By Ray Kilgore
Caleb Truax (14-0-1, 9 KOs) and Phil “The Drill” Williams (12-3-1, 11 KOs) never imagined a draw would be the final outcome of their fight at the St. Paul Armory, in Saint Paul, MN Friday night. The official scores were: 97-94 Truax, 96-94 Williams, and 95-95. Williams, 32, looked to rejuvenate his career after a third-round knockout defeat at the hands of Don “Da Bomb” George (19-0-1, 17 KOs) in January of this year.
Before the fight, Truax, 26, said Williams would pose an issue.
“This will be a big test. I am watching tapes of his fight against Antwun Echols (32-12-4, 28 KOs), and I am preparing for that Phil Williams.”
Both boxers appeared in great shape as Truax entered the fight at 162.5 pounds while Williams came in at 163 pounds.
After a nondescript first round, “Golden” Truax picked up the pace and by round three, he was, oddly, the aggressor in a fight where he never faced a puncher like Williams.
Williams, a two-ime Upper Midwest Golden Gloves champion, never seemed hurt in the fight.
By round four, Williams appeared relaxed as he showboated and talked to Truax several times during the round.
Halfway in, Williams landed a stiff Jab that bloodied Truax’s nose.
The blood momentarily sidetracked Truax as he clinched several times.
In November 2009, Truax defeated Kerry Hope (12-3-1, 1 KOs) by a unanimous decision. In the process, Truax suffered nose damage-an injury that kept him out of action until Friday night’s clash.
By the middle rounds, Williams’ confidence further grew. But he never let his hands go on a regular basis until the final round of the fight.
Truax continued to press the action most of the night landing jabs and going to the body.
He was motivated by the cheers of his supporters.
“Phil is a hard guy to fight,” said Ron Lyke Truax’s trainer. “He’s no slouch.”
In the final round, the crowd screamed as Williams seemed to hurt Truax.
“If it wasn’t for the last round, I thought Caleb would have won clearly,” said Lyke. “Caleb was outpointing him easily.”
At the conclusion, both men raised their hands to celebrate.
“He didn’t land much until the last round. I thought I boxed beautifully and controlled the fight period,” said Truax.
When the outcome was announced, Williams was angry. He yelled at Truax’s promoter Tony Grygelko and shouted at Truax telling him he lost the fight.
“I was moving giving him angles,” said Williams. “Look at my face. When did this man get a punch on me?”
Abell Takes Care of Business
The last time Joey Abell (26-4, 25 KOs) was in the ring, he found himself apologizing for hitting Raphael Butler (35-8, 28 KOs) after the bell in round one last December.
Abell, a popular heavyweight in Minnesota, had nothing to be sorry for this time as he demolished Josh Gutcher (18-12, 13 KOs) in two rounds.
Abell, 26, received a thunderous applause as he jabbed, and showed good boxing skills in knocking out Gutcher with a hard right to the head.
Going into the fight, Abell’s biggest challenge was to keep focus and not let Gutcher get lucky.
“I can’t look past anybody…so that makes this fight just as important as my next,” Abell said before the fight.
In other undercard action…
Ismail “The Sharp Shooter” Muwendo (5-0, 4 KO) stopped David LaQue (2-4-1, 2 KOs) at the end of five brutal rounds. Muwendo and LaQue traded bombs for the first half of the fight. Not many people gave LaQue much of a chance going in but he went punch for much with the highly touted Ugandan early on. Muwendo overcame a size disadvange and took over with crushing body shots in the later rounds. Referee Bobby Brunette did not allow LaQue to come out for round six.
Antwan “Lil Superman” Robertson (6-2, 4 KO’s) lost a unanimous decision to James Owen (4-0, 2 KOs) in a fight where Robertson couldn’t get a rhythm started all evening. It was an interesting match up of speed for the first two rounds but Robertson began to shell up down the stretch and Owen’s continued to pressure until the bell. Scores read 40-36, 40-36, 39-37.
“Sir” Charles Meier (4-1, 2 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Dan Copp (1-4). Meier looked to be the more polished boxer as he out landed Copp through four rounds. Scores read 40-36, 40-36, 39-37.