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Few Surprises, but Some Entertaining Scraps, in Packed Card at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana

by on Nov.22, 2012, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez Hits Antwun Echols with an Uppercut En Route to a Third Round Stoppage

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez Hits Antwun Echols with an Uppercut En Route to a Third Round Stoppage

by Kerstin Broockmann

Photos by Scott Dray

HAMMOND, IN, November 21, 2012 — A few years ago, most of the young professionals on tonight’s Hitz Boxing’s Fight Night at the Horseshoe Casino card were making their marks at the Chicago Golden Gloves. In a Thanksgiving Eve show at the Venue, some faced stern tests and others began or continued their succesful professional careers. In the disappointing main event, Hollywood, California’s (via Shuya, Russia) former WBC Youth Heavyweight Champion Andrey Fedosov faced former NABA Light Heavyweight Champion, veteran “Rockin’” Rodney Moore, back in the ring for the first time since 2005. Chicagoans Dimar Ortuz and and Terry Martin put their 0′s on the line to square off against each other in a bout that promised, but did not deliver, fireworks. Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez faced veteran Antwun Echols, whose former power has clearly been eclipsed  by years. Former Golden Gloves Champions Simon Buettner and Adan Ortiz stayed perfect in their respective weight classes in two entertaining bouts. Jimmy Murphy and Jonathan Manos began their professional careers on the same day, as they had their amateur careers, and both stopped their opponents in the second round, though in very different fights. Rounding out the card were pugnacious lightweight Frank Scalise, heavyweights Josh Clark and Brian Houston in an exciting battle, welterweight Genaro Mendez demonstrating explosive power, up and coming Chicago-based middleweight Donatas Bondorovas outgunning hometown fighter David Thomas, and Pacquiao sparring partner Abdulai Amidu against perennially hopeful and overmatched Clifford McPherson.  

Abdulai Amidu gets out of the way after knocking down Clifford McPherson for the second time.

Abdulai Amidu gets out of the way after knocking down Clifford McPherson for the second time.

Cleveland, Ohio’s Clifford “The Magician” McPherson  (2-12-1, 1 KO, 149 lbs.) would have needed some magic to get in the win column against undefeated Accra, Ghana’s Abdulai “The Classic” Amidu (17-0, 12 KOs, 146 lbs.). The game McPherson was the first to throw leather, and outworked Amidu in the first half of the round. Amidu found his timing in the second half and soon floored McPherson with a short right. McPherson went down two more times in  the first round, both at the end of a jab-cross combination. The third knockdown was the last, with Amidu earning another win and another knockout.

Donatas Bondas (R) looks for the inside line against David Thomas

Donatas Bondas (R) looks for the inside line against David Thomas

Evansville, Indiana’s “King” David Thomas (10-2-2, 8 KOs, 161 1/2 lbs.) was up next for a scheduled six-round bout with Lithuanian-born Chicagoan Donatas Bondorovas (15-3-1, 4 KOs, 161 lbs.) in the middleweight division. Bondas went right to work, trying to minimize Thomas’s reach advantage, which he did successfully in the first third of the round. Thomas waited for his moment, and found a home for his jab. Some sharp combinations had Bondas’ already-broken nose bleeding profusely and horribly disfigured. A right followed by a left hook to the body put Bondas down near the end of the round. Though Bondas returned to his feet ready for action, the knockdown gave Thomas the first round.

Bondas (L) lands a hook near the end of the bout as Spivey looks on

Bondas (L) lands a hook near the end of the bout as Spivey looks on

Toe-to-toe action in the opening stanza of the second round evolved into Bondas pushing Thomas back into the ropes with heavy blows to the head and the body. Once the always-agressive Bondas opened up, Thomas fell victim to a vicious assault, with Bondas pursuing him relentlessly around the ring before referee Kurt Spivey called a halt to the action with Thomas slumped against the ropes at 2:03 in the second round.

Genaro Mendez (R) pursues the game Agustin Cicero

Genaro Mendez (R) accidentally throws in an elbow in pursuit of the game Agustin Cicero

Chicagoan Genaro Mendez’s (5-1-1, 3 KOs, 145 lbs.) speed and combinations were too much for his fellow-Mexican in the junior welterweight division, Fishers, Indiana’s Agustin Cicero. Cicero was the first to open the action, though he lauuched single punches and retreated on his heels, leaving openings for Mendez. As southpaw Mendez struggled to find his rhythm, Cicero got more daring. The action seesawed as both landed some solid shots, neither throwing the punch that would decisively turn the tide, but Mendez ultimately outworking Cicero.

Cicero (R) tries to avoid an onslaught from Mendez

Cicero (R) tries to avoid an onslaught from Mendez

Cicero’s movement in the second round gave Mendez some trouble, though he set the pace of the action, never giving Cicero the opportunity to launch  an effective offense. In the final third of the round, Mendez began effectively timing Cicero, unleashing a punishing volley of shots, while Cicero tried to get off the ropes. The scenario was repeated near the end of the round, but Cicero would not go down, landing a powerful right near the bell.

Cicero tries to find a way of the ropes

Cicero tries to find a way of the ropes

Cicero tried to go on the offense in the third, but Mendez would have none of it. Trapping, Cicero against the ropes again, Mendez opened a cut near Cicero’s right eye with a cross. It looked like Cicero might not survive the round, as Mendez continued his pursuit, landing hard crosses and short rights at close quarters. Cicero not only weathered the storm, he stayed dangerous throughout.

Mendez (L) wears down Cicero

Mendez (L) wears down Cicero

In the final round, Mendez came out looking to end the fight, almost immediately driving Cicero back into the ropes after landing a ringing right uppercut. A low blow from Mendez brought a momentary pause in the action. The pursuit continued through most of the round, but Cicero stayed game, even launching his own attack midway through, turning the tables and pushing Mendez back to the ropes. While Mendez decisively took the round, he certainly had no time to rest. The final decision was a unanimous 40-36 for Genaro Mendez, despite some surprisingly stiff resistance from Agustin Cicero, who drops to 2-4-1, 2 KOs.

Simon Buettner unleashes a volley on the overmatched Fred Thomas

Simon Buettner unleashes a volley on the overmatched Fred Thomas

Simon “The Punisher” Buettner (3-0, 3KOs, 173 1/2 lbs.) made short work of Davenport, Iowa’s Fred Thomas (0-10-2, 167 lbs.) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. It was a one-sided affair from the outset, with Buettner drawing a warning from referee Kurt Spivey, first for an elbow, then for an accidental head butt that resulted in the only knockdown of the round, though his fists were enough to make a statement. The rest of the round saw Buettner throwing hard hooks at close quarters while Thomas covered and cowered. Near the end of the round, an effective right cross bloodied Thomas’s nose.  Round two picked up where the first ended, with Buettner living up to his nickname and driving Thomas from one side of the ring to the other, landing combinations of body and head shots. A right cross put Thomas down for the first time. Shortly thereafter, a left hook to the head sent him down again. It was hard to tell whether a body shot or the accumulation of punches dropped Thomas for the third time. The fourth knockdown, at 2:29 of the second round, led to referee Curt Spivey stopping the fight, giving Buettner the victory by TKO.

Jonathan Manos (R) sneaks in a jab on Bill Finn in the opening round of his pro debut

Jonathan Manos (R) sneaks in a jab on Bill Finn in the opening round of his pro debut

Chicago amateur standout Jonathan Manos (158 lbs.) made his pro debut against Edgerton, Wisconsin’s Bill “The Shark” Finn (160 lbs.), also making his pro debut. Sporting impressive facial hair, Finn kept his guard up enough and threw just enough punches to keep a tentative Manos at bay for most of the first round. Near the end of the round, Manos found the skills that helped him to a successful amateur career, throwing some punishing hooks to the body near the bell.

Manos overwhelms Finn

Manos overwhelms Finn

The second round began with Manos stalking his foe. Though Finn countered effectively several times, Manos’ superior technique was too much for him. A volley of body shots nearly dropped Finn, with a jumpy Manos drawing a warning for pushing him to the canvas. Moments later, Manos now sticking to punching, battered Finn with a combination and dropped him with a hard left hook to the body. Another barrage, followed by a right cross, led to second knockdown seconds later. Finally, another volley and another left hook sent Finn to the canvas one last time, giving Manos his first professional win, a technical knockout at 1:39 of the second round.

321Brian Houston (1-0-1, 1 KO, 206 lbs.)  and Josh “The Hillbilly Heartthrob” Clark (1-1-2, 1 KO, 223 lbs.) gave the crowd an entertaining four-round heavyweight scrap, with both fighters displaying some good head movement and footwork in the opening round. Though Houston outworked Clark, who appeared to tire quickly, both threw some heavy shots that took their toll on the other.

Clark (L) picks off a jab from Houston to counter

Clark (L) picks off a jab from Houston to counter

Houston tried to work behind his jab in the second, but drew fire from Clark when he came inside. He achieved some success when he followeed his jab with a cross, but often threw wide punches that Clark easily avoided. Meanwhile, Clark continued to fire away, using his longer reach to some advantage. With Clark landing decidedly more punches, and Houston scoring with the cleaner shots, it was a hard round to to call.

Houston (L) and Clark look for openings

Houston (L) and Clark look for openings

Both fighters faced off in the center of the ring to start the third, but then Clark took over, outboxing and outworking Houston, who looked tired and could not find his timing.

Clark (R) punctures Houston's guard with an uppercut

Clark (R) punctures Houston's guard with an uppercut

Clark continued to stalk Houston in the fourth, but Houston’s counters were the most powerful of the round. A final flurry from Clark at the bell may have given him the round, though it was a pretty even back-and-forth battle until this point.  Final judges scores read: Bill Page gave Houston the bout 39-37, while Nathan Palmer and Gary Merrit both called it 38-38 for a fair Majority Draw. Both fighters should be proud of their performances against each other, and a rematch would be a welcome addition to a future card.

Dimar Ortuz (L) looks to fend off a charge from Terry Martin

Dimar Ortuz (L) looks to fend off a charge from Terry Martin

Dimar Ortuz (192 lbs.) put his undefeated record on the line against former MMA fighter and also unbeaten boxer Terry Martin (189 lbs.) in a scheduled six-round bout. Martin charged at the opening bell and managed to get inside Ortuz’s guard in one of the only moments of action in the round. Martin probably took the first round, though not many punches were thrown, with both boxers drawing multiple warnings for holding.

Ortuz (L) leans on Martin

Ortuz (L) leans on Martin

Martin again came out fast in the second, this time firing punches. Martin was the more effective boxer in this round, though Ortuz landed some effective shots between wrestling Martin to the ropes.

Ortuz (R) tries to avoid getting caught by the downed Martin after knocking him out

Ortuz (R) tries to avoid getting caught by the downed Martin after knocking him out

Martin opened up with some solid lunging shots in the third round, though Ortuz landed some powerful shots of his own when he stayed at the end of his punches. The end came unexpectedly when Ortuz once again drove Martin to the ropes, as much with his head and body as with his punches, and then unloaded a series of short hooks. A right hook had Martin out on his feet, followed by a left cross and a few other shots as Martin crumpled, taking down both referee Spivey and Ortuz in a domino effect as he fell at 2:27 of round three, giving Ortuz another victory by knockout. Ortuz remains unbeaten at 6-0, 4 KOs, while Martin drops to 5-1, 5 KOs).

Adan Ortiz (R) goes on the attack against Salvador Perez

Adan Ortiz (R) goes on the attack against Salvador Perez

Adan Ortiz (121 lbs.) of Sterling, IL, faced the durable Salvador Perez (121 lbs.), now based in Lexington, KY, in a four-round junior featherweight bout. Perez was the aggressor in the opening round, though Ortiz countered with equal aggression and better timing. Perez landed some big punches, but it was Ortiz who dominated, nearly ending the fight with a flurry near the end of the round.

Ortiz (R) lands a straight right

Ortiz (R) lands a straight right

Ortiz began attacking more in the second, leading to some toe-to-toe slugging as Perez gave as good as he got. A hard right from Perez bloodied Ortiz’s nose near the end of the round. Though Ortiz got the better of the exchanges, Perez again proved himself to be a durable and dangerous fighter.

Perez (R) charges into the fray

Perez (R) charges into the fray

In the third, Perez came out with a vengeance, landing hard left hooks and crosses, while Ortiz could not find his counter. Near the end of the round, Ortiz came back, bloodying Perez’s nose with his own punishing hook, but Perez probably earned the round with his punch output and clean shots.

Ortiz (R) beats Perez to the punch with a short hook

Ortiz (R) beats Perez to the punch with a short hook

Ortiz dug in in the fourth round, sitting  on his punches and throwing the damaging shots he could not find in the third. Meanwhile, Perez continued to launch punches and inflict harm. A final slugout at the end of the round proved the mettle of both of these Mexican warriors. Scorecards read 39-37 once and 40-36 twice for Adan Ortiz, who remains undefeated at 5-0, 4 KOs, while Perez drops to 2-2-2, 1 KO, while once again proving a stern test for the opposition.

Andrew Kato (R) throws a wild overhand right at Jimmy Murphy

Andrew Kato (R) throws a wild overhand right at Jimmy Murphy

“Irish” Jimmy Murphy of North Barrington, IL (145 lbs.) made his pro debut against Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Andrew “Wild Boy” Kato (0-4, 149 lbs.). Kato lived up to his nickname in the opening moments of the bout, dropping Murphy with a wild overhand right. It turned out that this was to be Murphy’s Achilles heel, as Kato continued to drill him with this punch throughout the round, dropping Murphy one more time, though Murphy appeared dazed and out on his feet for much of the round as Kato peppered him with short left hooks, jabs and the right hand punch that rocked him.

Kato (L) collapses from Murphy's barrage of body blows

Kato (L) collapses from Murphy's barrage of body blows

The tide turned completely in the second, as Murphy deployed shovel hooks to the body, which rapidly wore down Kato, who sank to his knees and then collapsed, not beating the count. Murphy won his debut by knockout at :37 of the second round.

Antwun Echols (R) tries to avoid a hook from Mike Jimenez

Antwun Echols (R) tries to avoid a hook from Mike Jimenez

Chicago’s Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez (8-0, 5 KOs, 170 lbs.) faced his most experienced opponent to date in Dade City, Florida’s Antwun “Kid Dynamite” Echols (32-18-4, 28 KOs, 161 lbs.) in a six-round super middleweight bout. Though Echols landed some thudding rights in the first round, it was “Hollywood” who held court, controlling the center of the ring and landing combinations of body shots and resounding hooks to the head.

Jimenez (L) keeps the pressure on Echols

Jimenez (L) keeps the pressure on Echols

Echols covered well but could not avoid the onslaught in the second round. A left uppercut sent Echols into the ropes, where a volley of body shots and another left uppercut led to him dropping onto the second rope. Referree Curt Spivey moved in to deliver the eight count against Echols’ protest. Jimenez dominated the round, mixing shots to head and body, though again taking some punishing overhand rights from Echols in the process.

Jimenez (L) continues to dominate Echols

Jimenez (L) continues to dominate Echols

Echols tried to stand his ground in the third, but again found himself backing up under fire from Jimenez. Though Echols countered, Jimenez once again got the better of the exchanges. With Echols was once again taking a barrage of shots from Jimenez at the end of the round without an answer to counter them, referee Curt Spivey stepped in to halt the action, against the strong protestations of Echols, at 2:58. Though he protested the stoppage, it was clear that Echols no longer had the power and chin that made him a title challenger in decades past.

Frank Scalise (L) is all offense against James Owens

Frank Scalise (L) is all offense against James Owens

Digging to the body, lightweight Frank Scalise of Bridgeport, Chicago (5-1, 5 KOs, 135 lbs.) came out fast against Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s James Owens (4-7, 2 KOs, 133 lbs.), repeatedly trapping Owens on the ropes with combinations of body shots and looping hooks. Owens had some success when he managed to hold the center of the ring, launching barrages over Scalise’s low guard.

Scalise (L) pins Owens to the ropes with body shots

Scalise (L) pins Owens to the ropes with body shots

Owens tried to maintain more distance at the top of the second, lunging in with shots that occasionally found their mark. Scalise had less success with the more mobile opponent. By the second half of the round, Scalise again managed to pin Owens on the ropes. Though the round was close, Scalise probably managed to outpunch Owens by a narrow margin. 

Scalise (L) continues to punish Owens

Scalise (L) continues to punish Owens

In the third round, Owens seemed to be making little effort to stay in the center of the ring, fighting with his back against the ropes through much of the round. Scalise outpunched Owens by a wide margin, though Owens managed to fire some good shots when he got off the ropes. As the end of the round approached, Scalise continued to rake Owens with punches against the ropes. When Owens dropped his hands and failed to return fire, the bout was stopped at 2:37 of the third round, giving Scalise another victory by TKO.

Rodney Moore (L) and Andrey Fedosov circle each other

Rodney Moore (L) and Andrey Fedosov circle each other

In the desultory main event, Andrey Fedosov (22-2, 18 KOs, 226 lbs.) of  St. Petersburg, Russia, faced former light heavyweight champion “Rockin’” Rodney Moore (17-6-2, 7 KOs, 226 lbs.) of Houston, Texas, in a bout scheduled for eight rounds. Moore showed off a solid left hook and a snappy jab in a slow first round. Fedosov initally played it safe, working behind a steady jab and occasionally driving Moore back with body shots and uppercuts. 

Fedosov (R) stalks Moore

Fedosov (R) stalks Moore

Moore sharpened his jab in the second, though Fedosov covered well. Timing  Moore’s punches, Fedosov got more aggressive as the round progressed. In round three, Moore again worked behind his jab, moving around the ring to avoid big shots from the Russian. Fedosov was content to follow Moore at the beginning of the round, but then began cutting him off and again launching attacks on the inside. Moore took the punches and attacked with a solid right, but did not throw enough punches to outwork Fedosov. 

Moore (L) lands a jab

Moore (L) lands a jab

Moore went on the attack in the fourth round briefly, but the fight settled back into the familiar pattern of Fedosov stalking Moore. Finally, in the last 30 seconds of the round, Fedosov let his hands go, once again attacking the body, and coming up with left hooks and right uppercuts. For the first time, Moore seemed impressed. In the fifth round, Moore went back to working around the ropes, throwing occasional jabs to keep Fedosov at bay, and even managing to get off some sharp right punches. Though Fedosov still trapped him enough to work his inside game, he was not able to make any more inroads.

Fedosov (L) scores a knockdown

Fedosov (L) scores a knockdown

The sixth round seemed to be cut from the same cloth as the previous rounds when, near the end of the round, Fedosov managed to finish a combination with a sharp left hook that sent Moore sprawling to the canvas. Fedosov began deploying his straight right in the seventh, shocking Moore enough to open the door to a punishing combination that looked like it might spell the end for the older fighter. Moore escaped and went back to evading along the ropes effectively enough to survive the round. Moore was more active in the eighth, using a wider range of punches and defense and keeping Fedosov out of position for an effective combination. Fedosov landed some good left hooks, but Moore would step in and smother any follow-up. Final scorecards read 79-72 once , and 80-71 twice for Andrey Fedosov, while Moore survived his debut at heavyweight. It was a workmanlike effort at best by both boxers.

Though most in attendance came to see the shootouts between some of the more experienced boxers on the card, it was the unheralded boxers who delivered most of the excitement for the evening, though “Hollywood” Jimenez’s relentless dismantling of Antwun Echols deserves mention (though Echols certainly did not deserve the boos that were directed at him throughout his time in the ring). Heavyweights Brian Houston and Josh Clark demonstrated their evolving skills and athleticism in a well-matched battle. Genaro Mendez showed poise and modulated aggression against a surprisingly tough opponent. Adan Ortiz and Salvador Perez earned “fight of the night” honors for their gutsy performance and solid technique. Jonathan Manos struggled with nerves in a tentative opening round, but then attacked with a multifaceted salvo in the second. There was evidence that some exciting newcomers will become prospects in the near future.

The Changing of the Guard: Antwun Echols (L) and "Hollywood" Jimenez after Jimenez's Victory

The Changing of the Guard: Antwun Echols (L) and "Hollywood" Jimenez after Jimenez's Victory

Making their professional debuts:

Jonathan Manos with trainer Sam Colonna After His 2nd Round TKO Victory

Jonathan Manos with trainer Sam Colonna After His 2nd Round TKO Victory

Jimmy Murphy Celebrates His Own 2nd Round TKO Victory with Trainers Rita Figueroa and Sam Colonna

Jimmy Murphy Celebrates His Own 2nd Round TKO Victory with Trainers Rita Figueroa and Sam Colonna

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