Editor's Note: The result of this fight was officially changed from Disqualification to No Contest. More information forthcoming
© Copyright 2009, Mark ConnorBy
Before the fighters exited the ring I was able to talk briefly to both of them, although State Commissioners were attempting to block interviews. Just before leaving the ring Abell verified to me that he told O’Connor he hadn’t realized the bell had rung before throwing the last punch, and Butler verified my suspicion, that until getting hit with the first significant Abell left hand he felt he was in command of the fight.
“I thought it was going to be an easy fight,” Butler said in reference to how he’d been doing prior to being dropped.
As disappointed as the crowd was, the disqualification was the right call. Historically speaking, even though the reference is to the amateur rather than the professional arena, the incident reminds me of when Evander Holyfield was disqualified in his 1984 semifinal Light Heavyweight Olympic bout in Los Angelus when he didn’t break momentum and knocked his opponent. Also, Abell showed the same level of class after his disqualification as Holyfield did while representing the U.S. in the Olympics 25 years ago.
Boris, “The Russian Giant” Shishporenok, of Blaine (who is actually from Belarus, not Russia) controlled his bout from the beginning against a debuting Will Gillette of Rapid City, SD. The taller and heavier Shishporenok, a southpaw who weighed 280 pounds and stands 6’-5’’, towered over Gillette and visibly damaged him before the end of the first. He consistently jabbed and followed through with hooks and uppercuts after catching Gillette with left hands coming in. Then, in the second round he threw a perfectly timed one-two combination that Gillette walked into, the left hand landing flush and knocking him cold. Shishporonek climbs to 7-1, 6 KOs. He was originally scheduled to fight Travis Walker but the match fell through, and so he settled for this significantly easier challenge.
Lightweight Gary Eyer, Duluth, MN, has to be admired for being courageous enough to enter the arena to the cross dressing singer Boy George’s song “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”. Standing taller than his rough Mexican opponent, Levi Cortes of St. Paul, he took punches all night in a 6 round fight he won by unanimous decision. Apparently the right hand haymakers that Cortes threw were seen by the judges as grazing blows that made some noise and riled the crow but did not actually score, event though they consistently clocked Eyer in the face and visibly damaged him. Cortes took his own share of punches and was cut badly on the mouth, while Eyer was significantly bruised on the lower corner of his left eye. While Eyer exhibited a fair amount of skill he didn’t seem to be landing nearly as many punches as Cortes, nor was he generally effective. He did score two knockdowns, however, one in the third and another in the 5th, and referee Bob Brunette (very unjustifiably, I believe) told Cortes’ trainer, Fernando Ortiz in the corner that if another such knockdown occurred in the 6th he would stop the fight. Actually, when the first knockdown happened Eyer had been taking a pummeling, but he wisely timed a left hook over Cortes’ haymaker right. Eyer was obviously trying to land that punch all night, as was evidenced by his continual lifting of his right foot while moving back to time Cortes coming in. The problem with that strategy is it tended to cause him to lean in off balance and throw his right hand with his back foot slightly in the air, inhibiting him from ever being able to seriously threaten Cortes even after knocking him down. After the first knockdown Cortes wisely clinched very tightly several times and came back strong in the closing portion of the round. The second knockdown resulted in another strong survival response. I would have scored the fight 59-56 for Cortes. However, Cortes must work on a number of things which could have helped him in this fight. The first is to shorten that right hand instead of throwing haymakers, the second is to stop smothering himself and learn to take half steps back or to the side to maintain punching range, and the third is to throw an uppercut. Any one or all of these tools could have helped him tremendously in this tough battle. Eyer’s improvement would start with a good strong jab which was nonexistent in this fight. Nevertheless, Eyer climbs to 7-0-1, 5 KOs.
Tomi Archambault of Minot, ND struggled down three pounds Thursday night to make the minimum 130 pounds to meet the 129 + or – limit for the Featherweight (normally 126 lbs) fight against Coon Rapids’ Ronnie Peterson, 127. Peterson dominated the first round with body and head combinations, hooking well off the jab and making Archmambault miss or catch his shoulders or gloves when returning fire. Peterson began to look physically troubled in the second half of round 2, however, which he obviously lost. His breathing appeared to be inhibited, and, unfortunately the bout was stopped after the second round when he complained in his corner of a shoulder injury. Peterson suffered a significant shoulder injury in his final year as an amateur, which subsequently prevented from him from competing in the National Golden Gloves at the time. Hopefully he will make a full recovery and this incident won’t significantly retard the progress of his career.
Ronnie Peterson’s older brother, Junior Middleweight David Peterson of Mounds View, had absolutely no problem against Silas Ortley of North Dakota, over whom he scored a 4th round TKO. Peterson pounded Ortley’s soft body for three and a half rounds, the North Dakotan falling to the canvas. Peterson was open and vulnerable throughout but Ortley was not skilled or conditioned enough to capitalize on it. In fact Ortley, falling to 4-8, 3 KOs, appeared to have no idea how to handle Peterson, now 12-0, 7 KOs. Peterson’s last outing was a win over Corrie Rodriguez, shortly after which he related to me that he was surprised at how easy it came. Significant training will be required, but he should fight another opponent of that caliber with the intention of taking a step up from there in the immediate future. He has potential, but he’ll never be challenged on this level, or worse—he could get lazy and get caught with an unseen punch against someone like Ortley who has no business in the ring with him.