Saturday night, Fitgerald’s Casino, Tunica, and Prize Fight Boxing put on an entertaining and explosive evening of boxing. The sold out show represented Prize Fight Boxing’s fiftieth consecutive casino sell out.
Bryant (13-0, 9 ko’s – 167) vs Billy Thompson (8-6, 3 ko’s – 171)
An electrified crowd cheered wildly during the main event which pitted unbeaten super middleweight beast, Rowland Bryant, against the tough Billy Thompson. Bryant entered the ring and brought his guns, speaking of his arms off course, with their impressive reach and serious size. In the opening rounds Bryant threw powerful bombs that exploded on the chin of Thompson. Bryant’s clubbing punches seemed to make audible sounds as they traveled in left-right-left combinations. All the while Thompson took these punches in stride until the end of the third when a Bryant punch sent him scrambling to the canvas. At this point, the fight changed. After Thompson made the count, he landed some of his most impressive punches of the early rounds. In the forth, Thompson peppered Bryant with four unanswered jabs and then added a straight right hand to Bryant’s cheek. Rowland moved away from the power punches and utilized the jab as well. Bryant, late in the forth, threw a jostling combo that consisted of a straight right hand up top, followed by a left to the body, a right to the body and finished with a right to the head. In the fifth Rowland got caught coming inside and was met by a stiff Thompson jab. Bryant returned fire and caught Thompson with a hard right hand which Thompson walked through and countered. In the sixth and final round it was as if Bryant’s destructive punches raised a preverbal cloud of smoke which encapsulated his opponent. Once the smoke cleared, Thompson still stood holding his own. Bryant went on to win their bout by a unanimous decision, however, Thompson, fought hard and deserved applause. Final scores were 60-53 | 59-54 | 60-53.
Rubio (5-2, 4 ko’s – 133) vs Paz (2-4, 2 ko’s – 131.5)
The featured bout of the evening showcased the rematch of super feather Rudy Paz and Jose “Pepe” Rubio. The last bout was a barn burner as Paz stunned Rubio with a final round, seconds out, knockout.
The rematch was war of wills and consisted of 12 minutes of brawling from bell to bell.
Rubio started strong, moving forward and landing punches through Paz’s defense. The middle rounds were difficult to score with both fighters throwing and connecting. Rubio landed first in the fourth round but Paz largely controlled the round. Rubio appeared hurt after Paz landed a series sold right hands and left hooks that drew blood from the nose. Rubio, found himself cornered against the ropes but eventually managed to stave off another knockout loss in the final round. The fight went to the judges. Scores were 39-37 for Rubio and 38-38 | 38-38. For a majority draw. It seems that a trilogy is in order.
Terry (9-0, 6 ko’s – 137) vs Regular (6-24, 3 ko’s – 143)
Ira Terry, newly signed to the Prize Fight stable, wasn’t in the most appealing fight verses veteran jr. welter, Chris Regular. Terry stalked the southpaw-to-conventional morphing Regular with power punches only to find himself being held more frequently than being punched. After a wild first round, Regular appeared to sustain a cut above the right eye at the bridge of the nose. Regular was also warned for hitting during the break by Referee Mike Taylor. Regular was deducted a point in the fourth round for repeated holding. In the sixth and final round Terry rocked Regular with a jab right hand that dizzied the veteran. Regular’s corner, sensing that their fighter was in danger, threw in the towel. He was never in the fight. Official time was 1:29.
Godfrey (3-0, 3 ko’s – 205) vs Hunt (11-16, 4 ko’s – 202)
East St. Louis’ Joell Godfrey TKO’d fellow heavyweight Marvin Hunt in the first stanza. Hunt was down three times and upon the third knock down referee Randy Phillips waived the fight off. Official time was 2:15.
Bobo (14-0, 2 ko’s – 130) vs Ponce (11-27, 7 ko’s –130.7)
Quick handed featherweight Leon Bobo battled eight rounds with Natalio Ponce in the first bout of the evening. Bobo threw his entire arsenal at Ponce, who absorbed the punches well. In rounds three and four time was called to reinsert Ponce’s mouth piece. In the final round things almost got out of hand when the fighters got tangled and Ponce leaned heavily on the off-balanced Bobo. After being separated, it appeared that Ponce raised a hand in an attempt to make good on his action and Bobo threw a sold right hand that landed flush on Ponce’s chin. Bobo won this bout, against an overmatched Ponce, by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 80-69. Ponce was never down in the fight but did receive two standing eight counts.