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Detroiters Pack In For Unfinished Business!

Andre Courtemanche

Gerald Evans has plenty to smile about these days.

Unfinished Business” did a very healthy business for the upstart promoter; in fact, he may need to consider using a larger venue than the approx. 1500 seat Club International next time. The heat inside was a factor when the crowd became a standing-room-only gathering. White, Black, it doesn’t matter when 1World Productions and Team Cannon pair up to do a show. All the communities of Detroit come together as one to hoot, holler and raise the roof.

As reported on Fightnews, tonight’s main event featured the “David vs. Goliath” matchup of Julius “Towering Inferno” Long and Team Cannon captain Leo “Paco” Nolan. Post show and still beaming at the turnout, Evans expressed his respect for the victorious smaller man. “It was excellent; Leo did what he had to do. He took care of business. Julius Long is awkward, he’s a big guy, but Leo settled down and I think a couple times he had him on the verge of getting him up out of there,” he said. Even Team Cannon trainer Anthony Nolan was pleased. “Compared to the type of guy he was fighting, a tall, strong kid, he (Leo) boxed pretty good. I wish we had used the jab a little more in rounds five and six. That would have straightened him up a little bit more. Overall, compared to the type of kid we were fighting, it was a hell of a fight.”

Evans delivers plenty of bangs for the buck; his undercard featured no less than seven fights.

In the main supporting fight, Cannon’s Rydell Booker, 3-0 (2), needed a minute and a half to overwhelm Mike Judge of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Booker showed up this time in much better shape and just ran over Judge, who tried, but had no answer for Booker’s speed. The hands of the former amateur star are a blur and have to be among the fastest in the division. “I’ve been working on my hand speed since I was a kid. Growing up in the amateurs, you know they got computer scoring; they want counter-punching, fast hands and all that. My speed is my gift, plus I’m always aware of where I am in the ring and everything. I’m very focused.”

Booker, who came in at a small-for-a-heavyweight 204 lbs., responded to previous criticisms about his mid-section by re-dedicating himself to his chosen profession. “I’ve been in the gym working hard since the last fight and been toning up and everything. I’ve got a nutritionist, a weight trainer and a conditioning coach now, so I’m putting it all together and eventually I’ll be a full-fledged heavyweight.

When asked about the strong female presence at every Team Cannon show, Booker was realistic about it. “The girls are great, they’re our supporters and they help because you don’t want to look bad in front of women.”

Super Middleweight Rubin Williams is now a perfect 3-0 (3) thanks to the perfectly placed left hook that left Doug LaFontsee flat on his back. Williams looked to have his work cut out for him; LaFontsee was boxing beautifully until the deadly accurate shot turned out the lights in round one. Surprisingly, Williams says it isn’t power that is the name of his game. “I work very hard in the gym and I don’t really focus on power, just speed. I focus on landing my punches real fast. The faster you throw them, the more power they come with,” he said.

Williams, who split two fights with 2000 Olympian Jeff Lacy, is quickly becoming the most lethal member of his team and gives some of the credit to his boxing hero. “My main inspiration is Thomas Hearns. I met him and I got to spar with him once and I told him how much I appreciated him and how much he inspired me.”

Eric Ramsdell came all the way from Clearwater, Florida to quit in the first round after receiving a few punches from Detroit’s Tommy Robinson, 2-1 (1). Robinson fought with more confidence this time and made quick work of his gun-shy opponent. Ramsdell shouldn’t be boxing. Robinson is picking up steam after being ambushed in his first fight.

Shirevell Williams, 4-0 (3), of Florida will be appearing in the bad dreams of female middleweights around the world very soon. This woman is so strong, hits so hard, and reminds so many of Joe Frazier that she may be the most solid prospect in the division. Finding out the hard way was Dearborn, Michigan’s Erica Schmedlin, now 3-3.

Schmedlin, who normally overpowers her foes with brute force, spent the entire fight pinned on the ropes by Williams and absorbing tremendous punishment. She fought back bravely and never left her feet, but the sight of such a likeable girl taking that kind of beating was hard to watch. She did receive a standing eight count in the fourth and final round, but made the distance. The scores were 40-35 unanimous for Williams.

Erica Schmedlin was in the fight when she kept it at distance, but needs to learn how to pivot and move off the ropes. Williams needs to learn how a title belt feels around her waist. She will.

Fightnews readers know Super Middleweight Dallas Vargas of Toledo, Ohio, was featured last week for his mission of proving that people with disabilities can accomplish anything. One of those readers, Fernando Soto, read the feature and sent Vargas, who was born legally deaf, a letter detailing how inspiring the article was to his son Josh. Josh was also born with profound hearing loss

Vargas, 2-0 (2) was so moved by the letter he knocked out Tommy Burns in round one and dedicated it to Josh. Vargas said he hopes to be contacting the young boy soon. “I’m hoping to someday meet him and his family and even come to his school.”

Calling Detroit his “second home,” Vargas looked even more devastating this time out. He has attracted the attention of a certain television executive turned promoter, so the world may soon receive the pleasure of seeing and meeting what a few thousand Detroiters already have.

Speaking of attracting attention, Detroit’s other, and competitor with Nolan for best, young heavyweight Kevin “Big Dog” Montiy was on hand and told fightnews he will be appearing next at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Connecticut for a try-out of sorts for a family-run promotional outfit. Good Luck Kevin.

Brookville PA’s Jim Northey, 4-1 (2) displayed strong punching and good schooling while decisioning Taylor, Michigan’s Ken Clark, 2-2. Clark was skilled at avoiding most of the powerful shots of Northey, but his shorter stature kept him from being effective at range. Trying desperately to get inside on the taller man, he walked into enough punches to make the decision a just one.

Pete Cantu, 3-2 (3), beat on Tony Marks of Van Nuys, CA until Marks’ corner rescued him with a flying towel at 1:38 of round one. Cantu is a very strong featherweight.

bulletMichigan Commission judges Steve Tarnow, John Chaulk and Dario Chiarini did an admirable job and resisted giving any homers a gift.
bulletFrank Garza is an excellent ring announcer, period.
bulletThe audience consisted of too many notable boxing people to list them all. They included Frankie Randall, Tim Littles, Arthell Lawhorn, Tom “Boom Boom” Johnson, Mickey Goodwin, Ka-Dy King, Marlon Thomas, George Klinesmith, and Papa Joe Byrd.
bulletGerald Evans says he will return on December 7