By Sam Geraci at ringside
In the main event of Bobby Hitz Promotions annual Thanksgiving Eve’s “Fight Night at the Horseshoe” in Hammond, IN, former WBC youth heavyweight champion Andrey Fedosov (23-2, 18 KOs) of Shuya, Russia, made his Hitz Promotions debut by outworking durable former NABA light heavyweight Champion “Rockin” Rodney Moore (17-7-2, 7 KOs) from Houston, Texas, over eight rounds to score a unanimous decision with one score of 79-72 and two scores of 80-81.
Throughout the first, Fedosov stalked Moore behind a solid jab and battered him around the ring with left hooks. In the second, Fedosov effectively cut-off the ring and upped his attack to the body. Towards the middle of round two, Fedosov began to work his left hook to the body up towards the head in quick combinations. Moore hardly threw a punch throughout the second. In the third, Fedosov showed good balance and footwork in stalking Moore and pounding him to the body and the head with left hooks. Although Fedosov carried most of the round, Moored did land several effective jabs and quick overhand rights. In the fourth, Moore’s confidence and activity increased as he landed several sharp overhand rights, but on the whole, Fedosov continued to outwork and pound Moore with his jabs and left hooks. Throughout the fifth, Fedosov continued to cut-off the ring in order to land double and triple left hooks to the body before opening up with a quick and impressive thudding five-punch combination towards the end of the round that sent Moore falling into the ropes. Round six resembled the fifth except Fedosov was able to score a knockdown in the final thirty seconds when he finished his body attack with a beautiful left hook upstairs that sent Moore sprawling onto the canvas. While Moore was able to regroup in order to survive the sixth, many at ringside expected Fedosov to stop him in the seventh or eighth because of the number of body shots Moore had Endured. Despite the layoff, the higher weight class, and Fedosov’s impressive body attack, Moore was able to jab and land quick rights often enough to survive rounds seven and eight.
Lightweight local fan favorite Frank Scalise (5-1, 5 KOs) of Chicago, IL, pounded James Owens (4-7, 2 KOs) to the body over three rounds before scoring a TKO at 2:37 of the third round. Throughout the first, Scalise overwhelmed Owens with wide hooks to the head and body as Owens simply tried to cover up and wait for Scalise to finish punching in order to try to sneak in a left hook as Scalise moved straight back with his hands down. Although Owens did land several effective hooks as Scalise backed up, overall, Owens was not active enough. In the second, Scalise continued to walk Owens down and land at will. Even though Scalise continued to move straight back, Owens was unable to touch him with the left hook in the second. In the third, with Owens fatigued and the large crowd behind him, Scalise stunned and staggered Owens against the ropes with a series of left and right hooks. While against the ropes, one of Owens’s arms became entangled with the middle rope and he was too dazed to get it out. As a result, the referee wisely stepped in to call a halt to the bout.
Rising light heavyweight prospect and Chicago fan favorite Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez (8-0, 5 KOs) continued to build his resume while entertaining his many fans by scoring a third round TKO over three-time middleweight title challenger Antwun “Kid Dynamite” Echols (32-19-4, 28 KOs). Jimenez controlled the first by fighting disciplined behind his jab. While Echols landed several right hands in the first, by the end of the round, it became clear that Echols no longer had the legs, endurance, or punch to handle a fighter like Jimenez. Throughout the second, Jimenez wobbled Echols with devastating left hooks and straight rights. Whenever Echols tried to open up, Jimenez ripped him with left hooks. Throughout the third, Echols continued to take big shots from Jimenez but was unable to retaliate. It appeared as if Echols could see the openings but was unable to pull the trigger. Instead, Echols was reduced to sticking out his chin while nodding off Jimenez to try to show how many shots he could take. Despite Echols’s protestations, referee Kurt Spivey mercifully stopped the bout at 2:58 of the third. Jimenez has consistently improved with each bout, and fight fans should be interested to see how he looks against a tough opponent in his prime. Echols, on the other hand, no longer resembles the dynamic puncher and top contender that he once was.
In his pro debut, welterweight fan favorite “Irish” Jimmy Murphy (1-0, 1 KO) of North Barrington, IL, overcame a disastrous opening round in which he was floored twice by overhand rights to stop Andrew “Wild Boy” Kato (0-4) of Milwaukee, WI, by way of second round TKO with left hooks to the body. In the first round, Kato caught Murphy with a wild overhand right that sent Murphy falling to the canvas. While Kato would only score one more knockdown with the overhand right, whenever he threw it, he landed and stunned Murphy with it. Towards the end of the round, Murphy was out on his feet and many at ringside believed the fight should have been stopped. To Murphy’s credit, however, he withstood Kato’s attack and somehow came out in the second and stormed Kato with left hooks to the body that sent Kato crashing to the mat for a ten count at 37 seconds of the second round. After Kato was counted out, the pro-Murphy crowd erupted.
In a gritty super flyweight bout between amateur standout Adan Ortiz (5-0, 4 KOs) of Sterling, IL, and the always-durable Salvador Perez (2-2-2, 1 KO) of Campeche, Mexico, Ortiz continued to show his promise in securing a unanimous decision with one score of 39-37 and two scores of 40-36. Ortiz carried the first round with his ring generalship and jab, but Perez showed why is becoming one of the most popular little guys in the Chicagoland area by walking through much of Ortiz’s punches to land several good left hooks. In round two, Perez landed the harder shots whenever Ortiz elected to stop to exchange left hooks, but overall, Ortiz’s combination punching and ability to jab while moving carried the round. Towards the end of round two, however, Perez was able to cut off the ring more effectively and it became clear that Ortiz could not continue to exchange left hooks; as a result, Ortiz was no longer going for the knockout. In the third, Ortiz again landed more types of punches, but Perez’s success in cutting-off the ring in order to land hooks carried the round. In the fourth, while Perez attempted to pressure Ortiz and landed an occasional left hook, on the whole, Ortiz’s ability to punch and turn Perez despite landing the softer shots carried the round.
In one of the most anticipated bouts of the evening, cruiserweight Dimar “Strongman” Ortuz (6-0, 4 KOs) of Chicago, IL, lived up to his nickname in grinding down UFC veteran Terry “Dangerous” Martin (5-1, 5 KOs) of Chicago, IL, before brutally stopping him via TKO at 2:29 of the third round with a series of left and right hooks that sent Martin falling to the canvas in scary fashion. Despite the anticipation and significance of the fight to the winner, this was an ugly bout. Throughout the first two rounds, both fighters engaged in an incredible amount of holding with Ortuz clearly attempting to use the grapples as an opportunity to lean on the much smaller Martin. Although Ortuz was effective in wearing Martin down, Martin appeared to carry rounds one and two because he was able to land a few more shots in between all of the holding. In the opening minute of the third, it became clear that Ortuz’s style of punching and holding started to have an effect as he out landed Martin, who now for the first time in his boxing career appeared fatigued and discouraged. With Martin against the ropes with a little less than a minute remaining in the third, Ortuz unleashed a dynamic right hook followed by a series of left and right hooks that sent Martin to the mat. This fight should propel Ortuz into official prospect status.
In the fourth bout of the evening, heavyweights Joshua “The Hilly Billy Heartthrob” Clark (1-1-2, 1 KO) of Lexington, KY, and Brian “Big Hou” Houston (1-0-1, 1 KO) of Omaha, NE, fought to a majority draw with one score of 39-37 for Houston and two scores of 38-38. In the first, Clark stormed Houston with a barrage of more than twenty head and body shots for the first thirty seconds but failed to land anything effective upstairs. After the barrage, Houston showed good movement and his superior hand speed as he effectively landed several solid jabs and quick rights while turning and avoiding Clark’s attack. Despite Houston’s movement and hand speed, Clark’s punch volume and bodywork carried the round. In the second, Houston’s clean punching, particularly with the straight right, and his ability to throw multiple shots while moving were the difference. For the first half of the round, Clark appeared to be fatigued. Round two ended with the crowd on their feet as both fighters stood in the center of the ring throwing and missing with wide shots that probably would have knocked either fighter out. For the first half of the third, Clark used his height, movement, and long jab to the body and head to out-box Houston. Clark also effectively slipped most of Houston’s shots. Houston appeared tired and worn out throughout the round and appeared to be in trouble towards the end of the round. In the fourth, Houston returned to the clean punching and movement that carried the second in order to carry the fourth. Throughout the fourth, instead of attacking or slipping Clark’s shots as he had done earlier, Clark looked sluggish and simply waved-in Houston to show that he could not be hurt. Both fighters looked impressive at times, and Houston’s camp should probably examine a move to cruiserweight considering his low weight (206 pounds) for today’s heavyweight. Fightnews scored the bout 38-38.
In a bout featuring two pro debuts at middleweight, Chicago’s Jonathan Manos used his ring generalship, defense, and clean combination punching to score a TKO of Bill “The Shark” Finn (0-1) of Edgerton, WI, with a left hook to the body at 1:39 of the second. While Manos carried the first with his defense and ring generalship, when one considers his amateur success and Finn’s complete lack of boxing ability, Manos appeared unusually timid and somewhat uncomfortable. Having said that, Finn’s tattoos and Jack Sparrow-like ten-inch beard might have accounted for Manos’s initial hesitations because in round two Manos performed as most expected. Throughout the second, Manos stalked Finn and cut-off the ring while landing stiff jabs, straight rights, and thudding left hooks to the body. Manos scored his first knockdown with a left hook to the body, his second with a straight right up stairs, and his third, which ended the bout, with a left hook to the body.
In the fourth bout, which took place at light heavyweight, undefeated kickboxing and Golden Glove champion Simon “The Punisher” Buettner (3-0, 3 KOs) of Carpentersville, IL, used his size advantage to pound the winless Fred Thomas (0-11) of Davenport, IA, to score a second round stoppage at 2:29 after scoring four knockdowns in the round. Round one was an ugly one in which the fighters exchanged accidental elbows and head butts; one of those head butts sent Thomas to the canvas. In the second, Buettner’s size and ability to put his punches together was too much for Thomas. The first knockdown caused all of the damage as Buettner sent Thomas crashing to the canvas within the first minute of the round after landing a dynamic looping right. From that point on, Thomas was in survival mode. The three other knockdowns were scored by a furry of shots. While referee Kurt Spivey was stepping in to stop the bout, several in the crowd were shouting, “Ref, stop the fight.”
In the third bout, southpaw junior welterweight Genaro “G” Mendez (5-1-1, 4 KOs) of Chicago, IL, outworked “Auggie” Agustin Cicero (2-3-2, 2 KOs) of Fisher, IN, over four rounds to score a unanimous decision by three scores of 40-36. Throughout the bout, Mendez pressured Cicero and controlled the action with his jabs, right hooks, and body shots. In the first, Mendez walked Cicero down and landed his jab at will. Towards the end of the first, Mendez began to turn his jab over into a hook while Fisher only returned fire when forced into a corner. For the first minute of the second, Cicero landed the harder and cleaner shots but Mendez’s aggression and bodywork paid off as he was able to stun Cicero on several occasions and appeared to have him on his way out in the final seconds before the bell rang. Like the previous rounds, the third began with Fisher retreating and Mendez pressuring with his jab, right hook, and bodywork. Mendez cut Fisher’s right eye within thirty seconds of the third with a looping right and Fisher’s conditioning became an issue throughout the round, as Fisher was only able fight enough to get off the ropes at times; the third was Mendez’s best. In the fourth, with the exception of a thirty second flurry by Fisher in which he backed Mendez into a corner and threw shots from all angles (many of which were blocked), the round was more of the same as Mendez simply outworked and out-landed Fisher en route to a unanimous decision with three scores of 40-36.
In the second bout, middleweight Donatas “Bondas” Bondoravas (16-3-1, 5 KOs) of Chicago, IL overcame a knockdown in the first to score a TKO at 2:03 of the second over Evansville, Indiana’s “King” David Thomas (10-3-2, 8 KOs) after Bondoravas landed seven or eight unanswered right hands that left Thomas out on his feet. Bondoravas was the aggressor throughout the first and landed several meaningful overhand rights, but was unable to follow any of them up with a good left hook. Despite Bondoravas’s activity, Thomas took the first because he scored a knockdown in the last minute with a solid right upstairs followed by a left hook to the body. Throughout the second, the always-aggressive Bondoravas stalked Thomas while consistently landing overhand rights before referee Kurt Spivey called a halt to the bout.
In the first bout of the evening, welterweight Abdullai “The Classiq” Amidu (17-0, 13 KOs) of Ghana outclassed Clifford “Magic Man” McPherson (2-12-1, 1 KO) of Cleveland, OH, to score a first round knockout after landing a perfectly timed overhand right. Amidu’s Quartey-like defense was impenetrable, and like his countryman did for so many years, Amidu controlled the bout with his stiff jabs to the body and head followed by crisp right hands. Amidu floored McPherson three times with overhand rights. To McPherson’s credit, he did attempt to fight back, but his attempts only resulted in more openings for Amidu. If he can remain active, fight fans might be interested to see how Amidu fairs against better competition.
After the event, promoter Bobby Hitz provided a few comments about the event and several of the fighters.
“This was a very successful event and a great night of boxing that fits with our Thanksgiving Day traditions. I was impressed with all of the fighters and their efforts,” said Hitz. “‘Hollywood’ Jimenez is building and growing into something special and for Jimmy Murphy to come back like that shows what kind of fighter he is. Also, be sure to keep an eye on Fedosov; he can fight.”