By Chris Perry; photos by Ray Bailey
NABA lightweight champion “Dangerous” Dorin Spivey (42-6-0, 30 KOs) of Portsmouth, VA earned a hard-fought ten-round majority decision victory over “Lighting” Rod Salka (16-2-0, 3 KOs) from Bunola, PA in the main event of the Dee Lee Promotion’s “Go Fight Friday Night!” event at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey this past Friday.
The victory takes Spivey, raked number eight in the world by the WBA prior to the bout, one step closer to his goal of competing for the lightweight championship of the world.
Spivey controlled rounds one and two establishing his strong left jab. Salka picked up his pace keeping round three close.
Salka connected well early in round four with a right hook. Heeding his corner’s advice, Spivey worked on closing the gap with his opponent and maintained his dominant left jab to finish the round.
Salka’s movement, and a clash of heads, frustrated Spivey throughout rounds five and six. In round seven, the Spivey increased his pace, connecting with strong shots including a big overhand right late in the round.
Salka briefly buckled Spivey’s knees with a big overhand right of his own in the eighth round. Spivey continued his fast pace in round nine. Both men went toe-to-toe in round ten leading to the final bell.
The judge’s scorecards read 95-95, 96-94 and 97-93.
“I got frustrated. I didn’t give my best performance,” Spivey said. “The kid was smart. He was boxing, he was moving. I got frustrated in the fight, but I got the job done. I wanted him to mix it up and fight. I couldn’t get my combinations off like I wanted. He was a good, tough guy. It was a good, tough fight for me. I’m happy with the win but I know I can perform better than that.”
“Styles make fights,” observed Spivey’s head trainer John Hunter. “The guy had a very awkward style. Spivey got a little frustrated because the guy was moving. The guy was running. We didn’t know that much about the guy but we did know that he could move. You have to keep focused. You can’t loose your concentration. He (Spivey) lost his concentration a little bit, but he still won the fight and that’s what matters.”
Assistant trainer Jake Wareing said: “Dorin did his best to cut off the ring and do what he could. It was win, it was good.”
A dejected Salka said, “I fought a stupid fight. My corner was telling me what I should be doing. They were right. All I needed to do was keep my distance better and throw punches and I would have won the fight. That’s all I had to do, keep my hands up and throw punches and I would have won. I just didn’t do enough to win. What are you going to do?”
Salka’s head trainer, former heavyweight champion Michael Moore said, “It was a strong performance from both fighters. Rod did everything he was supposed to do in the gym. Coming out here, in the fight, he was a little off I thought. I was telling him to throw the right hand right to the chest. When he did that, he stunned Dorin. But when he did that, he (Salka) crowded himself. This was no good. He needed to be at a safe distance to establish his power. But, that’s part of the game. You learn from stuff like this and hopefully get better.”
“This is our first fight together,” continued Moore. “I think with Rod and I, we’re going to have to sit down and work on a lot of different things. He has to build up his mental state for this sport a little bit more. He’s a good fighter. A good kid. He’s a good, likable guy. I just want the best for him.”
Filippone decisions La Crete
In the evening’s co-featured bout from the Tropicana Showroom, Norfolk, Virginia super middleweight Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone (10-2-1, 2 KOs) earned a six-round unanimous decision victory over Reggie “Concrete” La Crete (4-2-2, 3 KOs) from Brooklyn, New York. All three judges scored the bout for the southpaw 59-55.
“We knew he was going to be tough,” said Filippone. “We were banking on the fact that he has been inactive (one fight since 2008) and would have a little ring rust. We tried to go at him early. He started to slow down a little bit so I decided to take my time and be smart about it. My motto is, if you beat him up for five rounds and he knocks you out in the sixth round, you still lost. Be smart, that’s what’s going to get you the win. The win is more important than trying to get the knockout. Win decisively. Convincingly.”
In a supporting six-round bout heavyweight Dorsett “The Bullet” Barnwell (8-0-0, 4 KOs) of Norfolk, VA defeated Shun “Elusive” Lewis (5-4-1, 2 KOs) also from Norfolk by TKO at 2:12 of the fourth round when an apparent elbow injury forced Lewis to quit.
Atlantic City, New Jersey super middleweight Antowyan “Iceman” Aikens (6-0-0, 1 KO) earned a 59-55 unanimous decision victory over Steve “2 Sharp” Tyner (3-7-2, 2 KOs) of Akron, OH.
“I think it was good event,” said promoter Diane Fischer Cristiano. “The bouts were evenly matched and I think everyone got there money’s worth.”
“I think Dorin got a little frustrated, but once he pulled himself back to normal he did good,” continued Fischer Cristiano. “Rod came to fight. He came to take Dorin’s belt. I give him a lot of credit. But, as usual, Dorin pulled it out. I thought he did really good.”
When asked if a shot at a lightweight world title is in Spivey’s immediate future, Fischer Cristiano said, “We’re trying. We are going to try and do whatever we can to get him a shot.”
Spivey’s manager and advisor Floyd Kuriloff agrees that the 19-year ring veteran deserves a chance.
“We want to see him fight for a world championship,” remarked Kuriloff. “What do we need to do? He’s never been knocked down. He’s won his last seven fights in a row, four of them were for the NABA championship belt. He’s ranked eighth in the world by the WBA. What dose he have to do to get ranked fifth, fourth, third or second? We have a lot of respect for everyone out there, they just won’t fight us. We want to fight. We did have the verbal to fight Richard Abril (WBA interim lightweight champion). I was thrilled. It was great. But things happened.”
Spivey feels the title opportunity he’s dreamed about is close. “Hopefully I’ll get a world title fight within the next two fights. The main thing is to stay busy, stay active and keep on winning. Seven in a row, that’s a good feeling. I’m going to get back in the gym and run Monday and I’ll work on corrections.”