Photos and report by Jesse Kelley
Saint Paul Minnesota’s “Sir” Cerresso Fort (16-0-1, 11 KOs) won a lopsided but entertaining eight round unanimous decision over late sub Dennnis Sharpe (17-11-4, 4 KOs) of New Jersey on Friday night at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN. Fort continuously popped the jab before loading up with punches as he came forward. Sharpe, who took the fight on a few days notice, seemed unfazed despite getting outpunched in every round. The action was largely one-sided to start but intensified as the fight went into the middle rounds when Sharpe began to open up more. He stated afterwards that he held back in the beginning rounds so he could have something left to finish the fight.
Despite blizzard conditions outside, the packed and vocal crowd inside were out of their seats for the final round as both middleweight fighters tried to finish the bout with one big punch. In the end, neither fighter was hurt and the fight went to the scorecards, giving Fort his sixteenth victory by scores of 80-72 on all three cards.
Afterwards Fort Admitted he took some unnecessary chances by going for the knockout down the stretch but said his goal was to entertain the fans, which he and Sharpe did.
The co-featured bout didn’t last nearly as long as Duluth’s RJ “TRex” Laase (11-1, 7 KOs) took out Wisconsin’s James Wayka (16-12-1, 8 KOs) in the opening round.
Laase, normally a counter puncher, went on the attack right away hurting Wayka with lead left hooks and right hands to the head of Wayka. Wayka tried to land his jab while going backwards but was caught with two left hooks and a right by Laase that dropped him to the canvas. Wayka quickly got to his feet and his motions looked like he wanted to continue fighting but he could be heard telling referee Celestino Ruiz that he wanted the fight stopped. The official time of the stoppage came at 1:17 of the first round.
Heavyweight Aaron “Gorilla” Green (11-0, 9 KOs) dropped Raymond “King Kong” Ochieng (24-17-3, 19 KOs) three times in the second round before referee Gary Miezwa had seen enough and waived off the fight with Ochieng on the canvas. Green, who came in at a strong looking 278 pounds, spent much of the first round stalking Ochieng and wobbled him with a right to the head at the end of the first round. Ochieng was able to get in a few good shots in round two but they didn’t have the effect that Green’s punches were having. Green, of Golden Valley, MN began sending Ochieng down first with a winging left to the head. The next two knockdowns were scored by Green with right hands to the head. The official time of the stoppage was 1:14 of round two.
Former NFL football player Ray Edwards (4-0, 3 KOs) picked up the biggest win of his short boxing career with a third round stoppage victory over Van Goodman (2-4-2, 2 KOs) in a heavyweight bout. The win was such for Edwards as Goodman brought with him an extensive amateur career and a no quite attitude to all his past fights. Video from Edwards last fight went viral after his opponent flopped following a missed punch to get out of the fight and Edwards said he wanted to erase that with a strong showing against Goodman.
Edwards had a good opening round, towering over Goodman and connecting with long stiff jabs and hooks to the head. Goodman stood his ground in the pocket and waited for openings while walking through some big shots. Goodman landed a nice left hook to end the round but the action belonged to Edwards.
Edwards was not as busy in round two and the two men mostly traded hard stiff jabs in the middle of the ring. Goodman wasn’t throwing enough to win the round himself but was getting through with some nice countering head shots of his own. Edwards opened up again in the closing moments of round two and snapped Goodman’s head back. Goodman once again proved he has an iron chin and Edwards an improving skillset despite having no amateur background.
Round three was quick and a bit controversial. Edwards caught Goodman with a hard right to the head that sent him back to the ropes early on. Edwards ran after Goodman while throwing heavy unanswered haymakers, trapped him on the ropes and continued to throw clubbing left and rights on the ropes before referee Celestino Ruiz jumped in to waive the fight off. While Edwards screamed out in victory, Goodman threw his hands up while shaking his head in disapproval of the stoppage. Goodman explained afterwards that he was trying to let Edwards punch himself out before jumping on him. Ruiz told Fightnews afterwards that he could not let the action continue because of all the unanswered blows.
“All Day” David LaQue (3-12-1, 3 KOs) stopped Kurtis Erhorn (0-1) at 2:07 of the third round. Erhorn, an MMA fighter making his boxing debut, was game but had trouble keeping pace with LaQue and seemed to have punched himself out after the first round. LaQue boxed well and appeared to be a few punches away from stopping Erhorn once Erhorn began to slow at the end of the first. Erhorn was struggling by the third and attempted a flying “Superman” punch out of desperation in round three that missed. LaQue opened up afterwards and dug a hard left hook to the body that dropped his opponent for good in round three.
Welterweight “Nasty Time” Winston Anderson (3-0, 3KOs) stopped previously undefeated Branden Cluever (1-1, 2 KOs) in the opening round. Anderson went on the attack right away and dropped Cluever with a right hand. When action resumed, unanswered left and right hand shots put Cluever down where he was counted out by referee Gary Miezwa at 1:13 of the first round.