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.