By Mark Vaz
In the main event of the “Boxing Under the Tent” card at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA, Michael Owen McLaughlin improved to 6-1-1 (3 KOs) with a unanimous decision in an all-out war with MMA cross-over Sergio Cabrera (0-2) of Somerville, MA in a six-round middleweight bout. The former Irish National Amateur champ from Donegal, now living in Dorchester, MA, outboxed the wild swinging Cabrera for three rounds, dropping the Brazilian transplant in the third with a picture-perfect right hook. Cabrera, however, would have none of it and came out swinging again in the fourth, dropping McLaughlin twice and nearly finishing him. Following cornerman and former title challenger Sean Mannion’s advice, McLaughlin returned to boxing and won the last two stanzas in exciting fashion, earning the decision at 57-54 across the board.
After the fight, referee Pat Kelly said he was close to stopping the fight the second time that McLaughlin hit the deck, but when he asked his name, McLaughlin responded “I know me bloody name, I’m just bloody tired!”
Kelly’s decision treated the fans to the remainder of a very exciting fight.
McLaughlin’s countryman and training partner John Hutchinson also came out victorious with a four round shutout over Robbie Brando Hunt in a jr. middleweight bout. McLaughlin (5-0-2, 1 KO) outworked “B-Hunt” who slipped to 0-4-1. The fighters met two months ago in Boston when an accidental headbutt suffered by Hunt caused the bout to be stopped and declared a technical draw.
Gerald Shifone of neighboring Stoughton, MA stopped overmatched Wayne Harnoise of Worcester at 2:40 of the first round of a middleweight bout. Shifone improved to 2-0 (1) while Harnoise begins his pro career at 0-1. Shifone, a New England Golden Gloves Champ, looked strong in the bout much to the delight of his enthusiastic fans.
Heavyweight Donnie “The Big Nasty” Palmer of Dorchester improved to 2-0-1 (2 KOs) when Boston Police officer Tyronne Smith retired on his stool after two rounds. Taking the fight on 3 days notice, the 46-year old Smith who weighed 208 with pants and shoes on, boxed well in the first but was unable to overcome the tremendous size disadvantage against the 6’8” 274 pound Palmer who simply imposed his strength on Smith. Smith drops to 5-8-2.
In an entertaining opening four rounder, Providence super-middleweight KJ Harrison-Lombardi won a competitive but one-sided decision over MMA fighter and pro boxing debuting Lionel “Boogz” Young of Brockton, MA. Harrison picked up his third win against one draw, outworking the former NE MMA champ Young who showed impressive athleticism in his losing effort. Scored 40-36 by all judges.
The “Boxing Event Under The Tent” event was presented by Big Six Entertainment in association with Danny Kelly Boxing.