By Bob Ryder
Saturday nights show at the Lansing Center was to feature the pro debut of 2008 National Golden Gloves heavyweight champion Craig Lewis. Unfortunately both Lewis’ original and standby opponents where dropped off the card, causing promoter Ron De Leon to soldier on without his feature attraction. Fortunately for the fans in attendance the bouts (all four rounders) that did take place were well matched and entertaining.
Photos: Bob Ryder
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In the best fight of the night, Saginaw’s Jerry Banks and Scott Bickerstaff of Madison, MI engaged in four rounds of excellent see-saw action. Scott opened the final round with a sustained attack and it looked like it would be enough to win the round and the fight for him. Banks, however, battled back to dominate the last two minutes and take home the unanimous decision (39-37 x 3). Both middleweights were making their pro debuts.
In a heavyweight contest, Cleophris Glover, Bay City, was just slightly more effective than Todd Welcome of Tecumseh. Both were too cautious in this one with Glover’s experience seeing him through to a split decision win (39-37 x 2, 37-39) to improve to 3-10 (2 KO’s). Welcome was making his pro debut.
Middleweights Bert Compton of Belding and hometown Jamie Castellano rumbled and brawled with both receiving warnings from referee Steve Daher for roughhouse tactics. Compton was able to work inside Castellano’s wider punches to score a split decision (40-36 x 2, 37-39) and move to 1-1-1. Castellano declines further to 4-22.
Chris Grays of Grandville showed superior technique in out boxing and shutting out Brandon Oldham of Lewisburg, TN. OIdham kept coming forward but just could not land enough effective blows to slow Grays up. Grays was awarded 40-36 scores from all three judges to move to (9-16, 2 KOs) while Oldham goes to 1-2. Middleweights.
In a cruiserweight battle, Noel Gomez of Sturgis, MI scored the nights only knockdown and stoppage over willing Vance Swerdan of Eastpointe, MI. Furious brisk action was the constant theme in this contest until Gomez was able to drop and then stop a bloodied Swerdan with referee Daher waving off the action at 1:54 of the third. Gomez now (2-0, 2 KOs). Swerdan was pro debuting.
Promoter DeLeon announced from the ring that he plans on future shows in October and December at this same venue and looks to showcase Lansing’s contender Tyrone Harris on at least one of the cards. Good news for Lansing fight fans.