By Rick Scharmberg and Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
WBO #7-ranked Amir “Hard Core” Mansour (16-0, 12 KOs) stopped resilient Colombian Epifanio “Diamante” Mendoza (32-13-1, 28 KOs) with an unanswered barrage of power shots at 1:17 of the sixth round of a scheduled ten round heavyweight bout Friday night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware. In the co-feature, hard-hitting Anthony Caputo Smith (12-0, 10 KOs) stopped Douglas Okola (23-8, 12 KOs) with a beautiful short left hook at :58 seconds into the sixth and final round of a light heavyweight bout. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino promoted the eight-bout card.
Fresh off a dominant win over Dominick Guinn, which catapulted him into the world rankings, Amir Mansour successfully returned for the sixth time to the sold-out Rollins Center. Once again, Mansour was in against a much more experienced fighter.
Say this about Epifanio Mendoza, he came to fight and he came to win. “When you look at his record, you know that he is a knockout artist. We knew he was coming in here determined to make his mark in the heavyweight division,” said Mansour.
Mansour, a southpaw, went right to work on Mendoza with powerful right hooks to the head and body, and straight left hands to the head. Mendoza proved to be a cagey veteran with a pretty good chin, and he took the shots well.
Mansour continued to have his way, but he was a little wild and was reaching a bit in the first two rounds. He dominated round three, but took an overhand right from Mendoza, and another straight right at the bell.
Mansour came out hard in the fourth round, but was clipped by a counter right and then a lead right hand from Mendoza. Mansour was more cautious, but came back with several more power shots.
At this point, Mendoza showed his bravado and taunted Mansour by pointing at his chin and daring him to hit it. He did, but it was Mendoza who connected with a big right as the bell sounded. Mansour landed a shot after the bell, and was warned for the infraction by referee Benjy Estevez.
The big body shots began to take their toll on Mendoza and any chance he had to score an upset were all but gone by the fifth round. A big barrage from Mansour shook Mendoza, but the Colombian stuck his tongue out. Mansour further weakened his prey with a left hand – right hook combo to the body, a double right hook to the head, and a four-punch combination at the end of the round.
Mansour kept the pressure on in the sixth round, and pinned Mendoza in a corner and teed off on him with a six-punch combination of power shots. Mendoza reeled along the ropes, where Mansour hurt him with a right uppercut. Mansour stayed on him and landed six more unanswered shots to the head before Mendoza’s corner threw a towel across the ring. Referee Estevez immediately stopped the bout. Mendoza never left his feet, but it was a good stop by the corner.
Spivey dominates Rios
Dorin Spivey (40-6, 29 KOs) used the moves acquired in 46 pro fights to fend off the hard charging Angel “The White Tiger” Rios (9-9, 6 KOs) and pound out a unanimous decision in a six round junior welterweight bout.
Spivey used his superior jab and combination punching to take the first two rounds. He consistently beat Rios to the punch and not allowing his to get set to fire his power shots.
A big right hand from Spivey early in round three opened a nasty cut over Rios’ left eye. Spivey began to stand in the pocket, and Rios obliged him with a hard left hook and a big right hand near the end of the round. The round was close, but Rios appeared to win it despite the blood that was pouring out of his cut.
Spivey went back to boxing in round four, instead of trading with the heavy-handed Rios. The blood continued to flow from Rios, as Spivey peppered him with an assortment of head and body shots. They traded nicely in the final seconds, but it was a big round for Spivey.
Spivey continued to dominate with his boxing skills in the fifth round, but was momentarily shaken with a right-left-right combination from Rios near the end of the round. Spivey smartly held on to Rios before any more damage could be done.
Ever the bull, Rios pressed Spivey in the final round, but was out-maneuvered and out-boxed by the veteran until the final bell.
Next up for Spivey is Victor Vasquez, of Philadelphia, who was on hand to scout his future opponent in advance of their bout, which is scheduled for February 4, 2010 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.
The final scores were 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56 in favor of Spivey.
Caputo Smith passes huge test
There are times in a fighter’s career when his will and determination must pass a true litmus test if he is to solidify himself as a rising prospect. This was one such bout for undefeated light heavyweight Anthony Caputo Smith, who scored a last second knockout of dangerous veteran southpaw Douglas “Al Capone” Okola of Nairobi, Kenya in their six round bout.
Caputo Smith, who is known for his heavy hands, had trouble in the early going as he caught counters while diving in to land his big one twos. The counters from the Kenyan forced Caputo Smith to take several big shots in the second and third rounds. This wouldn’t deter the Kennett Square, PA prospect, nicknamed “The Bull” who found his spots to make each round razor thin.
Caputo Smith shook Okola in the opening swings of the fourth round but he missed the follow up shot. An accidental head butt caused a deep gash near Anthony’s right eye. Caputo Smith seemed bothered by the cut as he pawed at it, but “The Bull” continued to press the attack whenever he could.
Okola seemed to gain confidence in the fourth round and opened up a bit, as both fighters began to put it all on the line. Each tried to pounce on the other with a strong hooks and combinations. The blood began to pour steadily from just to the right of Caputo Smith’s right eye. With just moments to go in the fifth it was anybody’s round. Caputo Smith then floored Okola with a right at the end of the round.
Both fighters looked for the one final combination that would push the side in their favor as they dived in banging heads constantly in the sixth and final round. Caputo Smith wouldn’t stop pushing the fight and it paid off with an electrifying shot. Okola fell flat on is back from a short left hook right on the button. Okola’s eyes rolled up into his head and he rolled over in a futile attempt to beat the count. The official time of the stoppage was :58 of round six.
Anthony Caputo Smith remains undefeated at 12-0, 10 KOs while Douglas Okola slips to a highly respectable 23-8, 12 KOs.
“We knew this was going to be a tough fight.” said Caputo Smith afterwards. “My corner prepared me well. He was head butting me all the time, which led to the cut over my eye. I had to push through and thankfully it ended as it did.
Tiberi decisions Gonzalez
“Mighty” Mike Tiberi (18-1, 7 KOs) took a clear-cut unanimous decision over a very defensive minded Emill Gonzalez (5-6, 3 KOs) in a six round super middleweight bout.
Tiberi beat on Gonzalez with both hands to the head and body in every round, but except for the occasional counter punch, Gonzalez kept his guard high and backpedaled all the way.
If Gonzalez won a round, it was round two. He managed to out work Tiberi to the body, but was also warned by referee Benjy Estevez for using his elbow.
Tiberi began loading up in round five in an attempt to get Gonzalez out of there, but Gonzalez used his reverse gear to prevent any follow up after Tiberi landed his power shots.
Tiberi worked his left hook overtime in round six, and won the fight going away.
“It is frustrating when you’re in with someone who won’t stand and fight, said Tiberi afterwards. “But we won and that’s the main thing.”
The scores were 60-54 and 59-55 (twice) for Tiberi.
Belasco avenges Antoine
“Rockin” Ryan Belasco (16-5-3, 3 KOs) avenged an early-career defeat to Damon Antoine (9-33-2, 4 KOs) with a two-knockdown unanimous decision in a four round junior welterweight bout.
Antoine defeated Belasco in a bloody war at Delaware Park back on September 27, 2007, but it was a different Belasco in the ring this time. More seasoned and in much better condition, Belasco was set for redemption.
Coming out behind a high guard, Belasco sandwiched a big overhand right – left hand combination between two body shots. He continued to move Antoine out of position and counter him with right hands and left hooks. Belasco floored Antoine with a left-right combination late in the opening round.
Early in round two, Belasco responded to a left-right combo from Antoine by dropping him again, this time with a counter right. With a big lead on the cards, Belasco began to drop his left and brawl with the scrappy Antoine.
Antoine came back to win round three, and made it close in round four, after Belasco elected to continue to fight inside and grapple with Damon. Still, Belasco got his revenge in the end.
The scores were 40-43 (twice) and 39-35 for Belasco.
Singletary outworks Amaro
Undefeated cruiserweight Lamont “The Problem Solver” Singletary (3-0, 2 KOs) remained perfect with a one-sided but workmanlike four round unanimous decision victory over Maurice Amaro (1-5).
Singletary, who was known for his explosive power, put the pressure on throughout the four round bout, but Amaro fought well enough on the defensive to keep him honest.
In round three Singletary unleashed his heavy hands but they were wide shots and his power lessened with the slapping blows.
Singletary became frustrated and tried to lure him in with anything he could, including keeping his hands down while jogging in place, but it was not to be as the bout went to the scorecards.
All three judges saw it easily in favor of Lamont Singletary by scores of 40-36 x2 and 39-37 respectively, giving him the well deserved unanimous decision victory.
Douglas devours Rodriguez
Omar “Super O” Douglas (3-0, 2 KOs) continued to please his fans with a second round technical knockout of Miguel Antonio Rodriguez (1-2) in their scheduled four round lightweight contest.
Rodriquez tried to counter the power of Douglas in the early going but he kept dropping his right hand which left him exposed. The man nicknamed “Super O” fired solid lefts right through the hole and backed up Rodriquez with lefts that bounced of the Philadelphian’s face.
Douglas continued to mix it up in the second, working in solid bodywork. Rodriguez landed his best punch of the fight as Omar’s mouthpiece fell out moments before a landing a nice right hand on the button.
The chin of Douglas was strong and he continued to bang away. Rodriguez withered from the damage and a right uppercut sent him to the canvas for the second round TKO.
The time of the technical knockout was officially recorded as 2:46 of the second round.
Bowman routs Reed
Dover, Delaware’s own John “Church Boy” Bowman (1-0-1) tasted success for the first time as a professional, dropping Damien Reed (2-8-1, 1 KO) three times en-route to a one sided unanimous decision victory in their four round super middleweight contest.
Bowman, who fought to a draw in his pro debut, was in control right from the opening bell as he stalked Reed around the ring with short combinations. Reed tried to counter punch but by mid-round, he was caught in the corner. Bowman seized the opportunity and found his mark with right hand on the button that sent Damien Reed to the canvas. Reed rose to his feet and made it to the bell.
The hometown favorite continued to methodically break his opponent down mixing in body shots that forced Reed to constantly box off the ropes.
Bowman was cautious early in the third not to get caught with a short counter. Reed tried to change the tide and let his hand go. Bowman immediately found his opening and sent Reed to the corner with an overhand right. Reed tried to fight his way out but Bowman caught him in the throat with a right which sent Reed to the canvas for the second time.
Reed rose to his feet, but another right to the face put him on his back in the closing moments of the third. Bowman looked like he had his chance to close out the show, however, the referee was slow to release them and the bell sounded before any further damage could be done.
Reed recovered in the corner and fought defensively throughout the fourth and final round. Bowman continued to attack but played it safe as he boxed his way to the final bell.
All three judges saw Bowman winning easily by scores of 40-32 x 2 and 40-33 respectively.