By Bob Ryder
Darryl Cunningham ran into a determined customer in Indianapolis’ Mustapha Johnson at Friday night’s main event at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. Detroit native Cunningham had to work hard in scoring a six round unanimous decision (60-54 x 2, 58-56) over Johnson who came to fight. The wide scores were not totally indicative of the contest as every time it appeared that Cunningham would pull away, Johnson battled back. In the end, super middleweight Cunningham was more effective with the clean punching and was able to up his record to (16-2, 8 KOs) to the delight of another nice crowd for promoters Carlos Llinas International Productions (CLIP) and Ron Remus Productions. Johnson drops to .500 at 6-6-1.
Photos: Bob Ryder
Click the photo to go to the next photo
In the semi main event, heavyweight Rich “Super” Power made a successful return from an injured hand in beating Deandre McCole of Canton, OH over the four round distance. Ring vet McCole knew how to survive and it made for a sometimes messy affair as Power could not quite figure out how to unload his big bombs. McCole was penalized a point in the final round by referee Frank Garza for holding. With the judges scores all 40-35, Power stays undefeated (8-0, 6 KO’s) while McCole slips further to 4-17-2.
On paper this looked like an easy one for hometown favorite Alexis “Hurricane” Hloros as he was facing substitute opponent Torrence King of Canton who came into the night with a 1-5 record. King’s style, however, proved confusing to Hloros who never was able to get a sustained offense going. Middleweight Hloros did finally start landing effective body shots midway through the fight that enabled him to walk away with the decision over the six rounds by scores of 60-54 x 3. Hloros advances to 12-2-2 (9 KO’s).
In a corker, Detroit’s Willie Fortune “500” and Chris Grays of Grand Rapids, wowed the crowd with plenty of sustained exchanges and back and forth punching. There seemed to be little to choose between them and one judge had it even at 38-38. The other judges scored it 40-36 for Fortune giving Willie the majority decision. Fortune moves to 4-0 (2 KO’s) while the always tough Grays slips to 9-17. Middleweights.
Light heavyweight Isiah Thomas beat Cincinnati’s Julius Jackson over the four round limit by scores of 40-35 x 2, 39-36. Thomas started fast knocking Jackson down in the first. Solid punches from Thomas sent Jackson’s mouthpiece flying into the crowd in each of the first two rounds and Julius’ left eye showed swelling midway through the second. Jackson hung in there and refused to fold. Thomas decided to utilize his superior boxing technique in the final two frames, jabbing and boxing his way to improve to 6-0 (4 KO’s). Jackson declines to 3-5.
Toledo’s Jeremiah Jones scored a solid knockdown over Detroit’s Sidney Gurley in the first and rocked him hard in the second as well, bloodying Gurley’s nose in the process. The third was fought on even terms with good two way action. Gurley sensing he was behind staged a huge rally in the last thirty seconds of the fourth but came up just short as the judges rewarded Jones with the unanimous decision at 38-37 x 3. Light heavyweight Jones now 1-0-1, Gurley moves to 1-1.
In a match up of pro debuters, Demar Singleton of Toledo blasted out Battle Creek’s D’Quan Harper. Harper went down hard from a vicious hook, his head bouncing off the canvas with a thud. Referee Garza tolled the ten at 2:22. It was several minutes before Harper thankfully was able to shake it off and walk to his corner. Super middleweights.
Cleveland’s Miguel “Silky Smooth” Gonzalez opened the show with a solid KO 2 (2:11) over Najee Hayes of Toledo in a junior welterweight contest. Gonzalez dominated the short bout, rocking and opening a cut over Hayes’ left eye in the opening frame. A tremendous body punch ended the fight as Gonzalez advances to 5-1 (5 KO’s) while Hayes stays winless at 0-2.