Nolan Schools Long in Grudge Match!
Referee Ron Cunningham raises Leo Nolan's hand as a
dejected Julius Long looks down. Promoter Gerald Evans (right) looks
David 2 - Goliath 0 Using head movement and his advantage in experience, Team
Cannon captain Leo "Paco" Nolan, 9-0 (2), cruised to a fairly easy
decision over Julius "Towering Inferno" Long, 5-1 (5) in the
"Unfinished Business" main event in Detroit. The two had long been
feuding over "best young heavyweight in Detroit" bragging rights, but
the issue is now settled conclusively between them.
Leo Nolan worked his way inside the looping punches of Long to snap crisp
combinations off the chin of the 7'1 giant, who was noticeably fatigued early
on. Nolan survived Long's initial onslaught and them calmly went to work on the
big man. The lack of an amateur career came back to haunt the likeable big man
when he needed it most. Winded terribly and needing a knockout, he turned to
wild, looping punches to save him, a strategy that isn't wise against someone as
slippery as Nolan. He ducked under the flailing telephone poles of the giant to
land his pesky one-twos and uppercuts.
As early as the third round, Long appeared to be too tired to continue, but
to his credit, he showed tremendous heart in making it the distance. Fear of the
unknown could have been a factor as it was the first time he ever seen the third
round and his first main event.
For Nolan, it is the biggest win, thus far, of his blossoming career. For
Long, it is back to the drawing board for more seasoning. The judges gave Nolan
the victory by scores of 59-55, 59-55 and 60-54. Fightnews agreed with 59-55.
Afterward, an elated Nolan said he was a bit surprised by the outcome,
"it was a little harder than I thought; he hit a lot harder than what I
figured." Speaking with the victor only minutes after the fight, the hard
feelings were already beginning to diminish. Contrary to the remarks he made
during pre-fight interviews, Nolan said "I never had hard feelings; I just
didn't like the talk and when he downgraded me."
"I felt I could get him out of there a couple times, but I don't have
the power like I want. That's my next step, working on my power. I'm going to
start weight training. We're going to slow things down for the next one until
somebody else steps up and starts calling me out again (laughs)."