Report/Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
Thurgood Marshall Promotions staged an exciting 6 bout card at Red Owl Boxing Arena in the Houston, TX suburb of Willowbrook Saturay evening. The sparkling 1200 seat arena opened in June and with cocktail tables, elevated theater-style seating, food, refreshments and a kicking DJ, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Heavyweights Zachary Spiller, Houston, and Forth Worth’s Aaron Chavers opened the show in a scheduled four rounder. The first round was a feel-em out stanza, as the 43 lb. heavier Spiller stalked, landed some body shots, while Chavers looked to stay out of harm’s way. Referee James Green halted matters after Chavers was trapped in a neutral corner, taking heavy bombardment, at 2:25 of round 2. Spiller now 4-0, 3 KOs, while Chavers slides to 9-13-1, 4 KOs.
In a fight contracted at 172 lbs., Houston’s Trevon Smith turned pro against San Antonian Ricardo Medina. It became apparent in the first that Smith’s right hand couldn’t miss as he dropped Medina twice with hard shots to the head. It was more of the same in the second as Medina hit the deck for a third time, his corner signaling surrender with the white towel as referee Joe Rodriguez took heed at 1:01 of the round. Smith wins his pro debut at 1-0, 1 KO, while Medina goes to 1-5.
Houston’s Stanley Johnson took on Dallas’ Francisco Rodriguez in a battle of undefeated cruiserweights. The 45 year old Rodriguez showed incredible guile and moxy as he rolled with Johnson’s punches and countered with just enough of his own to keep Johson honest. By the fourth and final round, both fighters were exhausted but threw everything they had to the final bell. The judges saw it 40-36 across the board as Johnson improves to 2-0, 1 KO, while Rodriguez slides to 2-1.
Houstonian super middles Imaud “Grim Reaper” Louis and Gil “Machine Gun” Garcia was a serious Mutt & Jeff affair as the 6′ Louis and the 5’3” Garcia made quite an odd couple in the ring. The tough as nails Garcia held his own against Louis’ jabs and hooks, at times landing his own awkward looping rights. In the third, Louis unloaded and buckled Garcia, also cutting him between the eyebrows, but the fireplug Garcia wouldn’t cave in. With seconds to go in the round, Louis signaled to his corner that he injured his left hand, wincing as he landed it. In the fourth, the issue seemed to subside as both foes went at it, cuts and injured hands be damned! In the end, all three judges saw it 40-36 for Louis, who improves to 7-1, 4 KOs. Garcia slides to 5-6-1, 1 KO.
Local firefighter Richard Knepp Longview’s Mark Malone went at it in a cruiserweight battle. Knepp appeared to catch Malone off balance, sending him careening into the ropes. When Knepp rushed in for the follow-up finisher, Malone deftly evaded him, and Knepp’s upper body went through the ropes and almost into the stands! Rounds two and three saw Malone control the action behind his left jab, throwing the occasional lead right for good measure. Knepp lunged in with haymakers, rarely if ever landing. In the fourth, a pin-point jab cut Knepp on the left eye, causing him to shake his head vigorously to clear his vision. In the end, the judges saw it 39-37 and 40-36 x 2 for Malone, now 2-2, while Knepp 1-1, 1 KO.
Houston’s Phillip “One Time” Rhome, Jr. and Temple, Texas’ Jeremiah “The Gentleman” Truhlar went at it in a super middleweight four rounder main event. Rhome, Jr. was a little flashier and faster in the opening frame. Rhome, Jr.’s nose began to bleed in the second as Truhlar’s infighting paid dividends. In the third, Rhome, Jr. allowed himself to be trapped in his own corner and absorbed some hard shots, which bouyed Truhlar’s resolve to pour it on to the round ending bell. The fourth saw both man go at it non-stop, leaving it all in the ring, Truhlar throwing upper cuts, Rhome, Jr. countering off the ropes. In the end, the scores were 39-37 Rhome, Jr., 39-37 Truhlar and 38-38 for a three-way split draw! Rhome, Jr. is now 1-0-1 while Truhlar goes to 1-2-1.
All in all, an entertaining card.