Michael Clark Decisions Jason Pires - Clark on Floyd Mayweather vs Shane Mosley, and Pires on his Performance
By Stephen Tobey at ringside (April 9, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing  
LINCOLN, R.I. – As far as anyone can tell, Friday’s North American Boxing Association U.S. junior welterweight title fight between Michael Clark and Jason Pires made history.

In what is believed to be the first nine-round title fight, Clark won the vacant title with a unanimous decision at the Twin River Event Center.

“They didn’t want to make an eight-round title fight and they didn’t want to go 10 so we met in the middle,” said Clark.

Said Pires, “That’s what they said it was, what the NABA wanted. They said it was the first in history.”

Wayne Lima and Steve Schultz scored the fight, 90-80, while Walter Stone scored it 89-81. The 36-year-old Clark, of Columbus, Ohio, is now 40-5-1 (18); Pires, 35, of New Bedford, Mass., is 22-4-1 (9).

There was one knockdown in the eighth round, when Clark landed a left hook. Through most of the fight, Clark landed one-two combinations through the middle of Pires’ defense. By the eighth round, Pires’ left eye was closing.

“I was watching [Floyd] Mayweather beat Sugar Shane [Mosley] with one-twos,” said Clark. “I worked a lot on it and landed my right down the middle. I wanted to focus on my jab too.”

Said Pires, “His movement gave me trouble. I wasn’t listening to my trainer. I was going straight at him and he was picking me apart. I was taking three to land one.”

Heavyweight Winston Thorpe of Columbia, S.C. won a four-round split decision against Jesse Barboza of Barnstable, Mass. Wayne Lima scored it 39-37, Thorpe, Steve Schultz scored it 39-38 for Thorpe, who is now 3-0 (2); Robert Paolino scored it 39-37 for Barboza, who dropped to 3-1 (3).

Middleweight David Bauza of Hartford, Conn. won a four-round split decision over Richard Grant of Palm Bay, Fla. Despite suffering a knockdown in the first round, Bauza won on Walter Stone’s card, 40-37. He also won, 38-37 on Robert Paolino’s card. Wayne Lima scored it 38-37 for Grant. Bauza is now 5-0 (3). Grant is 4-4 (2).

Greg McCoy of New Haven, Conn. picked up his first win with a four-round majority decision over Keith Kozlin of Warwick, R.I. at super middleweight. McCoy, 1-1-1, dropped Kozlin in the second round, but was almost out on his feet in the third. McCoy rallied in the fourth, causing Kozlin to bleed from his nose. The scores were 39-35, 39-36 and 38-38. Kozlin is now 5-1 (3).

Debuting super middleweight Rick Dawson of New Haven, Conn. survived a first-round knockdown to stop Damion Reed of Reidsville, N.C. in the second round of a scheduled four. Dawson, the older brother of world light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, dropped Reed with a straight left hand. Reed got up, but referee Joey Lupino stopped the fight at 1:54. Reed was also making his pro debut.

In a battle of undefeated super middleweights from Rhode Island, Providence’s Vladine Biosse won a four-round unanimous decision against Joe Gardner of Woonsocket. All three judges scored it 40-36. Biosse is now 6-0 (4); Gardner, who was fighting for the first time since Oct. 31, 2003, is now 4-1-1 (1).

Edwin Soto of New Haven, Conn. defeated debuting Carlos Hernandez of Bridgeport, Conn. in a four-round light welterweight fight. Soto knocked down Hernandez in the first and second rounds. The scores were 39-35 (twice) and 40-34. Soto improved to 4-0 (2).

In a four-round women’s welterweight bout, Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes out-pointed Natoya Ervin of Columbus, Ohio. All three judges scored it 40-36. Lopes is now 2-1 (1); Ervin is 1-5.

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