Report and photos by Bob Ryder
Former amateur National Golden Glove champion Jordan Shimmell of Hudsonville, MI needed less than a round to stop Bay City’s Jackie Beard in the main event at the Orbit Room in Grand Rapids Saturday night. Utilizing an aggressive body attack, Shimmell dropped Beard early in the opening round. Beard got up and tried to grab and work inside but had no answer for Shimmell’s much quicker hand speed. Beard shortly became trapped in his own corner where Jordan teed off with an assortment of hard blows that brought referee Steve Daher rushing in to halt the fight at 1:35 as Beard slumped to the canvas. In capturing a belt for something called the West Michigan Heavyweight title, Shimmell moves to (8-0, 7 KOs). Shimmell stays on his old school pace having turned pro a short 6 ½ months ago. “Black Jack” Beard falls to (7-10-1, 7 KOs).
Prior to the start of the card, promoter Greg Ahrens took to the ring and welcomed the crowd with “Who wants to see a knockout tonight?” Knockouts were all the folks in attendance got. Not one of the nine bouts made it past the second round. Several were mismatches, others were more competitive.
In the semi-main event middleweight Purnell Gates, Grandville, MI stopped a very reluctant and passive Allan Moore of Indianapolis. Moore went down in the first from a seemingly light punch that was ruled a knockdown by referee Pat Schmidt. Later in the first Moore was down again complaining that he had been butted by Gates. Ref Schmidt ignored Moore and started a second knockdown count. Moore managed to escape the first round but meekly took a body shot early in the second and was counted out at: 22 of the round to drop to (3-19, 2 KOs). Gates improves to (23-2, 15 KOs).
Windsor, Canada’s heavyweight Ali Mansour endured a slight bloody nose but banged out Flint’s Merin Johnson by first round TKO. Mansour dropped Johnson early on and when he belted Merin to the canvas a second time referee Schmidt waved it off at the 2:37 mark. Mansour (11-0, 6 KOs), Johnson (0-2).
Javon “Pinky” Barnes won the ring attire award of the night, donning a pink tie during his entrance. Making his pro debut, Muskegon’s Barnes pounded away at faded and shopworn Jamie Castellano of Lansing, knocking Jamie down four times with referee Schmidt mercifully stopping it at: 38 of the second round as Castellano fades further to (4-27, 1 KO). Junior middleweights.
Junior Welter Nick Givhan of Kalamazoo hot dogged and show boated vs. David McClendon, also of Kalamazoo before winning by TKO 2 at 1:45. It looked like Givhan could have won at any time over pro debuter McClendon. Givhan is (3-0, 3 KOs).
In other bouts: Vincent Jennings stopped Mateo Soto at 1:48 of round 2. Both lightweights were making their pro debuts and both call Grand Rapids home. Holland, MI’s Thomas Amaro improved to (2-0, 2 KOs) with a TKO over South Bend’s Mike Pickett (0-2) as Pickett was not allowed out for round 2 with a suspected broken hand. Hometown lightweight Justin Lopez won TKO 1 (2:24) over fellow hometowner Terrance Walker. Lopez now (4-0, 4 KOs), Walker, (0-2). James Thomas of Grand Rapids scored 3 knockdowns over South Bend’s Andrew Moreno prompting referee Daher to cease the action at: 35 of round 2. Junior welterweight Thomas goes to (2-1, 2 KOs). Moreno was making his pro debut.