Report/Photos by Bob Ryder
DeAndre Ware was back in the friendly confines of the Glass City Center in downtown Toledo Saturday night scoring a unanimous decision in the eight round main event over Philadelphia’s Christopher Brooker. Super middleweight Ware whose day job is a firefighter with the Toledo Fire Department, prevailed in what was a messy fight. After a tactical feeling out first round the contest devolved into one that featured more clutching and grabbing than clean punches. Ware attempted to gain some punching distance and had an excellent flurry in the third but by the fifth stanza the pattern for the remainder of the bout was firmly established. Referee Jaime Howe did his best in admonishing both contestants about their holding but whether it was just the contrasting styles or their mutual desire to keep the fight at close quarters, the pace of the bout remained the same until the final bell. Judges saw Ware the winner (15-3-2, 9 KOs) scoring it 79-74 x 2 and 78-75 and dropping Brooker to (16-11, 6 KOs).
The six round middleweight semi final bout on promoter Ron Greer’s show was clearly the fight of the night. Toledo’s Roy Barringer and Lansing’s Antonio Urista also engaged at close quarters the difference being both continually swapped punches with little clinching and mauling. Their fast paced encounter featured excellent exchanges in the fourth and fifth rounds as neither battler wanted to yield an inch. No one was staggered or visibly shaken in the contest that went the distance with the judges awarding Barringer (8-3, 5 KOs) the fight on scores that seemed a little too wide of 59-55 x 2 and a more accurate score of 58-56. With the loss Urista falls to (10-4, 2 KOs).
Another scheduled six rounder had hometown Antwan Jones stop Tucson’s Rafael Garcia at :35 of round four. The bout was originally contracted at super middleweight but contested in the light heavyweight range. Jones had by far the better skills and speed, mixing up his attack to both the head and body. Garcia could only launch one wild punch at a time that Jones mostly avoided with ease. Garcia, cut over the left eye in the second round, was steadily worn down by Jones’ attack. Jones trapped Garcia in a corner at the beginning of the fourth stanza and unloaded with a sustained barrage necessitating referee Howe to wave it off and stay undefeated at (10-0, 5 KOs) while Garcia declines to (9-5, 6 KOs).
Two scheduled four round bouts filled out the evening. An entertaining super welterweight matchup saw Toledo’s James Westley II take a split decision ( 38-37 x 2, 37-38) against Monroe, Michigan’s Matthew Niziolek. There wasn’t much to choose between the boxers in the first three rounds. Westley concentrated his attack to the body with more than a couple shots straying low causing Niziolek’s corner to voice heated protests to referee James Easter. The deciding punch of the bout came from a clean body punch that dropped Niziolek in the final round and that provided Westley his margin of victory and take his mark to (2-1, 0 KOs) while Niziolek goes to (2-1, 1 KO). The opening match of the program had two super lightweights making their first starts in the paid ranks. As an even first round was drawing to a close, Toledo’s Jeremiah Lewis-Watts uncorked a big right hand that spun Ashtabula’s Bryon Crockett half way around landing him hard face first to the canvas prompting referee Howe to immediately wave off the match at 2:59.