The CBZ Newswire

Johnny Lewus Successfully Continues Comeback at Belvedere Bash

by on Nov.24, 2011, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Terry Martin Scores First-Round KO; Chicago Fighters Correa, Taylor and Jimenez Go the Distance on Thanksgiving Eve Card

Allen Litzau (L) dodges a blow from Johnny Lewus (R)

Allen Litzau (L) dodges a blow from Johnny Lewus (R)

Report by Kerstin Broockmann

Photos by Scott Dray

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, November 23, 2011 — Hitz promotions offered up a Thanksgiving Eve treat for fight fans at the ritzy Belvedere this evening. The event featured a trim Johnny Lewus taking on St. Paul’s Allen Litzau in a six-round main event, former UFC fighter Terry Martin looking to keep his boxing record perfect in his fifth fight, undefeated Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez taking on the more experienced James Denson, a battle of local rivals Gerald Taylor and Bruce Rumbolz and the professional debut of Chicago Golden Gloves Super Heavyweight Champion Erick Correa.

Terry Martin (L) squares off against Thomas Boose

Terry Martin (L) squares off against Thomas Boose

Starting off the evening, Chicago’s Terry Martin (203.5 lbs., 5-0, 5KO’s) tested the boxing skills he has been developing under renowned trainer Sam Colonna against the overmatched Thomas “TNT” Boose (208 lbs., 0-5) of Rockford, IL, in a heavyweight bout. The bout began with an exchange of jabs, with Boose using his superior reach to land a few more shots. The first telling blow of the bout arrived in the form of a left hook from Martin midway through the first round. While the pace was by no means blistering, Martin was more effective in mixing up his shots, bloodying Boose’s nose. A right hook to the body and a short overhand right foretold the eventual end, which came at 2:59 of the first when Martin landed a hook to Boose’s ribcage and followed up with a right to the chin that toppled Boose, who staggered to his feet, but not in time to keep Referee Celestino Ruiz from calling the knockout. Boose took the loss gracefully and Martin keeps his win and knockout record intact.

Erick Corrrea (R) ponders his next move against Gerald Taylor

Erick Corrrea (R) ponders his next move against Keon Graham

Chicago’s Erick Correa (282 lbs.) was next in the ring, looking to extend his successful amateur boxing career into the professional ranks against Akron, Ohio’s Keon Graham (242 lbs., 2-7) in a heavyweight bout.  The first round began with some feeling out—single punches from both sides, mostly jabs, with Correa favoring body shots. A solid jab-cross combination from Correa was countered by an uppercut.  As the round continued, Correa tested his right, landing solid single shots. Graham caught Correa with some hooks mid-round, but continued to content himself with jabs. Near the end of the round, Correa seemed to rock Graham with a hook-cross combination, followed shortly by single overhand rights.  A final left hook from Correa at the bell ended the round.

Graham (L) evades an attack from Correa

Graham (L) evades an attack from Correa

Graham launched the attack in the second round, scoring some solid body shots. Two overhand rights from Correa, the second drawing an audible gasp from the crowd in attendance, put Graham again on the defensive. Correa landed another telling shot, stepping forward into a jab. Graham backed away, avoiding the left hooks that Correa followed up with until stepping into the last one. Graham kept on the move, causing Correa to lunge in with a powerful overhand right. Regaining his balance, Correa landed a solid right to the body, followed by a left hook which rocked Graham, but he did exploit the opportunity further.

Correa (L) drives forward

Correa (L) drives forward

The third round was Correa’s best, and he nearly ended the fight on several occasions with combinations to the head and body of Graham. Each time, Graham literally held on to survive.  Correa came out decidedly faster at the top of the round, leading with right overhands that frequently found their mark. A left hook-right cross combination looked like it might be the beginning of the end, as Correa pursued Graham into the ropes, landing a crushing right to the body and following up with another hook. Graham escaped, only to be hit with a similar combination moments later, which he also managed to survive, escaping across the ring, with Correa in pursuit. Correa seemed to tire, and finished the round throwing single hooks as Graham desultorily stayed in the fight with jabs and the occasional cross.

Both men looked tired going into the final round, though Graham was arguably the more aggressive, throwing occasional straight shots at Correa, none of them of consequence, but enough to keep Correa at bay. As Correa started throwing single overhands, Graham began slowly backpedalling as Correa struggled to pursue. At one point, Graham dropped his hands and gestured to his chin, daring Correa to launch an attack. Correa tried to oblige, throwing the first combination of the round. That seemed to be all that Correa had left, and he went back to picking away at Graham until the bell. Despite the lugubrious pace, Correa had done more than enough to win, shutting out Graham with unanimous scores of 40-36 for a successful debut.

Bruce Rumbolz (L) and Gerald Taylor look to engage

Bruce Rumbolz (L) and Gerald Taylor look to engage

Chicago’s Gerald “Da Humbler” Taylor (169.5 lbs., 5-3-1, 2 KOs) and Bruce “The Rage” Rumbolz (170 lbs., 22-24) put on a barn-burner of a bout, with the more compact Taylor trying to keep the rangy Rumbolz on the ropes with body shots and uppercuts while Rumbolz tried to keep the charging Taylor at bay with his straight shots, though he was no slouch on the inside, either.  In the first round, it looked as though Taylor might be able to finish the bout early, as he kept Rumbolz against the ropes with blistering body shots and exploited the openings he created to launch occasional attacks to the head of his tall opponent. As the round progressed, Rumbolz seemed to recover his equilibrium and started countering with uppercuts and hooks, as well as some telling blows to Taylor’s ribcage. The first round went decisively to Taylor.

Rumbolz (R) turns aside an attack from Taylor

Rumbolz (R) turns aside an attack from Taylor

In round two, Rumbolz did a better job of using his range, keeping Taylor out with his jab and countering body shots that drove him back with hooks and body shots of his own. In the final third, Taylor was able to maintain range and rocked Taylor with a cross, sending him briefly to the canvas, in what looked more like a footwork glitch than a knockdown. After the count, Taylor went back on the offensive, though Rumbolz managed to minimize damage while landing effective uppercuts and body shots. Rumbolz showed off good head movement and counterpunching abilities throughout the round, but Taylor again was the aggressor and continued his body attack. Rumbolz continued his strategy in the third round, trying to keep Taylor outside, but prepared to work inside. Taylor kept the pressure on, though, and Rumbolz had most of his success as Taylor’s output slowed in the second half of the round. Rumbolz’s boxing and counterpunching were decisive in the third.

Taylor (L) launches an attack

Taylor (L) launches an attack

The final round demonstrated the heart of both fighters as they fired shots back and forth, slugging to the body and landing occasional hard blows to the head. Rumbolz was able to put together more combinations, especially as he became aware that the constantly pressing Taylor was as tired as he was, but Taylor never relented. At the bell, a short hook from Rumbolz looked like the cause of Taylor going down, but it was not clear and was ruled a slip. Final scorecards reflected the close bout, with two judges calling it 39-37, and one 38-37 for the more aggressive Gerald Taylor. 

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez (R) plans his attack against James Denson

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez (R) plans his attack against James Denson

Mike Jimenez (172 lbs, 5-0-1, 3 KOs), fighting out of Desplaines, IL, by way of Chicago, faced the wily and durable James Denson (175 lbs., 4-6) of Akron, Ohio, in the four-round Co-Main Event.  In the first round, Jimenez tried to come in on his jab, while Denson easily evaded, occasionally swinging wide and missing. A right to the body followed by a left hook from Jimenez began the battle in earnest.  Denson came back next with a good right hook. Jimenez went on the attack and pinned Denson to the ropes with hard hooks to the body and uppercuts. Denson escaped and landed some blows of his own, including an overhand right, which proved his most successful punch in the bout. Jimenez once again went on the attack, throwing a volley of shots to the body, uppercuts and hooks, with the final right to the body dropping Denson, who beat the count. Denson was not able to fully re-engage but proved to be a tough customer as another assault from Jimenez could not put him down before the end of the round.

Jimenez (L) traps Denson on the ropes

Jimenez (L) traps Denson on the ropes

Denson did not let Jimenez land his shots on the inside as much in the second round, covering well and finding a home for some effective uppercuts and hooks to the body of his own when Jimenez opened up to punch.  While Denson was generally content to cover and survive, he showed his ability to exploit the occasional openings that Jimenez gave him, and a short exchange between the boxers near the end of the round showed that he could mix it up if he had chosen to do so. The third round continued with much of the same, Jimenez taking Denson to the ropes and raking him with body shots and hooks. Denson covered and slipped in a few counters, picking up his pace near the end of the round to land some stiff uppercuts and overhands on the always busy Jimenez.

Jimenez (R) dissects Denson in the final round

Jimenez (R) dissects Denson in the final round

Jimenez continued to be the aggressor in the final round, though Denson began the round with some effective overhands. Jimenez seemed to be looking to finish the fight, throwing heavy blows and keeping Denson skirting around the ring. Jimenez never let up on his body attack, while Denson kept on the move as much as possible. As the final minute began, Jimenez redoubled his attack, dropping Denson with a shot to the midsection. Denson waited out the count and Jimenez reengaged, sending Denson down again with a left hook to the body. Again Denson beat the count. Jimenez unloaded on Denson in the final seconds, launching a full arsenal of shots that should have ended the battle, but Denson spun out and managed to survive until the bell. Judges’ scorecards accurately reflected the one-sided battle, all reading 40-33 for Jimenez.

Johnny Lewus (R) goes after Allen Litzau

Johnny Lewus (R) goes after Allen Litzau

Looking trim and confident, Johnny “Bad Boy” Lewus (144 lbs., 25-4-1) continued his comeback in the welterweight division against Minnesota lightweight Allen “The American Boy” Litzau (146 lbs., 13-7), older brother of contender Jason. It was a heated but awkward battle, with the much taller Litzau unable to effectively use his jab (and often neglecting to try) against the hard-charging Lewus.
Lewus charged and swarmed his taller foe in the first round, coming inside with resounding body shots and peppering Litzau with hooks from both sides as he covered his midsection. Knowing what he was up against, Litzau began trying to use his reach against Lewus in the second, with some success, though Lewus continued to literally crash in, drawing the first of many admonitions to keep his head up. Once inside, Lewus would continue to work the body and throw hooks to the head, though Litzau found an effective counter in his left hook to Lewus’s head. It was a physical round, marked by inside brawls.

Litzau (L) catches Lewus with a hook

Litzau (L) catches Lewus with a hook

In the third round, Litzau briefly found his jab, and Lewus seemed to have some difficulty in finding his way around the punch, though it rarely landed. Lewus continued to aggressively attack the body on the inside, but Litzau was more effective at this range as well, throwing a few solid body shots of his own and a left hook followed by a short right combination that interrupted Lewus’s onslaught on several occasions.

Litzau (L) and Lewus slug it out

Litzau (L) and Lewus slug it out

The action heated up in the final rounds. Litzau picked up in the fourth where he left off, but Lewus’s hard charging soon made him forget the jab that had proven so effective. Lewus, leading with his head, drove Litzau back with body shots and momentum. Litzau kept the hooks coming, but Lewus took away the right by staying too close on the inside for Litzau to effectively throw even a short straight punch. The round seesawed, with both throwing effective hooks to the body and uppercuts on the inside. It did not take long for the pattern to continue in the fifth, though Lewus landed the most telling blow of the round, a rare right cross, and was by far the more aggressive. Remarkably, though much of the fighting was at close quarters, not much time was spent on the ropes.

Litzau (L) tries to keep Lewus at bay

Litzau (L) tries to keep Lewus at bay

The final round was heated, but not pretty, a battle for range, as Litzau tried to stay outside while Lewus continually charged in. Neither boxer really got the upper hand, though Lewus was the more aggressive, mixing it up inside. Litzau was able to spin out and counter, sometimes using Lewus’s momentum to his advantage by stepping aside. Lewus got the better of the exchanges based on work rate, but Litzau boxed smartly and continued to counter and move effectively. In the end, Lewus’s aggression and ability to stay at his range won the day, with judges’ cards reading 59-55 twice and 58-56 once for a unanimous decision.

Referee Celestino Ruiz Helps Celebrate Johnny "Bad Boy" Lewus's Victory

Referee Celestino Ruiz Helps Celebrate Johnny "Bad Boy" Lewus's Victory

It was an entertaining evening of pre-holiday boxing, with local fighters being tested by styles that were not necessarily the best compliments for their abilities. Only Terry Martin found an opponent with a code he could crack. Erick Correa and Mike Jimenez found themselves confronted by durable opponents who went the distance against the odds, though Correa probably would have been more successful had he increased his workrate; Jimenez would have been hard-pressed to throw more punches than he did. Gerald Taylor ended up in a heated battle, and even on the canvas, after seeming to have figured out how to overwhelm veteran Bruce Rumbolz in the first round.  In the main event, Lewus successfully continued his comeback bid, but not without some resistance from Allen Litzau, who, unable to fight his battle, proved to be more effective than anticipated in countering Lewus with his own techniques.

Contender Donovan George (R) helps Mike Jimenez celebrate his victory

Contender Donovan George (R) helps Mike Jimenez celebrate his victory

Johnny Lewus (L) and Allen Litzau tussle

Johnny Lewus (L) and Allen Litzau tussle

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