By Bob Ryder
Promoter John Carlise presented a nine bout card Friday night at DeCarlo’s Convention Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren before a near capacity crowd. Late arrival of the ringside physicians pushed the scheduled start time back over an hour but once the show got started the fans were treated to an entertaining evening of pro boxing. In the co-main, 2001 National Golden Gloves super heavyweight champ, Lonnie Zaid (aka Lonnie Redmond) was attempting to once again start up his on and off again pro career. Having last fought in 2007 it would be expected that Zaid might exhibit some ring rust. Facing Cincinnati’s Tim Back, Zaid used a strong jab to control a somewhat tentative contest.
Photos: Bob Ryder
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There was enough action however, for both fighters to be marked up around the eyes. Scores were 40-36 x 2 and 39-38 for Zaid who stays undefeated at (3-0, 1 KO). Back drops to (2-1). Promoter Carlise plans on giving Zaid the opportunity to fight often and perhaps shift his career into high gear.
The other night’s main event saw Mustapha Johnson of Indianapolis dominate previously unbeaten Joseph Linenfelser of Rockford, IL over the eight round distance. “Bazooka Joe” had no answer for the repeated overhand rights landed by Johnson. Linenfelser was game and kept trying but was unable to mount an offense sufficient to turn the tide in his favor. Johnson had Joe momentarily stunned and slightly wobbled in the fourth and went on to win by scores of 80-72 x 2 and 79-73 to raise his record to (7-6-1, 2 KOs). Linenfelser now (8-1-1, 6 KOs). Middleweights.
Cleveland’s Miguel Gonzalez put on a dominant and impressive display of smooth boxing and crisp punching in overwhelming Joshua Rodriguez of Beloit, WI over six rounds. Junior welterweight Gonzalez punched effectively to both the body and the head, bloodying Rodriguez in the fourth. High praise goes to Rodriguez who despite being totally outclassed, hung tough and fought back. Rodriguez was repeatedly rocked but never down. The judges rewarded Gonzalez for his performance with liberal use of 10-8 scoring turning in marks of 60-53, 60-52, and 60-49 as Miguel improves to (7-2, 6 KOs). Rodriguez slips to (2-4).
Detroit junior middle Eddie Gates scored three knockdowns in just :59 of the opening round for the automatic TKO over Patrick Walker of Anderson, IN. Gates was making his pro debut while Walker is now (0-3), all losses by KO.
Heavyweight Rahim Muhammad of Detroit landed a crunching body blow to send Robert Mendoza of Frankfurt, IN to the deck midway through the first round. Muhammad’s follow up barrage had Mendoza reeling to the ropes where referee Frank Garza waved it off at 1:50 of the opening stanza. Rahim moves to (2-0, 1 KO). Mendoza was making his pro debut.
Michael Moore of Cleveland made his pro debut a successful one as he pounded Detroit’s Demetrius Robinson to the canvas three times in the first round in a middleweight contest. Referee Ansel Stewart issued the mandatory stoppage at 2:02. Robinson suffering his second straight first round TKO drops to 2-3.
An interesting cruiserweight contest ended prematurely when Detroit’s Larry Carter sustained a bad cut over his right eye from a clash of heads with opponent Nathan Wilkes of Anderson, IN at :47 of the third round. Per Michigan rules, only the completed rounds were scored and the 19-19 x 3 tallies made this bout a draw. Carter is (3-5-2) while Wilkes is now (2-18-1).
Purnell Gates of Grand Rapids used his overwhelming advantages in height and reach to outbox Lansing’s Jamie Castellano easily by scores of 40-36 x 3 in a match up of junior middleweights. Jamie bored in but could not effectively land anything of consequence. Ever the crowd pleaser, Castellano motioned to Gates several times to “let’s mix it up” but Purnell stuck to his game plan to improve to (17-1, 13 KOs). Castellano declines further to (4-23).
The evening’s opening contest pitted Lafayette, IN cruiserweights Edward Perry and James Morrow. Perry used his superior jab to take control in the second round. Morrow was hurt by a hard body blow in the fourth. Scores were 40-36 x 3 for Perry who is now (16-4-2, 9 KOs). Morrow goes to (11-16-3).
With a Red Cross volunteer in attendance, promoter Carlise made an appeal to the crowd for help for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Generous Motor City fight fans reached deep into their pockets and donated over $8,000 to the relief effort. KO winners each and every one.