Photo and Report By Jesse Kelley
“Golden” Caleb Truax (22-1-1, 14 KO’s) defeated “Sir” Cerresso Fort (17-2-1, 11 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Minneapolis Convention Center, keeping his Minnesota State Middleweight title and picking up the USBA Middleweight title in front of a reported 4000 plus attendance. The opening round was close between the two Minnesotan’s with Fort seemingly getting the nod based on activity. Fort jabbed and circled while Truax held back to observe what Fort would bring. The early moments of round two were similar until Truax began to open up, specifically with hard body punches. Truax was landing heavy shots as the round came to a close and a right to the head in the closing seconds appeared to rock Fort. Fort’s jab was working from the outside but he was getting busted up from that range. He was warned twice for coming in with his head by referee Mark Nelson while trying to close the range and accidental head butts had opened cuts over both of his eyes by round four. After a small break in the action following the last clash of heads in the fourth, Truax landed a short uppercut that staggered Fort. Truax followed up with more uppercuts and straight rights that sent Fort to the ropes. Fort stumbled forward to tie up but fell the canvas. He made it to his feet on shaky legs by the count of 9 but referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight. The time of the stoppage came at 1:49 of the fourth round.
Jamal “Shango James (11-0, 5 KO’s) won the vacant MN state welterweight title with a hard fought victory over “The African Assassin” Mohammed Kayongo (17-3-1, 12 KO’s). James won the early rounds by boxing and avoiding the heavy shots of Kayongo. James continued to box from the outside into round three. Although Kayongo had trouble getting inside, he landed a right hand to the head that appeared to send James down to the ropes but it was not ruled a knockdown. James, of Minneapolis was not hurt however and stormed back with an angered look on his face. “The African Assassin” Kayongo, also fighting out of Minneapolis, scored a flash knockdown in the fifth and continued to have success through round six as James did less boxing and played into Kayongo’s game of making it a brawl. That is not to say James did not have success trading, but it’s the fight Kayongo was looking for. Round seven was the best of the fight with James hurting Kayongo with a body shot early and Kayongo mounting a comeback later. The judges saw the fight in the favor of James with scores of 78-73, and 77-74 on two cards. Kayongo stood with a look of disbelief at the verdict while James celebrated with his team.
Tony “Too Sharp” Lee (8-1-1, 3 KO’s) won the vacant MN state lightweight title in a close 8 round battle with Jeremy “Lights Out” McLaurin (10-6-1, 5 KO’s). After battling to an action packed draw last June, the two fighters fought an equally entertaining but more skilled battle this time around. Bitter feelings between the two led to wild exchanges in the first meeting but both fighters looked sharper this time as they both stood there ground while taking turns trading shots. The difference maker in the fight was a second round shot by Lee that stumbled McLaurin back to the ropes. Mark Nelson ruled it a knockdown stating the ropes held McLaurin up. McLaurin did not agree with the call and fought on. The two fighters literally traded punches, traded rounds, and traded momentum for the remainder of the fight. Afterwards, and embrace between Lee and McLaurin showed that the two bouts had settled any harsh feelings the former rivals shared as they congratulated each other on a hard fought bout. Scores read 77-74, 76-75, and 76-75 for Lee.
Trevor Marmon of Duluth, MN (1-0-1, 1 KO) and Wisconsin’s Adrian Martinez (1-0-1) fought to an exciting four round Majority draw. Scores read 38-38, 38-38, and 39-37 for Martinez. You could make a strong case for this being fight of the night as well with Martinez being more the boxer/puncher and Marmon the stronger, mix it up type fighter. Both men showed they could take a big shot as they laid everything on the line through four rounds.
Nate Richardson (1-0, 1 KO) of Coon Rapids stopped Iowa’s Fred Thomas (1-13) at 2:08 of round four in a jr. middleweight bout. The first two rounds were close give rounds. Richardson began to put his shots together in the third and dropped Thomas with a body shot. Referee Gary Miezwa stopped the fight in the fourth when Thomas failed to answer the punishment being dished out by Richardson. Credit goes to Thomas for coming in to Minnesota and putting up a tough fight.
Heavyweight Nathan Luis Rosa (1-0, 1 KO) of Coon Rapids, MN stopped Shakopee, MN’s John Schimon (1-2) at 1:03 of the first round. Schimon is tough and durable but Rosa left him no time to fight back after storming him from the gate. Left and rights to the head in a corner dropped Schimon and referee Mark Nelson called an end to the bout.
In the opener, Minneapolis fighter by way of Uganda Philip Adyaka (3-4, 2 KO’s) won a unanimous decision over Brandon Buchholtz also of Minneapolis in a four round lightweight bout. Buchholtz was tough in his debut but not busy enough to keep up with Adyaka who attacked equally with both fists and won the decision decisively. Scores read 39-37, 40-36, 40-36.