By Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Two knockdowns, a solid game plan and some inadvertent faulty lighting allowed “The White Tiger” Chase Shields of Houston, TX to win a 12-round unanimous decision over hometown favorite Jimmy Lange of Great Falls, VA and capture the WBC USNBC Junior Middleweight title in front of 5, 312 at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA.
The knockdowns came in the 11th round and served as an exclamation point in the contest for the new champion. However, the knockdowns may not have happened without an eight-minute power outage in the arena during the ninth round, a round where Lange seemed to be in control.
Shields came out firing in the first two rounds, rocking Lange with hard combinations. Lange almost went down in round two, but managed to stay upright. Shields successfully switched from orthodox to southpaw throughout the contest and that caused some problems for Lange.
But the former “Contender” star altered his gameplan in the third by switching his attack to Shields’s body. Shields got progressively weaker in the middle rounds until the ninth round power outage.
When the lights came back on, Shields was rejuvenated and hammered his way back into the fight. In the first minute of the 11th round, Shields caught Lange with a crushing right hand. Lange tried to hang on to Shields but his glove touched the canvas and referee Joe Cooper had no choice but to rule a knockdown. In the final minute of the round, another crushing right sent Lange crumpling to the canvas, but he managed to beat Cooper’s count.
In the 12th, Lange showed tremendous heart as he fought his way back, but Shields managed to hang on for the victory. All three judges (Brian Costello, Greg Coleman and Mike D’Antillo) scored the bout the same way, 115-111.
The new champion praised his opponent while celebrating his victory. “He made me a better fighter,” Shields said. “I thank him for giving me the chance. There were a lot of guys he could have picked for this bout.”
Lange was critical and said matter-of-factly, “I got my ass whooped tonight.”
Lange’s father and manager, Johnny, was just as critical of his son. “He stunk up the joint tonight, “Johnny Lange said. “We are hoping for a rematch in Houston soon.”
With the win, Shields is now 30-3-1, 14 KO’s. Lange is now 31-4-2, 21 KO’s.
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The co-feature saw a blistering performance from undefeated Arlington, VA lightweight “The Mongolian Mongoose” Bayan Jargal as he stopped San Antonio, TX veteran Louie Leija in 2:52 of the first round.
Jargal never knocked Leija down but he landed fast and solid combinations that kept Leija on his heels until referee Billy Johnson stopped the contest.
Jargal, who is promoted by Let’s Get It On Promotions, is now 15-0-2, 10 KO’s. Leija is 21-15-1, 15 KO’s.
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In a slight upset, Laurel, MD junior welterweight Ikem “The Warrior” Orji scored a fourth-round technical knockout over highly-touted prospect Andrew “The Doo Man” Farmer of Fort Valley, VA.
The first three rounds saw Orji having difficulty with the taller height of Farmer. But Orji changed everything early in the fourth with a crushing right hand that dropped Farmer on his back. Seconds later Farmer forced referee Johnson to stop the bout at 1:01 of the fourth.
With the win, Orji is now 6-2, two KO’s. Farmer is 13-2, seven KO’s. Both of Farmer’s losses have come at the Patriot Center.
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In other results:
Haymarket, VA junior welterweight Juan “The Savior” Rodriguez scored a first-round TKO over Glenarden, MD’s Damien Butler. The bout was stopped at 2:10. Rodriguez’s record remains perfect at 4-0, four KO’s. Butler remains winless at 0-3.
Junior middleweight Lawrence Jones of Reston, VA won a four-round split decision over Vincent “The Beast” Batteast of Severn, MD. Jones is now 3-2-1, one KO while Batteast is 1-2-1.
Cruiserweights “Cold Blood” Patrick Budd of Dumfries, VA and Robert “Big Mac Attack” McConnell of Ellicott City, MD fought to a four-round majority draw. Budd is 2-1-1, one KO while McConnell is 4-3-1, two KO’s.
Laurel, MD heavyweight “The Big Ticket” Dwayne McRae won a six-round split decision over Theron Johnson of Chicago, IL. McRae is now 6-2, three KO’s while Johnson is 3-3.
Undefeated Russian light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev scored a crushing second-round knockout over “The African Warrior” Francois Ambang of Cameroon. Kovalev landed a brutal right hand that dropped Ambang in his own corner where referee Wayne Martin stopped the contest at 2:23 of the second.
Kovalev, who traines in Arapahoe, NC, is now 6-0, six KO’s and has yet to go past the second round. Ambang, who fights out of Richmond, VA, suffers his first knockout loss and is now 2-6-1.
The card was promoted by ICE Promotions, headed by Jackie Kallen. The matchmaker was JD Brown.