By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
On Friday night, fans at The Legendary Blue Horizon were once again treated to the unbelievable punching power of Minnesota heavyweight Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell (24-4, 23 KOs), who scored a third round TKO over Billy “The Kid” Willis (12-14-1, 9 KOs) of Houston, Texas in the six round main event of the evening. In the co-feature of evening, Philly middleweight prospect Gee “Thoroughbred” Cullmer (16-1, 3Kos) won an ugly six round split decision rematch over Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor (13-22-3, 6KO’s). The seven bout card was promoted by Vernocha Michael of The Legendary Blue Horizon Promotions Inc.
Fans at the Blue Horizon have become accustomed to falling in love with fighters who can punch and score spectacular knockouts, and rising heavyweight prospect, Joey Abell fits that description to a tee.
Right from the opening bell Abell took control by doubling and tripling up on a new found sharp right jabs that he appeared more confident in using. Late in the opening round Abell began to unload straight left hands behind the jabs, which kept Billy “The Kid” Willis at bay for most of the round. Just before the final bell though, Willis caught Abell as he backed straight out with a big leaping right hand behind the ear. The bell sounded before he could land anything else but Abell didn’t appear fazed by the shot.
Abell changed up and began to switch up on his combinations in round two, incorporating the swishing uppercuts that just missed sending Willis to the canvas. Willis could only fight on the retreat. The crowd “oohed!!!” and “aahed!!!” everytime Abell would barely miss with a big shot that could end it at any minute.
“He was taking a lot of jabs and I knew he couldn’t win the fight by decision and the only way he could catch was to land one of those leaping right hands,” Said Abell afterward. “In the third round, I timed it and caught him with a right hook and it put him on the canvas,” explained Abell. Surprisingly, Willis actually rose to his feet, but another three punch combination had him stumbling to the corner. Referee Blair Talmadge had seen enough and stepped in and waved the fight off at 54 seconds of the third round.
Some at ringside thought it might have been an early stoppage, but it definitely looked like a savage knockout from Abell was soon to follow. It really prevented the game, but overmatched Billy Willis from really getting hurt.
“I have been working on my one two’s and my one two threes and that is really all you need” said Abell. “I haven’t perfected them yet.
“I have learned from my losses and I am not complaining about any of them, but they will not happen again” said Abell
Look for Joey Abell to take his punching power to Atlantic City in July and maybe to Minnesota according to Matchmaker and Advisor Don Elbaum. He will definitely fight in Sweden in September in a rematch against Alfred “Ice” Cole.
Cullmer wins ugly scrap with Taylor
Many times a rematch brings an even a greater fight, unfortunately, this bout wasn’t to be one of those as Gee Cullmer pulled out a close split decision over Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor.
Cullmer at thirty three years old, entered the ring owning a unanimous decision victory over Taylor in August of 2004. Many writers at ringside questioned the reasoning of a rematch with Taylor, who had lost six of his last seven, while Cullmer at 15-1, appeared to ready to take that next step up to main event status.
Clarence Taylor of Wilmington Delaware did test the “Thoroughbred” early, countering Cullmer’s advances with right hands with his long reach.
Cullmer, known for his grind it out inside style, began to push the fight on the inside in round three. Taylor caught Cullmer coming in as the rounds progressed, but Cullmer continued to get inside. The inside play resulted in both fighters constantly holding the others lead arm while throwing slapping punches with the other arm in clinches. The fans at ringside booed constantly from the second through the fifth for the lack of clean action from both fighters.
Cullmer knew the fight was on the line entering the sixth round and just was the busier fighter in the constant clinches, while Taylor landed to occasional right hand outside of the clinches.
One judge had the bout 59-56 in favor of Clarence Taylor, but was overruled by the other two judges who scored the bout 58-56 and 59-55 in for the split decision victory in favor of Gee Cullmer.
“He is a very awkward fighter,” said Cullmer afterward. “He has won a title since we last fought and has been in with several top fighters since. I kept telling my coach that I would not take him for granted and he fought a hell of a fight. I felt he was gasping for air in the third round and I went in there after him. He would hit me with a good shot now and then, but I pushed through them and pressed the fight throughout.”
Collado cruises to victory
Exciting junior lightweight prospect Joselito Collado (8-0, 2KO’s) of Queens, New York remained undefeated with a convincing one sided six round unanimous decision victory over Baltimore Maryland’s Darrell Martin (4-9, 1KO).
Martin tried to keep Collado at bay early, clowning and throwing several small combinations while on the move. Collado was not flustered though and caught Martin against the ropes and unloaded a big four punch combination as the opening round came to a close.
By round four, Martin was barely fighting, instead trying to stay low and avoid any hard combinations from Collado. The crowd began to boo from his lack of offense. Collado knew the fight was his and steadily pounded away with combinations as he switched in an out of the southpaw stance.
In round five Martin continually had to pull up his trunks. This hurt him as Collado caught him with his hands down with a solid right on the button. Collado stepped up the attack, digging to the body with several combinations. Martin looked hurt from the onslaught as the round closed. As Collado crossed the ring to go to his corner, he pulled the throat slashing sign at Martin.
Way ahead on the scorecards, Collado safely kept up the pressure with light combinations. Martin went into survival mode throughout the final round, choosing to duck and move rather than trade with Collado, thus ensuring the loss.
All three judges saw the bout 60-54 in favor of Collado.
Tiburcio stuns Edmunds
Ring rust didn’t appear to be a problem as Southbridge Massachusetts’s Jose Tiburcio made an impressive return to the squared circle after four years of inactivity, dropping local Blue Horizon favorite Julius “Marvel” Edmunds twice en-route to a four round unanimous decision victory.
Edmunds who is known for his pressure fighting tried to attack from the opening bell with small combinations on the inside. Jose Tiburcio countered well with jabs and right uppercuts. Edmunds was forced to dive in and was floored by a big right hand on the chin.
Tiburcio looked tense early in round two and appeared to be tiring. Just when Edmunds looked like he was winning the round, Tiburcio floored him again. This time it was from a short left hook.
After a give and take third round, Edmunds knew he had to go for a knockout, so he stepped on the gas pedal and landed several good combinations throughout the fourth round, but could not hurt Tiburcio and the bout went to the scorecards.
All three judges saw the bout 39-35 in favor of Jose Tiburcio, who ups his record to 4-1, 1KO. Julius Edmunds who is a regular attraction at the Legendary Blue Horizon, falls to 5-4.
Tuba puts on boxing clinic in debut
Junior middleweight Ahmad Tuba of Nazareth looked like a more experienced professional then a fighter making his professional debut as he out-boxed Vincent Batteast (0-3) to a convincing four round unanimous decision victory.
Tuba, a Muslim from Nazareth, is trained by Rannan Tal in an Israeli Gym with Israeli’s Elad Shmouell and Ran Nakash.
Tubah was in control of the bout from the opening round until the final bell, boxing in and out of the pocket without much in return. Vincent Batteast eventually fought to survive in the later rounds, but had no answer to the superior boxing skills of Ahmad Tuba.
All three judges gave every round to Ahmad Tuba by scores of 40-36 x 3.
Goyko out boxes Davitshvilli
It was the rematch of a previous Pennsylvania fight of the year candidate and even though it didn’t live up to the first one, it was one hell of a fight, as cruiserweight Taneal Goyko (3-0, 1KO) escaped with a hard fought four round unanimous decision victory over hard luck slugger Davit Davitshvilli (0-3).
Davit knew he would have to change what lost the first fight for him and he attacked with heavy shots on the inside from the opening bell. Goyko did not land much in the opening round, but did knock out the mouthpiece of Davitshvilli with a big left hook. Like a warrior, Davit ran over and picked his on mouthpiece up and put it in as if he was in a sparring session.
Rounds two and three were close as the two pugilists took turns banging each other against the ropes. Davitshvilli appeared to have a problem with one of his gloves and during breaks, he kept using his other hand as if he needed to push his hand forward into the glove. Davitshvilli tired as round three was coming to a close from Goyko’s jabs and bodywork began that began to take their toll.
In the final round, Taneal Goyko took over for most of the fourth and final round, doubling and tripling up his jabs that forced Davitshvilli to retreat and reset. Just when it looked like it was over Davit Davitshvilli put together one last heavy five punch combination that had Goyko on the retreat, but the tank finally hit the empty mark and Goyko cruised to the finish.
All three judges saw the bout 39-37 in favor of Taneal Goyko.
Ku-Ntima avoids Pratt fall
In the opening bout of the evening, Philadelphia PA’s Makidi Ku-Ntima won his professional debut, overcoming a first punch knockdown, by dropping Charlotte North Carolina heavyweight James Pratt twice en-route to a surprising 3rd round knockout.
Makidi Ku-Ntima who looked like a physical spark plug, went after Pratt from the opening bell, but the taller and more experienced opponent, timed his advances with a left hook and put Ku-Ntima immediately on the canvas. The knockdown was more of a flash knockdown as Ku-Ntima immediately rose to his feet, but became more careful as he continued his advances, working on the inside in round two. Ku -Ntida’s advances became more like tackles and he was warned twice by referee Blair Talmadge to cut out the rough star or points would be taken.
Pratt appeared to be have changed the tide early in round three as he boxed on the outside, keeping the shorter Ku-Ntima at bay. That momentum changed again on the spur of the moment, as Makidi Ku-Ntima planted Pratt to the canvas with a leaping right hand on the button. Pratt rose to his feet, but a left to the ribs, followed by a right up top, felled Pratt for the final time as he attempted to hold on. Referee Blair Talmadge reached count of ten at 1:33 for the third round knockout victory for the debuting Makidi Ku-Ntima