By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
The much anticipated “Battle of the Warriors” went off as planed on Wednesday night at the Sands Casino in Bthlehem PA as Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gun (21-6-1, 18 KOs) lost a lopsided eight round unanimous decision to former world champion Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson (53-18-2, 36KOs). The co-feature of the five bout card promoted by David Feldman’s XFE Promotions saw undefeated bantamweight sensation, Miguel “No Fear Cartagena move to 10-0, 3KOs with a hard fought six round, unanimous decision victory over Eduardo Valenzuela (5-4-1).
Gunn was originally scheduled to fight Roy Jones Jr. that had the locals in Bethlehem buzzing, but when the fight fell out, in stepped Glenn Johnson, who had knocked out Jones. The fight expectations were raised. The questions talked about were ‘could Gunn actually beat The Road Warrior?’
The prideful Gunn called it the hardest fight of his career and he was going to treat it like his last hurrah. And it was, as Gunn called it a career after the lopsided unanimous decision loss.
The fight started out evenly in the opening moments as Gunn snapped a few good jabs to the face of Johnson with good movement. The former champion was not worried and he took his time, landing straighter combination, which found their mark by the middle of the second round.
The Celtic Warrior just couldn’t match the hand speed or power of Glenn Johnson as his straight shots kept landing while mixing in his tight bodywork in the third.
Gunn tried desperately to fight back in the third with a two good left hooks early, but Johnson was in control and had Gun backing away as the combinations became more lethal. Late in the round Johnson put Gunn’s mouthpiece in the third row with a hard left on the jaw.
The power and slick combinations for The Road Warrior continued to batter Gunn in the middle rounds and he couldn’t get off as his footwork slowed. Gunn’s face was reddened and he had to go into survival mode.
Gunn never could get his rhythm and he appeared to be satisfied in going the distance in the eighth and final round as he jabbed and backed around the ring. Johnson continued with constant hard hooks right until the final bell, but he could not send the Celtic Warrior to the canvas, sending the fight to the scorecards.
All three judges scored it 80-72 in favor of Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson, who moved to 53-18-2, 36KOs.
Gunn immediately took the microphone and thanked Johnson, stating that it was an honor just to share the ring with him and then was almost brought to tears as he announced his retirement.
Our best wishes go out to one of nicest gentlemen ever to step into the square circle in Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gunn. However Gunn’s name will not be forgotten, as his son has recently turned pro and Bobby promised that his son will be even better than his father.
In the co-feature of the evening, undefeated bantamweight sensation Miguel Cartagena (10-0, 3 KOs) moved into the double digits in victories, with a hard fought six round unanimous decision victory over Eduardo Valenzuela (5-4-1, 1 KO). Cartagena, the former two time top ranked us amateur seemed to be setting done on his combinations more in this bout, but Valenzuela was game and landed his share of shots to make it an entertaining fight. In the end, Cartagena’s superior skills and faster hands won out, as he captured the six-round unanimous decision victory by scores of 59-55 across the board.
In a sloppy heavyweight rematch, Mark Rideout (4-0-1, 1 KO) had to settle for an unpopular six round majority draw with hometown heavyweight Eric Newell (7-2-2, 5 KOs). Rideout was clearly the stronger fighter in the early going as he continually had Newell against the ropes where he landed overhand rights up top and good bodywork. Newell made it close as the fight became a clinch fest, with single shots and on the inside. One judge saw the bout 58-56 for Rideout, but was overruled by the other two officials, who saw it 57-57 for the unpopular six round majority decision draw.
In a big upset, Williamsport PA’s heavyweight slugger Randy Easton (2-2-1, 2 KOs) scored a spectacular first round knockout of formerly undefeated Dante Selby (2-1-1). Easton came out with both fists blazing and immediately stunned the Philly southpaw with a furious eight punch combination. Selby held on for dear life, but Easton sent him back to the ropes with another big combo and continued to swing away. Referee Shawn Clark tried to get in and separate the combatants, but Easton kept punching. Clark took two points from Easton for punching during the break, but it wouldn’t matter though as Selby was on wobbly legs and ready to go. Easton connected with a huge left hook on the button and Selby landed on his back, giving, Easton the knockout victory at 53 seconds of the opening round.
In the opening bout of the evening, rugged lightweight Travis “The Animal” Thompson (5-11-3, 3 KOs) battered Julius Leegrand (4-2-1, 1 KO) over four rounds to capture a one-sided unanimous decision victory. Thompson barely gave Leegrand room to breathe throughout in taking every round on all three scorecards (40-36 x 3) for the four round unanimous decision victory.