Boxing News

Cunningham bests Thompson

Photo: Bob Ryder

By Bob Ryder

Promoters Carlos Llinas International Productions (CLIP) and Ron Remus Productions drew another SRO house on Friday night at Detroit’s Masonic Temple for their action packed ten bout card. In the main event, super middleweight Darryl Cunningham of Detroit won over Skyler Thompson of Rockford, IL. The self acclaimed “son of a preacher man” Cunningham controlled the contest from the beginning although Thompson was in it the way. An accidental clash of heads in the second round left Thompson with a nasty cut over his left eye. Ringside physician Dr. Hisham Ahmed performed a careful examination before signaling referee Ron Cunningham that Skyler was ok to continue. Blood ran down the side of Thompson’s face most of the rest of the bout. The fourth round was punctuated by an excellent back and forth exchange. After the six rounds, Cunningham won by identical scores of 60-54 on the judges card to raise his record to (18-2, 9 KOs). Thompson is now (11-7, 9 KOs).

Photos: Bob Ryder

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In one co-feature, Detroit’s Brian “The Lion” Mihtar impressively dominated Toledo’s Jeremiah Jones. Middleweight Mihtar looked to be in perhaps the best shape of his career and pressured Jones right from the start, relentlessly pursuing him from one side of the ring to the other. Jones tried but was just worn down by Mihtar’s effective aggression. Jones was very slow in getting up from a slip near the end of the third and appeared that he might be done. After another slip to the canvas in the fourth, an exhausted and beaten Jones did call it a day and referee Sam Williams stopped it at 2:11. Mihtar improves to (12-1, 9 KOs). Jones who has been matched very tough in his young career falls to (1-2-1).

Detroit’s Vernon “VIP” Paris and Denver’s Corey Alarcon waged a rough and rugged bout in the evening’s other co-feature attraction. The tone was set early in the first round when Paris felled Alarcon with a shot that appeared to land WAY south of the border. Alarcon was given five minutes to recover and referee Cunningham deducted a point from Paris, terming the low blow to be flagrant. When the action resumed the pattern had been set for a fight that was highlighted by lots of hard fighting in close. Paris and his corner complained about Alarcon’s use of elbows, however, it was Alarcon who was showing the most facial damage from the exchanges. Corey was marked up around the eyes as early as the second round. Paris continued to land the more effective blows throughout to take the unanimous six round decision by scores of 59-54 x 3. The complaints from the Paris camp continued after the contest but as referee Cunningham told Fightnews, “It was just a rough inside type of fight. I did not see anything intentional on Alarcon’s part that would justify taking away points.” Junior welterweight Paris goes up to (19-0-3 NC, 13 KOs). Alarcon declines to (13-15).

What started out as an interesting heavyweight match ended disappointedly early. Walter Burns of Detroit and Bernell Stewart of Columbus, OH were in the midst of an exchange when the Ohio native yelped in pain, suffering what appeared to be a dislocated left shoulder. As Stewart moved to his corner with his arm hanging to his side, referee Sam Williams indicated that the match was over. Dr. Ahmed with assistance from Stewart’s corner, worked on getting the fighter’s shoulder back in place. After several minutes it looked as if Stewart’s shoulder was ok and then he, his corner, and the promoters appealed to have the match continue. Dr. Ahmed and referee Williams held firm though and Burns was declared the TKO winner at just :44 of the first round. Burns now (4-0, 4 KOs), Stewart (1-1).

Willie Fortune “500” overpowered Guy Packer in their middleweight match, dropping him with a vicious body shot in the second round. Barely beating the count, Packer clearly told referee Cunningham “I’m done” when asked if he wanted to continue. Time of the stoppage was 2:34. Detroit’s Fortune stays unbeaten at (6-0, 3 KOs). Packer from Battle Creek drops to (3-26-2).

Super middleweights Ray Darden of Detroit and Chris Grays of Grand Rapids engaged in the tamest contest of the night over five rounds. Grays did go down in the first from what looked to be more of a shove and took the mandatory eight from referee Williams. From there on it was mostly Darden pursuing and Grays moving away. Darden did mange to bloody Grays’ nose in the fifth on his way to the unanimous decision win by tallies of 50-44 x 3. Darden improves to (11-21-1, 4 KOs) while Grays slips to (9-18).

Luigi Gjokaj took too long to get going and it cost him the four round decision against Eric Ricker in their welterweight contest. Gjokaj, from Detroit suburb Sterling Heights, gave away the first two rounds and most of the third to Toledo’s Ricker. Luigi really went to work in the fourth even sending Riker out of the ring courtesy of a push into the lap of ringside judge Gerard White and their were some great exchanges throughout the round. Too little too late though as Gjokaj was on the wrong end of scores of 39-38, 38-37, 39-37 as he drops to (2-2) while Ricker climbs to (3-5, 0 KOs).

Ali Mansour of Windsor, Ontario, Canada needed just 1:38 to stop Britton, MI’s Todd Welcome in a heavyweight brawl. Both were on the canvas, although Mansour’s visit was ruled a slip, before Ali applied the TKO finisher to raise his record to (8-0, 4 KOs). Welcome goes to (1-2).

Detroit middleweight Sidney Gurley outworked Battle Creek’s Cameron Allen for a TKO 3 (1:40) win. Gurley scored knockdowns in each of the three rounds with referee Cunningham waving it off right after the Allen’s trip to the mat in the third. Gurley is now (2-1, 2 KOs), Allen is (1-3).

Jess Carradine of Cincinnati was stunned in the first by Toledo’s Calvin Pritchard in their super featherweight battle but recovered as the two fought to a majority draw. Scores were 38-38 x 2 and 39-37 Carradine. Pritchard was making his pro debut, Carradine is now (5-0-1, 2 KOs).

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