Lange, Filippone, and Farmer Earn Hard-Won Victories in Virginia Beach

By Neil Dennis: Good small venue fight cards need to be encouraged if the sport of boxing is going to thrive. MMA seems to have little trouble with this, but lately boxing is struggling to put on the smaller cards that get local fight fans abuzz about seeing boxing.

Thankfully, people like Diane Fischer and her Dee Lee Promotions company out of New Jersey have been working to turn this tide. The Virginia Beach Fieldhouse, a venue better known for youth soccer leagues and amateur basketball tournaments, was host to a couple hundred fight fans and a card full of up-and-comers, part-timers, and one former star of NBC’s The Contender. The “star” in question was Jimmy Lange, who has thus far made a nice following for himself in northern Virginia since losing to Joey Gilbert on that show six years ago. However, he was just a small part of what made this fight card shine.

It began with a four rounder between Kenneth Moody (2-2-1, 1 KO) and Damion Reed (2-6-1, 1 KO). The fight started slow, as Moody was happy to box at a distance and won on activity more than anything else. Reed’s trainer was yelling for him to do something as Moody “don’t want to fight.” Reed finally got the message in round three as this boxing exhibition turned into a brawl. Reed was repeatedly throwing fast combos and forcing Moody into the ropes and the turnbuckles. Moody seemed as hard-pressed to find an answer as he lost to Omar Sims at the Virginia Beach Convention Center less than a year ago. Reed’s trainer was yelling for him to take the final round if he even wanted a draw, and that was what Reed ended up with. Even so, one judge thought Reed won a shutout and you could have argued that as the first two rounds were not that decisive.

Normally, these guys would be a quick one round KO for someone on the way up, so it was nice to see guys of the same level put it out there, particularly Reed.

This was followed by a threesome of knockout victories. First, cop-turned-college professor Donald Haley was knocked out in 58 seconds by opponent Duane King. Rising heavyweight prospect Dorsett Barnwell wailed away on Jonathan “The People’s Champion” Fulton for four rounds before referee Joseph Cooper waived it off for the TKO win. Lightweight “Jolt’n” Joey Tiberi moved up to junior welter with a very vocal crowd from Delaware in tow to knock out opponent Nick Morris in 1:28 of the first round. “Joey just sent Eminem back to 8 Mile!” the announcer boomed while the bleached-blonde Morris sat dazed on his stool.

The crowd was then treated to highly entertaining women’s slugfest between light middleweights Rachel “The Joker” Clark and Tori Nelson. Nelson, the smaller fighter here, continually pressed the action on Clark as they traded heavily following a very inactive first round. Nelson was really getting the crowd into it as she leapt forward regularly with straights and overhand rights that were catching Clark flush. To her credit, Clark weathered the storm well and occasional made Nelson pay, but in the end Nelson got the nod on all three judges’ scorecards.

Finally, it was Jimmy Lange’s time to shine in a rematch with Mike McFail. Now, on face value, this rematch didn’t lend itself to being worthwhile. Lange had only ten months ago pulled a shutout performance on McFail (12-43-2, 4 KOs) in McFail’s own backyard. McFail, undeterred, did his ring walk to Eminem’s “Not Afraid”, and showed a lot of heart to create an action-packed six rounder. McFail made Lange earn everything he got, even getting the better of him repeatedly in rounds three and four. The cards showed another shutout for Lange, but no one including Lange himself thought it was a dominate performance. To Lange’s credit, he went over and hugged McFail’s trainer while thanking him for a good fight.

Next was local favorite Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone (7-2, 2KOs). With about half the audience in attendance there just to see him, they exploded when he made his walk to the ring. Unfortunately, the only thing that exploded in the ring for Filippone was his nose. After four rounds where Filippone seemed to be doing just enough to win rounds, his opponent Frank “The Truth” Armstrong (4-18-3, 3 KOs) caught Filippone with a flush straight that opened up a faucet of blood from Filippone’s nostrils. To Filippone’s credit, this forced him dig deep as Armstrong dominated the first half of round six only to see Filippone come on strong and then stun him with hard straight before the final bell.

Much of the crowd was filing out as the final fight between Andrew “The Doo Man” Farmer and Andre Baker came up. Just as well, as the fight ended in a technical decision win for Farmer after Baker injured his shoulder in the sixth. Perhaps the card would have been better served had the Lange/McFail fight been an eight-round main event rather than a six-round co-feature. Nonetheless, the fight card was a quality show for a small venue, and that is something to be encouraged rather than attacked.

Article posted on 26.06.2011

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