By Ben Tighe at ringside
Photos: Jesse Kelley
A sellout Twin Cities crowd was treated to an electrifying brawl between Caleb Truax and Matt Vanda, who had announced that whatever the outcome, this would be his farewell bout. “Golden” Caleb Truax (now 21-1-1 with 12 knockouts) took a unanimous decision from Matt “The Predator” Vanda (now 44-15 with 24 knockouts) at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Saturday night. Truax did his scoring with a volume of jabs and power punches from a variety of angles, while Vanda tried to win with rugged aggressiveness. Both men engaged in mauling, brawling tactics as the fight progressed. Vanda maintained his aggressiveness throughout and all but walked through many of Truax’s power shots, but Truax’s advantages of size, strength, and age began to tell by the middle rounds. Scores read 99-91 96-94, 97-93 for Truax.
“Sir” Charles Meier (7-2-2 with 3 kayos) defeated Travis Perzynski (3-3 with 1 kayo) by Majority Decision in an eight-round fight. Perzynski took an aggressive, come-forward attitude in the bout, which gave clever boxer Meier an opportunity to use his speed and timing to counter effectively. The two middleweights went back and forth for eight rounds, with each man going down once in the bout: Perzynski in the 7th round and Meier in the 8th.
Mohammed Kayongo (16-2 with 11 kayos) had to overcome a slow start to gain a unanimous decision victory (58-56 on all three scorecards) against grizzled veteran Gilbert Venagas (11-8 with 7 kayos) of East Moline, IL. Kayongo seemed reluctant to let his hands go in the early rounds, much to the consternation of his corner. Venagas seemed to gain confidence as the fight progressed, and landed a number of big shots that tested Kayongo’s beard. Though Venagas could hang with the leaner, fitter Kayongo for short periods, Kayongo seemed to gain the advantage in the middle rounds before Venagas came roaring back in an entertaining sixth and final round. It was a successful ring return for Kayongo, who hadn’t fought since defeating Welshman James Todd for a WBF intercontinental title more than three years ago.
Michael Faulk (3-2 with 2 kayos) won his fight with John “The Ironman” Schmidt (11-3 with 6 kayos) by TKO in the waning moments of the first round. Faulk put Schmidt down once with a powerful left hand, and was following up his advantage when referee Scott Erickson called it only a few seconds before the bell.
Tony “2Sharp” Lee (7-1 with 3 kayos) needed all four rounds to defeat Leonard Overstreet (0-3) in a lightweight battle. Lee, a slick boxer, had to work harder than expected against Overstreet. Lee chose to relinquish his advantages of height, reach, and speed, and instead brawled with his less gifted opponent. Lee will have to miss some time, as he suffered a cut on his eyebrow that required stitches and a nasty lump on his left cheek. For all his trouble, Lee won a unanimous decision 39-37, 40-36, 39-37.
Kenneth Glenn (2-0 with 1 kayo) beat the debuting Damion Hill by unanimous decision in a bout that was decided by Glenn’s power and superior conditioning. Hill was puffing through his mouth by the end of the second round, and as a result had a point deducted for repeatedly losing his mouthpiece. The fight was scored 39-36, 39-36, and 40-34 for Glenn.
In the opening bout of the night Jeremy “Lights Out” McLaurin (10-5 with 5 kayos) won a questionable decision against durable DeWayne Wisdom (2-8 with 1 kayo). Wisdom gave McLaurin trouble in the first and third rounds and was the more effective aggressor and the heavier puncher throughout, while McLaurin counter punched off the ropes and picked his shots. All three judges scored the bout 39-37 in McLaurin’s favor.