Don King returned to where it all started. King teamed up with Showtime to bring boxing back to his hometown, 40 years after it all started. King got into the boxing game when he brought Muhammad Ali to Cleveland to put on an exhibition show to raise money for a local hospital.
The first fight on the card featured an undefeated prospect in the Heavyweight division by the name of Trevor Bryan (9-0) with (7ko’s). His opponent was Jason Barnett, who looked like an out-of-shape-bum.
The main event was next. It was Angelo “LaCobra” Santana against Henry “Hammerin Hank” Lundy. These two fighters both wanted to win this one, and it showed by the way they battled for 10 rounds.
It wasn’t until the final round when Lundy clearly took control of the fight. He must have thought the fight was as close as the people in attendance saw it.
Lundy came out in the 10th round and completely dominated Santana. All three judges saw it the same way and gave the decision to Lundy 98-91. The fight was much closer than that, until Lundy dominated the 10th round.
The fight lasted for 1 minute and 30 seconds and ended with a KO by Bryan.
Next up on the card was a light-heavyweight fight featuring Joell Godfrey (16-11-1) against Marcus “Ratinbo” Olivera (23-1-1) (21Ko’a).
This fight with go the distance with plenty of hard-hitting action. All 3 judges gave the fight to Godfrey (59-55), (59-55) and (58-56) who would take the decision with an upset over Oliveria.
Then King would bring in a local Cleveland fighter, in the heavyweight division. It was Cleveland’s own Jabir Basit (4-0-2) (4 Ko’s) against Eric Cason. Basit came out swinging early on in this fight and never lost control.
He was very excited to be fighting in front of his home town crowd and it showed by the way he dominated Cason. Basit would send Cason to the canvas 2 times in the second round.
Somehow Cason was able to hold on and managed to finish the 4 round fight. All 3 judges saw it the same way and handed the decision to Basit 40-34.
Then it was time for King to put a couple of middle-weights into the ring. Juan Ubaldo an undefeated contender from Santa Domingo DR (20-0) with (14 Ko’s) climbed into the ring with Lester Gonzalez a Cuban fighter who was (12-10-4) with (6 Ko’s).
Ubaldo controlled the fight throughout and the judges handed him the decision 59-55, 58-56 and 58-56.
The fight of the night as far as Clevelander’s were concerned came next.
It was none other than Raymon “The Rainman” Austin one of CLeveland’s most promising fighters against Earl “Chocolate Drop” Ladson.
It wasn’t bad enough the “Chocolate Drop” was fighting one of Cleveland’s favorite sons, he choose to come out wearing a Ben Roethlisberger jersey and heard it from the nearly sold out crowd.
This would be Austin’s return to the ring after more than a 2-1/2 year absent. At 42-years-old, Austin has decided to launch a come-back. His opponent looked like a guy that hasn’t worked out in 10 years.
You would think a guy with Austin’s ring experience would have taken advantage of this situation and scored a knock-out in his return the the ring.
It wasn’t going to happen. At 42-years-old, we were left wondering if Austin is making a mistake returning to the ring. There were times throughout the fight when Austin was delivering blow after to blow to the head of Ladson.
Austin simply didn’t have the power behind his punches to put this guy down. Austin would go on to win the fight, but it left anyone who knows anything about the sport of boxing,scratching their heads as to why Austion would want to put himself through this at his age.
The two main events on the card had plenty of action and were shown on Showtime. These two events lived up to everything a boxing fan would want to see.
The co-main event featured two fighters from the Super Lightweight division. Amir “Young Master” Imam took on Jared “The Quiet Storm” Robinson. These guys went to battle and they put on a war.
The “Quiet Stormed” should have made a little more noise in this one at times. The fight was scheduled for 10 rounds but it would be ended in the fourth when Imam knocked Robinson right out of the ring. Both fighters were landing power punch after power punch. It was in the 4th when Imam caught Robinson with a solid right hand sending him through the roped right onto the concrete floor.
He was able to make his way back into the ring, but the referee did the right thing by stopping this contest after looking into the eyes of Robinson to see nobody was home.
All & all King put on a decent event. The let down was not enough of Cleveland’s own. There are many good fighters from around the Cleveland area. The Likes of the “Hispanic Hurricane” Wilkins Santiago was supposed to be featured on the card,only to be shunned by King’s people a week before the event took place.
There were several Cleveland fighters that could have been featured. Why King chose not to bring in these local fighters who clearly would have had the house packed will always remain a mystery.
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