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The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
January 29, 2001
The Blooding of our fresh faced Olympians
Barry Stephen Hanley
KO Nation, the latest HBO attempt at resurrecting the ailing fight game, played host to the unveiling of several promising Olympians. Fresh from Sydney, all had opted to leave the singlet and head gear in the past, opting for the muddy, shark infested waters of the professional game.

The bouts were held in The Theater, and adjunct to Madison Square Garden formerly known as the Felt Forum. Five Olympians were featured in their professional debuts..

Three of the fights deserve a mention. First, a middleweight contest between Bronze medalist Jermaine Taylor. Taylor, from Arkansas, was hoping to make his State renowned for something other than the charismatic philanderer who occupied the White House for the past eight years. His opponent was a journeyman from Scranton, P.A, 'Irish' Chris Walsh. The only thing eyecatching about Walsh's performance was an intricate celtic cross tatooed into the small of his back. Jermaine 'Bad Intentions' Taylor lived up to his moniker. His solid right crosses bombarded Walsh from the opening bell. 2:30 of the second round marked the first knockdown as Walsh hit the deck due to a crisp right cross. Kevin Kelley, serving as a commentator, emphasized the importance of 'cleaning up' once your opponent is hurt. " If you can't clean up, you'll get cleaned up" he added.

As Walsh sat on his stool between rounds he prophetically announced, "I think he's got me George." Sure enough, Taylor landed the definitive right hand in 2:50 of the fourth round, prompting Arthur Mercante Jr. to stop the fight. Afterwards, a charming personable Taylor said he found it hard to adjust to fighting sans headgear.

The next fight was the highlight of the night, featuring Ricardo 'Slick Ricky' Williams, Jr., who had been involved in the most compelling fight at the Olympics. The bout was the highest scoring match-up in Olympic History as Williams gave a 'hell for leather' performance against the classy Cuban, Diagones Luna. The final score was 42 to 41 in favor of Williams who went on to win the silver medal. The opponent for his pro debut tonight was not of Luna's caliber but did have a jaw that seemed to be fashioned from pure granite. Anthony SImkins didn't mount much of an attack but instead took all of William's slick shots square on the chin. Williams fought out of the southpaw stance, peppering SImkins at will. In the fourth round Arthur Mercante Sr., proceedings as the cumulative effect of 'Slick Ricky's' left hand shots became evident.

The final bout broadcast featured heavyweight Michael Bennett, an ex con from the windy city. In Sydney, he put up a game effort against legendary Cuban Felix Savon. Savon went on to clinch the gold for the umpteenth time. Bennett's opponent on this occasion was Andrew 'came to fight' Hutchinson from Kingston, Jamaica. Hutchinson came to fight, but not for long. Bennett looked well polished and brutally efficient as he knocked him out in 1:12 of the first round. The bout came to an abrupt halt as Bennett unleashed a barrage of vicious right hands, the last of which almost decapitated the hapless Jamaican. Referee Mercante Jr., a tad slow in calling the affair to a halt. There were two blows inflicted while the only thing holding Hutchinson upright was the middle rope.

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