By Bob Caico at ringside
Former two time super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell scored an impressive win Friday night in Buffalo, NY on a card promoted by X-Cel Worldwide. Mitchell (27-4-1, 20 KOs), now campaigning at light heavyweight, stopped Zach Walters (23-4) of Duluth, MN at the end of the sixth round of a scheduled 12.
Mitchell seemed to tire in the third round and Walters took the opportunity to land some hard shots that shook Mitchell. The Dothen, Alabama resident started to take control in the fourth and landed the more telling blows over the next three rounds. Walters who was bleeding from the mouth was game and was willing to exchange with Mitchell. Near the end of the sixth round Mitchell landed a hard right that staggered Walters against the ropes that was ruled a knockdown. Between rounds the corner of Walters and the doctor agreed that the fighter could not continue. Scores were 58-55, 59-54 and 58-55 all for Mitchell at the end of six rounds. With the win, Mitchell claimed the NABA light heavyweight title and a chance for another world championship in the near future.
In an 8-round jr. welterweight contest Meacher Major (15-4-1) of the Bahamas escaped a scare to score a 5th round TKO over Kevin Carmody (10-11-1) of Philadelphia. In the third round Carmody decked Major with a left hook for a short count. A right hand dropped Major a second time and it looked like the end was near after a crushing left hook staggered Major. But to his credit Major boxed his way out of the round and continued that until the fifth. Major finally caught the tiring Carmody against the ropes and the referee jumped in to end the onslaught at 2:54 of the fifth round.
Hometown heavyweight Paul Marinaccio (24-5-3) dropped an eight round split decision to Cleveland’s Ryan Thompson (9-6) by scores of 76-73, 75-75 and 74-75. Both fighters lost points for fouls and Marinaccio seemed to be favoring his leg for most of the fight.
Michael Faragon of Guilderland, NY remained undefeated with a first round TKO over Shane Gierke of Cuyahoga, Ohio. Faragon dropped Gierke for a count of three and followed that up with unanswered combinations that forced the stoppage at 2:54. Faragon raised his record to 5-0 while Gierke drops to 4-17-2.
Jr. featherweight Harvey Murray (3-2-1) of Rochester took a unanimous 4-decision over Omar Carroll of Philadelphia. Scores were 39-36, 38-37 and 40-35. Murray scored a flash knockdown in the fourth round.
Johnnie Davis of Niagara Falls won his professional debut with a unanimous decision over James Rankin of Cleveland. The scores in the heavyweight contest were 39-37 and 40-36 twice.
In the debuts of two young light heavyweights, 5-time NYS Golden Glove champion Lionel Thompson of Buffalo stopped Zaid Malik of Cleveland in the first round. A body shot dropped Malik early in the round but he shook it off to make a match of it. Thompson landed another body shot that dropped Malik for the count. After the fight Malik claimed both blows were below the belt.