Ringside by Jacob Chavez
After a long hiatus, Hitz Boxing Promotions, in association with Wild Bill Promotions, presented the terrific “Fight Night at the Horseshoe” boxing card, Friday Night at the Horseshoe Casino at Hammond, Ind.
The main event featured middleweights and former world title challengers, Angel “Toro” Hernandez (30-7-0, 17 KOs) and Antwun “Kid Dynamite” Echols (31-12-4, 27 KOs) in a grueling match that was won by Hernandez via TKO after six rounds. Also featured was middleweight contender Andy Lee, who is trained by future hall of famer Emanuel Steward. Lee took on Anthony Schuler, stopping him in the eighth.
Hernandez wasted no time in getting at Echols, letting his hands go from the start and catching Echols with combinations to the head and body right away. During the second half of the opening round, Hernandez found a home for the overhand right. As the round came to a close, a stiff one-two pushed Echols pack against the ropes.
Hernandez then focused more on the body during round two. He was willing to eat hard counter rights to the head to deliver his own attacks. Midway into the round, Echols was forced to backpeddle and despite looking for openings, Hernandez’ waist movement and awkward style, made it difficult to keep his opponent at bay.
The pressure continued in the third by Hernandez. Echols came back in the final minute, however, connecting with several rights to the head as they traded on the inside. The suffocating pressure became too much for the veteran in Echols, as heated exchanges in the fourth and a well placed right uppercut put him on the canvas midway into the round. He showed true grit, getting up and going toe-to-toe again until the sound of the bell.
Echols put it all on the line in the fifth, coming out much more aggressive in hopes of turning the tide. A minute into the round it appeared he had gotten a second wind, but his momentum was soon thwarted by another combination to the body. Hernandez then had Echols in constant retreat during the sixth. Echols was too battered and weary to cover up effectively, and the punches he was eating showed very bad intentions.
During the final minute, the referee appeared to be on the verge of stopping the fight, but the warrior fought on to finish the round. It was at this point that Echols simply walked over to Hernandez’ corner and declared that he had had enough and congratulated the victor. The official time was :01 of round seven.
Lee defeats Shuler
Middleweight contender Andy Lee (19-1-0, 14 KOs) showed good patience when taking on Anthony Schuler (20-7-1, 14 KOs), proving to be a slippery and slick opponent. Lee took control from the start by using his height and pawing with the jab to set up his ranged attacks. Schuler took a very cautious approach, as he constantly looked to catch Lee with a counter right. Schuler got his chance in the final seconds of round two, catching Lee with a big right hook to the head.
Lee made him pay in the first minute of the third by connecting with a big left to the body that put Schuler on the canvas. To his credit, Schuler got up and managed to finish off the round. But the punishment was nowhere near over for Schuler, after being walked down for the first half of the fourth round, a left cross upstairs dropped him again. He got up and surprisingly managed to score with another big right upon being attacked. This only prompted Lee to dish out more punishment but Schuler weathered the storm.
Schuler was much more elusive during the middle rounds, managing to avoid and nullify a lot of Lee’s attacks with waist movement and a good guard, but his luck ran out in the eighth, as seconds into the round a stiff one-two dropped Schuler. He got up but went down moments later courtesy of a right to the body. One final combination to the head after getting up and Schuler went down for the last time. The fight was then stopped due to the “Three knockdown rule”. The time was 2:05.
Heavyweight Owen “What Heck” Beck (29-3-0, 20 KOs) coasted to a win against Jermell Barnes (18-22-2, 4 KOs) in an eight rounder, winning a unanimous decision. Beck started off with the jab and proceeded to pick Barnes apart with accurate combinations on the outside. Barnes came alive in the second and let his hands go, connecting with a series of lefts to the head and body.
Beck looked to take control of the fight again in the third and both fighters came together and traded thudding blows in the center of the ring. Barnes’ confidence grew in rounds four and five, as a slowing Beck began to keep a low guard and was susceptible to sneaky counters. Despite this, however, Beck was consistent with his jab and made sure to pepper his shorter opponent often with it.
The pace increased slightly for Barnes in the sixth and seventh but Beck rallied in the eighth and final round, as he sat more on his punches and took Barnes completely out of the fight with power shots in combinations. The judges scored the fight 79-73, 77-75, and 80-72 all for Beck.
Cruiserweight Terry Martin (2-0-0, 2 KOs) kept a Rayvon Wilson (0-6-1) winless after nearly two rounds of action. Wilson came out using his height, but the stronger Martin managed to work his way onto the inside and do damage. In round two more punishment put Wilson down and out for the count, as he was dropped by a combination while back peddling and was not able to beat the count. The time was 2:31.
Super middleweight Michael Kurzeja (3-0-0, 3 KOs) made quick work of Lakendrick Craig (0-2), knocking him out in less than one round. Craig didn’t even get a chance to put any type of attack together, as Kurzeja completely overwhelmed him from the start. Craig went down a total of three times, the final time, prompting the referee to immediately waive a halt to the massacre. The time was 2:44.
Light heavyweights Ninos (3-0-0, 1 KO) Abraham and. Guy Packer (3-24-2, 0 KOs) fought a sloppy match that resulted in a bizarre no contest. The two showed some patience in the opening stanza, taking turns inside the pocket, but rounds three and four were marred with clinching and holding. Referee Kurt Spivey took two points away from Packer in round three, but before the combatants could come out for the fourth, Packer’s corner was disqualified due to obscenities being shouted at the referee. The ruling was later changed to a no contest. The official end came at :01 of round four.
The opening match saw middleweight David Thomas ( 8-1-2, 6 KOs) destroy journeyman Gonzalez Jones (1-15-2, 0 KOs) in less than two rounds. Jones was beaten to a pulp by the much better skilled Thomas until the fight was stopped at 2:14 of round two.