By Paul R Jones! | Photos © Paul R. Jones – Hanover, MD – It took Demond ‘D’BestAtIt’ Nicholson (21-3-1, 20 KOs) less than two minutes to steamroll journeyman Jessie ‘Beast’ Nicklow (27-10-3, 9 KOs) on Friday night at the Maryland Live! Casino • Hotel in Maryland.
From the opening bell, however, it was Nicklow that was the aggressor, bringing the fight to Nicholson in an attempt to catch him cold.
“[Nicholson] didn’t really looked warmed up,” said Nicklow. “So, I came out and tried to jump on him. I was ready to [expletive] him up.”
Nevertheless, Nicklow’s impatience would be his waterloo, as Nicholson and his corner—coaches Calvin Ford and Kenny Ellis, the brain trust behind the Upton Boxing Center in Baltimore—were well prepared.
“I thought [Nicklow] was going to come a little quicker,” Nicholson explained, “but one thing we work on is stepping to the side.”
On cue, Nicholson quickly adjusted to Nicklow’s pressure by sidestepping him and landing a salvo of thudding shots to Nicklow’s core that rocked the ‘Beast.’
“The body shots were a little bit different from what I normally throw,” said Nicholson. “I was using my range, so that helped a lot too.”
Equally important, Nicholson’s body shots forced Nicklow to lower his guard, leaving Nicklow’s head dangerously exposed.
Seconds later, Nicholson exploited Nicklow’s technical flaw, uncorking a monstrous hook to Nicklow’s head that put the ‘Beast’ down hard.
“I hit him with a couple of punches, saw he didn’t go anywhere, so I backed off,” Nicholson said. “Then I just caught him with a hook, and it was over after that.”
Though Nicklow would beat the count, he rose on unsteady legs forcing referee Dave Braslow to halt the bout at the 1:28 mark of round one.
If the goal was to send clear message to the champions atop the super middleweight food chain: Message sent.
As Nicholson put it, “I’m SUPER HUNGRY…[and] now it’s time become a world champion.”
Team Nicholson also wasted little time in making their future plans known after the win.
“We’re definitely going the WBC route,” said Thomas “Top Dog” Williams, Nicholson’s manager. “The WBC champ is Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs), and we definitely think we can beat [him] right now.”
A deeper dive into Nicholson vs. Nicklow also reveals two notable takeaways.
First, no other fighter has pummeled the otherwise durable Nicklow this quickly, including title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KOs), former Middleweight Champion Ryota Murata (14-2, 11 KOs), and former undisputed Middleweight Champ Jermain Taylor.
Obviously, Nicholson’s demolition job on Nicklow is due, in part, to his underrated punching power. As Nicklow explained: “Damn, that mother[expletive] can punch. [Nicholson] beat me like I owed him child support or something.”
Second, and less obvious, is the fact that, since joining forces with Ford and Ellis, Nicholson has reeled off three straight knockouts against opponents with a combined winning percentage over 76%. Simply put, Ford and Ellis’s tweaks to Nicholson’s strategy and mechanics are working.
And given the duo’s ongoing success with their stable of fighters—including Gervonta Davis (21-0, 20 KOs), Nicholson, and rising prospects Lorenzo Simpson (2-0, 2 KOs) and Malik Hawkins (14-0, 9 KOs) —Ford and Ellis are quietly putting together a dark horse campaign for Trainer of the Year in 2019.
■ About Paul R. Jones!
Paul R. Jones! is a boxing writer and ringside photographer for East Side Boxing. A scientist by day and boxing writer by night, he covers the humorous, offbeat, and absurd from the sport of boxing. Paul’s articles have appeared in PEDIATRICS, Race and Social Problems, and Motivation and Emotion, and he’s covered boxing online for BOXINGNEWS24, BOXINGINSIDER, TheFightJournal, and WRAPSONTV.
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