ESPN’s Friday Night Fights was live form Scranton, PA this past Friday and the newly renovated Scranton CYC Center was filled to the rafters with fight fans eager for the promised action that the fight card offered.
The featured bout of the evening was between two hard-hitting cruiserweights as journeyman Darnell "Ding-A-Ling Man" Wilson took on former IBF Champion Kelvin "Koncrete" Davis. This was a crossroads fight for both men as the cruiserweight division is wide open and hungry for stars to bring it’s participants to the consciousness of fight fans.
Wilson entered the bout riding a two fight KO win streak and a minuscule buzz that goes along with such victories. Davis, on the other hand, entered the bout after campaigning in the heavyweight division in his last two outings. The fight was advertised as a sure fire, all action affair and the buzz inside the Scranton CYC Center fed off of it.
In the opening stanza, both fighters took the time honored tradition of feeling each other out. Davis came out firing stiff jabs in order to befuddle the stalking Wilson. Wilson’s jab was used solely for the purpose of setting up his devastating right. Opting to "paw" with his jab, rather than use it for any actual offensive weapon, Wilson was yearning to punish Davis with his much ballyhooed right hand power.
In round two, Wilson was caught with a cuffing left hook from Davis and was ruled down. Clearly more off balance than hurt, Wilson came back with some good right hand shots of his own. When the bell commencing round three sounded, Wilson jumped on Davis like a predator does its prey. Looking to right the wrongs of the last round, Wilson looked a man possessed with contempt for his opponent.
A hard left rocked Davis, leaving him visibly hurt and discombobulated. Smelling blood, Wilson jumps on Davis and batters him with a vicious barrage of bone jarring shots before Davis finally falls to the canvas. Davis should be credited for beating the count but the referee waived off the contest after Davis failed to follow his instruction of walking toward him.
The fight lived up to its billing as Wilson improves to 21-5-3 (18). With the loss, Kelvin Davis drops to 24-5-2 (17).
Although neither Wilson nor Davis are ranked in the top ten of Ring Magazine's cruiserweight standings, you get the impression that both fighters could make some noise in it. Well, at least one of them will, as Kelvin Davis has already announced that going forward, he will only campaign in the heavyweight division.
This could be an unwise decision for the 5’9" Davis, as it takes a rare fighter to make it in today’s modern land of the heavies and Davis lacks the head movement and punching power that Mike Tyson used to overcome the same shortcomings in stature.
As for Wilson, he can legitimately shake things up in the cruiserweight division. In order for him to challenge the likes of O’Neil Bell and Jean Marc Mormeck, Wilson will need to begin using his jab as a real viable tool, as well as utilize a little more head and foot movement.
Wilson would also do well to increase his conditioning, as he seems to tire late into fights. However, he does posses the great equalizer in his TNT infused right hand and with it, Wilson could very well ascend the ladder from contender to champion.
In the nights televised opener, up and coming prospects Enrique "The Scorpion" Gutierrez met Edvan Dos Santos Barros in an eight round welterweight contest. Gutierrez was looking to rebound from his first professional disappointment, a split decision loss at the hands of Shamone Alvarez this past November.
Barros, on the other hand, was looking to get his career back on track after going 0-1-1 in his last two fights. The stage was set for an explosive battle as the winner begins the path to right a careening career.
The fight would not disappoint the masses gathered, as an opera of controlled violence was staged from the onset. Once the opening bell rang, Gutierrez and Barros waged a war on one another with the chosen form of artillery being nothing more than their leather enclosed fists.
It became clear as round one began that Gutierrez was the more polished of the two boxers. Fighters with extensive amateur backgrounds tend to be technically superior to their counterparts in this sense, however what Barros may have been lacking in technical proficiency was overcompensated with his guile and determination.
These attributes would serve Barros well in the second round as a straight right buzzed Gutierrez followed by a quick combo from Barros that sent Gutierrez down. While Gutierrez quickly beat the count, the stage was set for Barros’ way to victory.
Utilizing hard body shots and physicality to impose his will on the younger Gutierrez, Barros began to pull ahead in the fight. Gutierrez seemed to be disenchanted with his physical foe and often looked to the referee for assistance in keeping the bull of a man out of his chest. Although he valiantly tried to rally a comeback, it was not to be.
All three judges scored the bout for Barros, 77-74, 76-74, and 79-71. With the win Barros improves to 9-3-1 (7), while Gutierrez falls to 10-2-0 (8).