By Lindy Lindell
Photos: Bob Ryder
Saturday night at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on a card promoted by his grandfather, Dennis Shimmell, Sr, Jordan Shimmell won the USBO Cruiserweight Title with a near shutout of veteran Galen Brown 41-23-1. The 12-0 Shimmell (wisely) lost weight to campaign as a cruiserweight, and pounded out a never-in-doubt win over vet Brown, who had little to answer with beyond wild, winging shots that rarely found their mark.
Dominant but not overwhelming. Had he pressed the action more, Shimmell might have scored a knockout, and almost did in round three, but, unaccountably, Shimmell, whether concerned with going 10 rounds or exhausting himself, seemed content to win every round by boxing his man—which he did easily. Shimmell, from nearby Hudsonville, controlled the fight throughout, and won by shutout scores on two cards.
Dennis Shimmell, Sr, who also matchmade for the show, put together two other title fights under the banner of Two Fists Promotions and SectionLive. Holland, Michigan’s junior-welter, Johnny Garcia, in a whirlwind performance, dropped Blake Franklin, 11-7-2, twice with crunching left hooks to the body for a third-round TKO, to win the USBO Junior-Welterweight Title. Now 18-1, Garcia’s heavily tattooed frame blurred before the eye and the dazzled and overwhelmed Franklin, Shreveport, Louisiana, never had a chance.
Both Shimmell and Garcia had large contingents of vocal and appreciative fans who made the trip.
In a third USBO title fight, for that organization’s Junior-Middleweight Title, Purnell Gates, 26-2, was fortunate, indeed, to win his belt over the ever-onrushing vet, Angel Hernandez, 15-12-1. Most obervers (this reporter had Hernandez the 95-94 winner), including cheerleader and fellow warrior, Lanardo Tyner, from the east side of the state, yelled for “Pete” to fight back in what was perceived to be the critical 10th round, turned away (as if conceding that Hernandez was a clear winner of that round) when Gates was unable to stem the volley of blows that had him pinioned against the ropes. The verdict was split. Katelia Chambers’ card, 96-93 for Gates, drew vigorous boos from the crowd. The call for rematch was in the air when the fighters left the ring.
In a surprise near-upset, the undefeated junior-middleweight Lane Staal, had to settle for a draw, and very nearly got knocked out by the 6-3-2 Alex DeLeon, St. Joseph, MO, when he took a crushing left hook in the sixth and final heat in a bout that he was unimpressively winning by a slim margin going into that round. When last seen in an scintillating showing in Toledo, Staal had dazzled both defensively and with pin-point counter punching. Against the crude, wild-swinging DeLeon, Staal seemed to be doing little more than barely winning. But DeLeon’s left hook fifteen seconds before the final bell dropped Staal for a decisive knockdown. The shaky Staal wobbled to his feet, and the bell sounded just seconds later. Had judge Katelia Chambers adjudged the knockdown a solid/severe one and scored the round 10-8, Staal would have lost his first fight.
Four-round action included Antonio Urista, 2-0, easily overwhelming in just over 100 seconds, an inept pro-debuting Robert Mills, billed as hailing from Zurich, Switzerland! Caleb Grummet, Lake Odessa, MI, 4-3-1, bested (TKO 3) Karinn Davis of Jackson, 1-4. Chris Franks, 1-1, Traverse City, drew with Germaine McKinney, a pro-debuter from Grand Rapids. And Vincent Jennings, 3-0-1, assailed by some trash-talking from his opponent, Anthony Molson, on Facebook during the week, made easy work of of Molson, with two knockdowns en route to a TKO at 2:23 of the first.
This card at the DeltaPlex was the first in several years, when owner Joel Langlois and matchmaker Gerald Evans did a series of shows for local hero Troy Rowland. Last night’s crowd was less than the biggest drawn by Rowland, but the 1100 or so folks (someone with better judgment in this area than myself made the estimate) who came, liked what they saw.