The Fight – December 4th 2009, by Laura Zink


The Fight – December 4th 2009

By: Laura Zink

Photos by


Joey Abell (center) just after final blow, Courtesy

Joey Abell (center) just after final blow, Courtesy



It was boxing. All of it: the promise, the grit, the terror, and the chaos. It was a night that no one saw coming.


The fight last night at the Target Center was more than anybody thought it would be… and for reasons that they never thought it could be. But it was, for everything that it was, a night of boxing that will be remembered in Minnesota boxing history forever.


Everything started out normal enough. The show began in a junior middleweight warm-up kick-started by a furious advance from a debuting fighter, Jacob Dobbe, who lost steam after the first round and was soundly out-boxed by a fighter, Saverino Garcia, who already had a pro fight under his belt.


Next, an enormous “Russian Giant,” Boris Shichporenok(6-1), grappled and socked an MMA fighter, Will Gillette (pro debut), as Gillette tried to barrel through the enormous reach, height, and 48 pound weight advantage of his competitor.


“He got 2 bowls of cereal and you only got one!” Gillette’s corner screamed during round one. “Move! Move! You got to make him work…but throw punches, too!”


And though Gillette moved, the “Giant” caught him with two lumbering head shots which sent Gillette flat on his stomach in 57 seconds of round 2. He got up and walked over to his corner, and much to Gillette’s surprise, the ref called the fight….and the crowd thunderously booed in disagreement.


“It’s time to switch the ref!” one member screamed. “The fight ain’t over!”


Then things began to get even more…unexpected.


Tony Lee (left) Courtesy

Tony Lee (left) Courtesy



The much awaited pro debut of decorated amateur fighter Tony Lee began with a surprise for Lee which would only be heard from his corner. There was something his trainer did not tell Lee about his opponent, Hector Orozco (1-3).


I didn’t know that he was a southpaw coming into the fight,” Lee said after the fight. “Before the bell rung, I said, ‘He’s a f**king southpaw.’ Excuse my language. I am sorry. I said, ‘Otis, he’s a southpaw.’ And he just said, ‘Use your jab and do what you do.’ Otis knew that he was a southpaw, but he doesn’t want me thinking about it. Otis wants me to fight my fight. He knows that I think too much when I fight southpaws. And before the bell rung I said, ‘He’s a southpaw.’ He said, ‘Do what you do. Do Tony. Do Tony Lee.’ And after the fight, after the bell rung, I was mad as heck at Otis, and he knew it. I said ‘You didn’t say…’ and he was like ‘Hey man! We do what we do. That’s why I didn’t tell you. It’s because we do what we do. People need to adjust to you. It is a one man show…and tonight was your night. Now you know. You can do what you want.’ It was a good fight. He was tough. He was a southpaw. I hate southpaws. He has way more experience than me. It was his 5th fight and it was my 1st fight. He beat a guy who was 6 and 0. So I did good.”


His trainer’s surprise worked to Lee’s advantage. Using his remarkable speed and reflexes, Lee soundly out-boxed Orozco, and with a countering quick flash of rights, he even got Orozco down on his knee in the beginning of the fight.


“The first round he threw a wild right hand and I dipped under and hit him with a short right and a right cross and clipped him. It was a flash knock down. I didn’t even feel it go through my arm, but it was enough to put him down. That was a highlight for tonight. The second and third round I threw a few jabs that stung his head pretty good. The fourth round I felt like my hand was hurting. He hit me with a punch that hit my glove, so my hand started dropping, so I kind of gave it to him…I didn’t pick up the steam, but, all in all I dictated the fight and I controlled it.”


And a few more fights in, Gary Eyer (6-0-1) got a surprise of his own when he entered the ring for the battle of the undefeated against Levi Cortez (3-0). Eyer admitted to having no idea that Cortez’s pressure would be so constant…and so challenging.


img_3479“I really didn’t think that he was going to be like that,” Eyer said after the bout. “I thought that he was going to be a little bit easier. I thought that I was going to be able to use my reach and that he wasn’t going to be kind of awkward a little bit…I didn’t use all my arsenal…kinda made it hard. He’s good but he was holding a lot. Every time I got close to him, he grabbed me…and I was just trying to score little points, you know, to show that I was doing my best to try to win.”


And did Eyer ever have to work for it. The first two rounds were filled will looping overhand rights from Cortez and barreling tangles which tied Eyer up.


I was waiting for him to get tired,” Eyer said. “That’s what I thought. I thought that he was going to get tired in a 6 round fight. I thought, ‘he’s just gonna get tired eventually and then I’ll get him.’”


But Cortez didn’t get tired, so Eyer had to use sheer force of will to get through the pressure and the tangles so he could set up and unleash some of his shots. He found his chance in round 3 and shot a left hook through the furious advance of Cortez which sent Cortez to the canvas. But Cortez was not the kind of fighter who would let one knock down count him out, and as Eyer went in for the kill, Cortez tossed overhand shots and barreled in like a torpedo sending the two tumbling to the canvas and wrestling on the floor.


The left hook, I don’t know how that one happened,” Eyer commented about the first knockdown. “I just threw a hook and it landed good.”


But round 4 was clearly a struggle. Cortez landed a big 1,2 at the beginning of the round which sent Eyer’s head flying back.


Dance, Gary! Dance!” trainer, Chuck Horton, screamed from Eyer’s corner.


And as Eyer moved, he began to try to time Cortez, but the consistent furious advance sent the timing into a time warp, stifling blows before they could even register. But then, Eyer landed again. In round 5, Eyer gave Cortez a taste of his own overhand right, sending Cortez to the canvas again.


The second one, I was just like, ‘Ok. I’m not moving my head. I am not fighting as good as I should. This is gonna suck,’ And I just kinda said, ‘Eff it,’ and I said, ‘I’m just gonna time his overhand right with one of my overhand rights and I’m gonna get him.’ And…thank God. And you know, the first time I got him…it took forever to get back in there. It was like waiting, waiting, waiting. I woulda had him out….The second one, I definitely felt, yeah, that ‘you could’ve went down there.’ The first one? I don’t know how that happened.”


And for the sixth round, Cortez, bleeding from a split upper lip and a broken nose, and Eyer, bleeding from the mouth, clashed again and socked it out, Cortez with his overhands and tangling, and Eyer now fighting his way into and out of every advance. With the scent of blood in the air both fighters slammed at each other at 10 seconds out, pounding each other on the ropes until the final bell. And when the unanimous decision was called in his favor, Eyer, let out a sigh of relief, not due to the decision, but because he knew that he had just fought the hardest won fight in his entire career.


This fight was hard and I just…I’m definitely not cocky but, I will just say that it definitely humbled me,” Eyer commented. “Um…I’m just gonna train harder, and uh…I wouldn’t mind fighting him again.”


But don’t tell him that I will be throwing two or three punch combos at him the whole time…instead of just one shot….don’t tell him that,” Eyer joked. “I know how to fight him now.”


And then, after the joy and the glory and the fights rolled on, the crowd got a shock that few predicted or were even prepared for. When fans bought tickets to this fight, surely they did not expect to see the end of an era. But in the co-main event, it happened…and all due to the furious hands of Larry “The Razor” Sharpe (23-7). After a seven year pro boxing career, 29 professional fights, and a star-power which inspired a new era in Duluth boxing, Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters retired from boxing after being knocked down and then knocked out in 56 seconds of round one.


Larry Sharpe (right) ending the fight, Courtesy

Larry Sharpe (right) ending the fight, Courtesy



I didn’t think that it was going to happen that fast,” Sharpe said after the fight. “In my mind I expected that I would bang to the body and apply the pressure and I would stop in about the fourth…that was my game plan. I thought that after I went to the body for the first few rounds that his hands would come down and I’d land some clean up top.”


I knew that he was a good boxer so I planned to come forward and apply pressure,” Sharpe continued. “I’ve gone 10, 12 rounds the last few years, so going 8 rounds, I wasn’t worried about my gas tank. I just put the gas on early and my plan was actually to go to the body more early on, but he stood in front of me a lot longer than I thought he was gonna and he was there for me to hit so…in training I was practicing going up with my shots because I knew he was a taller fighter…and they were landing. They were landing, and I could tell that he was hurt so I just went in for the kill.”


And if that weren’t enough shock for the fans to stomach, the main event threw everyone into a img_3717state of complete and utter confusion. In the first heavyweight Minnesota State Title fight in 32 years, the fight was ruled out after round 1 due to disqualification.  (It was changed to No Contest) After Raphael Butler got soundly rocked by Joey Abell in round one, something truly terrible happened. Just as Butler was pulling away from Abell and dropping his hands at the end of the round, Abell moved in and threw an uppercut and two shots to the head which made Butler go stiff and fall backwards onto the canvas. Dan O’Conner leaped into the ring and began pushing Abell and screaming at him. Ron Lyke jumped into the ring to defend his fighter as cornermen from all sides began storming the ring. Abell, stunned, did his best to try and break up the pile of battling cornermen. And Butler, as he began to awake from the knockout, lifted his head to see the dogpile tumbling out of control at his feet as he still lay on the canvas. And as everyone fell over each other and the fight began to peter out, it became clear that Abell didn’t know that he threw those final devastating punches after the bell. As Butler was getting up, Abell could be seen in his corner mouthing, ‘I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear it.’ Butler, realizing that Abell clearly did not intend to hit him after the bell, took the mike and put his arm around Joey and telling the crowd, “It was an accident. We are going to do it again.” And the crowd, shocked by the events that had just taken place, resolutely booed and even broke out into a couple of fights of their own. But after the earthquake and the aftershocks in the crowd subsided, almost everyone, from the fans, to the fighters, to the commissioners, and even the employees at the Target Center stood there for a moment with mouths agape, dumbstruck at the events which has just transpired. It was a fight finish which was truly surreal.


But for all that last night was, the fight at the Target Center will not soon be forgotten. For many in attendance last night, that fight showed boxing for what it is: blood and guts. Equally critical in all its circumstances, be they high or be they low, boxing shows us what life looks like when it is stripped down to its most crucial characteristics. Be it greatest glory, the toughest challenge, the deepest upset, or the most unpredictable chaos, boxing makes us focus on life’s biggest moments, and in the most brutal detail, it shows us the things we want to see, the things we don’t…and the things that we just can’t look away from. And that fight at the Target Center last night had it all.

Madness, Mayhem, Retirement, and The fight of the year?

Photos by


Mayhem in the ring, Courtesy

Mayhem in the ring, Courtesy

Last night belonged to Gary “Stone Cold” Eyer and Levi “The Shark” Cortes. Their clash was definitely fight of the night and to many observers fight of the year. Dan “The Common Man” Cole labeled it fight of the year directly after the action. The heavyweight battle we had been waiting for turned into mayhem in the ring. Confusion rained as the first round came to close and Joey Abell landed a vicious combo to Butlers head after the round had ended, causing an all out brawl in the ring between corner men and others, even spilling into the stands. Just prior to this fight Zach Walters was taken down by a buzz saw in Larry Sharpe, and after it was over Walters and his team informed us he would be retiring from the sport. Below is a quick rundown of last nights action. Laura Zink will have a full report with comments from Larry Sharpe, Gary Eyer, Tony Lee and more.


Saverino Garciavs Jacob Dobbe – (UD 40,36/40,36/39,37 Garcia) – Jacob Dobbe started the fight off with heavy pressure and big shots, stalking Garcia around the ring. The effort Dobbe put into that first round seemed to have drained him for the remaining three. Garcia used superior boxing skill to pick apart Dobbe for the rest of the fight.


William Gillette vs Boris- (TKO 57 seconds of 2nd, Boris) – Gillette won the first round in my opinion and then tasted The Russian Giants power in the second. To some it seemed like a quick stoppage, and to me it seemed that maybe Gillette didn’t let the ref know he was ready to continue after being knocked down two times.


Tony Lee (left), Courtesy

Tony Lee (left), Courtesy


Tony Leevs Hector Orozco – (UD 39,36/40,35/39,36 Lee) – Lee had Orozco down in the first round. He pretty much put on a boxing lesson for 3 rounds of 4. As usual Orozco was very game and continued to come forward for much of the fight. But the 4th round aside, Lee worked every legal portion of Orozco’s body. Very impressive pro debut for Lee. Laura Zink was able to catch up with Lee after the fight and will have his comments with her report later today.


Dave Petersonvs Silas Ortley – (TKO 1:22 of 4thround Dave) – Peterson had Ortley down 3 or 4 times in this fight, all from body blows. At one point Orley had to unload his cookies in the middle of the ring. Ortely started the fight throwing hard but very wide shots, and against a skilled fighter like Peterson it just left his body wide open. This was definitely not a pretty fight, but it was all Peterson in my opinion.


Gary Eyer (right), Courtesy

Gary Eyer (right), Courtesy


Gary Eyervs Levi Cortes – (UD  58,54/57,55/57,56 Eyer) – Holy Cow! I said this would be the fight of the night, and it really lived up to that billing. Cortes started the first round like a man possessed. His relentless attack on Eyer left many wondering if if Eyer would make it out on his feet. Turns out we have another Minnesota fighter with a steel chin. Levi Cortes unloaded some bombs square on Eyers face but even as some seemed to stun Eyer they did not hinder his fight. Eyer put Cortes on the mat in the 3rd and 5th rounds and that probably was the difference in this fight. While Cortes was always on the attack and landing some bombs, Eyer seemed to land more punches and did a good job of working the body.  I had Gary winning 4 rounds to 2, but according to the judges scores those two knock downs decided the winner. Laura Zink talked with Eyer after the fight and will include that with her report later today.


Levi Cortes (left), Courtesy

Levi Cortes (left), Courtesy


Ronnie Peterson vs Tomi Archambault- (Ronnie retired on stool after second round on advice of dr, Archambault) – Archambault got his revenge and his W back in this one. To be honest it never seemed like Peterson was in the fight. I was told that the shoulder that Peterson had surgically repaired last year was re injured and on the Dr’s advice Peterson did not come out for the third round.


Larry Sharpe, Courtesy

Larry Sharpe, Courtesy


Zach Walters vs Larry Sharpe - (TKO 57 seconds of 1rst round, Sharpe) – Sharpe told me prior to this fight he had a lot more pop at 170lbs and he showed that in this short fight. The bell rang and he just overwhelmed Walters with huge punches, putting Walters down two times before the fight was called. After the fight we were told that Jungle Boy would be retiring from the sport of boxing. Walters has as much going on outside of boxing and he will now focus on that. We will have more on Zach Walters later in the week. Laura Zink was able to get some comments from Larry Sharpe after the fight and will include in her report later today.


Abell landing final blow of bout, Courtesy

Abell landing final blow of bout, Courtesy


Joey Abell vs Raphael Butler- (Joey DQed for Knocking Butler out after the bell 1rstround) – Has been changed to a No Contest. – The first round had both fighters stunning the other with heavy shots, but the real action came after the bell. It is being reported that Abell and the ref did not hear the closing bell, and Joey Abell threw a huge combo on Butlers head, Knocking him out after the round had finished and Butler was not defending himself. This caused an initial ruling of DQ but later changed to no contest. It also cause something straight out of professional wrestling. Before the dust settled the ring was full with corner men and others in an all out brawl. Some were trying to stop the fighting while some were throwing down. The madness in the ring left one or two fights outside of the ring and in the crowd as supporters for Butler and Abell clashed.

Tomorrow’s Press Conference for Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell vs Raphael Butler

targetpostersmallproofIn attendance will be Minnesota’s best heavyweights past and present. Scott LeDoux and Duane Bobick are scheduled to be there to lend their support for Minnesota’s latest installment of battling big men. Along with superstars past, some of today’s best young talent will be on hand to discuss what is sure to be one of Minnesota’s biggest shows of the year.


Obviously the main attraction is Joey Abell (25,4) and Raphael Bulter (35,8) who will be there to share their thoughts on finally stepping in the ring to oppose each other as pros. If that isn’t enough heavyweight power for you, add Travis Walker (33,3,1) and Boris “The Russian Giant” (6,1). Six heavyweights spanning the last 40 years of boxing in one room, now that’s power.


To add to the already crowded room of fighters, mix in Minnesota’s light heavyweight champ, Zach “Jungle boy” Walters (24,4) along with Dave Peterson (11,0), Ronnie Peterson (3,0), and  Gary Eyer (6,0,1).


We will be there to cover this historic press conference and would like to give you an opportunity to have some of your questions answered. Please either leave a comment with your question or send them through our contact page.

Weigh – Ins for Bridge Battle 2 will be June 17 at Grandma’s Sports Garden.

This is what happened at the last weigh-in. I don’t think you are going to want to miss this one. Don’t miss the chance to see Andy “Kaos” Kolle, Zach “Jungleboy” Walters, Boris “The Russian Giant”  Shishporenok and their opponents step on the scale. You never know what may happen.

Some of the Match ups for June 18

Contracts are in for these fights.


Bridge Battle 2, June 18, Grandma’s Sports Garden.

bridge battle 2


Fresh off his very impressive 3rd round KO of Anthony “The Bullet” Bonsante, Andy “Kaos” Kolle will be making his debut at 154lbs against Anthony Shuler (20,5). Looks like Andy doesn’t want to waste any time in making a splash at his new weight.


Zach “Jungleboy” Walters will be making his first appearence in Duluth since 2005. He is going to be trying out his newly desired weight of 168lbs. This fight also puts him that much closer to his showdown with The Drill.


Duluth has been talking about this Russian Giant since his public workout with Al Sands. Now we get to see him at full strength. Boris is a very BIG man and I can not wait to see him unload.


Main Event 

Andy “Kaos” Kolle (18,2) vs Anthony Shuler (20,5)


Also featuring 

Zach “Jungleboy” Walters (23,4) vs James Morrow (11,12)


Boris “The Russian Giant” Shishporenok (6,1) vs Justin Keys (Pro debut)


There will be more announcements in the coming days. Stay tuned.


Remember if you are unable to make it to this exciting event it will be broadcast live at PPV.



May 21, Pro Boxing at Grandmas Sports Garden.

pro am may 21

Minnesota pro boxers; RJ Laase, Gary Eyer, Dave Peterson, along with the Russian Giant, Boris Shishporenok, All will be displaying their talents at Grandma’s Sports Garden May 21.



General $25 advanced purchase, $30 at the door.

VIP $40 advanced purchase, $50 at the door. VIP tickets come with access to above bar and all you can eat Pizza buffet.




Tickets can be purchased at:

Grandmas Sports Garden, All of  Grandma’s Restaurants; West Duluth, By Miller Mall, and Canal Park, The Great American Bar & Grill, Bellisio’s, Little Angie’s Cantina & Grill, Cloquet Ford, and Horton’s Gym. You can also get your tickets from your favorite professional or amateur Horton’s gym boxer.’s updated fight card

Thursday 21 May 2009  

Grandma’s Sports Garden, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

commission: Minnesota Boxing Commission
promoter: Chuck Horton : Horton’s Gym Promotions
matchmaker: Mike LeTourneau
tickets: (218) 722-4724
    division boxer W-L-D   opponent W-L-D      
    light welterweight Gary Eyer 5-0-1 SC ?   6  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
  light middleweight Dave Peterson 9-0-0 SC Joshua Rodriguez 4-7-0 6  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
    welterweight RJ Laase 4-0-0 SC Hector Orozco 0-1-0 4  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
    heavyweight Yevgeniy Shishporenok 6-1-0 SC Lyle McDowell 27-12-1 4  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
    cruiserweight Jorey Olson 0-0-0 SC Anthony Wallace 0-0-0 4  
  Both boxers debut.
bout subject to commission approval / change
    middleweight Tyler Hultin 0-0-0 SC Andson Griggs 1-0-1 4  
  Hultin debuts
bout subject to commission approval / changeFight Card Subject to Change


Please don’t forget to support Duluth’s Amateur Boxers by purchasing the quality “Golden Gloves” sweatshirts and T’s sold at Grandma’s Sports Garden.

“Bridge Battle” Pro boxing at Grandma’s Sports Garden, May 21, Fight Card as it stands today

Sports Garden

We have a planned interview with Chuck Horton this week to get the latest on this event.





  division boxer W-L-D   opponent W-L-D      
    light welterweight Gary Eyer 5-0-1 SC ?   6  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
  light middleweight Dave Peterson 9-0-0 SC Joshua Rodriguez 4-7-0 6  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
    welterweight RJ Laase 4-0-0 SC Hector Orozco 0-1-0 4  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
    heavyweight Yevgeniy Shishporenok 6-1-0 SC Rocky Graziano Jr 4-1-0 4  
  bout subject to commission approval / change  
    cruiserweight Jorey Olson 0-0-0 SC Anthony Wallace 0-0-0 4  
  Both boxers debut.
bout subject to commission approval / change

Grandma’s Amateur Show

Grandma’s was again packed with fight fans. It was a night of great fights and big news. There were three public workouts, nine Golden Glove bouts, and one exhibition. Along with all the action, Chuck Horton announced his next professionalboxing event. May 21, will see live professional boxing at Grandma’s Sports Garden. RJ Laase, Gary Eyer, Boris Shishporenok, and Dave Peterson will all be in action.


To the fights. Winners are in bold. Public workouts and the exhibition do not have a winner or loser.


Public Workout


Justin Seehus vs Dakota Spray – Battle of the buddies. They came out guns a blaze. These guys have really come a long way in a short time.


Joe Fisher vs Colton O’Connel – These guys went at it.


Randall Gonge Jr. vs Anthony Thoen


Golden Gloves Boxing


Will Mathews (Horton’s) vs Russell Stone (Moore Boxing Club) – Will was shot out of a cannon. He came out throwing and didnt stop until the bell rang. The second and third round Russel used his jab and the fact that Will may have punched himself out to win this one.


Mark Pogorelskin(Horton’s) vs Miguel Dominguez (Circle of Discipline)- Im not joking when I say I think Miguel was a foot taller. Mark “Magic” Pogorelskin was more than a game opponent in this fight. He showed huge heart in continuing his charge against the much taller guy. In the end, size mattered.


Cody Lund (Horton’s) vs Edward Serrano (Circle of Discipline) – All three rounds were packed with bombs. The third round won it for Cody when he landed some big shots putting Edward on rubber leg street.


Evan Wrazidlo (Horton’s) vs Isaiah Abalan(Circle of Discipline) – Evan was the slicker of the two and the winner.


Dawson Wrazidlo (Horton’s) vs Celso Ramirez (Circle of Discipline) – Dawson forced the action and landed the bigger shots.


Cole Wrazidlo (Horton’s) vs Otahl Saunders (Circle of Discipline) – Otahl had a big height advantage and used it. Cole never quit and just kept using his slickness and power. While Cole landed the bigger shots, Otahl landed more punches and won the fight.


Mike Monchamp (Horton’s) vs Trevor Marmon (Horton’s) – Really good fight with both guys taking turns applying the pressure. Towards the end of the bout, speedy seemed to get the better of it.


Winston Anderson (Horton’s) vs Riley Rinas (Horton’s) – Lots of exchanges with Winston always seeming to get the better punches landed.


Matt McGregor (Horton’s) vs Alex Eskola (Horton’s) – Both of these fellas know how to throw and land bombs. Matt used his height and active accurate punches to win this one. Fight of the night in my opinion.




Al Sands vs Boris – Boris is a big man! This was a fun sparring session to watch. Al used his movement and Boris’s good nature to get some good ring time with a professional boxer.

May 21, Duluth, RJ,Eyer,Boris,Dave Peterson

It was announced at the Grandma’s amateur card tonight that May 21 at Grandma’s Sports Garden there will be a ProAm event featuring RJ Laase, Gary Eyer, Boris, and Dave Peterson. There will be more information to follow.


It was another great night of boxing. Grandma’s and Horton’s gym are becoming quite a team for Duluth boxing.


Boris and Al Sands had an entertaining three round exhibition tonight as well.


It was a pleasure meeting Ron Peterson, Dave Peterson and Boris tonight.


Again, I will have a full rundown of the nights events tomorrow.