Ringside report and photos by Jesse Kelley
Ismail “The Sharp Shooter” Muwendo moved to (12-0, 9 KO’s) with a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Napunyi (14-12, 7 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, MN. Scores read 79-73, 79-73, 80-72 all in favor of Muwendo following 8 rounds of action.
Muwendo controlled the fight and dictated the pace although he did have trouble landing clean at times on Napunyi, who was crafty defensively. There was reportedly a history of bad feelings between the two African born fighters going in which was most likely the reason Muwendo came out a little wild.
Muwendo was trying to do major damage with every shot he threw which left him off balance at times at the start. Napunyi took advantage of what seemed like a “feeling out” round in the first by being the busier fighter. Napunyi was game from that point on but his best work came from a defensive perspective rather then putting together combinations of his own. “The Sharp Shooter” Muwendo settled down and began to find a rhythm as the bout went on and by round five, he had found his range as Napunyi became more stationary. Muwendo’s best moments came in the final round as he stalked Napunyi around the ring with hard punches to the head and body. With the victory the 24 year old Muwendo keeps the USA Mid American featherweight title.
Afterwards, Muwendo praised his opponents toughness and thanked the fans in attendance for the support.
In the co-feature, Jamal “Shango” James (9-0, 5 KO’s) traded shots with Patrick “Boss Man” Boozer (5-2, 2 KO’s) for six rounds and picked up a hard fought unanimous decision win. Scores read 58-56, 59-56, 60-55.
The general feeling of the fight as a whole is that the action was closer then some of the scores would portray.
Boozer, of Detroit, Michigan went right after the taller James to start and landed a hard shot to the head moments in that got the attention of the hometown fighter. As a result, James began to hit, move, and use the ring while popping crisp shots as he went. This was the blueprint for how the fight played out. James remained the busier fighter, throwing and landing more shots while Boozer stalked and landed the harder shots at a lower volume. By the second round, both fighters were throwing vicious shots which had the crowd cheering.
James continued to fight from a range in the middle rounds while Boozer looked to close the distance.
A clash of heads left a large bleeding cut over the left of James in the fifth but it would not play a part in the fight. The sixth and final round was rough and rugged as Boozer cut off the ring to force a close range fight. Both men traded hard until the final bell.
” I landed the sharper, cleaner shots” said James afterwards. “He (Boozer) landed some good shots as well but not enough and he never hurt me other then the headbutt.”
Boozer had a look of shock after the scores were announced and said he felt he won the fight.
“Yeah I could have been a little more aggressive but I did what I needed to win. I landed the more accurate and harder shots. You could see who was the better fighter in the ring” said Boozer.
Rob Brant (5-0, 3 KO’s) won a six round unanimous decision over Romon Barber (3-3, 2 KO’s) in a jr. middleweight bout. Brant controlled the first four rounds with quick combinations while avoiding heavy punches thrown by his determined opponent. Brant was too busy and too fast for Barber although both fighters were bleeding from the nose by the end of the first. Hard body shots put Barber down in round two. Although winning easy on the cards, Brant was forced to expel a lot of energy boxing, moving and avoiding his muscled opponents attacks and he began to slow his punch output in the fifth and sixth rounds. Barber was able to land a few hard head shots but Brant continued to move around the ring and coast to the final bell in the last round. Afterwards, Brant said he felt sick in that last round and was close to vomiting. His manager also said that Brant damaged his hand somewhere in the middle rounds. Scores read 58-55, 59-53, 59-54.
Jonathan Perez (5-0, 4 KO’s) made quick work of Brian Jones (0-5), dropping him three times with body shots in the opening round. Jones tried to psych his younger opponent out before the bout began by snarling and mean mugging but it didn’t take long for Perez to show who the better puncher was. The TKO victory came at 2:38 of the first.
Tyler Hultin (4-1-1, 2 KO’s) won a five round unanimous decision over Stephen Watt (1-1, 1 KO) through five exciting rounds of action. Hultin and Watt traded power shots over most of the heated bout with both fighters showing they could both give and take a hard shot. Scores were 48-47 on all three cards.
Watt started strong out of the gate throwing quick, looping power shots. Hultin remained calm and slowed Watt down with left and right hand counter shots to the head. The wild back and forth action continued through the second round but Hultin had the edge on points with better boxing technique in the exchanges. Hultin and Watt traded leather until the final bell in what turned out to be an entertaining bout which was expected going in.
Brad Herroff (2-0, 1 KO) stopped Zach Wolff (0-3) at 1:18 of the fourth round. Wolff proved to be tough as nails while taking heavy punches from Herroff for much of the bout. Herroff bloodied the nose of Wolff early on with constant pressure and left-rights to the head. The bout continued into the fourth until a right uppercut followed by a right to the chin put Wolff down. Referee Scott Erickson stopped the fight as Wolff stumbled to him.
Robert DaLuz (14-43, 9 KO’s) got back in the win column with a majority decision victory over game Tomi Archambault (1-3, 1 KO) in a four rounder. The first two rounds were close but DaLuz began to take charge as Archambault ran out of gas as the bout progressed. The southpaw Archambault had a good opening round countering the wide shots of DaLuz. DaLuz began to mix punches in to the body in round two as he picked up the pace more and more. DaLuz continued to head hunt while mixing in body shots in rounds three and four. Archambault to his credit took some big shots and stayed on his feet but conditioning played a big factor in this bout and DaLuz seemed to get more energetic with each new round. Scores read 38-36, 38-38, 40-36.
In a boxing debut of two mixed martial artists, Dan Kiser (1-0) won a four round unanimous decision over Donald Williams (0-1) in the opener. Scores read 39-36 on all three score cards. Williams constantly came forward but had trouble getting his punches off. Kiser outworked Williams for much of the action by counter punching when Williams rushed in. Williams was deducted 1 point in round four for holding.