Report and photos by Jessy Kelley
In a clash of unbeaten jr middleweights, Cerresso Fort (13-0-1, 10 KOs) won a hard fought majority decision over Dave Peterson (13-1, 8 KOs) Saturday night at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN. The action picked up after a slow first round with both fighters giving their best effort which left them bloody and marked up by the end of the fight. Peterson surprised everybody by coming forward early and controlling the flow inside the tiny ring despite normally being the counter puncher. Peterson was winning the battle on the inside in the early going while Fort timed in counter shots to the head. During a close third round, an accidental clash of heads left Fort with a gash over his left eye. Fort took Peterson’s assumed roll as counter puncher and landed some nice shots to the head and body afterwards. Peterson did his best work in rounds four and five while landing uppercuts and being first to the punch. Fort’s mouth was open and he was looking a bit winded in those rounds. Fort however rallied big in the sixth as he now began to push the action behind a clubbing right while pushing the faster pace which better suited him. More great action in round seven but Fort secured the fight on the judges cards by having his best round of the fight in the eighth and final round. Both fighters gained a ton of respect from local fans for their effort and afterwards each fighter said they want to go at it again later this year in the Twin Cities area. Official scores read 77-75 twice for Fort and 76-76 giving Fort the victory.
In other action, welterweight Jamal James (6-0, 4 KOs) looked extremely sharp in beating Hector Orozco (5-12) for the second time. The first round was close and much like their first meeting. Orozco came forward with pressure and James countered from the outside. James began to pull away after the second round though while landing hard combinations before slipping out of Orozco’s reach. James won more convincingly this time around but Orozco showed the same grit and determination as in their first meeting which made for an entertaining bout. Scores read 59-55, 60-54, 60-54.
Cruiserweight Al Sands (4-1, 4 KOs) scored the KO of the night against game Kia Daniels (6-7, 4 KOs), stopping him at 2:10 of the first round. Sands’ entrance was almost as exciting as the KO as he danced to the ring with Kevin Lyttle’s “You got me going crazy” echoing in the background. And Sands had the crowd going crazy before and after putting Daniels out with a hard right to the head.
Richard Hargraves (3-0-1, 2 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Michael Faulk (2-2) in a middleweight bout. Scores read 58-56, 59-55, 58-57. Hargraves traveled from California to face Faulk in his home state and was able to out work his opponent by being the busier fighter. The bout was a chess match with both boxers looking for openings to counter punch. Neither fighter looked to be hurt at any point in the bout. “My plan was to come to Minnesota and knock him out because I didn’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges” said Hargraves afterwards. “But my second plan was to box and that’s what I did. I thought my defense was good and I’m happy the judges saw it the right way.”
Matthew Karaja (1-0) won a four round majority decision over Jerome LaBarge (0-1). Scores read 39-37, 39-37, 38-38. The two fighters have a history that goes back to the amateur days and put simply, neither guy liked the other before hand. Despite neither fighter having tasted the canvas, it was a four round brawl for the duration of the bout. Like many rivalries before, the two men embarrassed afterwards and seemingly put the past behind them.
Jr middleweight Corey Thompson (1-0, 1 KO) knocked Stanley Lewis (0-6) down twice on his way to winning his pro debut by first round stoppage. Official time was 1:48. Lewis turned his back at one point early and raised his hands while shaking his head to show Thompson’s shots were not hurting him. But shortly after, Thompson ripped Lewis to the body which knocked the smile off his face. Thompson continued his offensive attack until Lewis could not continue.
Heavyweight Charles Goodwin (2-0, 2 KOs) won by first round TKO over Cory Briggs (0-1) in a scheduled four rounder.
Davalance DePoe (1-0, 1 KO) won by second round KO over John Kingbird (0-1). Time of stoppage was :48 into the second round in the night’s opening bout.