“TNT” Grano defeats “TOS” Williamson

boxingBy Ron Scarfone at Ringside - Heavyweight contender Tony “TNT” Grano (20-2-1, 16 KOs) won the vacant NABF heavyweight championship with an impressive win over former contender DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson (27-7, 23 KOs). Williamson is past his prime at 43 years of age. The spectators booed because of the lack of action in rounds one and two. A straight right to the head from Grano wobbled Williamson and he barely survived round three. In round four, Grano hurt Williamson again from a straight right to the head. Two consecutive left hooks to the head knocked down Williamson and the referee stopped the fight at 2:27. Grano won by TKO.

Lightweight contender Angelo “La Cobra” Santana was a two-time Cuban national champion as an amateur. He now has success as a pro with a No. 15 ranking by the WBA and a record of 13-0, 10 KOs. Santana uses a southpaw stance. Santana had the toughest test of his career so far against former WBC Silver featherweight champion Justin “Le Voodoo” Savi (26-2, 18 KOs). An inadvertent headbutt in the first round caused Savi’s left eye to swell and close completely. A left hook to the head by Santana knocked down Savi in round two. In the third round, a right hook to the head knocked Savi down again. Savi got up, but took a flurry of unanswered punches to the head while in one of the ring corners. The referee waved it off at 1:51 of the third round and Santana won by TKO..

Junior middleweight contender Omar “Oh!” Henry (12-0-1, 9 KOs) went the distance against Tyrone “Solja Black” Selders (8-3, 6 KOs), but won by a landslide. Selders looked like a man of steel as he took many powerful punches to the head and body. Henry has a high knockout percentage and these punches reverberated through the arena. Selders took a beating every round and frequently took several unanswered punches to the head. Henry was so dominant in these rounds that one judge scored two of the rounds 10-8 in spite of there being no knockdowns. Henry showed he is a force to be reckoned with. Henry won by unanimous decision with scores of 100-90, 100-90, and 100-88.

Super flyweight contender Thomas “The Franchise” Snow (16-1, 10 KOs) is ranked No. 15 by the WBA. Most of his opponents have been either boxers making their pro debuts or with losing records. Ernie Marquez (9-11-2, 3 KOs) falls into the latter category, but had fought much better competition. Marquez had faced an undefeated fighter 12 times in his career and had a win over Yan Barthelemy in 2008. Snow had a height advantage and a more muscular body than Marquez. Snow is a southpaw and flicked his right jab at the smaller Marquez. A low blow by Snow caused Marquez to be bent over in pain in the second round. The referee gave Marquez five minutes to recover, but he only needed one. In the third round, an inadvertent headbutt from Snow cut Marquez below his right eye. The ringside doctor examined it and allowed the fight to continue. Snow finished the fight with a right hook to the head in the fourth round. Marquez was wobbly when trying to get up, so the referee stopped the fight at 46 seconds and Snow won by TKO. Snow said afterwards that he is the best 115 pounder in the world. He will have to prove that against someone with a winning record.

WBC U.S. super welterweight champion Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez (22-1-1, 13 KOs) did not have his belt at stake against Brandon “The Business” Baue (12-7, 10 KOs) because Hernandez weighed two pounds over the 154 pound limit. Baue had a three fight losing streak and was not likely to win the belt anyway. Baue took head shots from Hernandez in the third round without getting knocked down. It seems that Baue got overconfident as a result and came out for the fourth round willing to brawl at close range. This was a big mistake as both were engaged in a slugfest and Hernandez knocked down Baue with a left hook to the head. Baue was able to get up, but Hernandez knew Baue was hurt. Baue stopped throwing punches and kept his guard high in trying to defend against the onslaught from Hernandez. The referee waved it off at 1:11 of the fourth round and Hernandez won by TKO.

Heavyweight Trevor “The Dream” Bryan (4-0, 3 KOs) had a short fight against Hector “Ready For War” Hodge (1-1, 0 KO). Bryan began the fight with body punches. Bryan landed a devastating left hook to the head. Hodge fell face first into the canvas. The fight was stopped immediately and the referee had the doctors at ringside come to Hodge’s aid. Hodge was eventually able to sit on a stool and the spectators clapped their hands at his recovery. The time of stoppage was 34 seconds of the first round and Bryan won by KO. At just 22 years of age, Bryan has some time to improve. However, he said after the fight that he is now ready for 10 round fights and expects to be world heavyweight champion in two or three years.

Junior welterweight Amir “Young Gun” Imam (5-0, 4 KOs) remains unbeaten with his win over Kelvin Williams (1-2, 1 KO). Imam had a significant height advantage, but his hand speed and power were the deciding factors. Williams was landing punches early in the fight, but could not hurt Imam. Imam knocked down Williams twice with the same kind of punch: a straight right to the head. Williams got up from the second knockdown only to get knocked down for a third time by a left hook to the head. The referee waved it off with just one second left in the first round. The time of stoppage was 2:59 and Imam won by KO.

A couple of junior middleweights made their pro debuts against each other. Esaie “Slick” Estimar and Xavier Lugo were striving for their first victory. Estimar landed two straight rights to the head that knocked down Lugo early in the bout. Lugo beat the count and the fight resumed. A perfect left hook and straight right combination to the head knocked Lugo down again. Lugo attempted to get up, but was too dazed and could not rise to his feet. The time of stoppage was 2:22 of the first round and Estimar won by KO. Estimar is now 1-0, 1 KO as a pro and Lugo is 0-1, 0 KO.

The event was called “Viva Don King II” and celebrated the longevity of his career as a boxing promoter. Another person whose long career was honored was artist Leroy Neiman who passed away recently at the age of 91. Neiman is well known for his paintings depicting boxing and other sports. The bell tolled to the count of ten during the moment of silence in the Hard Rock LIVE Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Article posted on 24.06.2012

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