By Mark Vaz
Local favorite Russell Lamour, Jr, 17-3, 9 KOs, thrilled the sold out crowd at the Portland Civic Center with an exciting 3rd round stoppage over Buenos Aires’ Diego Marocchi, 18-5-1, 14 KOs in the scheduled 8 round main-event middleweight bout Saturday night at the Portland, Maine Expo Center.
The slick boxing Argentinian started well, moving just outside the much taller Lamour’s range, looking for counters, but showed early on that he did not have the power to keep Lamour off.
Settling in for the second round, Lamour began to take advantage of his superior size and skills, pot shotting the tiring Marocchi with clean jabs and body shots. By the third, a clearly gassed Marocchi went down twice and although he beat the count, was clearly ready to be stopped when his cornerman threw in the towel at 1:04.
In the scheduled 8 round co-feature, talented Jr Lightweight prospect William Foster III picked up his 11th win over Baltimore’s Jahmal Dyer, 9-3, 5 KOs. The New Haven, CT native showed incredible poise and accuracy dismantling his determined opponent. Seconds into the first round, Dyer landed a clean left hook to the temple that briefly rocked Foster, who looked clearly hurt. It did not take long for him to regroup, however, as he soon found his range, picking his spots and winning the round.
Taking over in the second, Foster used hand speed and combination punching, punctuated by a fast, clean left hook he was able to land at will throughout. After a warning for a few low blows, referee Mike Ryan deducted a point from Foster, evening the round on the score cards.
In the third round, however, Foster came out with a vengeance, picking Dyer apart, landing to the head and body, eventually finding his way through the defense and hurting Dyer, eventually sending him to the canvas with a barrage of clean punches. Referee Ryan called a halt to the bout at 2:55. Foster is anxious to continue to step up his competition, and feels he’s ready for the next level of opposition.
Returning to the ring after a horrendous work accident in which his leg was badly broken by heavy equipment, Jr Middleweight Casey Streeter, 10-1-1, 4 KOs, looked impressive clearly outworking 15-5 Miguel Angel Suarez over 6 rounds. Suarez started aggressively, loading up with looping right hands and counter hooks, but it was the cool, straight forward boxing and tight defense of Streeter that dictated the flow of the bout. Deducted a point for excessive holding by referee Melissa Kelly, Suarez visited the canvas a total of 3 times in the bout, many from fatigue and an accumulation of punches, but managed to hold on to har the decision, no surprise at 59-52 twice and 60-50 once.
West Forks, Maine’s Brandon Berry, 142, won a wild brawl with Grove, Oklahoma’s Jimmy Roach, 139 with an impressive 2nd round TKO. Roach, 5-3, 5 KOs came out smoking, throwing bombs from the bell, trying to end the fight early, but the pace proved to be too much for him, as he tired by the last minute of the round, giving Berry, who clearly possessed the better skills, a chance to even things up. In the second, Roach looked clearly spent, barely able to avoid anything fired at him from Berry who sensed that he could end things when he chose, which he did, landing 11 unanswered, clean punches, prompting referee Mike Ryan to call an end to the evening for Roach at 1:40. Berry improved his record to 16-5-2, 11 KOs
Josniel Castro, 152, looked impressive in his pro debut stopping the ordinarily durable Leonardo Ladiera, 155, in the second round with a perfectly placed left hook to the chin. Ladeira fought gamely in the first round, losing but competitively, showing tight defense and the ability to snap off clean shots when the openings presented themselves, but a wide left hook, thrown at the same time as a tight left hook from Castro, corkscrewed him to the canvas in the best knockout of the night. Fortunately, he was up and congratulating his young opponent within moments.
Uzbakestanian Zukhriddin Makhkamov, now fighting out of New York, easily handled late substitute Darren Gibbs, 1-7, outclassing the game Gibbs for a round before closing the show in the second with sharp combinations after backing Gibbs to the ropes. With an outstanding amateur background, superb conditioning, savvy management with veteran Jack Stanton, and standing 6’2” at light heavyweight, Makhkamov looks even at this early stage to be the real deal.
The evening’s bouts were promoted by Bob Russo’s Portland Boxing Club as his annual fundraiser to operate his well respected amateur boxing program.