With so many Detroit boxers
from past and present in one room, it was a great time for a game of Six
Degrees of Baby Jones.
Promoter Gerald Evans and his
1World Productions returned tonight to treat a sellout crowd of
approximately 1500 people to an exciting and well-organized evening of
professional boxing. If Bill Kozerski shows are a night of the big-time
and an Andrea Darnell show is for the upscale casino crowd, a Gerald Evans
show brings out the beating heart of Detroit boxing. The diverse group
that make up the Motown fight community showed up in force to cheer their
own and they didn't leave disappointed. Detroit is literally bursting at
the seams with excellent fighters, as every other table sported at least
one or two exciting prospects.
In the main supporting bout
to Syd Vanderpool's impressive ring return, Detroit Lightweight Damian
Fuller created some fireworks of his own by lighting up Chris Regular of
Mississippi in the very first round. After his stunning defeat to
unheralded Juan Valenzuela last month on ESPN2, Fuller showed he was eager
to return to his formerly winning ways by tearing into Regular with
sinister fury. Back were the legs and power of Fuller, both of which were
mysteriously absent in his upset defeat. A single, perfectly placed right
hook sent the game Regular to the mat in a heap. Although he managed to
rise before the ten count, referee Ron Cunningham wisely halted the action
and saved the staggering fighter.
"That's the punch I'll
be looking to hit (ESPN2 conqueror Juan) Valenzuela with a lot…A
LOT," said a still charged up Fuller. "My promoter Bill Kozerski
is working on a rematch with him in the fall," he said. "I
fought the wrong fight the first time, but I've been working with a
strength and conditioning coach (Chad Wigle) and doing anything else it
takes to make myself a better fighter."
With the win, Fuller's record
is now 14-2 (7KO).
Watching Boyd Gardener Jr.,
return to the ring after a 9-year layoff, it was hard to believe he had
lost four fights, let alone been off for nearly a decade. In the most
competitive fight of the night, Gardener 9-4 (4KO) looked superb in
handling a surprisingly game Robert Hayes of St. Louis.
Behind an educated and
lightning-fast jab, Gardener stung Hayes with flurry after flurry of razor
sharp punches. Hayes, however, didn't fight like he was there for a
paycheck only. Fearless aggression and the occasional success he had in
landing his heavy-handed bombs made for a very entertaining, if mostly
one-sided, fight. In the end, Gardener served notice that he is back and
better than ever, while Hayes (now 3-2) was cheered loudly for the bravery
he displayed in defeat.
True to the word of captain
Leo Nolan, the collective known as "Team Cannon" were seated as
a group at ringside. Having promised each other to remain united
throughout their careers, the team (Nolan, Rydell Booker, Rubin Williams
and Tommy Robinson) sat at a table together, sporting "Team Cannon
Big Guns" T-shirts, along with manager John Carlisle and trainer
Anthony Nolan. The equally charismatic teammates entertained the crowd
with impromptu dance numbers and endless handshakes for the fans that
constantly streamed up to their table. Last week the team headlined a sold
out Andrea Darnell show at Cobo in downtown Detroit.
The Jason Mrozek managed trio
of Lightweight Don Talley, Light Heavyweight Pharaoh Turner and Super
Middleweight Tony Rodriguez made quick work of their opponents. Each
scored impressive one-round knockouts over Clark Gilbert, Quinton Harris
and Dino Newville successively. Particularly auspicious was Turner, whose
power elicited audible grunts from the overmatched Harris.
In the opening
fight of the night, Desi Williams of Detroit, MI moved his record to 4-1
with a unanimous (40-36 X3) decision over Flint, MI's Charles Hinkle
(1-1). Williams appeared to be in a higher league than his novice
it sincerest wishes for a happy retirement to Michigan Commission
timekeeper Ondrayah Garza who worked her final show this evening. Garza is
the wife of Tyson vs. Golota referee Frank, who served as ring announcer