All photos courtesy of snaplocally.com
The Midwest Sports Council and the Target Center worked together to put on the best show of 2009 thus far. It’s hard to imagine getting any better than their last effort with Kolle/Bonsante, but this card was entertaining top to bottom. The 3,595 people in attendance witnessed the fulfillment of a feud, the mighty return of Jason Litzau, and a very controversial decision in Vanda/Pudwill. This is what live boxing is all about. The two biggest highlights for me were Allen Litzau vs Wilton Hilario and Jason Litzau’s furry.
Donny Tierney UD (38,37/38,37/38,37) over Zach Schumach – What a great start to the night. This was boxer vs brawler. Donny used his obvious boxing skill advantage to keep control throughout most of this fight. Zach brought the action and looping bombs, but it was not enough to beat the slicker boxer.
Jon Laboda TKO between rounds 2 and 3 over Patrick Cape – Round one had Cape looking to unleash his big right hand, and he had some success, taking the round in my opinion. The second round came with Laboda tearing into Capes body and mind. Following round two, Cape’s corner decided their fighter had felt enough.
Jason Litzau TKO round 5 over Phillip Payne – The crowd was going crazy for Litzau as he entered the ring. Once in the ring and the bell rung, Jason began to ring a different bell, Payne’s. This fight was all Jason and I can see why most local fight fans see Jason as cream of the crop. I understand that Payne’s record was lacking, but what a come back fight for Jason. Fast hands is not nearly descriptive enough to talk about the artillary Litzau was throwing. I give Phillip credit for making it to the 5th, as Jason was on him at every turn, popping him to every portion of his body above the waist.
Cerresso Fort TKO round 4 over Robert Kliewer – This would have been fight of the night on many occasions. Bombs away could describe the action between these two Rice Street Gym fighters. Fort didn’t look as impressive in this victory as he had in Hinckley but Kliewer makes all fights look a little different due to his style. I give Kliewer credit for making it as far as he did with the monsters Fort was throwing. I had Fort taking every round until the stoppage.
Wilton Hilario TKO round 5 over Allen Litzau – Rounds 1 through 3 were all action as these two rivals showed their dislike for one another. Both Allen and Wilton were landing big shots on each other. Wilton’s straight right had Allen seeing stars early on. After round three my notes just say WOW. Come round 4, the wear and tear seemed to be getting to Litzau, and Wilton was clearly in control of both the 4th and 5th rounds. Round five started with Hilario and Litzau charging each other, firing off punches, then Wilton again was doing the giving until the fight was mercifully stopped. The crowd was not happy with the stoppage but those at ringside all agreed. This is one of those fights that did live up to the hype and will stay in peoples memories for a long time. Great fight.
Matt Vanda MD (76,76/77,75/77,75) over Tocker Pudwill – According to the crowd, the writers, Vanda and his Corner’s reaction, the judges were watching a different fight. After it was through, I was able to talk to Anthony Bonsante and Jake Wagner, who were both broadcasting the nights events, and they both had it for Tocker by a landslide. At best this could have been a draw, but two judges giving Vanda the win by two points is beyond me. The fight itself was entertaining. The first 4 rounds I easily gave to Tocker because of his activity and reach. It just didn’t seem like Vanda could figure out how to get inside. Tocker had great defense and in those first 4 rounds didn’t get touched by much. The second half of the 8 round affair was a much closer bout. Vanda definitely landed the bigger punches and had Tocker hurt on a few occasions. I could have scored the last four for Vanda, giving him a draw but didn’t. I had Tocker winning by 2 points. This fight did show why people love Vanda– he shows no fear, and he is always on the prowl. If he had fought the whole fight like he did the last four rounds, I don’t know if it would have gone the distance, but I’m sure that had something to do with Tocker. A lot of credit needs to be given to Vanda for understanding the slight given to Tocker. He immediately offered Tocker a rematch and Vanda didn’t stay for the post fight interview. Tocker’s people were heard saying that they would take a rematch, just not in Minnesota.
What a night at the Target Center. I cannot wait for their next boxing event. There was not a fight on the card that wasn’t fun to watch. The Midwest Sports Council did a great job on lining up the cast for 2009′s best show to date.