By Johnny ‘Kid’ Vegas at Ringside
Jr. Lightweight, Emmanuel Ford (136 lbs.) did battle with David Vasquez (127 lbs.) Round one saw Ford being the aggressor while Vasquez turned it on late in the round. The Second round saw Vasquez pick up the pace and intensity. Ford’s slapping rights had no effect on Vasquez who eventually cornered Ford and proceeded to unload a few good shots. Ford managed to back out of the corner and then took a knee but no ‘touchbacks’ here as took Ford another knee in the second. Ford failed to answer the bell for the start of the third round. Ford either had a latent injury or simply quit, which looked like the later.
Jr. Middleweight Steve Verdin (160 lbs) blew into town from Houma Louisiana for this 6 round contest verses ‘Poison’ Pete Johnson (161 lbs.). ‘Poison’ was exactly what Verdin got as Johnson started out early in this one by working the ring from rope to rope. Verdin on the other hand seemed content fighting with his back close to the ropes and proved early on that he could take a punch from the young native of Tunica MS. It was evident from the first round that Johnson was clearly the more agile of the two. Light on his feet and well conditioned, Johnson charged into the second, landing shots to both the head and body of Verdin. Verdin seemed to have a sense of urgency in the second as he brought the fight to Johnson. Johnson’s was the more selective of the two when it came to throwing his punches and combinations. Verdin, on the other hand, could be nicknamed ‘Crawfish’ for his as he would establish himself in the center of the ring, only to wiggle and fade back into a corner. Possibly as a ploy to lure Johnson. Unfortunately for Verdin, however, the corner is no place to be as Johnson let loose with a fury 10 seconds to into the second. After the Ford fight, it was nice to see two fighters going at it early in the fight. Both fighters traded fists and did the do-se-do around the ring. Late in the third, it appeared that Verdin got Johnson’s attention with a bomb to the his head, stunning Johnson, but only for a moment as Johnson belted Verdin, drawing blood from his nose. In round four Johnson smells weakness and attacks Verdin, who was having breathing heavily. Johnson worked his way inside in the 4th and by the time the fifth rolled around, Johnson’s trainer yelled for Johnson to pace himself. Johnson responded by boxing with his guard down which is something he was doing in the first, but this time, he lead with his head. Taking advantage of Johnson’s new style or lack thereof, Verdin mounted an attack until he was apparently dropped by a wet area on the canvas in the red corner. Time was closing on Verdin in the 6th and he knew it. He knew he must fight to win and he staged a final attack. During his assault Verdin struck Johnson with his forearm, but Johnson shook it off like a bad suit. Johnson, fading fast as though someone zapped him of all energy, was fighting with his hands down and leading with his head despite repeated shouts from his trainer to protect his head. As Johnson continued to ignore requests from his corner to keep his hands up, Verdin dropped Johnson with a shot to the face, unfortunately the shot came just as the bell rang for the final time. Johnson faded at the end and didn’t close very well at all but managed to hang on for the decision.
In a female bout Lana ‘Ice’ Alexander took on Memphian Christy Sepulvado. This bout was one of the more entertaining fights of the evening as ‘Ice’ felt the heat from Memphian Sepulvado. Sepulvado extended ‘Ice’ the distance in her pro debut. The fight was ruled a majority draw.
If you go to see Ty Barnett fight, don’t blink. He’s a ‘head knocker’. Barnett dropped Anderson like a bad habit with a hard right just after the first minute. The shot was a blur, but it trailed like a hook.
Undefeated Lightweight Rayonta ‘Sting Ray” Whitfield took little time to dispense of Carlos Zambrano winning by TKO at 1:42 in round two. The stoppage was called by referee Randy Phillips and looked to be a wee bit too early. Granted Zambrano was on the ropes getting pelted by Whitfield, however, Zambrano still had his guard up and looked to be in good shape defending. In defense of the ref, Zambrano was not fighting back at the time. However, it appeared difficult for Zambrano to mount any offense at that particular time as Whitfield was showering his melon with a steady barrage of punches. Bottom line is that although it may have only been a matter of time, the ref was a bit quick on the trigger and it cost Zambrano early.
Light Heavyweight DeAndre Abron started his bout against ‘Gentleman’ James Johnson with a bang as he landed a big shot which he followed with several more to feel out the ‘Gentleman’. Both fighters boxed aggressively and both appeared eager to mix it up which was even more apparent during the second when a brawl broke out. Both fighters hurled punchs and insults as they ignored any instruction from the referee. The result of the scrap was that Johnson received either a head but or elbow that opened up a gash above his left eye. This gapping wound ultimately led to his corner to throw in the towel before Johnson could answer the call of the bell for round 3.
In a rather anti-climatic end to a good night of fights, Leon Bobo was victorious over Carlos Valdez and claimed the Mid-South Jr. Lightweight Championship. Both fighters fought with respect for one another, almost too much respect as they danced and clinched through the majority of the fight. Both fighters were warned on several occasions about clinching and fighting in clinch. Overall, it was a good fight, slow and almost cautious at times. Both fighters did in their minds what they thought they had to do to win the fight, with Bobo coming out victorious.
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