Boxing

Audley Harrison Stops Robert Davis to Headline a Night of Heavyweights

10.06.05 - By Kent Appel @ Ringside-Audley Harrison of Edmonton, England, the 2000 super-heavyweight Olympic gold medalist, came from almost out of nowhere to knock out Robert Davis of Akron, Ohio at 2:21 of the seventh round. The end came after six and a half somewhat uneventful rounds when Harrison, a southpaw, suddenly exploded with a fierce combination that was started by a hard straight left hand to the head of Davis. With the win Harrison, 254 pounds, improves his record to 18-0, 13 by KO while Davis, who weighed in at 229 pounds, steps back to 31-7, 19 by KO.

The Harrison verses Davis bout headlined a six bout card, five of which featured heavyweights. The headlining fight and one of the preliminary fights were broadcast live from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California on Fox Sports Network's The Best Damn Sports Show Period. The fights were promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Pechanga.

Harrison controlled the first two rounds on the basis of his accurate right jab but Davis began to find the range in round number three by landing left hooks to the body and head, right leads to the head, and right hand leads to the body. Harrison did score a knockdown in the first round by landing a hard right jab but it appeared Davis went down more from being off balance than from being hurt.

Harrison appeared to be content to jab from the outside in round number four but he was not very active in this round and Davis landed the harder shots to capture the round.

The action picked up somewhat in round number five and Harrison landed the crisper, harder punches by setting up the hard straight left hand with the use of the right jab, hurting Davis late in the round. Davis for his part did land some right hand leads, left hooks to the body, some jabs, and left hooks to the head but they were not enough to offset Harrison's advantage.

The action slowed in round number six as Harrison did little except land some right hand jabs. Davis won the round by his use of his own jab, the right hand lead to the head, and left hooks to the body and the head.

Harrison became more active once more in round number seven by again setting up his hard straight left hands by using an accurate right jab. It was the straight left that set up the explosive combination that ended the fight late in this seventh round.

Harrison, 33 years old, has not fought in a year due to a hand injury but he took a good first step to getting into contention for a heavyweight title shot by knocking out Davis. Davis, also 33 years old, for his part looked good at times in this fight and he has some fights left in his career as well.

In a CO feature heavyweight fight scheduled for ten rounds, long time contender Kirk Johnson of Nova Scotia, Canada took on Yanqui Diaz of Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of this contest was Johnson by five round technical decision when Diaz was unable to continue due to an accidental head butt. Johnson won on the judges' scorecards by the scores of 49-43, 49-42, 49-42.

The Johnson verses Diaz fight was at times sloppy as there were some unintentional fouls in the contest including a one point deduction from Johnson for a low blow in round number two, a warning for a low blow in round number three, also to Johnson, and the accidental clash of the fighters' heads in round number five, which ended the fight.

As far as the actual boxing was concerned, Johnson dominated the action from the first round on scoring with combinations to the head and body in every round, including knockdowns of Diaz in rounds number two and five.

Johnson had Diaz on the verge of being knocked out in round number five when the clash of heads occurred which caused a cut on the forehead of Diaz that the ringside doctor declared was too severe for Diaz to continue.

With the win Johnson, 246 pounds, improves his record to 36-2-1, 26 by KO while Diaz, 232 pounds, is now 13-3, 8 by KO.

In the most action packed fight of the card, 2002 national Golden Gloves champion Malcolm Tann of Seaboard, North Carolina won a unanimous eight round decision over Derek Bryant of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the judges' scores of 76-75, 77-74, and 77-74.

Tann, 231 pounds, almost didn't make it out of the first round when he was met by a hard left hand from Bryant, 217 pounds, that knocked Tann down. He rose on wobbly legs but he hung in tough by surviving the round and fighting back hard in subsequent rounds.

Tann came back to hurt Bryant in round number two but just as he was about to follow up on his advantage, Bryant fought back hard to hurt Tann again with a right hook and a left hand.

Tann regained the advantage in round number three with his fine use of the left hook, right uppercut, right lead to the head, and right to the body.

In round number four the two fighters took turns fighting off of the ropes going toe to toe for much of the round. Tann had a slight advantage by his use of the right hand lead, the left hook, the right to the body, and the right uppercut. Bryant for his part scored well with the left hand and the right hook but he was outlanded by Tann in this round.

The trend continued in round number five and again Tann had a slight advantage with both fighters again taking turns hurting their opponent. Tann with the uppercut and right hand lead and Bryant with the straight left hand and right hook.

Tann pressed his advantage in rounds six and seven as Bryant appeared to be tiring but just as Tann appeared to be becoming dominant, Bryant hurt Tann again with the straight left to the head.

The two fighters battled hard to try and pull off the victory in round number eight, especially in the last minute of the fight when the two heavyweights set a pace that featherweights would be proud of. Tann once again had a slight advantage to gain the win.

I spoke to Tann after the fight and he said, " I have never been in a dull fight in seventeen professional fights." I don't doubt this as I have seen him fight about six times and all of them have been action packed. Tann then added, "the fans appreciate it that I show both heart and skill." I don't disagree with this as in this fight both he and Bryant showed a lot of heart but it was his skill that gave Tann enough to pull off the win.

With the win Tann ups his record to 16-1, 8 by KO while Bryant is now 18-4, 15 by KO.

Also on the card: heavyweight Travis Walker of Tallahassee, Florida, the national Golden Gloves champion in 2003, made short work of Carlton Johnson of Portsmouth, Virginia by scoring a knockout at 48 seconds of the first round.

Walker, 241 pounds, never gave Johnson, 248 pounds, a chance to get into the fight by meeting Johnson with a text book perfect left/right combination to the head that knocked Johnson down in the opening seconds of the fight. Walker followed this up with a hard combination that put Johnson down and out.

With the win Walker improves to 11-0, 9 by KO while Johnson falls to 15-12-2, 10 by KO.

A third national Golden Gloves champion in 2004, heavyweight Rafael Butler of Rochester, Minnesota also was a winner when he defeated Kerry Biles of Springfield, Missouri by a unanimous decision by the judges' scores of 39-36, 39-36, and 39-36.

Butler, 254 pounds, dominated the first three rounds but Biles, 271 pounds, rallied in the fourth round to hurt Butler but it was too little, too late as Butler weathered the storm to gain the win.

Butler improves his record to 11-1, 8 by KO while Biles is now 6-7-1, 3 by KO.

Finally, still another Golden Gloves champion, in the only non heavyweight fight of the card, junior welterweight Lorenzo Reynolds of Saiginaw, Michigan defeated Carlos Barragan of Guaymass, Mexico by a unanimous decision.

Reynolds, 140 1/2 pounds won by the judges scores of 58-55, 59-54, and 59-53 over Barragan, 145 pounds. Reynolds in now 6-0, 3 by KO while Barragan slips to 3-15, 1 by KO.

Article posted on 10.06.2005



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