Report and photos by Bob Ryder
Promoter Greg Ahrens along with matchmaker Carlos Llinas presented their annual outdoor show Saturday night at the Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids. In the main event, heavyweight Jordan Shimmell from nearby Hudsonville upped his undefeated record to (11-0, 10 KO’s) with a decisive TKO win over Matt Greer (15-11, 13 KO’s) of St. Louis. Shimmell came out aggressively in the first and Greer tried to hang in by firing off some wide swinging bombs, a couple of which caught and halted Shimmell’s attack momentarily. Despite hurting his left hand in the first, Shimmell stayed on the offense by working Greer’s body hard in the second round. Shimmell scored two knockdowns in the third with his concentrated attack downstairs. Greer’s corner called a halt to the fight as Matt slumped on his stool at the conclusion of the round. Shimmell told Fightnews.com afterwards that “I’m real happy with the result and for the good show for the fans. He caught me with a pretty good right hand in the first but I stuck to my plan and got him out of there.”
The fight of the night took place in the semi main as junior welters Johnny Garcia and Larry Ventis wowed the crowd with back and forth exchanges and crisp punching throughout the eight round distance. The trash talking that had occurred between the two at the Friday weigh in carried over to the ring as both came to win. After a feel ‘em out first, Garcia came on strong in the second, scoring with fast combinations. Ventis came back in the third as the two traded hard shots. Garcia remained the busier fighter however, and often backed Ventis to the ropes where he would keep him pinned for long stretches, not necessarily hurting him but scoring points. Ventis seemed to tire in the seventh but recovered to give a good last ditch effort in the final round that fell short. Scores were 80-72, 79-73, 78-75 for Garcia as he goes to (16-1, 10 KO’s) while Ventis drops to (6-3, 3 KO’s). Garcia hails from Holland, MI, Ventis calls Detroit home.
Canton, MI’s Lane Staal had too much for Holland’s Thomas Amaro in their junior middleweight contest. When Staal opened up in the second, Amaro had no answer. Staal scored two knockdowns in the third and after Amaro rose from the second one referee Steve Daher waved it off at the 1:32 mark. Staal now (11-0, 5 KO’s), Amaro declines to (2-2, 2 KO’s).
Vincent Jennings of Grand Rapids KO’d Doug Babler of South Bend at 2:00 of the first to go to (2-0, 2 KO’s). Babler was making his pro debut. Super featherweights.
Light heavyweights Eric Moon and Craig Schwallier were like two bulls as they waited in their corners for their fight to start. When the bell rang they rushed to center ring and proceeded to engage in what was not always the smoothest demonstration of the sweet science but it was earnest. Hazel Park’s Moon pulled out the unanimous decision by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 x 2 to go to (1-2) in dropping Grand Rapids’ Schwallier to (2-1, 2 KO’s).
Nick Givhan of Kalamazoo stayed unbeaten (6-0, 6 KO’s) with an easy TKO 2 over winless Delano Kealophapauole (0-7) of Flint in their junior welter match up. Time of the stoppage was :21. Givhan is in need of some better opposition.
James Thomas of Grand Rapids flattened Chris Bourdeon of Muskegon with a body shot at only :49 of the first round to improve to (4-1, 4 KO’s). Bourdeon was making his pro debut. Junior welters.
Purnell Gates won an uneventful six rounder by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 x 2 over Keith Collins in a match between middleweights. Gates from Grandville, MI is now (25-2, 15 KO’s). Collins, who hails from Davenport, IA racks up another defeat in dropping to (4-25, 2 KO’s)
Justin Mayweather Jones of Grand Rapids made a successful pro debut at welterweight, scoring two knockdowns in halting Kalamazoo’s Rick Ogden at 1:38 of the second round. Ogden falls to (0-3). Jones told Fightnews.com that he is the son of Floyd Mayweather, Sr.. Roger Mayweather was in attendance.
The opening fight of the night featured heavyweights with Holland’s Ray Lopez stopping Detroit’s Phillip Jewell at 1:36 of round two. Jewell had barely beaten the count after getting decked midway through the second when Lopez blasted him to the deck again bringing out the immediate stoppage by ref Patrick Schmidt. Lopez now (4-6, 2 KO’s), Jewell is (5-9-1, 4 KO’s)
An entertaining evening as the rain held off for the SRO crowd in attendance to enjoy the show. On a more somber note the ten count was tolled in the ring this night for boxing trainer Dave Lester who recently passed away suddenly. Dave ran the World’s Best Boxing Gym in Detroit and was a mentor to many an inner city youth who took up amateur boxing under his guidance. Dave also trained the pros, most recently Vernon Paris. Rest in Peace Dave, you will be missed.