By Brian Grammer at ringside
“Dangerous” Dannie Williams (13-1) was impressive in dispatching late substitute, Tyler Ziolkowski, getting the 2nd round TKO victory Friday at St. Louis’ Viking Conference Center. Promoter Steve Smith of Rumble Time Promotions declared that “The Show Must Go On” after a scheduling conflict that postponed the June 12th showdown between IBF jr middleweight champion Cory Spinks and Cornelius Bundrage resulted with several of his fighters not having a “job” until Don King returns to Gateway City on August 7th. Coincidentally, the promoter’s plans to showcase Williams were almost scrapped until the late replacement, Ziolkowski (12-13), stepped up for the challenge.
Williams controlled the action from the start during the lightweight contest, flashing lead right hands and impressive body shots, as he worked the game Ziolkowski around the ring. “Dangerous Dannie” saw that Ziolkowski was moving to his right and used that tactical advantage to pepper the game his opponent with right hands for the entire contest. A knockdown by a right hand in the first round was followed by two more via body shots in the second and referee Mike England had no choice but to stop the bout at 1:47 in the second round.
Smith plans to keep his fighter busy, with Williams scheduled to fight tonight’s original opponent, Robbie Cannon, on the undercard of the August 7th Don King Productions/HBO event headlined by native son WBC and IBF light welterweight champion Devon Alexander.
The co-main event lit a fire under the already hot crowd with the rematch between rival junior middleweights Lamaar Harris (6-7) and Ryan Davis (22-8). The fighters picked up right where they left off after a bruising draw in January. This eight-rounder displayed back and forth action as each fighter scored a knockdown during the contest. Punishing, rough and tumble action was the name of the game, but in the end, Davis picked up the unanimous victory with scores of 77-75, 77-74 and 76-74.
Other action on the card, saw a hard contested four-round opening battle, as heavyweight Rick Myers (11-15-1), a 52 year old journeyman entering the ring after a 17-year layoff, survived a cut above his left eye suffered in the opening stanza. Myers, delivering thunderous body shots and overhand rights, stopped a very game Wesley Banks (0-1-1) who did not answer the bell for the fourth round.
Jake Thornton (2-0) threw a barrage of hooks and uppercuts to soften up Ryan Pederson (2-5) over the course of four rounds, scoring a knockdown in the third round and two knockdowns in the fourth round. However, the game Pederson held on, forcing this lightweight contest to the scorecards. In the end, Thornton’s pressure and perseverance paid off, allowing him to remain undefeated with the unanimous decision on scores of 39-34, 40-35 and 39-34.
Contrasting styles and builds defined the light heavyweight attraction between the long, lanky Keith Debow (0-1-1) versus the shorter, stockier Emmit Woods (0-4-1). Debow worked steadily behind his jab as Woods countered by coming straight ahead, trying to work the body. Strategy defined the action as both fighters tried to counter the other, each trying desperately to earn his first professional win. In the end, all three judges saw the bout the same way, a 38-38 draw.
In a scintillating TKO victory, Jamal Parram (4-2) sat down on his punches, trapping a game Almensor De La Cruz (0-2) on the ropes for almost a minute. Parram, a former national PAL champion fighting now as a featherweight, displayed the depth of his amateur background, and with de la Cruz half in and half out of the ropes, forced referee Mike England to stop the contest at 1:42 of the first round.