By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Photos: Juan Marshall/JM Photography
Much-avoided heavyweight Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (18-0, 14 KOs) stopped late sub Jason “The Sensation” Gavern (21-14-4, 10 KOs) at 2:43 of the opening round of a scheduled twelve rounder to defend his WBF Intercontinental belt at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware. Gavern, who took the fight on 3-days notice, replaced Devin Vargas, who was injured in training. In the co-feature, Omar “Super O” Douglas (8-0, 6 KOs) stopped Daniel “Super Sweet” Mitchell (5-3, 2 KOs) at 2:33 of the first round of a scheduled six round lightweight bout. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino promoted the 8-bout card, which included appearances by world super middleweight champion Andre Ward and former WBO junior welterweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley. Both were in town to see teenage prodigy Dusty Hernandez-Harrison fight on the undercard.
It was asking a lot of veteran Jason Gavern to face a monster like Amir Mansour on such short notice. After Mansour’s original opponent, Devin Vargas, broke his nose in sparring, matchmaker Nick Tiberi called Gavern.
Gavern was never in the fight. He landed a couple of jabs and a right to the body before getting overwhelmed by four knockdowns at the hands of a hungry Mansour.
Mansour, a menacing southpaw with speed and power, opened with a left-right to the head and a right to the body of Gavern. Mansour patiently stalked his prey before dropping him for the first time with a right hook.
Seconds later, Gavern was on the floor after he appeared to be off-balance and was pushed down. Referee Vic DeWysocki ruled it an official knockdown, but the call was academic after Mansour sent Gavern down again seconds later with another hook.
The final knockdown came after Mansour landed a three-punch combination, punctuated with a right hook with Gavern’s back on the ropes. Referee DeWysocki stopped the bout at the 2:43 mark of the opening round.
“I’ve been training two months for this fight. Don’t discredit this man. He took this fight on 3-days notice, and I trained two months. He wasn’t supposed to last as long as he did“, said Mansour.
Mansour, whose biggest win to date came against Dominick Guinn in 2011, once again called out the top heavyweights. His story is getting around. A promising career interrupted by a long incarceration, one which ends with his release in the morning, and a successful ring return that same night. He vows to give his loyal Delaware fans their first heavyweight world champion.
Douglas takes care of Mitchell
Omar Douglas barely broke a sweat in his first round destruction of southpaw Daniel Mitchell. Douglas landed a left hook to Mitchell’s ear during the bout’s opening exchange, and Mitchell went down holding the side of his head.
Douglas followed up with a right hand and Mitchell was down again. Two lefts and another right sent Mitchell down for a third time and just like that the bout was over.
Jeffrey out-brawls Spence
“Queen” Ronica Jeffery (12-0, 1 KO) won the interim WIBA super featherweight title with a hard fought eight round unanimous decision over Natasha “The Nightmare” Spence (6-2-1, 5 KOs).
On paper, with scores of 80-72 and 79-73 (twice) in favor of Jeffrey, this bout was not close. The reality was, Ronica had to dig deep to win this one.
After three close rounds that could easily have gone the other way, Ronica seized control in round four. Boxing from the outside didn’t seem to be getting it done, so Jeffrey took it to Spence in the fourth.
Jeffrey came out fired up in round four, and went right after Spence and imposed her will. They traded shots to open the round, which set the tone for the rest of the fight. Jeffery remained inside and mauled Spence. Whenever Natasha tried to hold, Ronica kept punching.
Jeffrey’s energy and pressure started wearing Spence down, not so much by tiring her out, but causing her punches to lose their steam.
By the eighth and final round, Jeffery was in total control. A series of right – left combinations followed by two hard lead right hands had Spence holding as the bell sounded.
Jeffrey won the traditional “Fighter of the Night” trophy with her effort.
Hernandez-Harrison defeats Garcia
With the added incentive of Andre Ward shouting encouragement from ringside, eighteen-year-old Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (14-0, 8 KOs) took a unanimous decision over Jonathan “La Pesadilla” Garcia (3-5, 1 KO) in a six round welterweight bout.
Hernandez-Harrison used his outstanding jab and crisp left hooks to control the opening round, as Garcia focused on the body. Hernandez-Harrison stared moving more in round two, landing three-punch combinations from the outside. Hernandez-Harrison followed a looping right with a sneaky right uppercut that nearly dropped Garcia. Garcia came back to land a nice counter left hook as the round ended.
Hernandez-Harrison turned up the heat in round three, landing two big right hands in the first part of the round, a solid right halfway through, and closed it with a four-punch combination. For his part, Garcia took the punishment, and remained a threat to Hernandez-Harrison with his counterpunching.
Hernandez-Harrison won round four with a big right uppercut that stood Garcia up, followed by a lightning fast five-punch combination. Garcia went back to working the body, but was getting more defensive as the rounds progressed.
Hernandez-Harrison turned southpaw in round five, and had success with his right hand, while Garcia remained scrappy. This was the closest round of the fight.
Round six saw Hernandez-Harrison going for the knockout. After Garcia landed a solid counter left hook early in the round, he went into a defensive shell as Dusty landed a series of solid left hooks that caused Garcia to lose his mouthpiece. Hernandez-Harrison landed right uppercuts to the body and head as the bout ended.
The scores were 60-54 (twice) and 59-55 in favor of Hernandez-Harrison.
“Jolt’n” Joey jolts Huffman
Crowd favorite Joey Tiberi (9-1, 5 KOs) took a unanimous decision over durable David Warren “KO” Huffman (4-14-1, 1 KO) in a four round lightweight scrap.
Tiberi went to work right away, landing a right hand followed by a solid left hook. Huffman threw a light flurry of punches, most of which were blocked. Tiberi countered with two rights to the body followed by an overhand right and then a five-punch combination.
Tiberi continued to land an assortment of punches in round two, including some nice body work, a triple jab, and a solid three-punch combination.
In round three, Tiberi showed off an impressive jab, which Huffman tried to match, but fell short.
The fighters clashed heads in the fourth, and Joey emerged with a cut in the corner of his left eye. But he fought through it and landed three right-hand – left hook combinations and a three-punch combo to go with it. Huffman landed three right hands in the closing seconds.
The scores were all 40-36 in favor of Tiberi.
Singletary stops Johnson
Lamont “The Problem Solver” Singletary (5-0, 3 KOs) overcame a slow start to solve the problem of Tracey “The Titan” Johnson’s southpaw style, stopping him at 2:16 of the second round of a four round cruiserweight bout.
Singletary started strong with a right uppercut and a solid right hand, but soon seemed puzzled by the southpaw style of his shorter opponent. Johnson (1-2-2) froze Singletary with overhand rights, right hooks to the body, and sneaky straight lefts to the head on his way to easily winning the first round.
Johnson’s surprising assault continued in the first minute of round two, before Singletary realized he was the bigger and stronger guy. After taking another big left from Johnson, Singletary landed a right uppercut followed by another right that allowed him to maneuver Johnson into a corner.
A short right followed by a left hook hurt Johnson, and a left – right combination from Singletary had Johnson holding on. After a hard left hook sent Johnson staggering across the ring, referee DeWysocki stepped in and stopped the bout.
Kotey Neequaye halts Santiago
Samuel “Unbelievable” Kotey Neequaye (19-0, 15 KOs) looked impressive in stopping Arturo “Sonic” Santiago (7-7-1, 4 KOs) with a brutal body attack at 1:25 of the second round of a scheduled ten round junior welterweight bout.
Santiago landed a nice left hook in the opening seconds, but after that it was all Kotey Neequaye. Much taller than his opponent, Kotey Neequaye went to town on Santiago’s body throughout the opening round.
Santiago tried to work Kotey Neequaye’s body, but his success was limited. A minute into round two, Kotey Neequaye landed a left downstairs that caused Santiago to wince. Kotey Neequaye followed up with a double left hook – right to the head combination that dropped Santiago for referee Billy Johnson’s full count.
Bowman blasts Harvey
In the opening bout, John “Church Boy” Bowman (6-0-1, 1 KO) stopped Stanley “Chin Checker Harvey (1-5) at 2:43 of the second round of a four round super middleweight contest.
The first round was close, but warmed up the crowd with its excitement. Both fighters threw bombs from the opening bell. Bowman gained a slight edge by landing more power shots.
Bowman hurt Harvey with two big rights to open round two. Harvey landed a counter right and then an overhand right, but Bowman landed two rights of his own and then added two body shots. Bowman came right back with a three-punch combination that had Harvey on the retreat.
Bowman landed an overhand right and sent Harvey to the ropes with another solid right. A left – right – left combination from Bowman sent Harvey down. Harvey beat the count on shaky legs, and referee DeWysocky rescued him at the 2:43 mark.
The ring announcer was Larry Tornambe.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino announced its next show on August 23.