By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Photos: Courtney Gale/ CourtneyGalePhotography.com
Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (19-0, 14 KOs) won the vacant USBA and WBF heavyweight titles with a twelve round unanimous decision over Maurice “Mo Bettah” Harris (26-18-2, 11 KOs) on Friday night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware. Harris landed enough lead rights and left jabs to trouble Mansour and cause some swelling around his eyes, but Mansour dominated nearly every round with power punching, steady body work, and a higher overall work-rate. The scores were 120-108 (twice) and 116-112.
In the co-feature, Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana (28-4, 19 KOs) overwhelmed Luis “Morochito” Hernandez (22-7, 15 KOs), stopping him at 2:16 of the sixth round of an eight round welterweight bout. Santana scored three knockdowns, the final one sending Hernandez down for the count.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino promoted the nine-bout card.
Having just two fights lasting less than a round each in the last 20 months, Amir Mansour was chomping at the bit to get started against Maurice Harris. Pounding his mitts as he was held back by referee Bill Clancy before the opening bell, Mansour was like a bull trying to get out of the gate. In Harris though, Mansour was facing a mountain of a heavyweight – 6’4″ and 249 pounds to his 6’1″ and 226 pounds – who knows the tricks of the trade and how to apply them.
Mansour went right to work on the body of Harris on his way to winning the first two rounds. The size advantage for Harris was obvious, and by the end of round two he was landing some nice lead right hands against the southpaw Mansour.
Mansour continued his body assault with two solid right hooks, and a three-punch combination downstairs. Amir was carrying his hands a bit low, and didn’t have his distance just right yet. Harris scored with a hard lead right midway through, and began landing a heavy jab that had Mansour’s eyes starting to swell by the end of the round.
Harris continued to use his jab in round four, while Mansour worked his left to the body. When Mansour got inside, Harris began using his size by laying on him until referee Bill Clancy could break them apart. Mansour landed two huge lefts to the head during the round, but Harris took them rather easily.
Rounds five and six were very close, but Mansour was looking a bit weary as he tried to work his way inside. He was landing his best shots, but Harris showed a sturdy chin and knew how to roll with the punches. Mansour was winning rounds, but he was using a lot of energy. With half of the fight still to go, it was obvious that he would have to dig deep and make some adjustments if he was going to win.
Mansour made those adjustments in round seven. He began moving his head and began slipping Harris’s jabs and lead right hands, while continuing to slow the big man down with steady body punching. Mansour landed a big right hook, three jabs, and then a hard left hand on the button. Harris took the shots, but it appeared that his window of opportunity had passed. Mansour found his second wind and made those adjustments, while Harris’s punch output dwindled.
Mansour had a big eighth round, pounding the body continually, pausing only to land a big lead left hand. There was a nice exchange in the closing seconds of the round.
Harris did better in round nine, landing three jabs and a counter right in the opening minute, but Mansour responded with a hard four-punch combination that drove Harris back. Mansour followed up with a big right to make the round close.
Harris opened the tenth with four jabs, and closed it with a solid lead right, but in between it was all Mansour. He continued to work the body of Harris, and scored with a huge right hook that lit up the crowd and forced Harris to hold.
Every fighter gets concerned and wonders how he will react when he enters uncharted waters, and a hard man like Mansour is no exception. Going past ten rounds for the first time in his sixteen-year boxing career, Mansour held nothing back. He won both of the “championship” rounds with body shots and power punching. The final bell sounded after a furious exchange, and both fighters showed each other mutual respect.
“I ducked two fighters in my career, Ike Ibeabuchi and Maurice Harris,” stated Mansour before leaving the ring. “His record doesn’t reflect his skills. He is very tricky and very deceptive. I only want to fight guys who have a chance of beating me. I went twelve rounds and left it all in the ring tonight. Now I’m going to hit the tables because someone I know had a dream that I hit the jackpot!”
Santana hammers Hernandez
Edgar Santana has heavy hands, and he knows it. He waited patiently for his chance to use them while Hernandez landed his accurate, but much lighter punches. Hernandez was outworking Santana for much of the opening round before Santana connected with a solid left hook. He dragged Hernandez to the floor, so no knockdown was called by referee Bill Clancy. Hernandez continued to out-hustle Santana in round two, peppering him with an assortment of body shots and combinations to the head. It was a sign of things to come, however, after Santana landed a solid double left hook midway through the round, and another one at the bell. Hernandez began mauling Santana on the inside in round three, and was on his way to winning another round before getting dropped by Santana’s left hook. Hernandez got up, but absorbed two more hooks and a right from Santana as the round ended. Hernandez smothered Santana on the inside early in round four, and was warned by referee Clancy for using his elbow. Santana was trying to set up another power shot, and landed a big right hand at the end of what was a close round. Santana’s left hook was breaking Hernandez down. Knowing that Hernandez couldn’t hurt him, he walked through his punches and landed one left hook after another in round five. In the final ten seconds, Santana landed an overhand right that send Hernandez into the ropes and then down to a sitting position. Hernandez gamely pulled himself up as the bell sounded. Round six began the same as the others, before Santana landed a crushing left hook – right hand combination that ended matters at the 2:16 mark.
Douglas drops and stops Napunyi
Fighting for the second time in three weeks, Omar “Super O” Douglas (10-0, 8 KOs) had an easy night, stopping Anthony “Toto” Napunyi (14-14, 7 KOs) at 1:11 of the opening round in a scheduled eight round super featherweight bout. Douglas landed two left hooks to the head, two more lefts, and then his trademark left hook to the body that deposited Napunyi on the floor near his own corner wincing in pain as referee Vic DeWysocki counted him out.
Singletary pounds Platt
Described as “country strong” by his trainer Bernard Miller, local crowd favorite Lamont “The Problem Solver” Singletary (6-0, 4 KOs) needed that strength to defeat Earl “The Bull” Platt (3-1, 3 KOs) in a crowd-pleasing four round cruiserweight bout. Singletary struggled a bit with southpaw Tracey Johnson before stopping him in his last bout, so they brought in Platt, another lefty, to see what he learned in the gym. While limited on skill, Platt possesses a big punch and a big chin, and he used both to test Singletary. Lamont landed right hand power shots as he tried to discourage Platt, who lived up to his nickname, “The Bull”. Platt went back to his stool after round one with a cut on the bridge of his nose. Although that cut world worsen as the bout progressed, it did not slow him down one bit. Sngletary slowed the pace a bit in round two, but went right back to slugging it out with Platt in round three. Singletary landed every punch in arsenal, and Platt did the same, but Singletary landed more and in combination. Platt showed his determination and a heck of a chin as he absorbed Singletary’s powerful shots. The action continued in round four, with both fighters trading power shots throughout. Platt landed some nice single right hands, but Singletary was more polished and landed in combination. With blood dripping down, Platt attempted and missed a final haymaker as the bout ended. Several ringsiders said that Platt reminded them of former heavyweight contender and actor Randall “Tex” Cobb. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Singletary.
Hernandez-Harrison stops Valdes
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (17-0, 10 KOs) has all the tools, and they were on full display during his fourth stoppage of Guillermo “Macho” Valdes (12-5-3, 3 KOs) in a scheduled six round welterweight bout. Long and lean, Hernandez-Harrison has the technique and poise that reach far beyond his nineteen years. In Valdes, he was facing a shorter fighter, and he used his height and reach advantages to perfection. Knowing Valdes couldn’t reach him, Hernandez-Harrison stood in front of Valdes waiting to counter. Valdes was reluctant to charge in, so Hernandez-Harrison worked his jab after landing a left hook to the body. He landed four straight jabs, one of which visibly shook Valdes. Hernandez-Harrison closed the opening round with a hard jab – straight right followed by a solid three-punch combination to the head and body. Dusty began walking Valdes down in round two, expertly cutting off the ring before trapping him in a corner or on the ropes before unloading his combinations. A booming left hook dropped Valdes in the closing seconds of the round. Hernandez-Harrison patiently worked his jab in round three before unloading a big right uppercut followed by another right. Valdes scored with a hard left hook before getting wobbled during an exchange at the end of the round. Sensing Valdes was sufficiently softened up and ready to go, Hernandez-Harrison pounced on him early in round four. A double left hook rocked Valdes, and a left-right combination sent a shaken Valdes into the ropes, where Hernandez-Harrison unloaded an unanswered barrage of punches that forced referee Bill Clancy to stop the bout. The time was :45 seconds of round four.
Tiberi decisions Martin
“Jolt’n” Joey Tiberi (11-1, 5 KOs) stayed busy with a unanimous decision over Darrell “2 Pac” Martin (4-15, 1 KO) in a four round lightweight bout. With this being his second fight in three weeks, Tiberi was very sharp. After wobbling Martin with his ever-improving left jab in the opening round, Tiberi opened up with his left hook in round two. He landed a big straight right in the middle of the round, and Martin sought to keep his distance. A big left – right combination from Tiberi forced Martin to hold as round two ended. Tiberi landed more power shots while taking very little in return over the final two rounds. The scores were 40-36 (twice) and 38-37, all in favor of Tiberi.
Bowman dominates Moody
John “Church Boy” Bowman (7-0-1, 1 KO) warmed up the crowd in the opening bout with a one-sided unanimous decision over Kenneth “Sharp Shooter” Moody (2-5-2, 1 KO) in a four round super middleweight bout. Bowman went right after Moody at the opening bell. Moody found spots to land several nice lefts to the body, but Bowman’s left hook was the story of the round and the fight. Bowman trapped Moody on the ropes for most of round two, and landed a barrage of power shots throughout the round. He repeatedly snapped Moody’s head back, but lacked the power to get him into major trouble. A big left hook knocked Bowman’s mouthpiece out at the midpoint of round three, and it remained on the floor while Bowman battered Moody until the bell. Moody could punch, but couldn’t match Bowman’s intensity. Bowman picked up where he left off, hammering away at Moody for much of round four. Moody was warned for losing his mouthpiece for the second time, and he responded by landing a double left hook as the round ended. The scores were all 40-36 in favor of Bowman.
Miller lays out Goode
In the first of two walkout bouts, Anthony “Shottabox” Miller (1-0, 1 KO) knocked out Dominic “Warlord” Goode (0-1) at :47 seconds of the opening round in a scheduled four round middleweight match between two southpaws making their pro debuts. Miller chased Goode around the ring before sending Goode down face first, where referee Vic DeWysocki immediately waved it off.
Aiken outscores Brooks
Antowon “Ice Man” Aiken (8-0, 1 KO) took a unanimous decision over Marcus “The Gatekeeper” Brooks (7-15, 3 KOs) in a four round super middleweight bout, which the final bout of the night. Fighting under the Dee Lee promotional banner, the promising Aiken was a late addition to the card. With Brooks having more experience and showing decent technique, Aiken had to work for his win. After taking the opening round with body punching, Aiken landed a hard counter right early in round two, while Brooks scored with a nice left hook and right hand. Aiken showed ring generalship in controlling the more experienced Brooks over the final two rounds. Aiken took the decision by the scores of 40-36 and 39-37 (twice).
The next show at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will take place on Friday, November 22.