Norfolk, Virginia's Super Middleweight Frank 'The Freight Train' Fillippone won at least four of the six rounds scored in the ring in the co-main event promoted by Dee Lee Promotions at The Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on June 1, 2012, but somehow had to settle for a six round majority draw against Birmingham, Alabama's Keandre Leatherwood, a Boxing 360 fighter.
The New Jersey Athletic Commission continues to be under scrutiny regarding boxing scoring after last year's Paul Williams versus Erislandy Lara controversy in which Williams got a unanimous decision in a bout Lara clearly won July 9, 2011, at Boardwalk Hall. Those three judges, Judges Hilton Whitaker (for Williams), Don Givens (for Williams), and Al Bennett (a draw), remain suspended since July 2011.
On this evening, Filippone, who put on a defensive gem, got a correct verdict of 59-55 on one judge's scorecard. Filippone appeared to win rounds one, three, four and six, with carefully placed straight head jabs while not getting hit at all. Round five appeared a bit closer, but was still won by Filippone.
Filippone also scrapped well on the inside, particularly in close clinches as the referee was slow to break up the two fighters whenever they got tied up. This forced Filippone to frequently work hard to extract himself from danger when Leatherwood held at least one of his arms, prompting a holding complaint from promoter Diane Lee Fischer to commissioner Aaron Davis during the bout.
Former world champion Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker, also a Norfolk, Virginia native, shouted instructions to Filippone throughout this bout, creating havoc in Leatherwood's Boxing 360 corner, which was largely silent, and came up with no counter plan to puncture Filippone's rock solid defense during the six rounder.
For his part, Leatherwood clearly won round two by outworking Filippone with some singly placed head and body shots, with Filippone trying to counter in these rounds. At times in the bout, there were s many headlocks in the clinches the bout looked closer to MMA. However, both fighters fought cleanly throughout.
Fight commentator Marc Abrams interviewed both fighters after the bout and inquired "How about a Leatherwood versus Filippone rematch right here is the future?" Both fighters were friendly on camera after the scoring was announced and appeared open to a rematch later in 2012.
Frankie Filippone Majority Draw 6 Keandre Leatherwood, Super Middleweights
Scoring: 59-55 Filippone, 57-57, 57-57, Majority Draw