By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Thursday night before a near sellout crowd of about 900 strong at the Steel Stacks Arts Quest Center in Bethlehem, PA, debuting featherweight Marquis Pierce upset Jeffrey Dorsey (0-2), the grandson of former World heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, escaping with a hotly contested four round majority decision victory by scores of 39-37 x 2 and 38-38. The six bout card promoted by Jay Newman’s VIP promotions in association with ArtsQuest, gave the enthusiastic crowd a great night of boxing that satisfied even the most ardent fans. In the only six rounder on the card, heavyweight slugger John “The Breed” Lennox was able to outslug a counter punching Joseph Rabotte, but had to survive a few tense moments in the sixth round to pull out the unanimous decision victory by scores of 58-55 x 2 and 57-56.
The crowd seemed to be looking forward to the odd four round main event of the evening which was a featherweight contest between debuting Marquis Pierce of Philipsburg, New Jersey and winless Jeffrey Dorsey (0-1) of nearby Easton, PA. The real kicker to the bout was that Jeffrey Dorsey is the grandson of the former world heavyweight champ Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes, who was also there to do color for the local television broadcast of the card.
Dorsey looked calm and collected as he entered the ring and then captured the close opening round with sharp straight rights up the middle.
Marquis Pierce would settle down and backed Dorsey up in a back and forth second round with several combinations.
Dorsey would not let this one go as both stood toe-to-toe and slugged it out in an entertaining third round, which could have been held in a phone booth. Dorsey had Pierce in big trouble in the corner, but the New Jersey native was able to “will” himself out of the corner with a few desperate shots.
Pierce recovered and finally seemed to gain his advantage in the closing moments of the fourth and final round with two hellacious body shots which forced Dorsey to spit out his mouthpiece. After his mouthpiece was put back in, Dorsey stood and covered as Pierce banged a good three punch combination which included two more big body shots, but the bell sounded before the final damage could be done. Dorsey bent over in the center off the ring for a few minutes after the final round ended and it looked like he might have sustained a rib injury from the body shots.
The bout went to the scorecards, with one judge scoring it 38-38 even, but was overruled by the other two officials, who saw the bout 39-37 in favor of a joyous Marquis Pierce, giving him the four round majority decision victory.
Marquis Pierce moves to 1-0, while Jeffrey Dorsey slips to 0-2.
In a wild four round cruiserweight battle, Akron, Ohio’s Martez Williamson (1-2) had what looked like an easy victory taken away from him by the judges in his battle with undefeated David Valyko (2-0).
Williamson kept the very defensive Valyko on the defensive with constant windmill like combinations throughout the fight.
Valyko tried to weather the storms, but they wouldn’t stop throughout the opening three rounds. The only thing that really stopped the wide arm punches was that Williamson’s mouth piece kept falling out from sheer exhaustion. Williamson gasped for breaths in the fourth and final round, but was able to move and hold throughout to survive as David Valyko could only land a few body shots and glancing blows which did little damage.
Fightnews saw the contest easily in favor of Williamson by 39-37 but the judges saw it differently by calling it 39-37 x 2 and an awful 40-36 score in favor of David Valyko for the four round unanimous decision victory.
David Valyko ups his record to 2-0, while Martez Williamson drops to and unfortunate 1-2.
Offensive minded heavyweight John Lennox (12-2, 5Ko’s) won a spirited six round unanimous decision victory over wily veteran Joseph Rabotte (11-25—1, 3Ko’s).
Lennox looked to make an early night of it when he sent Rabotte flailing backwards to the canvas. Rabotte of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina rose to his feet and countered well enough to keep Lennox honest throughout the rest of the first.
Lennox was the stronger fighter of the two and he appeared to be battering the counterpunching Rabotte but South Carolinian would not give in.
Lennox of Carteret, New Jersey had been known for his action packed fights, leaving defense behind as he would drop his hands and use all his energies on offense.
This one was more of the same as Lennox seemed to tire and his hands began to stay at his waist, leaving him open to sharp counter shots from ring savvy Rabotte
The fight looked to be in Lennox’s grasp if he could just play it safe in the sixth and final round, but that was not to be, as the counters of Rabotte stunned him and he wobbled back several steps. It looked like Lennox was in big trouble as Rabotte moved in for the kill, but a hard one-two backed him off.
Lennox recovered and made it to the final bell, which allowed the fight to go to the scorecards. All three officials saw the bout in favor of John Lennox by scores of 58-55 x 2 and 57-56 respectively for the well-deserved six round unanimous decision victory
Easton, PA welterweight Rashad “The Tank” Bogar (4-4-1, 2Ko’s) bounced back on the winning track after two consecutive losses, by dropping wily veteran David Antoine (11-47-2, 5Ko’s) of Akron Ohio, once in the third and wobbled him late in the fourth on his way to a one sided unanimous decision victory by scores of 40-35 across the board.
Charlotte North Carolina’s Antonio Liles looked impressive in his debut as he scored a destructive third round knockout of the much more experienced James Denson (5-14, 2Ko’s) in their schedule four round contest.
Liles was in control by round three with solid hooks, which slowed most of the most of the advances of Denson. Liles played it safe a bit, but Denson Lunged late in the third with a few wide shots to the body. Liles saw that Denson was wide open and sent a big counter that caught Denson right on the button. Denson dropped face first to the canvas for the ten count. The time of the knockout occurred at 2:59 of round three.
In the opening bout of the evening, junior welterweight Ibrihim Shabazz evened his record at 2-2-1 with a solid four round unanimous decision victory over David Warren Huffman (4-16-1, 1Ko).
Shabazz controlled the opening two rounds with solid body work from the southpaw stance, but some of the shots were on the belt line and he was warned several times by Referee Gary Rosato.
Huffman seemed to rally a bit late in round two and early in round three with a few nice combinations, but could never matched the aggressiveness and power of Shabazz as he faded in the fourth and final round.
All three judges saw the bout in favor of Ibrihim Shabazz by scores 40-36 x 2 and 39-37 respectively for the unanimous decision victory.