Boxing


Lajuan Simon - proves he’s a "Philly Fighter"

17.04.05 - By Mike Indri, Retired Boxers Foundation: Jameel "Black Gold" Wilson entered the Philadelphia National Guard Armory ring Friday night, with his usual gold everlast boxing trunks, to the eardrum-shattering cheers of the capacity crowd. Wilson, a Philadelphia native who had recently fought battles against the likes of Antwun Echols and Tarvis Simms, was a crowd pleaser and the fan favorite for his main event bout against the talented yet untested Lajuan Simon..

If you don’t count his one round bout against Horace Cooper last November, which was ruled a no-contest (accidental head butt opened a nasty cut over Cooper’s left eye), Simon’s last fight was over seventeen months ago (TKO 4 win over Matthew Thompson 11/14/03). By the reaction of the crowd as Simon entered the ring you would have never known that he too was fighting out of the City of Brotherly love!

As soon as the opening bell rang that all changed. From the bout’s onset Simon displayed sound boxing skills and a quick stinging jab, not often seen coming from a young boxer fighting in just his ninth professional match.

Simon took the first round, and was faring well in round two until the rugged Wilson connected with his big right hand that hurt the twenty-six year old Simon. A Simon left hook and a couple of unintentional head butts, in round three, had Wilson cut and bleeding around both his eyes. By all appearance this was beginning to bother and affect Wilson, who refused to back down and had turned this bout into a toe-to-toe brawl; to the crowd’s approval!

Wilson was bleeding all over in round four (and I had to wear my white shirt?) and was getting pounded by the fast hands of Simon. His gold trunks now crimson, Wilson battled on and won everybody’s respect with his "no quit" style, even though he absorbed a great deal of punishment in round five.

By the sixth round even the white tape wrapped around both fighter’s gloves had turned to red. With the blood flowing freely from Wilson’s eyes, and the ringside media getting sprayed with each thunderous punch which Simon landed, the delirious crowd truly appreciated "Black Gold’s" display of nuts & guts.

As Simon assumed control in round seven with his workman-like attack to Wilson’s body and head, too many combinations by the well-trained and well-conditioned Simon were finding their mark; hurting Wilson often.

As the fighters touched gloves beginning the eigth and final round, the crowd arose as both Philly warriors went full blast! Wilson, now desperate and sensing he needed a knockout to win was throwing punches from every angle and hardly stopped winging shots at all during the last three minutes.

With Simon and Wilson toe-to-toe in the center of the ring, the bell finally rang - ending this hard fought battle.

As two judges rightfully scored Simon as the winner (79-73, 79-73), you had to wonder how a 76-76 draw was tabbed by the third judge?

Either way Lajuan Simon, now 8-0-1(with 4 KO’s), earned his majority decision victory over Jameel Wilson (now 13-9-2, 8 KO’s). Lajuan Simon also earned the respect of the Philly fight crowd - who now were cheering for Simon as he victoriously exited the ring!

"I couldn’t believe he (Wilson) stayed up with all I hit him with" exclaimed the likeable Simon afterwards, "He was really tough and this was my first time going eight rounds."

On the Greg Robinson Power Productions undercard…..

Derek "Pooh" Enis stayed perfect, improving to 6-0 (4 KO’s), with a technical knockout victory over Josh Smith. Smith, from Nashville, TN. dropped to 17-18-1 (15 KO’s) as he was unable to answer the bell for round four.

With his two-time World Heavyweight Champion Uncle Tim looking on, Chazz Witherspoon (now 4-0, 3 KO’s) battered Harold Rodriguez around the ring en-route to a fourth round TKO win. Witherspoon, a 2004 Olympic team alternate and soon-to-be college graduate showed he had the tools of a young heavyweight prospect.

In a battle of Philly Jr. welterweights, Tyric "Too Sweet" Robinson (3-0, 2 KO’s) scored a unanimous four round decision win over Ahmed Curry, whose record fell to 2-3 (2 KO’s). The quick and talented Robinson had Curry down in the first round.

Cruiserweight Lamont Barnes (1-0, 1 KO) made his pro-debut extra special with his first round knockout win over a tough Alfred Bandikebicius (0-2) who is still looking for his first "W".

In the fightcard’s opening bout, local middleweight Jamal Davis(3-1, 2 KO’s) dropped Rashard Sanders (4-6-1) three times during his first round knockout win. "The Truth" annihilated his foe with a vicious body attack.

A great night of boxing brought to all by Philadelphia’s Premier Promoter Greg Robinson and his Power Productions Inc.

An exciting, entertaining fightcard which showcased some of Philadelphia’s better up-and-coming talent, and a legitimate prospect.

Power Productions next show will be on June 10th at the Blue Horizon.Ticket master (215) 336-2000 - Blue Horizon (215) 763-0500

*IN OUR PRAYERS - I was truly saddened to learn of the passing of one of Philadelphia’s most beloved boxing people earlier this week. Barbara Peeks made everyone’s trip to the legendary Blue Horizon special with her warm personality and giant smile. Barbara was a wonderful, special person who will always be in the hearts of all her boxing family.

ALSO…..battling health problems at his home has forced legendary Philadelphia boxing PR man Robert Sadler away from his usual ringside seat. I truly enjoyed working my way up to Robert’s "A-list".

A good person and class act, Robert Sadler is a friend that I know is on most people’s A-list. God Bless and keep the faith.

Photos by: Rich Schneidenbach/ RBF

Article posted on 17.04.2005



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