By Jesse Kelley
Super middleweights Phil “The Drill” Williams (12-5-2, 11 KOs) and Derrick “Superman” Findley (20-10-1, 13 KOs) gave fans 8 rounds of hard punching, gritty action in last nights main event at the Hyatt in Minneapolis, MN. The end results was a split draw with scores reading 77-74 for Williams, 78-74 for Findley, and even at 76-76 on the third scorecard.
Findley, of Indiana, came to Williams’ backyard with a straight forward game plan which appeared to be to pressure the taller Williams and rough him up on the inside. Williams did his best to tie up or fend off the charges from Findley by counter punching out of the southpaw stance. Williams landed the most meaningful punches of the opening round but Findley began to crowd Williams aggressively in the second round. Findley was landing a high number of body shots on the inside through the midway point, doubling up on the punch output of Williams, though Williams was boxing, moving, and landing the harder shots to this point.
A knockdown scored by Williams at the bell of a close round five proved to be an important moment in the fight. A right hand caught an off balance Findley and put him down to his knee’s. Findley smiled and then protested in disbelief once he realized he was being given a count. Findley wore a grimace on his face from the moment he walked out of the dressing room area for the fight but the angered look intensified as round six began. And Findley put his most dominant round together behind heavy left and rights while bullying and hurting Williams in the round. The seventh round was close but Williams had his most confident looking round of the fight in the eighth and final round. Williams smiled as he kept his right hand low and popped Findley with left hands. Both men had a look of shock and disbelief when the scores revealed a draw.
Corey Rodriguez (7-3-3, 3 KOs) and Gilbert Venegas (12-9-4, 8 KOs) fought to a stalemate after 6 rounds of action in a jr. middleweight bout. Rodriguez was the busier and sharper fighter through the midway point and seemed to put rounds 1-3 in the bank. Rodriguez fought aggressively as he came forward and put combinations together. Venegas was determined to go punch for punch with Rodriguez however and the two stood toe to toe banging away at times with defense seeming to be an after thought. Venegas got stronger as the bout went on and mounted a comeback beginning in round four as he made Rodriguez miss with some of his punches while taking advantage of counter shot opportunities. It was bombs away again in round five followed by another give and take final round. Scores read 57-57 on all three cards.
“Minnesota Ice” Joey Abell (29-6, 28 KOs) made quick work of Maurenzo Smith (11-7-2, 8 KOs) in a heavyweight bout. Abell, a southpaw, dropped Smith twice with left hands. Smith took the punishment relatively well despite being outmatched an unable to avoid the heavy shots. He got to his feet with a smile on his face and made the bell to end round one. Between rounds Smiths corner asked the ring physician to look at Smith, who stood in his corner. Smith said he was having trouble seeing and the fight was stopped. The official result is a second round TKO victory for Abell.
“The African Assassin” Mohammed Kayongo (17-2-1, 12 KOs) stopped late replacement Fred Thomas (1-12-2) by TKO in round three. Kayongo was supposed to face Brandon Beau of Missouri but Beau fell out for Kayongo for the second time in as many months just days before fight time. Despite his backwards record, Thomas put up a fight before the bout was stopped. A left-right combination from Kayongo put Thomas down in round one. Kayongo decided not to go for the finish though and ducked, dodged and weave his way out of the reach of Thomas for the remainder of the round. After more punishment delivered to Thomas into the third, Kayongo dropped a hard right hand to the head of Thomas that put him down to the canvas where the fight was stopped at 2:14.
Phillip Adyaka (2-4, 2 KOs) stopped Jim Sharp (0-5) at 1:49 of the third round in a featherweight match. Adyaka dominated although Sharp put in an honest effort. The end came when Adyaka began to tee off with unanswered head shots that forced Sharp to call it quits at 1:49 of round three.