Courtesy Jim Jenkins, Sacramento Bee
Hometowner Michael Simms toyed with an upset by pulling off a first-round knockdown, but lost a majority decision Saturday night to IBF No. 3 cruiserweight contender Matt Godfrey in their 10-round main event, highlighting the Red Lion Hotel’s first outdoor boxing card in Sacramento. “The (only) knockdown should have been the difference,” said Simms (20-12-2), disappointed in the judges’ scores of 96-93, 95-93 and 94-94.
Had Simms given a stronger effort in the final round he would have earned a draw with his heavily-favored opponent from Providence, R. I. Godfrey, 196 1/2, improved to 20-1 despite hitting the canvas about halfway through the first round from a right hand from Simms, 198. But looking more surprised than hurt, Godfrey outhustled Simms in the middle rounds to gain the edge.
In the battle of local light-heavyweights, Otis Griffin (20-6-2) prevailed on a knockout of Ernesto Castaneda (11-8-1) at 1:02 of the sixth and final round. Castaneda, 175, led on all scorecards until taken out by a combination of body and head blows from Griffin, 174.
Also: Stan Martyniouk, 134 1/2, of nearby Antelope (7-0) won a six-round unanimous decision over Jorge Marquez (3-1) of Phoenix and Geraldo Lopez , 151, of Vacaville (4-0) won a majority four-round decision over Ivan Diaz, 152, of Whittier (1-3).
The card, promoted by Nasser Niavaroni and Jeff Berger, began in late afternoon sunshine and ended as twilight was descending under a canopy-covered but unlit ring.