September 22, RDS Promotions brings you Pro Boxing featuring, Caleb “Golden” Truax (18,1,1), Antonio Johnson, Donny “Drama” Tierney, and more…
Before the fights, Check out some sweet rides, Saint Paul Harley-Davidson..
Good Friday Night Fights – Grand Casino Hinckley: April 2, 2010
By: Laura Zink
Ah boxing…one of life’s great opportunities to relish the thrill of the unexpected…
The fights at Grand Casino Hinckley on Friday gave us a taste of the unexpected. There were tough fights fought rougher than ever expected; there were fights that were electrifying and shorter than projected, and there were rematches with outcomes more convincing than previously contested. Let’s just put it this way, almost everyone there that night, from the fighters, to the fans, to the promoters, to the Casino itself – we were all in for a night full of surprises.
To kick things off, middleweights Tyler Hultin and Tim Taggart both knew that they were getting into a tough fight. Having battled it out in the amateurs, both fighters were aware of the other’s talents.
“I knew that he was a tough fighter,” Hultin said about Taggart. “He was one of those natural athletes that you know that he is going to be strong no matter what.”
“I knew that it would be a battle coming into it,” Taggart said about fighting Hultin.
Both of the men were coming in to the fight looking to make a decisive statement about their skill and toughness, and both had a clear plan about how that statement would be made. They went to war to try to prove that point – Hultin using his boxing skills, and Taggart using his size and strength.
“I was definitely trying to get a signature out of it,” Hultin commented about his intentions for the fight. “I wanted to make a stand that I am going to be a force to reckon with. So I put the time and energy into the training and learned some totally new stuff. And it was working great. Going in there, I knew what I had to do. Not all of it worked, but a lot of it did.”
“Well,” Taggart said with a short laugh, “it wasn’t the whole plan to keep it active like that. Once we got in there emotion took over. I should work on that a little bit. But going through it, it was a lot about heart. I couldn’t let him beat me in my own town. I had to go all out. I went all out.”
And as the rounds went on, endless barrages of punches in bunches ensued from both sides. The crowd was electrified by the performance until the final round where both went at each other, Taggart against the ropes and both men tossing everything they had left at each other at close range until the bell.
“For the first round, I was definitely wanting to come up the middle, keep it tight with defense, tight arms in and throw straight down the middle,” Hultin explained. “And I was. I was making him miss. It was working. So then I got some encouragement from my corner to come out a little more wide and tee off and mix it up with a lot more punches. Everything that they told me to do was working. I felt that the first two rounds were great. The third round was questionable for me – just with the way that I was feeling and getting tagged with a couple of punches. In the fifth and final round, I thought that there was no question that I outscored and outpunched…everything.”
“His punches, he didn’t hurt me very much,” Taggart commented. “That first one maybe, there was a kind of shock, kind of like ‘Oh, ok.’ But his punches didn’t hurt me. I think I hurt him though. I think he felt my punches for sure, especially my jab. I was snapping them out there pretty good and connecting them very well. I think he felt mine a little bit more than I felt his.”
And after all of that hard work, the fight was declared a draw, a decision clearly unexpected by both fighters.
“Obviously the outcome was definitely a shocker for me,” Hultin said. “As a fighter, when I was fighting him, I maybe gave him one round that I felt that he over-edged me on. Other than that, I was doing great. I was doing what I was told. I was landing clean shots. And I thought my defense was at the top. I got head-butted a few times, but other than that… His punches weren’t that effective, so I don’t know how they were scoring it as they did. It was definitely one of those things that I have to go back to and watch the fight and maybe see what other people were seeing that I didn’t. But I am happy with the fight. I want to thank Tim Taggart for taking the fight with me.”
“I mean, after the fight, I was tired and exhausted…and I was still a little mad about the draw,” Taggart said.” I thought it could have went my way. But now, I am feeling happy about it. The fans have come up to me and said, ‘Wow. That was a hell of a fight.’ I mean, that’s who it’s for. Yeah, it can advance my career, too, but these guys are the ones we fight for. I am glad. I am proud. I was in there and had that kind of a fight. I think that we will probably fight again in the future if management goes well. That was a fight worth seeing again, I believe.”
The next unexpected chain of events happened not because of a fight, but in spite of one. After considerable effort by the Midwest Sports Council and the Grand Casino Hinckley to stage what may be the biggest selling fight in Grand Casino boxing history, the unthinkable happened – the ring collapsed.
Creaked, shifted, bowed, and fell in with fighters Dan Copp and Dion Tierney still in the ring awaiting their decision. It seemed as if April Fools’ Day came one day late this year for Minnesota boxing. And as the ring announcer called Don Tierney winner by spilt decision over Dan Copp, Gary Eyer, who was warming up for the next fight of the night, got the following surprising news…
“Yeah, they just came into there and they were like, ‘The ring collapsed. It’s going to be awhile,’” Eyer said. “Everybody just looked at each other all quiet. And they were just like, ‘Go look for yourself.’ I had to get my gloves off and put on a shirt and just, I went to check it out…just like everybody else.”
By the time everybody else was out there, the ring had a concave center. The staff at the Grand Casino worked fervently under the ring to try to bring the canvas back up. They brought in cement blocks to stabilize the ring posts, hauled in heavy stage boards to create an unshakable platform for the ring to rest on, they brought in wood planks to reinforce the base. They fought with the ring, trying to rebalance it, re-raise the center, and flatten out the bows and bumps on the canvas to provide a safe and stable surface for the fights to continue. And while they worked to try and save the fights, Eyer returned to his dressing room to regroup and refocus.
“It messed things up a little bit,” Eyer explained. “I was psyching myself up getting mean, and then all of a sudden the ring collapsed, and I had to get nice again. It’s not easy. I think what helped was that there was a TV in the dressing room and the guys turned it on and we watched Friday Night Fights in there. That calmed everybody down.”
And when Eyer came to the fight, he was intending to use the fight with Patraw as an opportunity to win a match by a more lengthy display of skill, throwing the crafty combinations he had been training himself to utilize in this bout. But as he was finally able to go out to fight, he had the following things on his mind…
“When I was jumping up and down in the corner getting warmed up, I felt a real loud noise and I thought that it was collapsing again,” Eyer said. “But then it got strong again. I was kind of shocked a little bit. And then the bell rang, and just…they got me a little paranoid back in the dressing room that I can’t win a decision, so I just blanked out and went crazy.”
In round 1, Patraw started off the bout as the aggressor, using his jab and even sneaking in a stiff right uppercut that sent Eyer’s head flipping back.
“I know that he started out with a good jab,” Eyer commented, “and then he threw a good right uppercut. It got me square on the chin and I was like, ‘Ooo, I’m gonna be in a good fight.’”
Eyer responded to Patraw’s uppercut with a right hand that sent Patraw back onto the canvas. And even though it was a good shot, the result was still a surprise to Eyer.
“I hit him with a right hand, just a little right hand, and then it ended up hurting him and I just stayed on him,” Eyer explained. “I was kind of surprised. I didn’t think I put everything in it. But it got him and for some reason it just hurt him.”
Both fighters exchanged until a left and a right from Eyer caused Patraw to almost fall rear-first through the ropes, a circumstance which earned him his second 8 count. Patraw, mouthing “What the f*$k?,” was seemingly under the impression that he did not understand why he was being given an 8 count.
“There should have been no standing 8 count,” Patraw stated after the fight. “He gave me a standing 8 count for no reason at all when he specifically said before we fought that there were no standing 8 counts. We are not amateurs. Let me fight. If I am exchanging punches, I should be able to exchange punches. You don’t come and stop it. You stop it if I am on the damn ground. It is as simple as that. That is all I have to really say.”
But whatever kind of 8 count it was, Patraw was hurt in that first round. After that round, the fight did not last much longer. Patraw did his best to turn the tide at the beginning of round two, but his legs just didn’t seem to be under him anymore. At 1 minute and 16 seconds into round 2, Eyer landed 2 right hands that sent Patraw back on wobbly legs. The ref stepped in and called the fight and Partaw, enraged, protested the stoppage. And Eyer was a bit surprised that Patraw was so surprised at the outcome.
“I was thinking ‘Why didn’t they just stop it after the first round?’” Eyer commented after the fight. “I mean, he was pretty hurt. Why didn’t the corner stop it or the ref? I was a little shocked there. He wasn’t going to recover. I wasn’t going to give him a chance at all. It was going to be like that every second of every round until he was gone.”
And in another surprise that night, Hector Orozco staged a convincing upset over Jeremy McLaurin. Orozco proved to fans not only is he willing to take on stiff competition, he can beat them, too.
“I only have 16 fights overall,” Orozco explained. “I only had 5 amateur fights. In our gym, we don’t take slouches. The best way to improve is to improve fast. I know I am pretty young, 22, but before I get old I want to reach the top as quick as I can. And the only way that you can do it is take on the best. What’s the point of taking on guys that you can easily knock out?”
“I am feeling as confident as hell,” Orozco said. “I mean I am already improving from the last Jeremy fight to this Jeremy fight, I improved a lot…in only a two month span. I am ready to improve a lot more now. I am still going to take on the best. I am going to be a better boxer. Everyone thinks that I am just a brawler, but actually you are going to see a boxing brawler. And I am just going to improve and take on the best. You are only going to get better by taking on the best. And I am not scared of the best. I am not scared to take a punch from one of the best. I would actually like it to see how good they really are. The only way to find out is to get in the ring with them. All you are going to see from me is improvement and more exciting fights. I am never going to give you a boring fight ever.”
But with all of the surprises that night, there was one fighter whose night went almost exactly to plan – that fighter was Minnesota State champ, Andy “Kaos” Kolle.
“We worked on that ever since the first fight,” Kolle explained about his game plan with Vanda. “That is the way that I should have fought him the first fight. I have proven that I can fight with Matt Vanda and box with Matt Vanda. I opted for the fighting route and made it hard on myself the first time. This time, I was like, ‘I am going to do my best and box smart and keep it out.’
And the fight did go almost exactly to plan, Kolle using his jab and straight 1,2’s which tagged Vanda and stifled many of Vanda’s plans to land a right hand, left hook on Kolle. Kolle outboxed Vanda so convincingly that Vanda himself took the last 10 seconds of round 10 to hug Kolle and congratulate Kolle’s on his victory.
“I think he definitely used his jab a little bit more,” Vanda said about his fight with Kolle. “I think he was more cautious early on. He didn’t want to get caught maybe, but he boxed good. And he fought the last couple of rounds good. I give him all the credit in the world. He kept fighting. And it takes a man to fight me two times. Most people wouldn’t do it. It takes a man to get into the ring with me two times. And I will give him all of the respect in the world because he knew that I wanted to knock him out, and I tried, and I couldn’t do it. He’s a tough, tough kid. My hat’s off to him. Whatever he’s got in the future, I hope he does good. We’re done. Me and him are done. I feel good about it though.”
And what’s next for Vanda? Any surprises in store for fans in the future?
“Ah….you know….I don’t know what’s up after that. That might be it,” Vanda said in the side room after the fight. His face turned serious and he took a brief pause.
“Just kidding HAHAHAHAHA!” Vanda laughed. “I fight ‘til I can’t fight no more. I might take a little time off. I fight so much, it don’t really matter. But I will be back in there sooner or later. Right now, I am drinking Jack Daniels and getting ready to have a good time tonight. Whatever. I don’t give a f*$k!”
So maybe some of the events at the Grand Casino were unexpected, but, hey, that’s boxing. That night all of the fighters and the Grand Casino proved that boxing is about adapting to the unexpected and fighting it out for the fans. We were given a hell of a show last Friday night and everyone worked together to pull it off. Heck, what would the fights be without the thrill of the unexpected?
Hinckley Grand Casino hosted another night of great boxing action. There was all out war between Tyler Hultin and Tim Taggart, Hector Orozco stunned the crowd with a huge upset, Gary Eyer showed to be a beast at 126, and Andy Kolle added more proof to why most people have him as one of Minnesota’s finest and somebody who should soon be making a splash on the national scene. Oh yeah, and the ring came crashing down two fights into the night. I heard reports that last night was the largest selling boxing event Hinckley Grand Casino has had and the volume of the fans during Eyer/Patraw and Kolle/Vanda sure seem to attest to that. Below is a quick rundown of last nights events. Laura Zink will also have a report coming later today or tomorrow with more pictures and comments from some of the fighters.
Tyler Hultin Draw Tim Taggart (D48,47Hultin/48,47Taggart/48,48) – Probably the fight of the night. Andy Kolle was right when he predicted that you wouldn’t want to close your eyes for even a second in this one. This fight started with bad intentions in every pop, both guys were seemingly looking for the home run from the get-go. As the fight progressed both fighters seemed to find their fight. Taggart was sticking to trying to overpower with almost every shot while Hultin was using superior boxing skill. During round 4 Hultin went for the fences and the force of his swing put him on his backside and was ruled a slip. As rounds 4 and 5 went on both fighters lost much of the zip on their punches but were still working hard. I had the fight 3 rounds to 2 in favor of Hultin but had no problem with it being ruled a Draw. Great fight.
Don Tierney over Dan Copp (SD40,36Tierney/40,36Copp/39,38Tiernery) – This was a back and forth fight with Donny Drama using better boxing skill and stiffer shots to win the day. It was not a pretty fight but both guys went after it even as they were lacking in strength and stamina towards the end.
Gary Eyer over Brad Patraw (TKO 1:16 2nd) -” Take my breathaway” , That was Eyer’s entrance music for this night and thats just what he did to the fans and Patraw. For the time that it was going on, it was all action. Eyer looked very strong at his new weight and put Patraw down three times in the one and a half rounds they fought. Patraw landed some good shots of his own but Eyer was just overpowering. Some fans were disappointed with the stoppage as was Patraw and his trainers, but talking to several ringside officials, they agreed with the stoppage stating a fighters safety comes first. All action while it lasted, fun fight. It will be interesting to see what is next for Gary “Take My Breath Away” Eyer.
Hector Orozco over Jeremy McLaurin (UD60,54/58,56/59,55) – To me, this fight looked a lot like their first bout and add two rounds. Orozco looked even more smothering this time and would not stay out of McLaurins face. Many were surprised that like the last fight McLaurin did not use his big height and reach advantage, but in talking with McLaurin it seems Orozco never gave him an opportunity to get that distance. The fight was Hector Orozco stalking McLaurin around the ring for 6 rounds. Jeremy McLaurin did land some big shots but not enough and not nearly enough of the jab. Great win for Orozco.
Andy Kolle over Matt Vanda (UD99,92/97,93/99,92) – Andy “Kaos” Kolle left little doubt last night as to who the best middleweight in the state is. He not only retained his title but almost won every round on many peoples scorecards. I had it 9 rounds to 1 or 8 rounds to 2, to be fair a couple rounds were close. The fight was not like Kolle/Vanda one, Kolle was a machine that fired in straight hard lines and Vanda could never get it figured out. To Vanda’s credit, he was there all night long eating and throwing punches. Most of the fight was Vanda trying to work through Kolles defence while Kolle was shooting a great jab and hard straight lefts. By the last few rounds Vanda’s corner was yelling for the KO as they knew Kolle was way ahead on the scorecards. After the fight Kolle stated his wish to campaign at 154 nationally but also understanding that givin his size, and southpaw stance it is still an uphill climb. Id love to see Kolle get an opportunity with a John Duddy or Julio Cesar Chaves Jr but I’m not too sure if they would be willing to step in with him.
MSC, RDS, and Hickley Grand Casino worked together again to put on a great show even with a ring collapse.
Fight Report – February 5th 2010 at First Avenue in Minneapolis
“Fights Won and Fights to Come”
By: Laura Zink
At First Avenue Night Club in Minneapolis last night, a capacity crowd filled the club not for rocking, but for socking in the venue’s first ever professional boxing card. Like the venue, which seemed a promising new location for fights, the fights themselves inaugurated this new venture with fights won and the promise of bigger fights to come.
Pat “the Cat” Coleman took a beating from Andy “Kaos” Kolle in the main event of the evening. Though Coleman played the part well in his pre fight antics, telling the crowd with a big smile that they are going to see how “Damn, he cold! You watch!”, when the bell rang he was all about defense. Round after round Kolle had to try to break through the guard of Coleman who kept his forearms cradled around his head almost the entire bout. Kolle tried straight shots to break through the middle, hooks to the body to bring the arms down, and hooks to the head to work around it, but the guard, for the most part, stayed up and prevented any serious power shots from getting through.
In round three, however, Kolle found a brief opening during a mid-round lull to land 2 straights and a left which sent Coleman back a bit, wobbling as he stepped backward into the center of the ring with his arms down. Similarly in round four, Kolle landed another sizable left which caused Coleman to fold over forward, resulting in a tangle which made him slip onto his hands and knees. As he lifted himself up, he made protests to ref Nelson from a bloody mouth full of red teeth. By the end of the round the doc was in Coleman’s corner checking his left eye which, similarly, had its white completely infused with blood as well. It was clear that Coleman’s sight was in serious jeopardy. Still, Coleman continued on into round five, but he suffered more of the same, Kolle working in more combos to the head, which again, made Coleman wobble mid-round. Yet, Coleman did not go down for good until he returned to his corner after round five. With ring doc again standing over him and examining his eye, he told ref Nelson that he could not continue due to a lack of sight. Just as the bikinied ring card girl made her final turn around the ring to announce round six, the fight was called and Andy Kolle stood on the corner ropes the victor.
“Yeah, he had good defense,” Andy told the ring announcer after the fight, “He got in that shell all night so it was hard to land good shots….He knew how to protect himself and stay alive.”
“And from what I understand,” the ring announcer returned, “The fight is now signed, sealed and delivered, it’s a rematch coming up in the spring. You will be fighting Matt “The Predator” Vanda.”
“I look forward to fighting Matt,” Kolle said and pointed a finger out into the crowd. “I see Matt over there. He’s a good guy. I love that guy. It was a tough fight. It’s a fight that the fans want to see, and I just want to give the fans what they want.”
“My guess is that you are expecting the same tough rugged fight that you had the last time,” the announcer continued. “Would you approach this fight any differently? I am sure that you have changed as a fighter, and so has Matt.”
“I am a lot smarter now,” Kolle responded. “Back then, that was early in my career. I went to war with him, and I shouldn’t have done that. But I fought his fight. And this time, we are going to come with something different…and it is going to be my fight.”
The co-main event of the evening had a similar ring as the main event – the principal fighter looking forward to the bouts to come. The manifestation of the fight, however, was markedly different than the main event. Where Kolle had to work though getting past a surviving fighter’s defense, Javonte Starks got to practice his defense against an ever-coming, ever-throwing Alex Gonzalez.
Starks started the bout with 2 jabs which ignited an explosion of punches from Gonzalez. Gonzalez attempted to use the barrage as a way to move Starks from one end of the ropes to another. But Starks, cool and collected in the pressure, used the flurries as an opportunity to show his catching skills, shifting and moving through one shot to the next and making almost none of Gonzalez’s shots land cleanly. After the barrage, Gonzalez was clearly gassed, so Starks took the reins. Walking Gonzalez down, Starks landed one head shot which bent Gonzalez over, another shot which punched Gonzalez down more, and 3 more which made Gonzalez kiss canvas and caused the ref wave off the fight in 2 minutes and 51 seconds of the first round.
“I was practicing my defense,” Starks told the announcer after the fight, “catching punches. I wanted to please the fans a little bit so I let it go a little longer than it should have.”
Starks then took a moment to remind fans that the more fights he has, the better the competition will be in the future.
In the prelims, Jeremy McLaurin faced a seriously tough fight with Hector Orozco. From the millisecond the bell rung, Orozco exploded into a barrage of head shots. McLaurin, looking somewhat surprised, moved back and tried to get some distance and range so that he could start landing. It didn’t happen. Orozco, sensing that his pressure tactics were overwhelming any opportunity for McLaurin to throw, kept up the pace the entire round, barreling in with looping shots and, once in, closing the distance by stuffing his head into McLaurin’s chest and hitting the body until they tangled and had to be separated by the ref.
By round two, cries could be heard from ringside screaming at McLaurin to “JAB!! JAB!!! JAB JEREMY!!” But the well-wishers admonitions could not turn the tide as Orozco kept up his stifling pace and made McLaurin work more on moving than finding his usual clean shots. The pressure built more as round three wore on because fans, knowing that this was a four round fight, clearly felt that McLaurin had to pick up the pace in order to gain some leverage with the judges. And while round three was much closer that the previous two, clearly something spectacular needed to happen if McLaurin were to win the fight.
This spectacle happened in round three with a terrible right hand from McLaurin. The punch sliced into Orozco’s eye and opened a gash right under his eyebrow. The cut began to open more and bleed, bleed, bleed into his eye as it began to swell shut toward the end of the final round. Ref Nelson called Orozco over to the doctor for an examination. As the doc’s face became more concerned and his questions became more intent, Orozco began to plead with the doctor to let him continue…but alas for Orozco, the fight was called in1 minute and 41 seconds into the 4th round due to the injury, making McLaurin the winner.
“I’ll keep fighting,” Orozco told me outside the venue after the fight, “You are going to see me again.”
And in previous bouts, it seems that there are other things that boxing fans will get to see again. After knocking out William Bellcourt in a mere 1 minute and 55 seconds of the first round, Antwan “Lil Superman” Robertson agreed to a rematch with “Bad” Brad Patraw.
As Robertson was about to make his exit, Patraw hopped up into the ring. As the crowd booed, Patraw took the mic and, with a smile on his face, looked at Robertson and said, “All I gotta say is I’m looking for my rematch.”
Playful in spirit, Robertson stomped his foot hard on the canvas in a theatric of mock shock.
“You got it!” Robertson said, “You gave me a shot. You beat me, and I beat you. Let’s do it!”
Both fighters smiled and exited the ring as the crowd cheered the idea of a rubber match between two fighters who collided both in the amateurs and now what will be the third time in the pros.
And finally, in the kick off of the evening, the crowd was treated to a double-header of quick knockouts. After slamming into Andrew Kato and causing him to flop over head first on third rope in round one, Don Tierney knocked out Kato in 21 seconds of the second round. And for the first bout of the evening Jose Hilario got a lightning fast KO victory over Joe Negron in a mere 41 seconds of round 1.
The Midwest Sports Council, RDS Company, and First Avenue Nightclub put on a fun night of fights. The place was packed with vocal fans. Although it turned out to be a short night of fights due to stoppages, it only seemed to add to the excitement among screaming fans. There were two announcements made regarding Minnesota state champions defending their titles. “Bad” Brad Patraw entered the ring after Antwan “Little Superman” Robertson won his fight and challenged him to a rematch for the state belt. After Andy “Kaos” Kolle won his fight they announce April 2 will bring on Kolle/Vanda 2. Aside from all of the big knock-downs, announcements and KO’s, the fight of the night belonged to Jeremy McLaurin and Hector Orozco. Below is a quick run-down of last night’s events. Laura Zink will also have a report later today.
Jose Hilario over Joe Negron (KO 41 seconds into the first round) – Hilario attacked and KOed Negron with a huge left hook. KO of the night.
Don Tierney over Andrew Kato (TKO 21 seconds into the second round) – Tierney was the slicker and faster fighter. While Kato was throwing and for the most part missing with big shots, Tierney was moving and landing shots of his own, putting Kato on the mat two times in the first round. The second round started with a mad rush by Tierney that did not subside until the fight was stopped 21 seconds into the second round.
Antwan Robertson over William Bellcourt (TKO at 1:55 of the first round) – Robertson was just too fast with his jab and movement for Bellcourt. Superman landed hard clean shots at will until the fight was stopped.
Jeremy McLaurin over Hector Orozco (Dr stopped the fight at 1:41 of the fourth and final round due to cut above Orozco’s eye caused by a right hand.) – This was the fight of the night. It reminded me a little of Eyer/Cortez. Orozco brought the pressure and big shots for much of the fight. Most observers had Orozco up by two rounds going into the third. McLaurin seemed to come alive in the third round using his length and superior boxing skills but Orozco was still able to land his shots and muscle McLaurin around a bit, very close round. The fourth round looked a lot like the third with McLaurin probably winning it up until a right hand from McLaurin caused a cut above Hectors left eye that the Dr deemed too serious to allow the fight to go on. Nice come-back win for McLaurin and a very tough break for Orozco.
Javontae Starks over Alex Gonzalez (TKO at 2:51 of the first round) – The fight began with Gonzalez in his pro debut firing nonstop for most of the first half of the round. Though he was firing, little was hitting the always calm, cool, and collected Starks. When he wanted to, Starks opened his guard and landed monster punches whenever he desired. My last note before the stoppage was that it looked almost as though Starks was toying with Gonzalez until the ref stepped in and stopped things.
Andy “Kaos” Kolle over Pat Coleman (Coleman quit after the fifth round claiming he could not see) – This fight in a nut shell was Kolle throwing and Coleman standing in his guard. As the fight progressed Kolle began to get clean shots through Colemans guard by nailing the body and moving upstairs. All rounds showed Kolle throwing shots at Coleman as he back him through all portions of the ring. Although Kolle had him wobbled on a few occasions, Coleman only hit the mat in the fourth. The end of the fourth and through the 5th was Kolle throwing 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, and following up with 5 and 6 punch combos. It was clear after the fourth round that Coleman was beginning to have trouble seeing as the constant slam of Kolle’s lefts and rights were beginning to blind him. After the fifth round was over Coleman told his corner he could not see and the fight was stopped. This leads us to what may become the event of 2010, Andy Kolle vs Matt Vanda, April 2.
First off, I want to give credit where credit is due. MSC, RDS company, and Hinckley Grand Casino held what has to be one of the years best cards. I want to specifically congratulate Cory Rapacz on the best matched card of the year in my opinion, there was only one fight where the judges were not needed. All but two fights were close in my mind.
This night belonged to Matt Vanda, he is a Minnesota boxing superstar. There is just something about Skeletor/The Predator that feels almost bigger than the fights. His walk to the ring with loud heavy music blaring is really something to be seen in person. Once that first bell rang, this fight pretty much belonged to the teacher. Vanda stalked, landed, joked, taunted, and defended with the aggression and control of guy who knew he was just too much for the less experienced foe.
Vanda took my keys to the fight and threw them out the window. Guess there is a reason he has a MUCH greater boxing mind in his corner, Ron Lyke. Vanda acted and looked to be the stronger man. He landed the much more meaningful punches and was pressing and pushing Williams around the ring with what looked to me to be EASE. This fight was pretty much the exact opposite of what I thought it would be. During the 8th round Vandas corner was yelling “He can’t hurt you”. Phil Williams just looked like he never got started. The Drill maybe let two or three of his bombs fly in this fight, and against a guy with as much experience and understanding of the ring as Matt Vanda, that’s just never going to work for somebody who’s game depends on power. As a guy who sat ringside for Williams fight against Echols, I was baffalled and frustrated at the way The Drill approached this one. Matt Vanda deserves credit for how he outclassed Williams from start to finish. In what to me was a big surprise, the judges scored this a split decision, thankfully the right guy won. (SD, 97,93/ 96,95/ 97,94/ Matt Vanda winner) After the fight I started to ask Phil Williams why he never let his hands go? Before I got the words out of my mouth, Williams said “I know I should have let my hands go”.
The co main event was Wilton Hilario vs Leon Bobo and this one had no chance of being pretty. Hilario came to fight, but you need two to tango. Bobo was fast and allusive, but that is pretty much it. I give credit to Hilario for doing all he could to make it a fight and watchable for the fans. (UD, 78,74/ 78,74/ 79,73/ Wilton Hilario winner)
Lamar Harris vs Cerresso Fort was the fight of the night. Well, the fight of the night if you love toe to toe slug fests, and I do. You could see the bad blood Jesse Kelley of MinnesotaBoxing.com had reported yesterday. These guys were throwing home run swings from the start. Both Harris and Fort had the other hurt at several points. After this fight there should be no question about the chins of either of these guys. Handling the shots of Harris should leave no question that Fort is strongly in the mix a middle. (UD, 59,56/ 58,54/ 59,55/ Cerresso Fort winner)
Javontae Starks vs Dan Copp was pretty much what all expected it to be, a great debut for Starks. The first round was mostly just testing out the waters. Round two was ended by the vicious body blows Starks was known for as an amateur. (TKO 1:29 of the second, Javontae Starks winner)
The night started with a with a pretty exciting fight. Tim Taggart vs Sam Morales was a slug fest, not much in the way of defense. (MD, 38,38/ 38,38/ 39,37/ last judge scoring for Taggart)
Also on the card was Zach Schumach vs Don Tierney (MD, 38,38/ 39,38/ 39,37/ Zach Schumach winner)
Stay tuned for Laura Zink’s fight report and comments from Vanda and Williams.
The conference room where the weigh-ins were held was standing room only. Trainers, fighters, and spectators were all eager to get this exciting show rolling. Fox Sports North was on hand to cover the beginning of what will culminate tomorrow night at 7:30PM, with FSN coverage beginning at 8:45PM. Jim Erickson went over the rules and some questions were asked about details of what would be acceptable for rapping hands. Matt Vanda looked to be in good spirits as did most of the fighters. Below are some short quotes and weights from tonight’s event.
Phil “The Drill” Williams – “It is going to be a great show. I told you this would be my year, 2010 will be too.”
Wilton Hilario – “I am ready to fight”
Javontae Starks – “Excited, I am ready. I want to get this first one over with.”
Tim Taggart – “I’m excited to be back home to fight.”
Phil Williams 164.5
Matt Vanda 164
Leon Bobo 131 – one pound over, he had two hours to get down to 130 fight weight
Wilton Hilario 130
Cerresso Fort 161.5
Lamar Harris 160
Sam Morales 163.5
Tim Taggart 163
Zach Schumach 150
Don Tierney 149.5
Dan Copp 154
Javontae Starks 153.5
With the fights being broadcast on FSN, the main event featuring Matt Vanda vs Phil Williams will be broadcast first after the Wild game. It is listed as 8:45PM. So unlike on most cards it will not be the last fight of the night. If you wait to enter you may miss the headliners. The non TV fights start at 7:30 PM and the card goes as follows.
1.Tim Taggart vs. Sam Morales
2. Don Tierney vs. Zach Schumach
Fox Sports North Broadcast
3. Matt Vanda vs. Phil Williams
4. Wilton Hilario vs. Leon Bobo
5. Cerresso Fort vs. Lamar Harris
6. Javontae Starks vs. Dan Copp
Fight card, as it stands today. Card is subject to change.
1. middleweight Matt Vanda v. Karl Noons 8 rounds
2. super featherweight Allen Litzau v. Wilton Hilario 10 rounds
3. featherweight Jason Litzau v. Daniel Mitchell 8 rounds
4. light heavyweight Phil Williams v. Reggie La Crete 6 rounds
5. middleweight Cerresso Fort v. Robert Kliewer 6 rounds
6. light middleweight Don Tierney v. David Duncan 4 rounds
7. welterweight Jon Laboda v. Michael Davis 4 rounds