27.02.06 – By Mike Indri – Retired Boxers Foundation – Even though the Turning Stone Casino proved to be a picture perfect venue and the Fisticuff Promotional team of Dave Escalet and Oscar Diaz had put together a truly exciting seven bout fight card showcasing several local fighters, all eyes undoubtedly were on Duva Boxing promoted young heavyweight prospect Mike Marrone.
Fighting as the co-feature for the “Friday Night Fights” nationally televised bout on ESPN2 (due to Kendall Holt sustaining an injury, which forced the talented welterweight fighter off the fightcard), the twenty year old Florida native Marrone came in with a perfect 12-0 (10 KOs) record, and big hopes. Nothing but impressive accolades rang out for the 210lb. highly touted protege; including his “The New Italian Stallion” moniker.
After surviving the eight rounds and garnering a shaky majority decision win against the smaller, yet very game, Zack Page, who took the fight on short notice, Marrone appeared to be more hype than hope.
Getting out boxed for most of the first half of his highly anticipated “step up” bout, Marrone dropped the battle weary Page in rounds five and six. “The New Italian Stallion” seemed to be on his way to victory; looking to take the matter out of the judge’s hands in the process.
Charging out of his corner with knockout intentions at the round seven opening bell, Marrone was surprised with a monstrous right hand by Page which drove, the now hurt, Marrone directly on his back to the canvas! With Page pounding away at his untested opponent it appeared that referee Charlie Fitch was extremely close to stopping the fight. Cheating defeat was a testament to Marrone’s fortitude and heart, and the biggest boxing lesson the likeable slugger has learned to date. Marrone managed to hold on, suck it up and have his hand raised in victory after the eighth and final round. Two of the judges saw the fight for Marrone (75-74, 76-75), while the third judge scored it a draw. Page, from Warren, Ohio, fell to 10-5 (4 KO’s) and delighted the fans with his credibly proud performance.
The main event was a crowd thriller till the end. Welterweight title contender Oscar “El Torito” Diaz was given all he could handle by Rochester native Russell “Spiderman” Jordon through the first four rounds of their scheduled ten rounder.
Diaz, as all true Mexican fighters, kept coming forward and was aggressively forcing the fight on Jordon. Long and lanky, and a virtual “Tommy Hearns prototype”, Jordan started well but reality would soon set in that his weak and lazy jab wouldn’t be able to keep the formidable Diaz away for too long. A close fight at the start of round five, Diaz landed two big left hands which dropped the gutsy Jordon, who struggled, but beat the count. Diaz, now determined to finish it, hammered away to the body and head before referee Ken Zimmer jumped in to save the wounded Jordon, who fell to 12-3 (8 KO’s); while Diaz improved to 24-1, with 12 KO’s.
On the Turning Stone Casino undercard..
Rochester, NY native Duane Hall started the show in grand fashion; winning his pro debut via unanimous decision against John Lipscomb (1-2) in a four round Jr. middleweight contest.
In an almost laughable heavyweight four rounder, Baltimore’s Wayne Hampton improved to 3-1 (2 KO’s), taking a unanimous decision victory over Lujwane Henderson (1-2); whose bulging eyes stare and smile were more disturbing then his powder puff punches.
While Hampton prevailed, neither fighter deserved a “W” for their effort.
An evenly matched four round super middleweight contest followed, much to the approval of the 2,000+ fight fans.
Richard “Fearsome” Pierson, now 3-0 with 2 KO’s, used his vicious uppercuts to take control against former NY state golden gloves champion James Singleton, from Rochester and making his pro debut. With a closed left eye and in the midst of a violent exchange midway through round four, Pierson, fighting out of Patterson, NJ, landed yet another crushing uppercut, which hurt and floored the talented Singleton who valiantly struggled to get to his feet, but was in no condition to continue, forcing a stoppage at 1:31 of the fourth round.
Viable lightweight Pat Lopez overpowered Christian Lozada (now 10-3-2, 3 KO’s), jumping on the Fort Wayne, IN. native from the opening bell, hurting the Mexican fighter often and sending his bewildered foe to the canvas twice; the second (and last) knockdown – a crushing overhand left – which kept Lozada down for a count of ten. The dangerous Lopez remains perfect at 5-0, with five knockouts.
The four round “walkout bout” turned out to be the fight of the night!
Jamar Patterson fought toe-to-toe with Sheldon Rudolph; and both Jr. welterweight fighters gave their best impressions of Corrales-Castillo and Gatti-Ward; twelve minutes on non-stop action.
Patterson (improved to 5-0 with 3 KO’s), a spokesman for the U.S. Heart Association, surely needed his giant heart to stave off a determined and highly skilled Rudolph to earn a majority decision win (39-37, 38-38 and 39-37). Rudolph, a Patterson, NJ native, in losing proved to be one of the best 4-4 fighters in all of boxing.
A great fight crowd was privileged to an exciting night of boxing, which was brought by Fisticuff Promotions; at one of the finest venues in all the sports..the Turning Stone Casino, in Verona, NY.