By Ricardo Ibarra
Photos by Carsen Maciag
Turning in a dominant ten round performance, unbeaten cruiserweight Mike “White Delight” Wilson (18-0, 8 KOs) claimed his eighteenth win on Saturday night at the Jackson County Expo in his hometown of Central Point, Oregon, defeating tough Kentuckian Melvin Russell (10-3-2, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision. Wilson claimed every round on all three judges’ scorecards, cutting Russell over both eyes and battering him down the stretch in the main event of White Delight Promotions’ eighth ‘Rogue Valley Rumble’ card.
Wilson began the fight working patiently off his jab, slowly stepping up the pressure as the rounds progressed with one-twos and hooks to the body. His body punching was particularly effective as he slammed Russell with some heavy shots that drew grimaces. Late in the second round a left hook stunned Russell momentarily.
Wilson adopted a more aggressive approach in the third, opening up with a concentrated attack of three and four punch combinations and catching Russell with some savage shots. Russell, though, showed a good chin, taking them and firing back, landing his own right hand as Wilson stepped into the pocket. Wilson continued his attack undeterred, walking through his opponents’ retaliatory swings and digging to the body with hard hooks. As the round wound down, Wilson began to counter Russell’s rights with sharp left hooks, adjusting to his opponent’s most effective punch.
In the fourth, Wilson continued to find his mark with counter left hooks as Russell made the effort to land his right. Wilson effectively neutralized his opposition’s most effective punch in the round, countering often enough to slow Russell’s output. A bad cut opened up over the left eye of Russell, a by-product of one of Wilson’s left hooks.
Over the next five rounds Wilson continued to work at a busy pace, grinding away at Russell with thudding shots to the mid-section and busting up his face with precise punches upstairs, buckling his knees in the sixth and opening up a second cut over his other eye in the eighth, this time with a right hand. By the last round Russell was bleeding heavily from both eyes and showing the effects of Wilson’s unrelenting body attack. All three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Wilson.
The popular local fighter, who once again drew a large southern Oregon crowd, adds his third win of the year over a resilient competitor.
“He was a very tough, durable, and awkward guy,” said Wilson after the fight. “He was very awkward. I kept working behind my jab and that kept setting things up, but he was tough and awkward. I tip my hat to him. He caught me with some good shots, but I felt like I could’ve ate those all night long…When I cut him the first time I felt it in my knuckle. And that second cut was no joke. He was cut over both eyes really bad and he toughed it out. A very tough competitor. He came to fight. He pushed us and that’s what we wanted. That just puts us one step closer to where we want to be.”
“Now I want to just keep moving forward,” said Wilson when asked what his next move may be. “I feel like we’re on the two-yard line and ready to push it in. We’re almost there. That’s what it’s about. Getting ten rounders in and feeling comfortable in there. I felt like I could’ve gone twelve. I feel great. I just need to keep putting the work in. We’re trying to get different looks at different styles and different angles and that’s going to help us keep progressing to the finish line.”
Four fights featuring some promising Pacific Northwest prospects filled out the remainder of the card.
Unbeaten nineteen-year-old Victor Morales, Jr. (7-0, 3 KOs) added his second win over tough Oregon journeyman Corben Page (5-15-1) in a Jr. lightweight rematch. The two fought four months ago, with Morales, of Vancouver, Washington, taking a five round unanimous decision win. In the return bout, Page gave Morales some trouble early on, maneuvering around the ring well in the first round, looking for counter punching opportunities. Morales, though, adopted a much more aggressive approach than had been the case in May and slowly began to cut the distance and land left hook-right hand combos. By the third, Morales was dominating the action, letting his hands go with regularity and finding his target with crisp combinations. In the fifth, Morales upped his output and began to tee-off with quick flurries in close, inflicting a lot of damage on the game but outmatched Page. The assault continued into the sixth, at which point referee Joel Scobie mercifully stepped in and stopped it. The end came at 1:25 of the last round.
Tacoma’s Marquice Weston (10-1-1, 6 KOs) turned in an impressive performance, knocking out Brownsville, Texas’ Juan Reyna (6-8-1, 2 KOs) in the first round. The rangy Weston started the fight off working his jab and following up with right hands and left hooks when the opportunity presented itself. Weston, who in addition to his eleven-fight pro record had an extensive amateur career, showed his superior skill level quickly in the fight, capitalizing on his opponent’s mistakes. Late in the round, Weston picked up his tempo and started to hurt Reyna, catching him with thudding left hooks to the ribs and hard rights to the chin, putting him on the defensive. A debilitating straight right to the body sent Reyna down, where he would stay as referee Ed Collantes hit the count of ten. The end came at 2:21 of the first, giving Weston his tenth win. The fight took place in the heavyweight division.
In a four round welterweight bout, local favorite Troy Wohosky (3-2, 1 KO) boxed his way to a unanimous decision win over Puyallup, Washington’s Kevin Davila (1-5-2). Wohosky worked the ring well in the first round, moving in and out of the pocket and firing off quick spurts of offense, maneuvering away before his adversary could mount an attack. Davila came out pressing hard in the second, closing the distance often and forcing Wohosky to stand and trade, which made for a close round. Wohosky took back control of the range in the third, snapping crisp jabs and winging power shots as Davila pressed. In the fourth, Wohosky opened up with a sense of urgency, unloading with multi-punch combinations, overwhelming his game opponent and out-landing him down the stretch. The official scores read 39-39, 39-37, and 40-36, giving Wohosky his third win as a pro and his second since coming back from a lengthy hiatus due to injury.
In the card’s opener, Medford’s Abraham Martin (2-0, 2 KOs) knocked out Jose Rico (0-4), of Eugene, in the first round of a scheduled four. Martin went to work early, pressing the attack and catching his opponent with hard and accurate combinations. A left hook stunned Rico and a follow-up right hand laid him out. Referee Joel Scobie hit the count of ten at 1:13 of the round. The bout was contested at the cruiserweight limit.
A sixth bout between Nicholas Jefferson and Colby Grayson was canceled after Grayson failed a pre-fight urinalysis.
A raucous Oregon crowd packed into the Jackson County Expo, exceeding promoter Jenifer Wilson’s expectations. “I think it was one of the best turn outs that we’ve had,” said Wilson. “It was a great night. Mike got a good win and we saw all his hard work and long training pay off. And the Southern Oregon crowd came out. They’re always here to support.”
White Delight Promotions’ next ‘Rogue Valley Rumble’ card is scheduled for January 27th.