Exciting Prospects and a Double Knockdown in the Connecticut Woods
Ringside By Alex Pierpaoli, Photo Layout Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB (May 9, 2005)  
Photos © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
The thrills were brief but intense on Friday night at the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT when undefeated junior middleweights Sechew Powell and Cornelius Bundrage collided in the main event of Showtime’s ShoBox: The Next Generation fight card. Both fighters stunned and dropped each other with the first punches they threw in round number one. Rising from the double-knockdown quickly, both men wanted to get right back into the action but it was Powell who immediately connected with a thumping straight left to the chin of Bundrage that sent him down again. Rising on wobbly legs, Bundrage stumbled across the ring and fell twice more from the single blow before Ref. Dick Flaherty halted the fight.

Officially, twenty-two seconds was all it took for Sechew Powel to notch his sixteenth win in as many fights. Powell, who suffered a legitimate knockdown in the bout’s opening seconds—though Flaherty did not rule a knockdown was scored for either man—was clearly in a lot better shape than Bundrage when both men rose from the rare and startling occurrence.

Cornelius Bundrage, of Detroit, will surely be back as he was more shocked by Powell than dominated. Bundrage is now 21-1 (13) while the 16-0 Powell adds his 10th knockout to his wins inside the distance.

Photos © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
In the ShoBox co-feature, Yuri Foreman battled eight rough but engaging rounds with Greensboro, NC’s Kevin Cagle. Clearly outgunned by the stronger and more aggressive Foreman, Cagle slipped into a defensive mode he couldn’t get out of early in the fight. Unable to launch any of his own offensive efforts, Cagle worked hard to be elusive and to last the distance under Foreman’s pressured attack.

Yuri Foreman, an orthodox Jew who emigrated from Belarus, now fights out of Brooklyn, NY, enters the ring to Jimmi Hendrix music and sports a Mohawk without the shaved portions of scalp typical to the hairstyle. He is perhaps one of boxing’s most multi-cultural of the young prospects. Although his personality may be a free-association of styles and ethnicities, his fighting style is rugged, craftily skilled and in-your-face. Showtime would be wise to feature Foreman in future telecasts. With the victory on Friday night Foreman improves to 18-0 (7) while Kevin Cagle falls to 16-1 (12).

Photo © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
In one of two impressive, all-action bouts on the undercard, Andre Berto of Winterhaven, FL, crushed Tim Himes of Eerie, PA in 2:10 of round number one. Berto, a former 2004 Haitian Olympian, attacks his opponents with a Tyson-esque urgency and need to do harm that thrills fans and startles opponents. Himes was quickly overwhelmed by Andre Berto’s snappy left hook and predatory aggression. Berto is now 5-0 (3) while the previously undefeated Himes drops to 4-1 (2).

The other explosive fight on the card was featherweight Matt Remillard’s second bout as a pro versus Jhovany Collado of Queens. Remillard, who fights out of Manchester, CT, is managed by Jackie Kallen and the youngster has an aggressive crowd pleasing style that reminded this writer of Mickey Ward.

Photo © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
Fighting out of the pocket right in front of Collado, Remillard endured Collado’s spirited attack in round one and came on hard with his own damaging punches, prompting Collado’s corner to toss in the white towel at 2:40 of round 2. Remillard carries his guard up close to his face and covers up well in a style similar to Irish Mickey Ward; always watching from the safety behind that guard while waiting for his opponent to leave openings wide enough to slam him with hard counters to the belly or head. The aggressive Remillard is now 2-0 (2) while Collado drops to 2-6-2 (1).

In other action undefeated middleweight, New Haven CT’s Elvin Ayala, now 11-0 (4), defeated Raynard Darden, 8-10 (4) of Detroit. The official judges saw the bout as a unanimous win for Ayala but this writer had the bout even at 57-57. Though Ayala started strong he seemed tired and a little puzzled in the later rounds while trying to deal with the taller and more elusive Darden.

The first fight of the night saw heavyweights Damien Rapley of Queens, NY and Tyrone Smith of Boston, MA, rumble to a majority draw. Rapley is now 2-1-1 (2) while Tyrone Smith remains undefeated, now 3-0-1 (1).
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