By Jeff Zimmerman ringside
Photos by Stacey Verbeek
Former 2008 U.S. Olympian Luis “The Latin Legend” Yanez (7-0-1, 1KO) may have turned the corner on a what has been to this point a less than spectacular pro career after winning a rugged 8 round split decision against Timur “Here Comes Trouble” Shailezov (16-7-1, 3KO) last night on the Paulie Ayala promoted card at the sold out Cendera Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The scores read 78-73 twice for Yanez and 76-75 for Shailezov. Yanez picked up his first pro title with the win, the WBC USA super flyweight championship.
Yanez scored a flash knockdown with a left hook at the end of 4th round, when Shailezov’s glove touched the canvas. Referee Laurence Cole began the count as the bell sounded ending the round and Yanez was not able to capitalize.
Yanez entered the ring in his customary white cape and had his hometown fans supporting him, but Shailezov has fought for small titles around the world and was unfazed by the much more ballyhooed Yanez. When Yanez started showboating early in the 2nd round by winding up ala Sugar Ray Leonard, Shailezov started imitating Yanez and appeared to take him out of his rhythm.
Yanez came out strong from the opening bell and started landing some good left hooks to the head and body of Shailezov, hoping to make it a quick night. Although Yanez was clearly landing the bigger blows, Shailezov seem to confuse Yanez, a fellow southpaw, at times.
The middle rounds turned into a partial wrestling match as both guys got tangled up inside and had to be constantly broken up by Cole. And with southpaws, it was only a matter of time that a head butt would occur and sure enough in the 5th round heads collided but was ruled accidental; however both fighters were checked by the doctor and allowed to continue.
During the final 3 round the intensity picked up and both fighters starting trading big shots but it was a body blow by Shailezov that momentarily hurt Yanez in the last round. Shailezov could not take advantage and the fight ended with the decision left up to the judges.
Yanez was overall pleased with his performance.
“I feel like it should have been a unanimous decision,” stated Yanez. I had 2 head butts in there, we warned Laurence before the fight. I expected it from him. I caught on a little bit as the rounds went on but I felt strong throughout the whole fight and I am glad I came out victorious.”
Yanez is seeking bigger fights and hopes this was the launch to his goal of a world title.
“Here in the next year or so I am going to go for the world title and they’re going to be saying, Luis “The Latin Legend” Yanez baby.”
Added Yanez, “I am calling out anybody, all the undefeated guys. I want to thank Timur for taking this fight. He was one of the warriors who decided to step up to the plate. Any other guys out there in my weight class come and get it, I’ve got the belt, I’m the champ so come get some.”
Samuel Clarkson vs. Jas Phipps
In a big upset, Super Middleweight Jas Phipps (3-0, 1KO) scored a split decision victory over the charismatic knockout artist Samuel “The Main Event” Clarkson (7-2, 5KO) in a six round battle. The scores read 57-56 twice for Phipps and 57-56 for Clarkson. Clarkson worked the jab early on with his long reach and appeared to be in control of the fight. He had Phipps against the ropes several times, but Phipps was able to land some solid counter punches against the aggressive Clarkson. The tide shifted at the end of the 4th round when Clarkson was landing several combinations and out of nowhere Phipps dropped Clarkson with a solid shot right before the round ended. Instead of what would have been a 10-9 round for Clarkson likely ended as a 10-8 round for Phipps and proved to be the difference in the fight.
Maurice Hooker vs Adam Ealoms
Jr Welterweight Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (8-0-1, 6KO) scored an impressive 2nd round KO of the stocky southpaw Adam Ealoms (3-3-3, 1KO). Hooker used his long jab to set up his powerful right hand that landed at will on the head of Ealoms. Hooker dropped Ealoms twice in the 2nd round with the overhand right before Referee Laurence Cole pulled the plug and Hooker was awarded the KO at 1:44 of the 2nd round of the scheduled 6.
Brian Jones vs Michael Connally
Denzel Washington’s managed fighter Brian Jones (7-0, 5KO) wasted little time in figuring out the wild Michael Connally (2-4-1, 2KO) and dropped him with a right cross at 2:00 of the first round that ended the fight.
Connally stayed in a fetal position for several seconds before the doctors rushed into the ring and made sure he was OK. Connally was able to walk out of the ring on his own. Jones fighting out of LA gets his 5th KO in 7 fights.
De Anthony Bonner vs Theodore Walters
In a lightweight war, De Anthony Bonner (3-1, 1KO) rocked Theodore Walters (0-2) all over the ring for most of four rounds to come out with the unanimous decision of 39-36, 39-37, 40-36. Bonner was hoping to stop Walters early in the 1st round as Walters was taking a beating and all Walters did was cover up. Out of nowhere, Walters decided to throw some big bombs of his own and make it fight but it wasn’t enough to earn the win as Bonner held on for the decision.
De Shaun Williams vs Terrence Roy
Jr Lightweight De Shaun Williams (5-13-1, (3KO) dropped Terrence Roy(10-39-0-1) twice in the 2nd round with combinations and Referee Neil Young had seen enough and stopped the fight. Williams wins by KO at 1:22 of the 2nd round.
Chris Jones vs Booker Arthur
Middleweight Chris Jones (1-4) came out like a bull and dropped southpaw Booker Arthur (0-3) in the 1st round with a right hook to the body and head. Booker recovered only to be pounded on by Jones in the 2nd round when a straight right snapped the head back of Arthur and a left hook sent Arthur across the ring. Arthur’s corner threw in the towel to stop the fight and Jones came out with his first win as a pro at 2:11 of the 2nd round with the TKO.