By Scotti Vandevender – Fightnews.com
Professional boxing returned to Sam’s Town Casino Saturday night with a 9-card lineup in the Cedric Kushner and Prize Fight Boxing promotion – “Heavyweight Explosion.”
After having lost his last two fights by TKO, heavyweight Gilbert Martinez (16-6-1 7 KOs) pressed the action and worked the body en route to a victory over the once highly regarded Charles Shufford (20-5, 9 KOs). Shufford entered the fight with a victory in his last fight and a somewhat controversial stoppage in his prior fight with Jameel McCline, a fight where he hurt McCLine early.
Where Shufford looked to regain his footing on the stepladder to contendership, Martinez effectively halted any such progress. By initiating the action and bullying his way in headfirst, Martinez garnered a split decision victory.
From the first round on Shufford seemed happy to absorb body shots and wait for a chance to land. Unfortunately he never received the chances he sought as occasional left hooks provided the only real offense he displayed.
Shufford landed a right left combo and followed it up with a right hand in the fourth round, but Martinez pounded his chest in his best King Kong impersonation and again lurched forward.
The battle continued the same with Martinez lunging forward and landing to the body while Shufford struck with very sporadic left hooks. Referee Elmo Adolph did his best in round six to press the action by urging both fighters to “fight” which resulted in the two swapping left hooks.
But that marked the majority of the excitement as Martinez earned victory through his much higher punch output.
Pudar Hammers Ward
Jovo Pudar (20-1, 10 KOs) used his superior strength and power to defeat Dan Ward (28-15-1, 14 KOs) from nearby West Memphis, AR. After an exchange of heavy punches in the corner of the ring at the end of round one, Pudar began to boom body punches and back Ward against the ropes in round two.
Pudar hammered Ward into the ropes in all four corners before landing a shot to the top of Ward’s head as he attempted to duck. Ward fell to all fours. He beat the count but referee Elmo Adolph deemed Ward unable to continue and Pudar scored a TKO at 2:48 in round two.
Lundsford vs. Woodward, Technical Draw
Yet another heavyweight battle saw local Tunica, MS fan-favorite Ray Lunsford (16-3-1, 7 KOs) pulling ahead of opponent Vernon Woodward (3-7-1, 3 KOs) with aggressiveness and power punches before an accidental headbutt at the end of round two opened a huge gash above his left eye. Blood immediately poured from the wound covering his chest as the ringside doctor halted the fight. This resulted in a technical draw as Mississippi boxing rules state must occur if the fight lasts less than four rounds. By Scotti Vandevender – Fightnews.com
Journyman Vedder Out-points Martin
Heavyweight joureyman David Vedder (22-22-5, 3 KOs) easily out-pointed Wesley Martin (13-39-8, 7 KOs) in a four round contest. Vedder was the aggressor as he outmaneuvered the mostly defensive Martin.
Bryant Dismantles Phifer
Light heavyweight Rowland Bryant (2-0, 2 KOs) easily dismantled Michael Phifer (1-2, 1 KO). Bryant landed a combination that felled Phifer and earned a TKO victory as the referee determined Phifer could not continue.
Females Fights Excite!
In the first of two female bouts, Hollie Dunaway (5-3, 3 KOs) outworked the much taller Shannon Birmingham (2-2, 1 KO) en route to a unanimous decision in their four-round fight. Dunaway charged hard from the onset and stunned Birmingham with a couple of right hands to the head. Birmingham then tried to remain at a distance and jab to keep Dunaway away but the aggressive Dunaway continued to barge in and strike to the head.
Canadian female 105-pounder Vaia Zaganas (12-2, 6 KOs) landed power shots in bunches as her opponent Nikki Verbeck (0-8) has no answer for her power and skill. Verbeck couldn’t locate her corner at the end of round one and shortly after the bell her corner threw in the towel to end the onslaught of punches at :24 into round two. Verbeck vehemently argued with her corner after the stoppage and stormed from the ring to her dressing room.
Horne vs. Broyles – Pro Debuts!
Newcomers Dana Horne (1-0, 1 KO) and Timothy Broyles (0-1) made their pro debuts in the middleweight division in a short but explosive brawl. Broyles began throwing power shots and Horne immediately returned fire, stunning Broyles on a couple of occasions. But Broyles continued to throw power punches as Horne landed a precise right uppercut that extinguished Broyle’s lights. His mouthpiece dropped from his mouth as he fell face-first like a tree sawed at the roots.
The bout was immediately waved off and after a few minutes Broyles was again on his feet and seemed to be doing fine, able to walk from the ring with only a little assistance. By Scotti Vandevender – Fightnews.com
Jiminez’s Body Shots Chop Miller Down
In the final bout of the evening, the monstrous 6’6″ and 249-pound Albert Jiminez (4-0, 4 KOs) recorded another knockout victory in his win over Calvin Miller (4-15, 3 KOs). Jiminez has yet to reach the second round as a pro. He hammered Miller with body shots as Miller buried his head in his arms to avoid blows to the head from the heavy puncher.
First a right hook to the ribs dropped Miller. Shortly thereafter, another right hook to the body had him down again. Miller stood up and continued to fight but after another Jiminez body shot Miller again knelt on the canvas shaking his head no as referee Keith Hughes asked him if he wished to continue. Jiminez ended the night with a TKO at 1:24 in round one after his display of powerful body punching.