By Mariano A. Agmi and Arvin Nundloll at ringside
Photos: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
In the co-feature Wednesday night before a sold-out crowd at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NYC, Harlem’s Tor Hamer (21-2, 14 KOs) blew out Kertson Manswell (23-8, 17 KOs) by technical knockout in round 1. Weighing in at an enormous 280 lbs, Manswell attempted to use his 60 lb weight advantage over Hamer, landing a left hook and leaning on the smaller fighter when in close. Hamer wisely chose to counter his slower opponent with quick and heavy shots, including a right hand to the head that dropped the Tobogan midway through the opening stanza. Manswell beat the count, but he was struggling to stay on his feet as the fight turned into a wrestling match with both fighters tumbling to the canvas on a few occasions. When they arose, Hamer landed a huge uppercut followed by a right hand that dropped Manswell for a second time in the round. Unfortunately, Hamer also appeared to land at least two more shots while Manswell was on his knees. Manswell slowly crumbled to the floor, indicating that he could not continue. The referee did not believe him, and he ruled Hamer the winner by TKO at 3 minutes of round one.
In the main event, junior middleweight Boyd Melson (12-1, 4 KOs) enthralled the crowd with a magnificent win against Jason Thompson (5-7, 4 KOs.) Melson brought the fight to Thompson, surviving a cut to knock down Thompson in round and win on the judges’ scorecards.
The opening rounds saw Melson dictate the action, catching Thompson with perfectly time counter punches. Both fighters traded fireworks in round three, going blow for blow and brining the crowd to their feet. As the later rounds approached, Melson appeared to slow down, letting Thomson back into the fight with powerful body combinations and right hooks. Melson as cut in round six from an apparent Thompson left hook. Melson returned the favor as Thompson received a cut above his right eye from a counter right in round seven. Melson came out to close the show and knocked down Thonpson with a sharp right hook in round eight. After eight thrilling rounds of boxing, the judges scored the fight 78-73, 78-73, 77-74 all in favor of Melson.
SMS Promotions junior welterweight fighter Donte Strayhorn (3-1) pounded out a clear decision victory over Justin Roberts 1-3) Strayhorn produced a thrilling display of aggressive boxing and shut out Roberts. To his credit, Roberts took Strayhorn’s best shots and still kept coming forward, showcasing a true boxers will and kept fighting until the end. After four rounds all the scorecards read 40-36 to Strayhorn.
In a lively six round female heavyweight contest, Sonya Lamonakis (7-1, 1 KO) battled her way through to defeat Tanzee Daniels (4-3, 1 KO.). Lamonakis constantly pressured Daniels, controlling the fight from the center of the ring and landing the more powerful punches, much to the delight of the crowd in attendance. Daniel tried to keep up the pace but fell short and couldn’t keep up the pace. After six two-minute rounds the judges scored the fight 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55 all to Sonya Lamonakis.
In a stunning upset, unheralded Michael Doyle (2-2, 1 KO), out of Pritchard, AL, landed a spectacular counter left hook during a violent exchange that dropped previously unbeaten Neuky Santelises (5-1, 4 KOs) hard to the canvas. The Dominican out of Washington Heights beat the count, but the referee took a hard look at him and decided that Santelises could not continue, waving the fight off at 1:13 of the opening round.
2012 National champion and top DiBella prospect Patrick Day (5-0, 2 KOs) continued to impress, winning a 6 round unanimous decision over Donald Ward (5-2, 3 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout. Fighting in front of his hometown, Day immediately took the fight to Ward, who looked for opportunities to counter. Day found his groove after round 2, landing a long jab followed by sharp right hands, left hooks and uppercuts. Ward took the shots well, switching to southpaw at times but getting caught with big right hands that left him bleeding from the mouth. The tough fighter out of Tennessee was able to survive the bout, however, as Day won the contest by scores of 60-54 (3x).
In a compelling junior welterweight bout, undefeated Floridian Amos Cowart (7-0-1, 5 KOs) and Chazz McDowell (6-3-1, 1 KO) fought to a 6 round draw. Southpaw Cowart landed the harder blows, but the Jeff Mayweather trained McDowell countered effectively throughout the bout despite being completely outgunned. Scores were 58-56 and 57-57 (2x).
In a tough and gritty six round contest, Lennox Allen (17-0, 10 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over Michel Gbenga (13-8, 13 KOs.) Allen dominated the fight, using his reach to neutralize any threat that Gbenga posed. The judges at ringside scored the Light Heavyweight bout 60-54, 59-55, 59-55 all in favor to Lennox Allen.
Jeremy Abram (1-0) cruised to his first professional victory with a convincing points victory against Micah Branch (1-8). The junior lightweight bout went the full four rounds with all the judges scoring the bout 40-36.