In a battle of unbeatens in the main event at Bally's Hotel and casino in Atlantic City, promoted by John Lynch and Pound For Pound Promotions, on Saturday April 2, 2011, Alexander Johnson of Oxon Hill, Maryland, now 11-0 (4), scored a ten round majority decision upset over NABF Super Middleweight champion Farah Ennis, now 17-1 (11), in a nontitle bout.
In an entertaining war, Ennis faded over the last two rounds due to a cut on his right eyelid which did not affect his vision but had him more on the defensive. Ennis appeared to win the first round, third and eighth round by outworking Johnson with left jabs. The sixth round appeared even, with the fourth round close.
Johnson clearly won the second, fifth, seventh, ninth and tenth rounds, forcing Ennis on the retreat with head shots. At times, the two men stared each other down in center ring, with Johnson scoring with hard jabs. Overall, Johnson was busier and more aggressive.
Johnson, in Rastafarian deadlocks hairdo, appeared to be a hard hitting miniature version of heavyweight Shannon Briggs, and refused to be intimidated or bothered by any offensive attempts Ennis tried to mount. Fighting a smart fight, Johnson walked down Ennis with hard shots to the head and body and also scored effectively when Ennis tried unsuccessfully to fight off the ropes.
Johnson explained after the bout, "I'm a counterpuncher. So is he (Farah Ennis). You can punch yourself out, or you can catch him with slow jabs and counter hooks, and pick up the pace with combinations." Johnson won this bout with a slow but sure, consistent, calculating style, finding his openings and carefully picking his shots.
Ennis tried early on to lure him into a faster fight, but Johnson set a slower pace instead, which left the normally offensive Ennis appearing confused and bewildered, unable to score on his opponent or hurt him, bleeding from power shots and behind on points. Scoring by press at ringside was varied, some giving Johnson every round, while others had the fight 'still on the table' going into the final round.
Scoring: 98-93, 97-93 and 95-95
Damian Wills TKO 9 Aaron Lyons, Heavyweights
Lyons cut across forehead above left eye, prompting stoppage at end of the ninth by ringside physician Dr. Blair Bergen.
Bobby Rooney KO 1 (2:03) Adrian Armstrong, Cruiserweights
Armstrong, cut on left eye, appeared defenseless and got knocked out. at 2:03 of the first.
Steve Martinez UD 4 John Marriott, Junior Middleweights
In an MMA style bout, Martinez outscored Marriott but could not do much with his height and reach advantage. Marriott, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, small but tough,
landed some good counters, wrestled and tied up Martinez at every opportunity. Martinez warned for low blows.
Osnel Charles SD 6 Chris Green, Lightweights
In a bout marked by awful scoring, Atlantic City's Charles appeared to win every round behind his left jab over Green, who stayed defensively on his bicycle the whole bout, showboated a bit and though he could steal the decision.
Steven Johnson UD 6 Victor Valenzuela, Bantamweights
In a minor upset, shorter but better trained Steven Johnson of Missouri proved if you do the work, you can succeed. Johnson came forward and landed numerous power shots to the face of Valenzuela, turning it cherry red. Johnson appeared to win every round except the second, with a great effort and better conditioning.
Thomas 'Cornflake' LaManna TKO 1 Bobby Bynum, Junior Middleweights
Three knockdowns in the first ended this lopsided contest.