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Harmon edges Telesco over 10, Simms remains unbeaten
By Alex Pierpaoli (May 31, 2004) Photos © Brendon Pierpaoli  
Photos © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
On Friday at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, light heavyweights David Telesco and Derrick Harmon rumbled for ten close rounds in ESPN2 Friday Night Fights’ main event. Ringside officials scored Harmon the victor by split decision, a result that brought some boos from the crowd of 4096 but most at ringside were satisfied after seeing a close competitive battle of 175 pounders. Harmon, who looked dominant early, faded through the middle rounds as Telesco seemed to heat up and take advantage of Harmon’s inability to sustain his offense late in the fight.

In the first round it was Harmon doing more damage while Telesco pressed the action. Just before round’s end both fighters traded hard punches and Harmon landed a left-right which sent Telesco reeling, his right glove touching the canvas in an effort to keep his balance—which could have been ruled a knockdown by Ref. Dick Flaherty.

As the bout wore on, Telesco endured the early punishment from Harmon despite several abrasions under both eyes. Throughout the fight, when Harmon was successful it was with straight punches while Telesco’s best shots were wide, chopping hooks. Using pressure to stifle Harmon’s right jab, Telesco worked harder and was the busier puncher in the bout’s second half although Harmon’s defense made it hard to tell if Telesco was landing effectively.

After several very close rounds and after his late rally, Telesco made a case for himself as the fight’s winner but he came up short on the official cards. Judges Melvin Lathan and Glenn
Feldman tabbed Harmon the winner—Lathan saw it 97-93 while Feldman had it 96-94. The third judge, Tom Kaczmarek, saw Telesco winning by a score of 96-94, while Doghouse Boxing scored the fight even at 95-95.

Harmon improves to 24-5 with 11 kayos while Telesco drops to 28-4-1 with 23 kayos.

In the televised co-feature, Travis Simms, the unbeaten twin brother of WBA junior middleweight titlist Travis Simms, added to his win streak with a tenth round tko of Jameel Wilson. Simms, who hails from Norwalk, CT, received a raucous reception from the assembled and made this writer think Uncasville sounded like an honest-to-goodness fight-town at least for the night.

Simms fought the first few rounds circling and throwing single power shots at his opponent while the taller and awkward Wilson tried to score with flurries to Simms’ mid-section when he closed the distance. With few punches landed in the early rounds by either man, the crowd was getting restless midway through the bout. By round five Simms was doing less circling and stopped to trade with Wilson in frequent flurried exchanges. It was Simms getting the better of these exchanges with his quicker, harder punches doing more damage to Wilson in close.

By round ten, when it was clear Wilson would need a knockout to win, Simms rallied to the delight of the Norwalk friendly crowd. As they cheered loudly, Simms connected with a double left hand—turning an uppercut over and following it with an overhand left—Simms dropped Wilson hard. When he rises, Wilson looks clearly hurt but Referee Mike Ortega allowed him a chance to finish on his feet. But it was not to be for Wilson, who was dropped again by another double left hand from Simms prompting Ortega to halt the fight at 2:30 of round ten.

Later Simms credited his work in the camp of Middleweight King Bernard Hopkins with preparing him for the bout. “(I have to say) Thank you Mr. Bouie Fischer for showing me discipline.”

When asked what it was like sparring with Hopkins, Simms smiled. “It’s like going to school all over again.”

“Bernard taught me how to live the life of boxing,” Simms said. “There will be no celebration for this win. I’m back on the road tomorrow.”

Simms continues along the road with a record of 18-0 with 10 kayos while Wilson drops to 13-6-2 (8kos).

In the night’s opener one of New England’s most entertaining fighters to watch, heavyweight Robert Wiggins, got the night started with a brief but explosive knockout win. Wiggins’ opponent, Mark Hunt came out fast and both men landed hard punches in the bout’s opening stanza. In the second, Wiggins landed a big right hand that had a delayed effect on Hunt, who stiffened up and staggered sideways before going down. Hunt was allowed to continue but Wiggins finished him off with another big right hand causing Ref. Mike Ortega to stop the fight at 1:11 of round two. Wiggins improves his record to 18-3-1 with 11 knockouts while Hunt falls to 11-11 (4kos).

In a bout which clearly defined the term walk-out, Craig Salamone lost a decision to Tampa’s Mark Doku. Doku, a short stocky heavyweight originally from Ghana, chased the taller but clearly intimidated Salamone throughout the fight and did damage with enough power punches hurled from the outside to pick up the win. Salamone fought with a half-hearted jab while retreating in a wide circle from his stalking opponent. Lots of grappling and clutching plagued the fight and forced most of the crowd to head for the exits while Ref. Daniel Schiavone was forced to warn both fighters several times for holding and roughing each other on the break. Portland, Connecticut’s Salamone drops to 15-3-1 with 4 kayos with the defeat while Mark Doku improves to 6-4-1 with 2 kayos.

In the second to last bout of the night the most exciting young cruiserweight with the most difficult name to pronounce, Ehinomen Ehikhamenor, wowed the remaining fans with a first round knockout of Scott Halton. A huge right hand got things started for Hino, as he is called by his fans, and produced the first knockdown. Halton rose and was considered fit to continue by Referee Daniel Schiavone. As the fight continued Ehikhamenor rushed his opponent and finished him with a crushing right uppercut-left hook that dropped Halton a second time. Ref. Schiavone stopped the bout at 1:57 of round number one, leaving Halton with a record of 2-1, while Ehikhamenor’s win streak improves to 4-0 with 3 wins inside the distance.

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