th round.
Post-fight Q&A with Jaden Booth (2-0), by Tracy Morin:
Q: What was your fight plan coming in?
A: My opponent changed twice, and this guy was who finally took the fight. I knew he jabbed a lot–not really a lot of combos, mostly just one-twos. He ran a lot, and he’s kind of quick in the game, but all he did was jab and run from me, so I knew I had to corner him. I wanted to cut him off, then go to the body and stop him with the body shot, then come up to the head. That’s how I did it.
Q: Were you challenged in the fight?
A: He never really hurt me. He bounced a lot. He’s a big, strong dude, but he bounced a lot, and I knew that you can get a lot more power if you plant it and set it up.
Q: You have an MMA background, correct?
A: I do both still. Striking has always been my best thing. My MMA fights are spaced out–a few months in between–so I box between MMA fights. I go back and forth, but I’m always training 6 days a week. So I’m always doing everything. I focus on MMA in the morning, ground stuff, then boxing and Muay Thai at night, so I’m still doing everything.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: My plan is to keep fighting, and see what takes me farther, MMA or boxing, and whichever one does, stick with that.
Marlon Lewis won the Mid-South Lightweight Title by split decision over Eric Hernandez-Perez.
Post-fight Q&A with Marlon Lewis (4-2-1), by Tracy Morin:
Q: This is your first fight since July 2010; how did you feel tonight coming in?
A: I felt comfortable coming in. He had a lot of power. My plan was to come in with the jab, but it didn’t work that good, and I’m kind of disappointed with myself. I want to work more on my strength.
Q: You had the reach advantage. Did you want to jab more than you did?
A: I did, and that’s something to work harder on in the gym. It could’ve been an easy fight for me, but it was harder than I expected.
Q: So your opponent challenged you tonight?
A: He challenged me well. He had a lot of power, so I wanted to break him down to the body. That was my game plan, but with all the lights and the crowd….I need to work on everything. I’m disappointed in myself right now.
Pollock vs Meacham
Lucretia Meacham defeated Stacy Pollock by 4RD unanimous decision.
Post-fight Q&A with Lucretia Meacham (2-7), by Tracy Morin:
Q: What was your plan coming in against an opponent making her pro debut?
A: The main thing was, I wanted to jab. I still have a lot to work on. I just got a new trainer, so there are a lot of things we’re working on right now.
Q: What do you want to work on after this fight?
A: The jab, and work on my right hand. I didn’t feel any of her power, but I was frustrated because I couldn’t get my right hand going. That was my main setup, my right, and I couldn’t get that going. I don’t feel like that was my best, but I’m still working on it.