By Jeff Zimmerman
Photos: Stacey Verbeek
In the main event at the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX, light heavyweight Israel Duffus (20-6, 17 KOs) from Panama dropped the seasoned Samuel Clarkson Jr (22-6, 15 KOs) out of Dallas twice in the second round to earn the TKO victory. The “Night to Fight” event was promoted by Bash Boxing and benefited the Ring of Hope Boxing program.
Duffus, trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, was the aggressor from the opening bell as he landed power shots to the head and body as Clarkson did his best to cover up. Duffus started off orthodox but switched to southpaw to match Clarkson. Clarkson was a little busier in the second round, as he started to use his jab and right hook to fend off Duffus, however Duffus quickly picked up the pace and backed up Clarkson in the corner. Duffus unleased a big right hand to the top of Clarkson’s head that made Clarkson wobbly and sent him to the canvas. Clarkson made it back to his feet temporarily before another flurry by Duffus put Clarkson back down for the second time as referee Neil Young waived it off. The time of the stoppage was 2:05 of the second round of the scheduled eight.
Duffus was very emotional in the ring after the biggest win of his career as he was interviewed by former 2X world champion Paulie Malignaggi who called the fight ringside along with his Showtime Boxing partner Al Bernstein for the Ring of Hope Boxing annual fundraiser.
Roach told Malignaggi, “Israel worked really hard and the win was great. He worked hard to get this point and it paid off.”
Johnny Jackson vs. Tristan Kalkreuth
Golden Boy’s hot prospect, cruiserweight Tristan “Sweet T” Kalkreuth (5-0, 4 KOs), out of Dallas, continued his winning ways with a devastating knockout in the opening round against the over matched southpaw Johnny Jackson (1-1, 1 KO). Kalkreuth, as usual, was on the attack from the opening bell and dropped a right-hand bomb in the corner that put Jackson on the canvas. Jackson somehow got to his feet and although he staggered across the ring, the referee let the fight continue. It was not soon after Kalkreuth landed another overhand right that sent Jackson face down and out in his corner. The time of the KO was 2:59 of the first round of the scheduled six.
Dylan Carlson vs. Evan Holyfield
Middleweight Evan Holyfield (4-0, 3 KOs), the son of “Real Deal” Evander Holyfield, the only four-time world heavyweight champion, showed he may also be the real deal with a solid, four round decision against the gritty Dylan Carlson (1-1, 1 KO). Carlson brought the fight to Holyfield in the first round and had him in the corner where he landed his overhand right, before Holyfield showed good footwork and brought the fight back to the center of the ring. Holyfield scored with left, right combos and a big left hook that rocked Carlson later in the round. The second and third rounds are where Holyfield consistently found his mark with the left hook to both the head and body and tried to put the fight away, but Carlson showed his resiliency and mixed it up with Holyfield at times. The fourth round was all Holyfield as he walked down Carlson and showed his diverse arsenal with combos, hooks and big blows to the body. The scores read 40-36 twice and 39-37 as Holyfield came away with unanimous decision with his dad looking on ringside.
Before he followed his dad into the squared circle, Holyfield was the number one ranked Tae Kwon Do fighter in the United States in his weight class at only 13 years old. The elder Holyfield fought in Dallas in 2006 and stopped Jeremy Bates in the 2nd round, not far from Irving, where his son earned his 4th win without a defeat. Holyfield is also trained by former super lightweight contender Maurice ‘Termite’ Watkins, based in Houston, who went 15 rounds with Saoul Mamby in a 1980 WBC World title bout.
Roberto Yong vs. Jessy Martinez
In an absolute war, super welterweights Jessy Martinez (15-0, 10 KOs) and Roberto Yong (7-19, 5 KOs) went toe to toe in a shootout. Martinez came out on fire from the opening bell with power shots to the head and body, but Yong showed his toughness and countered with short uppercuts and big hooks to the body. In the third round, both guys were trading shots all over the ring, before a big left hand sent Yong to the ropes and an overhand right by Martinez put Yong on the canvas. Yong survived the round but was dropped again in round five by a triple right hand. Martinez was on the attack in the six and final round and finally did enough damage, as referee Rueben Perez had seen enough and waived it off. The time of the stoppage was 2:10 for the TKO victory for Martinez.
Orlando Collins vs. John Rincon
In the opening bout of the annual Ring of Hope Boxing fundraiser at the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX, super lightweight John Rincon (5-2, 2 KOs) landed consistently to the head and body of the game Orlando Collins (0-4) and won in a tough four round clash. Rincon, a southpaw, landed a big left hand at will as Collins tried to work the body as the fight progressed. Rincon, however, was too skilled and too quick for Collins and earned the unanimous decision. The scores read 40-36 twice and 39-37 for Rincon who plans to move to six rounders in his next fight. Showtime Boxing’s Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi called the fight ringside with Dallas’ ESPN radio personality Mark “Elf” Elfenbein as the ring announcer to support the “Night to Fight” charity event where proceeds provide educational curriculum, leadership courses, wellness programs, and community outreach initiatives within their Ring of Hope Boxing Clubs.