(DeMarcus Corley, flamboyant as ever. Photo credit: nazarioz)
FAIRFAX, Va. -- I know everybody out there for the most part has the Showtime card on their minds, and I'll get to that shortly. But I went to the Patriot Center for a live show with friend of the site nazarioz, since the last time it was so much fun, and it was again this time, too. I know I preach the gospel about going to local shows every time I go to one, but I have to say it again: You get a ton of bang for your buck going to these shows, or at least the ones in my region -- they're usually matched well, with the more hyped fighters often getting tested, and all the guys tend to brawl their asses off.
The stars of the evening, local fighters Jimmy Lange and DeMarcus Corley, got back to their winning ways, although not without some early difficulty. But both finished the show strongly with stoppage wins.
JIMMY LANGE-JIMMY LEBLANC
Junior middleweight Contender TV show grad Lange lost his last fight to the seemingly non-dangerous Chase Shields, so it's not unexpected that he'd take a big step down in his return. LeBlanc once lost by 1st round knockout to feather-fisted Yuri Foreman, although he also had a role in the movie "Gone Baby Gone," which qualifies him as a big step down in opposition.
Yet Lange struggled in the 1st round; LeBlanc connected on some solid shots that had boxing media wondering ringside if he'd been hurt. In the 2nd, though, Lange recovered, putting LeBlanc down with a left hook, then downing him again with a right, and finally digging in a right hook to the body that sent LeBlanc to the canvas for a final time, when the ref waved it off. It was a definitive finish.
A stray thought: I've seen two Lange fights in person, and he looked a bit soft in both. Having checked out older photos of him, I can say that isn't always the case. I wonder if that accounts for him struggling at times.
But this should keep Lange alive as a ticket seller in the region, although he's probably a long way from a big-bucks fight like the one he lost out on with John Duddy by losing to Shields.
DEMARCUS CORLEY-DAMIAN FULLER
Through three rounds, this was about the worst fight of the night -- Corley had trouble hitting Fuller, who was fairly tricky on defense. Fuller might have even won the 2nd. The action was so lackluster, it was hard to distinguish either man. Then, in the 4th, Corley exploded. He caught Fuller with a big left that had Fuller in trouble, then blazed the afterburners to knock him down. Fuller got up and appeared to have some juice left, but Corley rushed over and blazed 'em again, forcing the ref to stop the fight.
Corley's finishing flurry was quite excellent, and he celebrated about getting back into the win column by making Xs with his arms, jutting out his bottom lip like a bulldog and strutting and dancing around the ring. He'd lost two straight, one unfairly in a decision against a Russian prospect on Russian soil and the other in a knockout in an ill-advised move to welterweight against Freddy Hernandez, so it had to feel good.
Now, back at junior welterweight, he could be a viable opponent for some of the younger guns, like a Danny Garcia. I know this: Corley always brings the show and the personality, he has more lives than a cat, and he's beloved in my region, too, so I have nothing but appreciation for him.
The rest, in chronological order:
- Junior middleweight Brandon Quarles made his pro debut, and it was quite an introduction to the professional ranks. Vincent Batteast went at Quarles with bad intentions, especially to start the 4th, when his attack was as intense as they get. But Quarles was the better fighter. He wobbled Batteast in the 2nd with a right hook, by far his best weapon, and he fought really well with his back against the ropes, a rare skill. In the end, Quarles won the decision by scores of 39-37 across the board.
- Middleweight Zain Shah was flummoxed by John "The Baptist" Terry early, and who wouldn't have been? Terry fights like Emmanuel Augustus' distant cousin, throwing punches at random, making weird side steps, looking in the wrong direction, coming from crazy angles. Shah went at him with hurting him in mind in the 1st, but in the 2nd Terry was catching him with some of that crazy business and it shook him. Finally, in the 3rd, Shah figured out that he could jab Terry and mess up his funky rhythm, and it carried him the rest of the fight. Good adjustment. Terry deserved to win the 2nd on the scorecards, but the judges had it a clean sweep for Shah. Terry, if nothing else, wins the award for character of the night -- he took the fight on three hours notice; his corner used a spoon from a trashbag in a bucket as an enswell; and when the announcer instructed the audience to applaud if they wanted a rematch, Terry shook his head "no" and held up his hands.
- In a women's featherweight bout that had maybe the most sustained action of the night, Nathalie Forget escaped with a majority decision, getting the win on two scorecards, 58-56, and a draw on the third. I thought Forget might have won it more cleanly than that, but her opponent, Jennifer Salinas, did rock Forget a couple times, so maybe the judges gave her those rounds.
- Todd Wilson got rid of Calvin Faggins in one round, in barely one minute, with what he told reporters afterward was a left jab, but that few in the boxing media ringside saw very well; some of us thought it was a straight right. The KO is saying something, because Wilson only had one knockout in seven fights prior. I'm not sure what weight these guys were; the bout sheet listed them as welterweights, but Faggins weighed 125 lbs. and Wilson was at 132.
- There was some bizarre scoring in the welterweight fight between Juan Rodriguez and Dontre King, in a fight that was ultimately ruled a draw. I thought Rodriguez won the first three rounds, with an extra point for a knockdown in the 3rd, then King won the last three. Yet the scores were 59-55 for King and 57-57 on the other two cards. Huh? Anyway, it was a fight that wore down both men -- they were so tired in the final round King couldn't bounce around as much and Rodriguez could barely hold up his arms. Given the result -- a virtually even fight -- the ultimate decision wasn't all that weird, just how it arrived. Rodriguez didn't score a knockout for the first time in his five-fight career.
- The middleweight bout between Tony Jeter and Lawrence Jones ended in a disappointing technical draw from the 1st round, what with Jones landing the hardest, loudest (unintentional) head butt I've seen in person, opening a cut above Jeter's right eye that spilled a waterfall of blood.