By Jeff Reiners ringside
Photos: Jose Murillo
Welterweight Gilbert Venegas (12-8-3, 8 KOs) left Davenport having retained “King of the Quad” status, stopping Muscatine prospect Lance Williams (4-1, 4 KOs) in the third round.
The seasoned Venegas fought patiently, while Williams stayed the busier man in rounds one and two.
Venegas, a 35 year old veteran, closed the distance in the third and roughed up Williams along the ropes, dropping Lance to a knee with a body attack and overhand right. After a prolonged evaluation, referee Pete Henkels waived the contest over at 1:48 of the third.
“I walked him down, made him spend more energy than he was used to. I touched him to the body, set him up for the right hand,” said the victorious East Moline fighter.
Venegas was fast to point out what he believed from the beginning, he was the bigger, stronger man.
“I’m a slow starter, but he paid the price for stepping up. My hard shots were the difference.”
The Venegas victory capped a show officially marking the return of boxing to the talent rich area. Local talent was well represented. Davenport star Travis Thomas (2-0, 2 KOs) scored a devastating knockout over the eager Daurice Starr (0-1) in the first round.
“That’s nine weeks of hard work!” Thomas said in the dressing room.
Davenport heavyweight Donovan Dennis (2-0, 2 KOs) knocked out Dakota Talbott (0-6) in round two. Dennis is an impressively sculpted, athletic big-man, who punched out Talbott with thudding power.
Popular Chicago Golden Gloves winner Limberth Ponce (3-0, 1 KO) dominated southpaw Eli Smith in a four round middleweight bout. Ponce mixed up his two-handed attack, baffling the over-matched Smith while winning a decision.
George Carter Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) prepared to fight Antwun Echols, but it was Sean Rawley Wilson (5-13-1, 1 KO) who stood across the ring in the co-main event. Wilson accepted the fight on 5 days notice after Echols was a late scratch.
Carter didn’t need much time to adjust, flooring Wilson with beautiful three punch combination in round two.
“It was the right hook that did it to him. I’m here to fight whoever shows up. This knockout is the result of getting up at 5:00 A.M. every morning for road work,” Carter said with a shiny new title belt slung over his shoulder.
Chisled local heavyweight Alex Rozman (1-0, 1 KO) staggered opponent Brandon Segura (0-1) badly in round two, leading to the referee’s intervention.
Jake Klemme and Jeremy Martz fought a spirited rematch of sorts at middleweight. Weeks after meeting in an octagon, Klemme out-skilled the determined Marts in a rough bout, winning a majority decision. The victory was Klemme’s second win over Marts in the last month.
Fred Thomas (1-10-2) entertained fans in the preliminary, getting the first win of his career at home against Kenneth Taylor Schmitz (2-6, 1 KO) by unanimous decision.
“Fred Thomas getting in the win column was the best moment of the night. He’s a guy that always had to fight in the other guy’s hometown,” said co-promoter Clint Calkins.
Vic Martinez of Moline made his pro debut at welterweight, decisioning Ricky Thompson (1-7, 1 KO) over 4 rounds.