Last night we put a ton (official count) of people into the Teamsters hall in Lawrenceville and all things considered, things went pretty well. All of the fights turned into straight up shoot outs almost immediately from the jump and the energy in the building was crazy high. Whoever said that boxing was dead or dying just hasn’t been looking in the right place With that said, great fights usually require tough match ups and tough match ups can produce unexpected results.
Every guy on the card stepped up and wagered both their consciousness, their pride and their reputation in what turned out to be a pretty amazing evening.
Here are the results and my “notes” on each:
Mark Daley Vs. Roque Zapata: Draw - I can’t remember the last time I saw a draw in PA.
This was our opening bout and holy shit did things escalate quickly. Daley is a local kid from Brookline who brought a ton of fellow Brookliners to watch his long awaited return to the ring which also happened to be his professional debut. Zapata could not have cared any less about how many semi-hostile guys from Moore Park were in the crowd and proceeded to walk past Daley’s range and right into his wheelhouse. Power shots were thrown and landed regularly to the point where the crowd went from cheering to almost gasping as both guys just offloaded all of their energies and anxieties into one another. Zapata found success with angular movements and sharp right hands while cycling through what felt like non stop combinations.
Daley took a few minutes to get his feet under him but when he did, he dug in and fired back cleaving Zapata with nasty lead hooks that would probably kill the average human. Somewhere along the way Daley sustained a pretty nasty cut on his left eye and things suddenly seemed to be getting dangerous. Zapata’s pace was pretty amazing but when he had Daley hurt, he jumped all over him upping his already frenetic pace. Daley to his credit is one tough sumbitch and weathered the rough patches to slam home big shots of his own. Both guys scored alot of meaningful punches in what you could sort of describe as a never ending exchange which reminded me that I’m happy I’m not a judge. Finding out that a tough fight has been scored a draw always feel like a letdown in some way, probably because the crowd is split on the winner and in some odd way it feels like both sides lost something. Either way it was a fantastic opening bout.
Shane Chojnacki Vs. Larry Blakely - Another head scratching score from the judges but more on that later.
For those of you who don’t know alot about regional MMA and stumbled on this site via a random Facebook link, allow me to give you some background on this one. Shane Chojnacki made his bones beating the dogshit out of people for my close friend Dave Klick’s now historic promotion “Cage of Chaos” back in 08-09. Larry Blakely has been around the boxing world for as long as I can remember and eventually turned it into at least some part of his livelihood. This is long winded, albeit creative, way of telling you that both of these guys have alot of experience punching faces respectively. Shane came out in round one and more or less assaulted Blakley for the better part of 2 minutes before he took even a breath, a blink or a step backward. Somewhere towards the end of round 2 Blakely evened things up with a soul crushing, dream shattering hook that had Chojnacki hanging over the ropes.
Make no mistake about it bros, Shane Chojnack is the living embodiment of our latest tag line “Kill or be Killed”. He will not, cannot and fucking will not -yes I said it twice- even consider taking a step backward, or look for a way out or any other solution that does not equal stepping forward while swinging hammers. Blakely did a good job of surviving Chojnacki’s charges and picked some solid moments to bang home more than a few aggravated hooks that may or may not take a year or two off your life. There may have been a standing 8 count or two, I can’t honestly remember at this point because this thing got so crazy so quick I just kind of lost myself in it. In the 4th round Chojnacki knew he was behind and made a ballsy Geronimo style attack and battered Blakley for the majority of the round.
Blakely picked his moments and made them count which was enough earlier to be granted the nod. At least one judge had Blakely up all four rounds which was one of the worst calls I’ve see from a PA scorekeeper in a long time. I’m not disputing the decision, but I definitely had Shane ahead in rounds 1 and 4 based on activity alone. Anyway great fight regardless of the scores.
Gerald Sherrell Vs. Josh Fisher: Gerald Sherrell Unanimous Decision
Sherrell is a legit blue chip prospect who has alot of positive things going for him, including great management, intelligent, experienced coaches and supporting fans. This is typically a winning equation in this sport and so far it has been paying off big time. Sherrell, at this level and against this level of competition, can pretty much do it all. That’s not to take away from Fisher who came in prepared and with some respectable skills coupled with some serious grit but “G5” just had an answer for every question. Fisher was durable enough to absorb Sherrell’s thudding, clean shots but couldn’t get much going in the way of offense and even though he hung tough was never really in the fight.
Sherrell has a great eye for openings and shot placement while being busy enough to create his own opportunities instead of having issues pulling the trigger which typically plague sharpshooters. Sherrell will probably be back in action on our July 2nd card and is definitely a kid to keep your eye on. Which is one of those innoucous statements you have to make about someone really talented because you can't just end the article with "yep". Yep.
Bill Hutchinson Vs. Amonte Eberhardt: Eberhardt Via decision
This fight was pretty much everything we expected and then some. In the first round Hutchinson used solid movement and a stiff jab to keep Eberhardt off balance. Hutch drilled home his destructive brand of body punching and early on it felt like possibly Eberhardt stepped up too big, too fast. The second round was more of the same with Hutchinson seeming to get the better of the exchanges and using smooth movements to disrupt Eberhardt’s counters. But it felt like Amonte was starting to close the gap.
Round 3 opened up with Eberhardt pushing the pace and after a few adjustments was now on the right side of the hammer and was landing some pretty serious heat. To say that Bill Hutchinson is ballsy is kind of like saying Steve - O can get a little crazy every now and then, or that Whitney Houston’s drug problem was purely “recreational”. Amonte would slide into the pocket and unload as much damage as he could get off and Hutchinson absolutely refused to step back. It didn't matter if Amonte was getting the better of the exchange Hutchinson still looked to put that homerun shot together even when it seemed like the risk far out weighed the reward. The kid's got bravado to a fault at times, but bravado none the less.
Both men attacked each other for the remaining three rounds in a kill or be killed type affair that had most of the crowd consumed by more shock and awe the George W. Bush.
Yes, more shock and awe than George W. Bush.
In the end, Eberhardt rose to the occasion and won some crucial exchanges in the mid and latter rounds which rightfully awarded him the unanimous decision. This was the type of war that even in a loss Hutchinson proved once again that he is one of the toughest muhfuckers on two legs and Amonte Eberhardt is absolutely a legitimate top tier prospect.
Our next foray will be July 2nd, thanks to everyone who is reading this and came out for the event, we appreciate the support.