Boxing News

Full report from Verona, NY

By Boxing Bob Newman
Photos: Andy Newman

Another frigid night in Upstate, New York couldn’t keep fight fans away for the second straight night of boxing. Shobox aired three action packed fights promoted by Mayweather Promotions at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. Super middleweight J’Leon Love finally stopped a a very game a determined Vladine “Mr. Providence” Biosse in the waning moments of the tenth and final round in the headliner. Unsung super middleweight Derek Edwards shocked previously undefeated Badou Jack in a two knockdown, one round, one minute, one second destruction. Chris Pearson took a very tough eight round decision in coming of the canvas, over rugged Lanardo Tyner in a middleweight scrap.

J’Leon Love and Vladine Biosse put on a show for the fans who braved another cold night in Upstate, New York at Verona’s Turning Stone Casino on Showtime’s latest edition of Shobox. There was little feeling out over the first two rounds with the shorter Biosse looking for his openings against the taller Love who employed a power jab boxing style. Love picked up the pace in round three and battered Biosse along the ropes, opening a cut over his foe’s right eye. Biosse tried to fight back in spurts, landing the occasional punch with little effect. After some medical attention between rounds, Biosse was allowed to come out for the fourth. It appeared from ringside that a clash of heads may have opened a small cut over the corner of Love’s left eye. The game, but over matched Biosse never stopped trying to his credit, but Love had too much of everything- size, speed, power and youth. Love took a short breather on the ropes in the neutral corner, allowing Biosse to work away, but the punches had little effect. After referee Benji Estevez broke a clinch, Love maneuvered toward the center of the ring and continued as he pleased. During what seemed like an endless round six for Biosse, Love unleashed a barrage of punches along two different sides of ring ropes that saw Estevez take a close look. Incredibly Biosse didn’t go down and Estevez didn’t step in. During a clinch, Estevez called time to retrieve Biosse’s mouth piece which had come out for the second time in as many rounds. Estevez then issued a one point deduction from Biosse for repeated ejection of said mouthpiece. During a mildly pedestrian round nine, the crowd dared to boo the deserved slow down in action between the fighters. Moments into the tenth and final round, Love decided to try another flurry, as if to coax referee Estevez into a stoppage. Despite it being one of the weaker flurries of the night, Estevez took the bait and stepped in just as Biosse lunged forward and fell in an attempt to clinch and smother Love’s offensive. Estevez ruled no knockdown, but then as Biosse rose, he also ruled the fight over! Love takes a TKO10 at :45 of the round, improving to 17-0, 10 KOs. Biosse goes to 15-3-2, 7 KOs.

Unheralded Derek Edwards shocked the world of previously undefeated Badou Jack with a crushing pair of fight ending knockdowns in the opening round! A short right behind the left ear of Jack left him on the canvas right quick. Jack rose unsteadily but tried to camouflage his condition with a big smile as referee Charlie Fitch exacted the mandatory eight count. Fitch allowed Jack back into the fray, but it didn’t last long as a follow up combo deposited Jack face first. Jack struggled to his feet but was in no condition to go any further, referee Fitch calling matters off at 1:01 of the opening session. The upset win for Edwards derailed Jack’s planned WBC ordered title eliminator against Britain’s James DeGale later this year. Former Olympian Jack tastes defeat for the first time at 16-1-1, 11 KOs, while Edwards improves to 27-3-1, 14 KOs.

In the opening television fight of the night, middleweights Christopher Pearson and Lanardo Tyner treated the crowd to an action packed eight rounder. After an opening round which saw the taller Pearson controlling with his jab and the shorter Tyner looking for his opening, things began to heat up.
Tyner tagged Pearson late in the second, bringing the crowd alive, and catching Pearson’s attention. Southpaw Pearson got back to the right jab in round three, keeping Tyner at bay for the most part. Both fighters took turns forcing their strategies in the fifth. Tyner bulled Pearson to the ropes, ripping upper cuts to great effect, while Pearson had his moments boxing with power jabs and combos in ring center. After controlling most of round six, Pearson made the mistake of backing to the ropes near his own corner right around the ten second signal to end the round. A right hand, followed by a barrage of unanswered punches put Pearson down to one knee. The bell saved him before Tyner could further his cause. Tyner came out quickly in the seventh looking to capitalize on his good fortune sixty seconds before. Soon Tyner was winded, having shot his wad, and Pearson boxed at long range to get out of harm’s way. It looked as if Pearson had things back under control in the eighth and final round via his long range game. Tyner mugged after getting caught with a good punch, then tagged Pearson and rocked him again as Pearson wobbled and the crowd cheered for the underdog to finish the job. Don Ackerman saw it 76-75 for Tyner, but was over ruled by judges Tom Schreck and Wynn Kintz who both had it 78-73 for the still undefeated Christopher Pearson, now 14-0, 10 KOs. Hard luck Tyner falls to 31-8-2, 20 KOs.

Welterweight Ladarius “Memphis” Miller made his pro debut a successful one against winless Douglas Rosales in a scheduled four rounder. After the first round, Rosales’ temples were reddening from the two handed peppering put on him by Miller. After round two, the ringside physician was called to the Rosales corner to examen a suddenly swollen right eyelid. Deemed fit to continue, Rosales tried in vain to gain some ground on the hole he was in against the sharp shooting Miller, to no avail. In round four, the southpaw Miller inflicted more damage on Rosales, drawing blood from his mouth and nose. Rosales proved to be one tough hombre, if nothing else. Miller showed good skills in mixing head and body shots, while practicing a peek-a-boo defense in warding off any Rosales offensive advances. All three judges- Wynn Kintz, Tom Schreck and Don Trella were in agreement at 40-36 for the debuting Miller. Rosales continues winless at 0-3.

In a horrible mismatch, Andrew “The Beast” Omotunde Tabiti basically scared blown up light heavyweight Dorian Jesus Hatcher into submission in the first round of a scheduled four round cruiserweight bout. The much shorter Hatcher tried to bull Tabiti into the ropes from the outset, and the crowd began to root for Hatcher’s “David” against the taller Tabiti’s “Goliath.” After a few more lunging missed shots from Hatcher, Tabiti got on track with some nice jabs and power shots, one of which seemed to just graze Hatcher’s face, if even. Hatcher seemed to think about his situation for a moment, then turned away. Before referee Dick Pakozdi could intervene, Tabiti followed up with a volley of punches from behind Hatcher, who decided to drop to his knees, wanting no more of what was to come. Pakozdi signaled the end at 1:29 of the opening frame. Tabiti “The Beast” roars to 5-0, 5 KOs, while Hatcher whimpers to 1-7.

After the opening round, it looked like Baku, Romania’s super middleweight Ronald Gavril was going to have his hands full against Battle Creek, Michigan’s Cameron Allen. Allen entered the ring with a less than imposing record of 5-14, but showed skills and willingness that belied that record. Allen used neat, quick combos, movement and a menacing look to surprise Gavril during round one. In round two, Gavril turned the tide, rocking Allen with a head shot, then doubling him over with a left to the body. To his credit, and the crowd’s delight, Allen didn’t go down, but fought back bravely. Finally in the neutral corner, a beautiful left to the body dropped Allen in a heap. Incredibly, he beat the count and fought back again!
Surviving the round, Allen seemed to be on borrowed time as he entered the third. A left-right to the head dropped Allen in his own corner, where he again beat the count, but referee Charlie Fitch had seen enough and waved his hands to signal the end at 1:46. Tough luck Allen slides to 5-15, 3 KOs, while Gavril improves to 8-0, 6 KOs.

In a fight that deserved two winners, super middleweights Luis Arias of Milwaukee, WI and Dashon Johnson of Escondido, CA thrilled the crowd over eight hard fought rounds, leaving nothing in the ring.

The definitive underdog on paper, Johnson brought it to Arias for the whole fight. With a 15-14-3 record, it appeared the 8-0 Arias may have bit off more than he could chew in Johnson. Despite the barely .500 record, Johnson had vastly more experience at the pro level, taking on anyone and everyone in his division and more. There were no outstanding moments in this fight other than to say that the ebb and flow of the tide turned back and forth with each round, and often within each round. It is no exaggeration to say this bout resembled a “Rocky” movie with the action and drama it provided, making those not present here wishing it was televised. Body work, clean head shots, pummeling along the ropes, boxing in ring center- there was something for every boxing fan’s taste. With no knockdowns or even cuts, it was left to the judges in a fight where one often hears, “I wouldn’t want to be a judge in this one.” But judge they did, as follows: Wynn Kintz saw it 76-76, even. Judges Tom Schreck and Don Ackerman tabbed it the same at 77-75, both for the still undefeated Luis Arias. The crowed booed and the hard luck Johnson winced in agony of yet another close defeat. Arias moved to 9-0, 4 KOs the hard way, while Johnson evens out at 15-15-3, 5 KOs, also the hard way!

In the opening bout of the evening, John “Fast Hands” Franklin walked all over Jesus “Chuchu” Bayron in an eight round super bantamweight bout. “Fast Hands” was just that as he also employed fast feet, mixing movement and aggression, dropping Bayron in both the third and fifth rounds. Unable to finish his foe, Franklin cruised to win by scores of 79-71 (Don Ackerman) and 80-70 (John McKaie and Don Trella).

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