Johnson Destroys Ashworth
by Michael Sheffield @ ringside, Photos By JD Meredith
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Ty Barnett (l) busted up his hands early and still managed a thorough victory over Hendrix
Saturday night, the action inside The Fitz matched the temperature outside with a five-card fight that reminded fans why the Fights at the Fitz series is one of the most popular events in Tunica.
Evenly matched lightweights Ty Barnett (17-1-1 12 KOs) and Tyrese Hendrix (18-1-1 7 KOs) gave the crowd everything they had in the 8-round main event that saw Barnett break out with a dominating performance over Hendrix. However, Barnett’s win would be marred by possible injuries to both hands during the fight.
The hard-hitting and immensely fast Hendrix opened the fight imposing his will on Barnett, who didn’t have a bad first round, but was feeling his way through his opponent’s repertoire. Once the 2nd round began, Barnett would begin an onslaught that opened a cut under Hendrix’s right eye that he would continue to exploit during the remainder of the fight. Despite the cut and Barnett’s domination, Hendrix never stopped coming forward, possibly winning two rounds (the 4th and 8th). However, Barnett would flurry enough and back his opponent up to leave no doubt, even though the fight featured no knockdowns and ended with a unanimous 80-72, 79-73, 79-73 decision in Barnett’s favor.
Following the decision Barnett stated that he was ready to fight the best in the 135 lb division. “I would like to fight guys like John Molina. I want to fight for regional titles and then world titles. Now is my time, I am not getting any younger”.
Taureano Johnson (l) KO’d a game Ashworth in the first round.
Taureano Johnson would run his record to 4-0 with 4 KOs by destroying middleweight Roy Ashworth (5-9, 1 KO) in 1:31 of the opening round. The fight’s beginning seemed as if Ashworth would be up to the challenge posed by Johnson. Ashworth would brawl toe-to-toe with Johnson in his corner before Johnson would direct the action to the ropes and promptly drop Ashworth with a right uppercut that put him down to stay. Ashworth looked like the punch might have broken his jaw and nose, but still found the sportsmanship and the strength to parade his opponent around ring after the knockout was announced.
Side note: Doctor Jerry Gentry treated Ashworth in the ring as it took him quite a while to gain his composure. Later, while dining, Ashworth suffered breathing and dizziness issues and was immediately air lifted to the closest hospital where reports are that he was treated for fractured facial bones and released. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Roy Ashworth and his family on a quick and healthy recovery.
Bedwell (r) Shocked Hutchinson, Delivers 4 Knockdowns.
Nathan Bedwell 2-3 (1 KO) KO2 Hoyt Hutchinson 1-1 (1 KO)
Another local star could be born in super middleweight Nathan Bedwell, who despite a 1-3 record, impressed the crowd who might have mistaken him for an underdog against Hoyte Hutchinson (1-0 1 KO). Bedwell appeared to be smaller than the 169 lbs both fighters were announced to weigh, but when the bell rang, preceded to hurt Hutchinson almost immediately with a wild left hook that landed during a flurry from both fighters. It would be Bedwell’s last wild punch of the night. While the 18-year old Bedwell showed he still had plenty to learn about setting up his punches, he would finish the first round landing hard shots that would soften Hutchinson up for the fight’s conclusion.
Referee Randy Phillips would end the first round warning Bedwell about elbows and would spend the second round counting the times Bedwell knocked Hutchinson down, ultimately getting to 4 knockdowns before stopping the fight at 1:30 of the second round. Bedwell would win by knockout after scoring four knockdowns in 30 seconds. The crowd would loudly appreciate the performance that could easily make Bedwell a featured fighter in Tunica.
Bell (l) Decisions Williams After 4.
Dedrick Bell 3-2 (2 KO’s) UD4 Josh Williams 0-1
The normally wild Jr. middleweight Dedrick Bell put on the best performance of his young career (2-2, 2 KOs) as he would need everything he had to put away Josh Williams, who chose Bell as the opponent to face for his first professional fight.
Williams, who matched Bell in weight (151 lbs) didn’t have the punching power to exploit, even as he repeatedly hurt Bell over the course of the fight’s 4 rounds.
Bell would enter the ring for the second fight in a row escorted by local talent Miss Kitty Hollywood. He would employ his straightforward, throw-every-punch-he-could-think-of style to open the fight. Williams would successfully defend himself from the opening onslaught and force Bell to employ boxing technique, which he did surprisingly well.
Williams refused to allow the fight to turn into the brawl Bell would constantly try make it. However, Bell would constantly land left hooks and would drop Williams with a hook and jab combination in the 4th round. Bell would take a unanimous decision 39-37, 39-36, 40-35, but should have learned some real boxing lessons in the ring against Williams.
Wilson (l) loses a split decision to Henson.
Keuntray Henson 2-1 UD4 Rohan Wilson 4-3-1 (2 KO’s)
Jr. Welterweight Keuntray Henson (1-1) would take a split decision against Rohan Wilson 4-2-1 1 KO) in the opening 4 round fight of the evening.
The sell out crowd at The Fitz was Prize Fight Boxing’s 88th consecutive sell out of a casino show. The show will be broadcast in it’s entirety on Saturday night July 31st on Sportsouth as part of Prize Fight’s “Mississippi Fight Night” series. Prize Fight would like to thank all the boxing fans for packing the Fitz once again. They are truly the best fans in the sport today.