Charlotte Boxing/MMA Bouts a Big Hit

By Dick Landis: Tommy Hill's Red Leather Promotions staged a mixed bag of fisticuffs Saturday evening at the Bette Rae Thomas Recreational Center in Charlotte, NC. The agenda featured four pro boxing contests along with five amateur mixed martial arts battles.

Among the sizeable fight crowd was a large contingent of fans showing their support for popular lightweight prospect Dominic DeSanto of Spencer, NC. Fighting up in class, DeSanto made it a quick night's work landing with crackling right and left hooks to score a second round TKO at 2:23 over Tabron Farmer of Wilson, NC.. DeSanto, the current North Carolina junior welterweight champion, exhibits the skills and speed to make some noise in the sport. A southpaw, DeSanto (4-0-1, 4K) is just 20 following an amateur career of over 100 fights.

In a scheduled six rounds, Brooklyn's Joselito Collado showed quickness switching leads to outbox Knoxville's tiny (5'1) but durable Leshaun Blair in a featherweight contest. Scored 60-54 by all three judges, the rapid firing, well-conditioned Collado remained undefeated (10-0, 3K), while Blair slipped to 4-21, which is not indicative of how hard he fought.

Two other boxing bouts were featured: At welterweight, Sumpter, SC.'s Jared Robinson boxed effectively and quickly to score two first round knockdowns over La'Javis Manning of Wilmington, NC. before it was stopped seconds later. Robinson picked up his second pro win, both knockouts, against no defeats. Manning is now 0-2.

In an interesting scheduled six rounds, two big men took the measure of each other. Kevin "Big Man" Burnett, 6'7, 290, made Joseph Rabotte look much smaller than he is at 6'2, 250. Burnett, from Augusta, GA., was ponderous, stalking the on-the-move Rabotte, who usually waited for the bigger man to jab and fire off just one punch at which time Rabotte would lunge in a land combinations. Burnett's problem was that he didn't let his hands go, seemingly content to stalk and unload one big KO punch. But Rabotte used the ring, constantly on the run, yet countered enough to finally score a split decision victory. Rabotte of Myrtle Beach, SC. is still behind in the wins column at 6-11, while Burnett is now 13-3-1.

Earlier in the evening, five amateur MMA contests featured for the most part young men making their debut in this fast-growing sport. With each contest scheduled for three rounds, the opening fight witnessed a dominating attack by Albermarle, NC.'s J.J. "Blitz Krieg" Brantley whose punching and groundwork had Russell Bailey hanging on after two rounds. Bailey rallied in the third round but it wasn't enough as the Winston-Salem, NC. fighter (1-1) lost on the scorecards to Brantley (2-0).

Two big men, James Bunn, 6'3, 253, of Raleigh, NC. faced off versus Roscoe Duncan, 5'11, 261, of Greenville, NC., who appeared to be lacking in physical fitness, was overwhelmed and out-worked by Bunn. Finally, hard punches to the head floored Duncan where he stayed for quite a few minutes while medical personnel examined him. Bunn makes good in his debut and Duncan loses his opener.

A junior middleweight clash saw Justin Vaughan of Monroe, NC. put a rear-naked-choke (tapout) on Irving Morel from Greenville, NC. (0-1) to end it at 1:28 of the first round. Vaughan is now 2-1. In two other contests, at welterweight, the very efficient and dominating fighting of Charlotte's Igor Tatarinov gave him the TKO win (2-0) at 2:14 of the second round against Lexington, NC.'s Tony Leonard (0-1). The MMA portion of the program ended with Buffalo, NY.'s Kevin Forant (3-0) winning an arm-bar submission at 2:04 of the first round over Greenville's James Jones Jr. (0-1) in a middleweight contest.

Article posted on 07.02.2010

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