By Brian Grammer
Cruiserweight Toris “The Bull” Smith (3-32, 3 KOs) scored the improbable TKO victory over local favorite Mile Damnjanovic (1-1, 1 KO) Saturday night at the Expo 5 Events Center in Louisville, KY. Future Promotions, headed up by former local fighter, Dereco Murray, brought Smith to town in what was meant to be a stepping stone for Damnjanovic, but the fighter from Memphis, TN did not intend to be just another opponent for Damnjanovic to pad his resume against.
Damnjanovic, originally from Serbia, performed exactly to plan in the first, popping his opponent with a stiff jab and long right hand. Smith attempted to hold Damnjanovic off of him with body blows, but it appeared that it would be another short night for him.
In the second, Damnjanovic started adding in combinations, particularly the 1-2, and Smith was hanging on, headed for his 11th straight defeat. As the fighters traded jabs, Damnjanovic looked primed to finish the fight, when an overhand right landed cleanly on his chin and the local fighter was on wobbly legs. Damnjanovic held until the bell, then staggered back to his corner.
As the bell rang to start the third round, Damnjanovic looked better, but a left hook from Smith put Damnjanovic back on dream street and the right hand that followed drove the mouthpiece from between his teeth as he pitched face first to the canvas. The referee immediately waved the bout just :33 seconds into the round and the crowd in assemblance sat in shocked silence.
In the co-main event, Kenneth Council (2-0, 2 KOs) used the uppercut and a solid body attack to punish Nate Petty (1-4) on the way to a 3rd round TKO victory. This middleweight battle was entertaining as both fighters let their hands go to the delight of the capacity crowd.
Council used his superior handspeed to beat Petty to the punch, overwhelming him at times, forcing the referee to step in and administer three standing eight counts. Petty gave his all in the contest, but the fighter who had just fought at heavyweight not a month ago, just couldn’t keep up with the younger man’s output, ending the night at 2:40 in the 3rd.
Light middleweight Rodney Freeman (5-20, 3 KOs) was on his way to his first victory since 2004, but a left shoulder injury early in the second stopped his progress and gave Skylar Thompson (12-7, 9 KOs) his first victory in five fights.
Freeman had rallied in the first round after absorbing some eye-popping combinations from Thompson, using his right hand, both over the top and as an uppercut, to push his opponent back against the ropes. As the second round began, the fighters ended up in a clinch. As Freeman struggled to get away, he suddenly yelled and grabbed at his shoulder. The shoulder appeared out of socket and the doctor stopped the contest just :20 into the second round.
Marcus Cooney (1-0, 1 KO) made short work of middleweight James Rueter (0-2), using a basic 1-2 combination to send Rueter to the canvas four times in this scheduled 4 round contest. After a first round where Rueter started off holding his own, he was soon holding on after tasting Cooney powerful right hand. In the second, Cooney landed a solid left hook that sent Rueter reeling and then a short left hand to the chin ended the night for Rueter at 1:42 of the second round.
Cruiserweight prospect Brian Howard (10-0, 8 KOs) pounded winless Roy Timmons (0-4) into submission using a stinging jab and a powerful right hand, winning by TKO at 1:35 of the first round. Howard blinded his opponent with the a right hand, doubled up the hook and then used the right again to send Timmons to the canvas early in the fight. Timmons was able to regain his feet, but Howard pounded Timmons two more times and that was the end of the fight as the referee had seen enough.
In the only fight to go to the scorecards, Thomas Miller (3-1, 2 KOs) got the unanimous decision victory over Malcolm Terry (0-1). Miller used an effective counter attack to continually pound on Terry. 10 seconds into round three, Miller countered with a powerful left hand and sent Terry to the canvas. Miller set traps throughout the fight and Terry fell into them most of the night. Official scores read 40-36. 39-37 and 39-37.
Mike Seals (13-0, 9 KOs) dropped Mike Shanks (6-31, 2 KOs) three times en route to an easy 1st round TKO victory. Seals used right hands and combinations to floor his opponent, the last one coming at 1:48.