Report and photos by Brad Snyder/The Undercard
It is not easy throwing the longest running boxing and MMA series in the nation. But Friday night, promoter Carlos Llinas and Motor City Casino & Hotel Soundboard made it look easy, again, with a sellout. The main event had all the needed ingredients. A relevant belt on the line, WBC USNBC Cruiserweight title, fighters who were looking to take a step up in their careers. They offered the crowd different styles that would prove for an exciting bout.
Taylor Duerr (9-0-2, 7 KOs) had an influence on this fight. Thursday, at the press conference, he talked about wanting to make this fight happen. He was the one to reach out to his opponent, Lyubomyr Pinchuk (10-1-1, 7 KOs), after his previously scheduled opponent, James Ballard, went down with an injury.
Pinchuk attacked with speed and accuracy at the beginning of the fight. Both fighters are in incredible shape with strong chins. Duerr, often, fought off the ropes and looked for strategic power shots and timed counters. Mid-fight, Duerr’s power was able to produce a cut below Pinchuk’s left eye. The constant exchanges of punches showcased a good fight for the crowd. In Round 5, Pinchuk seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges. But in the later rounds, Duerr was able to land point shots of his own in the 10 Round cruiserweight battle. In the end, all three judges saw it differently, (98-92-Pinchuk, 96-94-Duerr, 95-95) for a Split Draw decision. The crowd seemed split, as well, on whether they approved the decision or not. Cheers and boos were heard throughout. But the sportsmanship between the two fighters should be commended. They both displayed tremendous respect for each other before, during, and following the fight.
The co-main event featured a 6 round jr. welterweight bout. Frank Martin (9-0, 6 KOs) was able to win by UD (59-55, 60-54, 60-54) vs Larry Ventis (9-13-1, 4 KOs). Neither was in any trouble during this fight. There were moments of good exchanges, but Martin clearly was winning.
Heavyweight Matt Price (2-0, 1 KO) looked impressive with a 1:15 TKO of Charles Brown (0-2). Price seemed much improved from his last performance.
Empire Boxing Club’s Nicole Reinhart (1-0, 1 KO) has waited a long time for her pro debut. Her fans got to witness her defeat an overmatched Khadija Sanders (0-5) in the women’s lightweight fight. One knockdown was all it took, as Reinhart wins 1:30 TKO in the 1st round.
Heavyweight Rydell Booker (26-2, 13 KOs), fresh off his Showtime loss to Jermaine Franklin, won by TKO at the 2:58 mark of the 3rd round over opponent Dieuly Aristilde (9-10, 2 KOs).
In a rematch, middleweight Darryl Cunningham (42-9, 18 KOs) won by KO at the 54-second mark of the 3rd round. The last knockdown was scary, as it first appeared that Raul Casarez (22-10, 10 KOs) had injured his leg badly. Later in the evening, I did see Casarez. So, it appeared the leg was not as hurt as bad as previously thought.
An impressive debut for Derrick Miller (1-0, 1 KO), as he wins by TKO at the 1:15 mark of round 1 over Henry Wright (0-5).
Dennis Vance (1-0, 1 KO) secures a 41 second 2nd round KO victory over Scott Davis (0-1) in the cruiserweight division.
Curtis Head (5-3, 3 KOs) won by UD (39-37, 40-36, 40-36) over heavyweight Armonte Summers (1-1).
And opening the night, Garrett “Sunshine” Ross (2-0) defeated fellow welterweight opponent Andre Murray (0-1) by SD (39-37-Ross, 39-37-Murray, 39-37-Ross).