Kolle, Eyer, and Orozco come away with big wins.

Photos by SnapLocally.com

 

Vanda (left) Kolle (right), Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Vanda (left) Kolle (right), Courtesy SnapLocally.com

 

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.

 

Copp (left) Tierney (right) Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Copp (left) Tierney (right) Courtesy SnapLocally.com

 

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.

 

Eyer (right) landing a huge right, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Eyer (right) landing a huge right, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

 

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

Hector Orozco

 

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 "Kaos" Kolle, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

 

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.

 

11

A conversation with Minnesota’s middleweight champ Kaos. Andy “Kaos” Kolle Interview

Matt Vanda/Andy Kolle Courtesy Walters Photography, all rights reserved

Matt Vanda/Andy Kolle Courtesy Walters Photography, all rights reserved

Its only days away, the showdown between Minnesota’s middleweight champ Andy “Kaos” Kolle and Matt Vanda April 2 at Hinckley Grand Casino. There have been several big MN vs MN showdowns, but few live up to the hype. Vanda/Kolle 1 did more than live up to the hype, it was a fan friendly war in the ring with Kaos coming away with the win and in his words “a great time.”  I have yet to talk to anybody who was not entertained by the first installment of the fight. Kolle/Vanda 2 should be all that and more. Vanda has much to prove after Manfredo as well as just needing another good win to stay in the mix nationally. Kolle has much more to lose in this fight; he already has a win against Vanda, he is the Minnesota middleweight champ, he is coming off of three impressive KO’s.  But the bottom line is this, Kolle/Vanda 2 has all the makings for the biggest event of the year. Neither Kolle or Vanda are going to back down from anybody and that includes each other. No matter who you are pulling for, this fight should please. Below is a recent conversation we had with Andy “Kaos” Kolle.

 

M….After having that huge victory over Bonsante and following it up with another great KO of Shuler, was it hard watching guys like Vanda and Truax having all those fights in 2009?

 

Kolle….Yes, very hard. Especially after winning that fight against Bonsante, we really wanted to ride that out, and were hoping to be able to do that nationally, unfortunately that’s not how it worked out. It is what it is.

 

M…. Why do you think it has been difficult to get some national fights?

 

Kolle…. I’m the type of fighter right now that without that big money backing, its high risk low reward for them to fight somebody who has been knocking people out.

 

M…. Do you see any big fights coming to the twin ports in the near future?

 

Kolle….I honestly don’t know about that, that’s Chucks business. Too much political stuff that I don’t get in to.

 

M….A lot of guys seem to be very hands-on as far as career path and active in helping to pick out who they fight next, how involved are you in that process or do you let Chuck Horton do most of that?

 

Kolle….I will let him know if there is somebody Id like to fight. But just like with Bonsante and Vanda, Chuck will bring up the name and I will say yes.

 

M….One of the really cool things I have been able to see over the last year and a half is the growth in skill and physicality of some of Minnesota’s boxers. You are one those who really has grown both physically and mentally. Can you share some of what you have been doing?

 

Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Kolle….

I take this job very seriously, its my life. I wake up in the morning and I have a workout routine I go through. Its different every day, Kettle Bells, Tire slams, unconventional kinds of stuff, and then I go to the gym for a few hours in the afternoon and do my running at night, running the hills of Duluth. Over the last year and a half I have really taken my mind out of everything else and concentrated on boxing. Ever since that Paul Williams fight I have wanted to come back and make a statement in a major way.

 

M….Do you workout everyday of the week? Are there any days you take off?

 

Kolle….Sundays, 4 days a week strength, 5 days a week boxing, 6 days a week running and Sunday I don’t do anything. I think rest is also very important.

 

M….Your last fight against Pat Coleman was at First Ave in MPLS, how did it feel to have such crowd support in the twin cities?

 

Kolle….It felt awesome. It was a smaller show, club show, but it was awesome knowing I had the whole crowd that was backing me, not just the crowd thats been following me for years but new people as well. It felt good.

 

M….Most people were quite impressed with you in your last fight against Coleman. Did you feel any ring rust getting in there?

 

Kolle….No, I didn’t feel any ring rust at all. I stay active even when I don’t have a fight, I’m always working out and sparring.

 

M….How did it feel fighting Coleman? To me it almost seemed like he was willing to just stand in his shell and maybe just get through the night?

 

Kolle….He seemed like he was just trying to survive. He had a good guard and would get in his shell, that’s why I had to do a few things different and get him to open up.

 

M….Coleman’s corner kept yelling for him to through the right. Is that something you heard, were you trying to draw him in?

 

Kolle….Thats just basic boxing 101 from a trainer that didn’t have any idea what he should do. That’s the first thing to tell a right-handed fighter who is fighting a southpaw.

 

M….154, that is a weight we had talked about a year ago, is it just really hard to find fights there right now?

 

Kolle….Also when we talked about that I told you unless its a Minnesota fight, then I will defend at 160. Last summer I was ready to fight at 154 but my opponent came in way over. I still weighed in at 155.

 

M….So the plan is to stay at 154 for national fights?

 

Kolle….That’s what I want. I feel that is the size for me on the national level. Those guys are big, even look at the size Pat Coleman was in my last fight.

 

M….Matt Vanda, what comes to mind?

 

Kolle….He is the type of fighter that fans like to see. He has proven himself and he has that fan base for a good reason, he gives them what they want. Even on the national level, he’s been beaten, but he always shows up.

 

M….There are those who see this as a high risk low reward type fight. Why this fight and why now?

 

Kolle….After our last fight, I told him I would give him another. He has earned that rematch with what he has done since then. I gave him my word.

 

M….Does the fact that Vanda lost almost every round to Manfredo make this fight hard from the standpoint of what you have to do to make it worth it?

 

Kolle….No, Ive just got to beat him and it really doesn’t matter how you do it. Styles make fights and Manfredo has a different style than I do and John Duddy has a different style than I do and so on. My goal is to win every round I fight, but I don’t have to, I just need to win more rounds than him. I would like to take him out, but my goal is to win.

 

M….Speaking of some of those guys Vanda has had the good fortune to get in the ring with, Manfredo, Duddy, Chaves Jr., Would you like the chance to get in there with them and how different would the outcomes be?

 

Kolle….I would love to get in the ring with Duddy or Chaves. They have talked about fighting at 154 and I would love to do it. We had an offer for Duddy but his team decided they didnt want it.

 

M….Given that the names we mentioned were unable to take Matt out, does that give you added motivation for the KO and do you think that would get you more national exposure?

 

Kolle….It would maybe open eyes but probably close some checkbooks.

 

M….There are those who think you are trying to avoid Caleb Truax, I don’t think either of you are avoiding the other, but what are your thoughts?

 

Kolle….There is no part of me avoiding Caleb Truax, I would fight that kid anytime and anywhere. Now he’s fighting Phil. I am ready for you Caleb anytime you want it.

 

M….So its just been that there has not been a date, contract, money or any details ever hammered out?

 

Kolle….To be honest I dont know all the ins and outs. All I know is after the Target Center show I came in the ring and asked for Matt and Caleb. Matt came to the table first. Caleb had a cut I think. Im not saying Caleb’s scared. We both have managers and guys that take care of our fights. I am ready to fight him any time.

 

M….Andy Kolle vs Matt Vanda to many people is the biggest fight out there in Minnesota, how do you see it?

 

Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Courtesy Walters Photography

Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Courtesy Walters Photography

Kolle….

I do believe it is the biggest fight in Minnesota right now, I have the belt for Minnesota and he brings one of the biggest challenges. You know going to a Vanda fight you will get your money’s worth and you know I am going to bring it every time too. Two guys who are not afraid to throw punches, you wont see lulls in action like you do in some others.

 

M…. As a guy who likes to go after it himself, is it extra exciting to fight a guy like Vanda who you know will bring it?

 

Kolle….That first fight with Vanda was the most fun I have ever had in the ring, just going at it, throwing all caution to the wind, that was a blast. That probably wasn’t the way I should have fought him, but it was my first big fight and I wanted everyone to know I am right here too. That’s another reason I wanted that rematch because that first one was a blast.

 

M….I have watched your first fight with Vanda many times, and every time I have you winning on points pretty clearly, but there are some Vanda fans who just don’t see it that way. How do you feel about that victory?

 

Kolle….The fans that say he won that fight are the same ones who feel he won the Garr fight. They are good fans and they are sticking up for their boy, but I won that fight. When I watch it I think I maybe lost two rounds, one being the round Igot knocked down.

 

M….There has been much talk about the one knock down from your fight with Vanda, tell us about it.

 

Kolle….. It was the first time I had been down so I took my time getting back up. I’ve seen fighters to eager to get off the mat only to get hit again. I took my time and dominated the rest of that round and fight.

 

M….Matt Vanda has had big wins against Phil Williams, Ted Muller, and Tocker Pudwill in the last 12 months. Do you think Vanda is better today than the guy you fought a couple years ago?

 

Kolle….Yeah, that is another reason for the rematch. He has gotten better and earned it. That’s what I want, I want a challenge. I have gotten better since our fight, I don’t want the same Vanda I fought two years ago, I want the challenge of a better Vanda.

 

M….What makes Vanda better today?

 

Kolle….I think he is a lot stronger and more comfortable in the ring. He is more of a polished pro now.

 

M….Most people who have fought Vanda talk about how tough he is to get down. Does that play on your mind at all, make you want to take him out that much more?

 

Kolle….Everybody wants to be the first guy to put somebody down. That’s not really my thoughts on this fight, get the win and move on.

 

M….How many fights would you like to have this year? Or are you more to the point of just wanting quality fights?

 

Kolle….I’d rather have quality fights than number of fights. 5 fights in a year is a pretty stacked schedule for someone who is fighting 10 rounders all the time.

 

M….After Vanda, would you like to continue to clean up the state or would you like to begin to again test the national waters?

 

Kolle….I have big dreams. I would like to fight outside of Minnesota and help establish this thing our boxing has going here. If your from New York or California you don’t want to be the best in your state, you want to compete with the best from all over.

 

M….So you are more than ready to go on another promoters card from New York or Vegas as long as it is a well matched opportunity?

 

Kolle….Like I said, I would love to fight guys like Duddy or Chaves Jr.

 

M….Any thoughts on Phil Williams vs Caleb Truax?

 

Kolle….I don’t really know, I think its going to be who gets to who first. I don’t know that it will go the distance. I am pulling for Truax to win it.

 

M….You have already said you would fight Truax, what about Williams if he were to win?

 

Kolle….Absolutely, if Williams can come in and make 160. That’s the same with Truax, its 160lbs.

 

M….What are your thoughts on Gary Eyer vs Brad Patraw?

 

Kolle….Im excited for that fight. Gary goes for it every time, and from what I have seen of Brad, he isn’t afraid of throwing punches either. That should be a fun one while it lasts, but I don’t expect it to make the distance.

 

M….The battle of your buddies, Tyler Hultin vs Tim Taggard. I know you’re friends with both guys, but how do you see this fight?

 

Kolle….That’s a tough fight for me, Tyler has been my boy for a long time and Timmy has become a friend of mine, he lived with me for a while. The only thing I can say about that fight is you are not going to want to blink. It will be all out while it lasts.

That’s what I’m talking about

Courtesy of SnapLocally.com

Courtesy of SnapLocally.com

With all of the big instate fights being talked about, and some actually happening, we have one fighter who has been on this path well ahead of the rest. Before Wilton Hilario and Allen Litzau faced off, and two years ahead of Andy Kolle vs Anthony Bonsante, Matt Vanda was taking on all comers. 2007 saw Vanda pitted against, Anthony Bonsante, Kenny Kost, and Andy Kolle. 2008 was no easier for Vanda. He fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. two times. This year started off with John Duddy, Tocker Pudwill, and almost another fight with Andy Kolle. Now we all know the  result of all but one of these fights. Vanda may have racked up more L’s in these campaigns but more importantly he showed the heart of a true warrior. Whether you are a fan of his or not, almost all love his fighting spirit. I honestly think if Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell started calling out Vanda, The Predator would ask when and where. This was made apparent when Vanda started calling out the much bigger Zach “Jungleboy” Walters, and ended up in a tournament with Zach, Phil Williams, and a fighter to be named. How can you not like this guy? I look forward to seeing Matt go August 14 at the Myth nightclub, followed by a huge fight against a bigger and stronger fighter , Phil “The Drill” Williams, September 26 at the Target Center.

 

My hope is that Minnesota’s fighters continue to take notice of the example fighters like Matt Vanda have made. Vanda may have gotten beat by, Kolle, Kost and Bonsante. But since then he has been apart of PPV TV fights as well as headlining two more Target Center shows. That my friends is success in boxing. There is a limited supply of World Titles, but there doesn’t have to be limited fights for those who truly have a passion for the sport.

Bridge Battle II, Fight Report

 

Fight Report: Bridge Battle II – June 18, 2009

By: Laura Zink

A capacity crowd of 1,000 people packed into Grandma’s Sports Garden last night to see two of their favorite and most accomplished hometown fighters, Andy “Kaos” Kolle and Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters. The Last time Twin Ports fans were able to see Walters and Kolle fight in Duluth was in 2005’s DECC Auditorium show “Truth in Duluth II.” Last night’s battle, dubbed “Bridge Battle II,” provided fans with an intimate and rowdy atmosphere to witness a critical transition in both fighters’ determined quests for world championships – a drop in weight class. After their fights, both fighters felt very confident that they are primed and ready for their respective campaigns.

Minnesota state middleweight champion, Andy “Kaos” Kolle (18 – 2), fought Indianapolis’ Anthony “Showtime” Schuler (20 – 5 – 1) in an 8 round bout. Schuler, coming off a 2nd round KO loss from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. back in

courtesy Walters Photography, all rights reserved.

courtesy Walters Photography, all rights reserved.

2007, came into the fight ready to get back in the game after his layoff. And Kolle, coming off of a 3rd round knockout win against Anthony “The Bullet” Bonsante last March, came into the fight wanting to test out his new weight class, light middleweight. (While Kolle came in at 155 the original weigh-in, Schuler came to the weigh-in at 167, and after a short trip to the sauna, could only make it down to 163.)

In the fight, Kolle was the first man to land a punch, but Schuler quickly adapted to Kolle’s advance and used his crafty slipping to dodge the next two shots.

“I knew coming in that it was going to take a couple of rounds to figure him out,” Kolle said, “I knew it was going to be a feeling out process, and I would have to be patient. And I knew that since his name was “Showtime,” he was going to be a little bit flashy and slick. And he was. He was hard to hit.”

Schuler’s maneuvering would be his theme for the next couple of rounds. Kolle would advance and Schuler would bob, weave, and work his counters at angles. Yet, in round one, Kolle broke through Schuler’s slick movement and landed a 1,2 combination that wobbled Schuler. Staying true to his ring name, “Showtime” dropped his hands and flicked his head upward with a quick nod to send Kolle the telegraph, “Hey, whatever” to your power, and “bring it on” to whatever else you got. But by the end of the round, Kolle knew that Schuler didn’t like the taste of those punches.

“I hit him with a shot and I could see it in his eyes that he didn’t like it,” Kolle said. “Eyes don’t lie. No matter what they are trying to do, eyes don’t lie. He was hurt, but he was still strong, so I didn’t want to rush in. I decided to land some body shots for awhile.”

Round two held a lot more by way of punches, both men trading shots, Kolle trying to work his way in with jabs to kick off his body shot campaign. Schuler answered Kolle’s shots with right hand leads and body shots, all thrown at strange and crafty angles, Schuler often skirting to the left and starting his counter attack when Kolle was in profile. But Schuler did not just attack from the side. In mid-round, he also landed a body shot right to the guts, which, to the crowd, perhaps looked a wee bit low, due to the chorus of boos which followed. It was clear that the crowd was very attentive to any onslaughts on their champion, but Kolle, himself a clinical showman in his own right, found his opening toward the end of the round and got Schuler on the ropes, landing some bruising shots which shifted the chorus of boos to cheers.

In round three, Schuler proved even more slippery and almost mathematical, countering and fighting from irregular planes. Schuler caught Kolle from profile early in the round and landed a short series of head shots, which riled the crowd and caused Kolle, in a clever but somewhat uncharacteristic move, to flash his tongue at Shuler. He wanted Schuler and the crowd to know that the advance did not hurt him.

“He wasn’t hitting me a lot of times as much as the crowd thought he was,” Kolle said. “I blocked a lot of those shots but the crowd behind me didn’t see it. The crowd on the other side didn’t ‘ooo’ and ‘aahh,’ but the crowd behind me did because they saw me go back because he smacked me in the gloves. Other than that, it was just average power…but he was slippery.”

In round 4, the curtain dropped on “Showtime.” It all began about one minute into the round when Kolle landed some head shots. Schuler, who up to this point had more energy to slip and counter, began to move less. Kolle, more than ready to capitalize off of Schuler’s exhaustion, charged, pressuring Schuler back into his corner and landing a right hook opener with a left hand finisher. Schuler fell back on his rear, his gloves grazing the canvas in a futile attempt to regain enough leverage to stand up. Schuler stayed on the canvas and the ref waved his arms over Schuler, making the winner Andy “Kaos” Kolle by knock out 2 minutes and 5 seconds into the 4th round.

“He cocked off to me a little bit just like Bonsante,” Kolle commented after the bout. “He was a little bit flashy the whole time with keeping his hands down, and it kind of got under my skin a little bit. I don’t like that stuff. I especially don’t like being cocked off in front of my home town. I guess I’m glad that he did it because it got the crowd really revved up because they like to see someone like that get hurt. They always like to see a cocky person get knocked out. He was a nice guy, but that was his style. He isn’t a cocky person. But I caught him with that right hook and, then I saw him stall a little bit. I thought, ‘All right, your head’s not moving anymore,’ and I wanted to land that left hand and put him to sleep…and that is what happened.”

Shuler is also noted for fighting Luis Ramon Campus back in 2004. Interestingly, also on his roster are 2 victories against his cornerman for the fight, Indianapolis’ Reggie Strickland (66-276-17). He also won a first round TKO of Strickland’s brother, Jerry Strickland (13-122) in his pro debut in 2000, a win which retired Jesse Strickland from the pro game. Looking back on the bout, Kolle was pleased about the opportunity to fight someone like Schuler for his light middleweight debut.

“I thought it was a good debut,” Kolle said. “He had a solid record. He was no joke. He came in to fight. He showed me a new look that I never saw before. Since he came in heavy, I think that the other guys that I am going to be fighting at 154 pounds will not be that big, so I figure that my size advantage will really pull me through a lot of it. This is where I need to be so I can compete at that next level.”

 

In the other professional bout of the evening, Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters (23 – 4) matched up against Lafayette Indiana’s “Jammin” James Morrow (11 – 12 – 3). Morrow also came into the bout rather heavy, weighing 178, where Walters hit his contracted weight. Walters was still game to take on the bigger fighter.

“I see this fight as my super middleweight debut even though my opponent was overweight,” Walters said after the

courtesy of Walters Photography, all rights reserved

courtesy of Walters Photography, all rights reserved

bout, “The debut started in camp when I started cutting and shredding my weight down. This whole camp was geared towards a super middleweight debut. I was told earlier this week that my opponent would come in a bit heavier. I didn’t care. I just wanted to bring my weight down. I brought it down as far as I felt I needed to just to feel the difference, and it was great. But my opponent came in a lot heavier. That tipped the cards a bit in his favor because of his size and his game plan: the big punch.”

It was clear from the first round that Walters’ assessment was right. Morrow began the round with a body shot starter, trying to get Walters to bring his hands down.

“I saw with Morrow that he was banking his money on power. That was why he didn’t come down in weight. He wanted to set me up with a punch, a real big punch. He wanted to try to finish me off with one shot. So I came at him with combinations. I knew that I could time him right and catch him.”

Walters began working his jab, but he did not use it only to keep Morrow off. Walters sent out that jab with bad intentions, snapping Morrow’s head back and wobbling him by the middle of the round. Walters continued on with the jab, sending it out each time with equal force and setting Morrow up for a deadly combination. With 10 seconds to go, Walters landed a straight jab, right hand and overhand right, which sent Morrow to the canvas.

“I call that one the 218er. I dropped him with 10 seconds to go. I was so happy with that,” Walters said after the bout. “Andy and I have been 218ers since we started boxing, and for a lot of time, 218 didn’t get much respect. But now, 218 is on the map!”

In round 2, Morrow tried out his jab, which Walters answered with fierce hooks to Morrow’s body.

“Every time I would hit him to the body he would gasp out loud. ‘Uuuuugh!’ like that,” Walters said, “He would gasp out loud. So I would duck down, and he would bring his arms down to block the body. It worked great.”

With Morrow’s arms down, Walters moved in with what he dubs “the Jungle Combination.” Showing his quickness as a middleweight, Walters landed this combination twice consecutively, causing Morrow to deflate and sink to the canvas. After his second 8 count, Morrow looked weary, and he continued on until Walters got him up against the ropes again. After landing a few shots, the ref didn’t want to see any more and jumped in between the fighters, calling the bout at 1 minute and 46 seconds into the second round. Walters was victorious with a 2nd round TKO.

“The ref is there to make sure that the fighters do not get hurt beyond what is reasonable,” Walters commented, “but I wish I could have finished him off.”

Morrow did return to the ring after the fight. During intermission, Morrow asked one ringside reporter where the ring doctor was. He had a question for him. After having Jeff Davis pointed out to him, Morrow confronted him, asking: “Have any of you seen my tooth around here?” No confirmation as to whether the tooth was located before Morrow left that night.

But for the victor of the match, the bout solidified the wisdom of his decision to campaign at super middle.

“Coming down in weight, I’ve lost a little muscle in my legs, but I’ve put on a lot of upper body strength,” Walters said after the bout, “I have a lot more pop. My punches are harder and faster and more accurate. I feel dangerous at 168.”

This victory is the start of Walters’ journey down this new road, a road which may be paved with battles against fighters from both ends of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis’ Phil “The Drill” Williams and maybe even St. Paul’s Matt “The Predator” Vanda.

“Yeah, Matt can get some whenever he wants some.” Walters said. “Phil, he’s gonna get some when the time is right. And his time is coming real close here,” Walters said. “Matt Vanda is a veteran in the state. He has held pro boxing down for years. He was pro when I was an amateur. He’s a high time player in the game in Minnesota. And Phil, he came up and he’s been talking trash. He’s got some good game, but I don’t think he’s up to snuff when it comes to taking on me. But he wants this, so we’re gonna give it to him.”

 

Preceding the main pro bouts, were pro exhibitions. Dubbed as “Professional Development fights,” these two 4 round bouts included head gear, but excluded professional judges. For these fights, the winner would be determined by fan applause.

Fergus Falls’ Tyler Hultin (1-0) had his exhibition with Rochester’s Scott Ball (9 – 6). For Hultin, the opportunity to have an exhibition fight with Ball was an opportunity for him to settle scores from the past. Even though this bout was an exhibition, Hultin viewed the bout as a grudge match.

“The grudge actually started when I turned 17,” Hultin explained after the bout, “I was fresh out of silver gloves and trying to make a statement for myself. I had just had my 17th birthday and I was going to make my first Golden Gloves fight against a 27 year old. His name was Jeremy Kirshner, and he was out of the Cities. They kept telling me about how he has this power, how I had to be careful. I went in there and did what I knew and I actually stopped him in the first round. And Scott was there, and he was like, ‘All right. This little punk thinks he can handle the Golden Gloves. Let’s set up a fight.’”

“I had seen him [Ball] at the Upper Midwest when I was following Zach and Andy…and he was a great fighter. But I thought, ‘Hey, I can do this.’ So we set up an exhibition 2 or 3 weeks after that. The first three rounds were excellent, but Scott took it over in the fourth round. I didn’t have the experience fighting four rounds, so he taunted me a lot. He’d throw a couple of body shots and keep his arms down and kinda smile at me. I knew that I lost the fight, but he knew that I was in it to fight. I vowed that we would meet again, and that I would be ready for it this time.”

The exhibition was definitely an entertaining showcase for both fighters. The bout picked up steam in round 1 when Hutlin tagged Ball as they were being separated from a clinch. In the following rounds, Hultin matched his power against Ball’s crafty maneuvering. Ball showed craftiness in round 2 by countering Hultin’s 1,2 combinations by tossing in straight shots and hooks in after Hultin’s jab, halting Hultin’s deadly right hand. Hultin led the advance into round 3, showing Ball that he is tough enough to bull through Ball’s crafty countering, that he was willing to take shots if he had to in order to land shots of his own. In round 4, Ball used more angles to both get away from Hultin’s power and to set up deliveries. By the end of the round, Ball landed a very crafty hook after spinning out of Hultin’s range. And Hultin, though did not use as many counters and angles, proved to fans that he is a strong fighter, a hard puncher, and completely durable from head to toe. Both fighters gave a great showing, but the crowd’s vote, by deafening landslide, was Tyler Hultin.

 

Before that, Jorey Olson (pro with a cancelled debut against Anthony Wallace last month) had an exhibition with Dave “The Prodigy” Peterson (10-0). This exhibition was also a test of crafty angles vs power. In round I, Olson began the bout by moving in after Peterson with Peterson keeping Olson away with slips, angles, and crafty footwork. In round 2, Peterson added more jabs to those angles trying to lead Olson in. It worked. Later in the round, Olson began to put on the pressure, getting Peterson onto the ropes and lands some body shots. Round 3 had pretty even exchanges, both fighters using interesting angles on the inside as they tried to shove and reposition each other to set up a target for a shot. And in round 4, both fighters were landing more to the head, and both fighters were sending out jabs that landed mutually throughout the round. With 10 seconds left, the punches flew from all sides, both men trading shots until the final bell. The crowd cheered heartily for both fighters, but the cheers for Olson clearly reached a higher pitch, making Olson the crowd favorite for the evening.

“He’s got the best angles,” Olson said as he exited the ring, “That was fun!”

The Peoples Champ

Since we posted our sites champions, the number one question we have received is, “what is the peoples champ?”.  Well, in my opinion, our peoples champion is the most important of them all. The peoples champ, is the most fan friendly fighter in terms of, fan support, quality of opponents, willingness to fight Minnesota’s best. While Vanda has the crown, Andy Kolle was only a hair behind. But the last couple of years has seen Vanda face, Kost, Bonsante, Kolle, Julio Cesar Chaves Jr. Yes, we know he lost to all including two to Jr. But this makes the case for how the peoples champ comes to be, its fighting for the fans.

As for the rest of our champs, there have been many who were quite surprised at some of our choices, most notably, Eyer and Boxley’s crowns.  To this, I say it is opinion and what we think the future holds.  As we continue with our champs throughout the year it will adjust to activity and quality of opponents. So don’t be surprised with changing champs, and maybe it will shake out to be what others have as their best. Remember, the list is mnboxingleagues, trust, from here on out it will be clear as to how each champ retains or loses their title.

MNBL