By Christopher P. Cook at ringside
Photo by Kareen Murray
Hometown “Son of St. Pete” Clarence Booth continued his winning ways in front of a capacity crowd at “Bombs Away at the Bay” at the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton in St. Petersburg, Florida, presented by Mad Integrity Fight Sports in association with One Punch Boxing. Booth controlled the fight from bell to bell, getting good rounds in against the more experienced Juan Aguirre. On the undercard of the event, local fighters Tampa’s Dan Bolden and Paulie Simpson, along with Orlando’s Moises Carasquillo emerged victorious.
In the main event of the night, Booth (6-1-0, 4 KOs), 144.4 lbs, outworked and outboxed Juan Aguirre (5-10-1, 0 KOs) over the six round welterweight contest. Booth’s superior strength and speed dominated the bout, allowing him to exert his will on Aguirre. Booth received a standing ovation in the second, as he landed numerous shots against a game but outclassed opponent. Aguirre fought back, throwing out of desperation as it became apparent he was in survival mode. Booth fought smart, maintaining his composure as the knockout eluded him. All three judges scored the bout a sweep for Clarence Booth, 60-54. Booth improved his record to 6-1, winning his last four matches.
In the opening bout of the evening, Tony Morris (2-0-0, 2 KO), 146.8 lbs, made easy work of Jose Sanchez (0-2-0), 147 lbs, sending him home after the second round. Morris came out the gate strong, attacking the body with accurate lefts and rights. Sanchez was overmatched from the opening bell, unable to find his distance against Morris. After the second round, Sanchez quit on the stool, complaining of an apparent injury to his right leg.
Dan Bolden (1-1-0, 0 KOs), 195.6 lbs, won his first professional bout over debuting Carlton Hammonds, 196.4 lbs, in the second contest. The cruiserweight slugfest excited the crowd early, with both boxers launching solid blows. Bolden startled Hammonds with a strong right hand in the final seconds of the opening stanza. The momentum gained in the first carried with Bolden throughout the four-round bout, as he continued to aggress against the debut fighter. Judges all saw the bout the same, a 40-36 sweep for Tampa’s Dan Bolden.
Tampa’s Paulie Simpson (debut), 145.6 lbs, won a much closer than the scorecards indicate decision over winless Xavier “X-Man” Lugo (0-6-0), 143.4 lbs. Lugo tested the debut fighter early, controlling the pace against a reluctant Simpson. Simpson finally let his hands go at the end of the first, throwing a wild flurry of shots with Lugo against the ropes. After a close second round, Simpson’s corner lit a fire in him in the third round, as he came at punching. Simpson found success with his left hand early in the contest and utilized that punch to his advantage in the third, connecting with successive lefts. A close final round led to the judges scoring the bout 40-36 and 39-37 twice all for Simpson.
Debuts Tommy Logan, 131.4 lbs, and Juan Puerta-Salazar, 136.4 lbs, met in a four-round bout. Salazar opened the first moving around the ring constantly, trying to catch the more methodical Logan. While Salazar was able to connect some, Logan remained disciplined and kept moving forward to Salazar. Logan’s poise paid off in the second, as he caught Salazar early in the second, dropping him. A second knockdown ended Salazar’s night as Logan unloaded a mauling onslaught on him. Time of the referee stoppage was 1:33, giving Logan his first TKO victory.
In another bout of cruisers, Travis Reeves (2-1-0, 0 KOs), 190.6 lbs, outworked Michael Bissett (3-3-0, 3 KOs), 192.4 lbs, for a unanimous decision (40-35 all) victory. The most telling blow of the bout came in the fourth, with Reeves stepping with strong right hands landing squarly on the face of Bissett. Bissett lost a point in the fourth round for holding in the clinch.
Undefeated Moises Carasquillo (3-0-0, 3 KOs), 159.6 lbs, took care of Darrell Eacholes (0-2-1), 158.6 lbs, inside of the scheduled four-round middleweight bout. Carasquillo landed clean shots throughout the opening rounds, highlighted with a solid double right to the body of Eacholes. As Eacholes began to labor in the third, Carasquillo took to the offensive to try and end the fight early. The referee took mercy on Eacholes in the fourth at 1:37, as Carasquillo battered Eacholes with barrages of punches on the ropes.
In attendance at “Bombs Away at the Bay,” was former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy. Lacy spoke to his loyal hometown crowd, receiving numerous cheers as he announced to the mass his return to boxing. Mad Integrity Fight Sports and One Punch Boxing will return to the bay area on August 24th for their next event.