|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire -- AUGUST 6:2001|
Chris Johnson Says His Career Ends Here After KO Injury By Tarver|
by Katherine Dunn
Friday, August 3
Televised by ESPN2 Friday night Fights
Promoters: Sugar Ray Leonard, Inc and Ringside Tickets, Inc
MatchMakers: Peter Brody and Ron Katz.
Commission Supervisor: Bruce Anderson
Referees: Mike Fisher, Darrell Lewis, Jeff Macaluso
Judges: Greg Baker, Larry Glover, Denis Ryan, Bruce Seibol
This was the kick-off show for Sugar Ray Leonard Promotions, working in cooperation with Ringside Ticket, Inc to produce the latest fight card at the Legends Casino. This outdoor show was billed as The Big Hurt In The Dirt, but the arena was set up in the nicely paved parking lot of the high desert valley casino. Some 4,000 knowledgeable fans were on hand despite monster thunderclouds threatening a down pour. The storm passed over with only token rain drops, and the sun broke through just in time to make Antonio Tarver and Chris Johnson squint and whirl to get their backs to it.
In a skill-festival 10 round Main event, 27 year-old former champ, Angel Manfredy, 134 lbs, (now 38-5-1, 29 KO’s) of Gary, Indiana won a unanimous decision over 28 year-old Lamar Murphy, 135 1/2 lbs, (now 26-6, 18 KO’s) of Miami, FLA. The surgically strategic power of Manfredy wore down the fast but light-fisted Murphy. The final scores were 100-91, 97-93, 99-91.
In a high quality ten round co-main, 1996 Olympic bronze medallist Antonio Tarver,178 lbs, 32 years-old, (now 18-1, 16 KO’s) of Orlando, Fla. stopped the 1992 Olympic bronze medallist, 29 year-old Chris Johnson, 176 1/2 lbs, (Now 26-3-1, 14 KO’s) of Atlanta, GA at 1:53 of the 10th round. The end of this tough fight was also the end of Johnson’s respectable career. Hurt and tired, Johnson was on the ropes when the final Tarver blast to the head dropped him to his knees. Johnson rose after the count and made it to his corner, where he collapsed as the ringside physician was examining him. Johnson was conscious but was immediately transported to a local hospital, and given a CAT scan which showed a possible small bleed in his brain. Awake and walking around, Johnson was quickly moved to a hospital with a larger neurology staff in the nearby city of Yakima,WA. The following morning, Johnson was still under close observation, but was alert and thoughtful. He told this reporter he felt fine but that this injury was the end of his career. "I can’t risk my body and my mind anymore after this." Johnson says he plans to go into coaching and training, "I’ll translate my vision into the minds and bodies of others." Though still hospitalized and under observation as of this report, Johnson is expected to make a complete recovery.
In a tough six round non-title bout, Women’s International Boxing Federation140 pound champion, Lisa Holewyne, 141 lbs, 35 years (now 14-7-1, 6 KO’s) of Austin, TX, stopped rugged 36 year-old Cheryl Nance (now 5-6, 5 KO’s) of Winston-Salem, NC at 1:12 of the 5th round. Nance was eating a heavy and unanswered barrage on the ropes when referee Mike Fisher called a halt.
An 8 round Jr Middleweight bout was equally matched in Mutt and Jeff ineptitude. The shorter Quandray "Candy" Robertson,154 lbs, 28 years (now 11-3, 8 KO’s) of Salem, OR won a very sloppy split decision over much taller Eddie Sanchez,154 1/2 lbs, 26 years (now 6-2-2, 5 KO’s) of Hollywood, CA. Two judges called it 56-55 for Robertson, and one judge saw it as 57-54 for Sanchez. Sanchez hit the deck in the first round, and wrestled Robertson to the ground in the second. Each fighter was docked a point for holding. Unfortunately this bout was televised rather than the more interesting Holewyne-Nance bout.
In four round bouts filling out the card:
Jr. Middleweights, David Estrada, 151 lbs (now 9-0, 4 KO’s) of Chicago won a nicely matched four round battle with Reggie Davis, 151 lbs, (now 1-1) of Portland, OR. Davis came out moving and jabbing well until a flash knockdown in the first had him reaching for his balance and touching the deck with his gloves. Rattled, Davis never seemed to completely recover his early confidence. He was further shaken by a slip that dropped him flat on his face in the second round. Much heartened by these events, Estrada got into his rhythm and made life rough for the smoother boxing Davis. The unanimous decision went to Estrada, with the scores reading; 40-36, 40-35, 39-36.
William Chapman, 144 1/2 lbs, of Portland, OR won his professional debut with a unanimous decision over Apolinaire Arzola (now1-1) also of Portland.
A scheduled welterweight 4 rounder for Paul Mpendo (2-1-1, 2 KO’s) of Eugene, OR vs Ulysses Caballero (debut) of California, was scratched when Caballero failed to pass a portion of his medical tests.
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