Photos and report by Jesse Kelley
A night of entertaining boxing was capped off by Saint Paul middelweight Cerresso Fort (17-1-1, 11 KOs) defeating Marcus Upshaw (15-10-2, 7 KOs) on Saturday night at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN. Fort kept the taller Upshaw on the outside with good movement and counter punching. Other than a late rally, Upshaw found it difficult to open up as he came forward. Fort fired off countering combinations before moving out of harm’s way. Fort was credited with a knockdown in round six that Upshaw and many in the crowd disagreed with. After getting hit by a glancing Fort right to the shoulder, Upshaw backpedaled, lost his footing, and took a seat. Fort continued to get his punches off in time to get out of Upshaw’s range heading into the seventh round. The final two rounds were the most action packed of the bout as Upshaw not only came forward like in the previous rounds, but also began to let his punches go. In the end, Fort avenged the pairs 2011 draw by winning by unanimous decision. Scores read 80-71, 78-73, 79-72.
Al “Haitian Temptation” Sands of Duluth, MN moved to (10-1, 10 KOs) with a second round knockout win over Justin “The Lumberjack” Howes (13-5, 11 KOs) of West Virginia. After some heavy leather being traded, Sands landed a right hand to to the jaw of Howes in round two that dropped him to the canvas where the fight was stopped by referee Scott Erickson. After a few wild misses by both fighters in the opening round, Sands trapped Howes along the ropes and unloaded body shots that bent Howes over. It looked like Howes was finished before he sprung back up and fought back. Howes, who was outmatched athletically, came out like a Lumberjack in round two swinging big wild shots but left his chin exposed in the process. A right hand to the jaw delivered by Sands dropped Howes hard and the bout was stopped without a count.
In a local shocker, Gary Eyer (11-3-1, 7 KOs) of Duluth was upset by Robbie Cannon (13-8-2, 6 KOs) of Missouri over 8 rounds of action. It was a bloody and bruising slugfest which saw Eyer throw all defense out the window in order to land heavy punches. And Eyer did land the bigger shots, but Cannon countered Eyer all fight while slipping in and out of range and seemingly doubling the Minnesotan’s punch output. Surprisingly, there were no knockdowns in the fight. Scores read 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Cannon who becomes the new NABU lightweight champion.
Ismail Muwendo (15-0, 11 KOs) defended his Mid American Featherweight title in successful fashion by stopping Carlos Fulgencio (16-10-1, 9KOs) at 2:19 of the second round. Fulgencio was game, but a hard jab and body shots by Muwendo sucked the fight of out Fulgencio. Shortly into round two, Muwendo dropped Fulgencio with a thudding body shot. Fulgencio’s earlier confident expression was replaced with a look that seemed to say he didn’t want to continue. After walking around the ring, and finally looking at his corner, Fulgencio continued. But Muwendo blasted the Dominican Republic native to and through the ropes where referee Scott Erickson waived the bout off.
Rondale Hubbert (3-0-1, 1 KO) outboxed tough Wisconsin boxer Ricky Smith (1-2) in a four round bout. The first three rounds seemed very close with Hubbert the boxer and Smith the pressuring fighter. Hubbert had a nice round four though as he seized momentum with clubbing right hands. All three judges scored the bout 39-37.
Brad Heroff (3-0, 2 KOs) dropped late sub Randi Ronchi (0-9) with a right to the head at 2:37 of the opening round.
Stephan Watt (2-1, 1 KO) dropped Bobby Johnson (0-1) twice in the opening round as he went on to win by KO at 2:13 of the first.
DeWayne Wisdom (3-11, 1KOs) won a decision over James Owens (4-11, 2 KOs) in the opening bout. Scores read 40-36 twice and 39-37 on the other card.