Wladimir Klitschko has a bloody ending, Kassim Ouma wins a belt and Jeff Lacy remains unbeaten
By Benny Henderson Jr. (October 4, 2004) 
Photo © Tom Casino/ShowTime
Saturday night’s Showtime card from Caesers Palace Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, saw a knock out performance, a unanimous decision and a bloody ending.

The headline bout between Wladimir Klitschko and DaVarryl Williamson was supposed to answer the question “What’s up with Wlad?” but instead the non-conclusive ending to the bout left fans still pondering the question. In a scheduled ten round heavyweight match-up that was intended to send one man packing and put one man back in the heavyweight mix, Williamson was left still on the brink, while a bloody but still confident (so he says) Klitschko still wanting to fight.

After slow paced five rounds referee Jay Nady stopped the fight on the advice of ringside physician Margaret Goodman after an accidental headbutt caused a cut on Klitschko’s forehead. The officical scores at the time of the stoppage were 49-46, 49-46 for Klitschko, 48-47 Williamson.

The fight really only had one moment of excitement which came in the fourth round when former stand-up comedian turned pro boxer Williamson landed a solid right hand that sent the off balanced 6’7” former WBO heavyweight champ to the canvas. The boos from the disappointed ringside crowd after the fight went to the scorecards and was in favor of Klitschko by a split technical decision proved that the jury is still out on the questionable chin of Dr. Steel Hammer. His trainer Emanuel Stewart stated that Klitschko had a good performance and if his wound heals in time he could possibly be back in the ring sometime in December, maybe in a rematch against Williamson or facing another opponent.

After the fight Klitschko and Stewart both stated that the fourth round knock down was due to Wladimir being caught off-balance with a straight right hand. Stewart went on the say that he was very satisfied with Klitschko’s performance and that Williamson was very smart in running away from Klitschko.

Williamson stated that he felt the fight was close but he thought he was ahead on the scorecards and he would like to get a rematch with the younger Klitschko as he sees it as unfinished business. Klitschko improves his record to 43-3 (39), while Williamson’s ledger now reads 20-3 (17). The future for both fighters is s till very much up in the air.

The main support bout was a rematch of a junior middleweight clash that took place in 2001 between Kassim Ouma and Verno Phillips. Ouma played the part of victor in both bouts against Phillips. Uganda-born Ouma has seen his share of wars in his home country and fought in another one of Saturday night against sixteen-year ring veteran Phillips.

The thirty-four year old American took a beating in round eleven when Ouma landed a solid left hand to the body, but Phillips rallied to hold on and make it to the final bell only to lose his IBF junior middleweight title by unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 114-113, 114-113, 117-110. In defeat Phillips stated that Ouma was a strong guy but he felt that he himself couldn’t move and that was his downfall for the fight. He said he would take a month off and then decide what the future holds.

Meanwhile the newly crowned and slightly cocky IBF champion lifted his son in victory and then stated to the press that Winky Wright doesn’t want to fight him and that he wanted the winner out of the rematch between Mosley versus Wright.

In the first bout of the night young gun Jeff Lacy remained unbeaten when he scored an 8th round TKO of veteran Syd Vanderpool in their clash for the vacant IBF super middleweight title. Jeff ‘Left Hook’ Lacy, a former Olympian of the 2000 USA Boxing team, stated after the fight “This is my Gold Medal” right after he punched his way through Canada’s ring savvy Syd ‘The Jewel’ Vanderpool.

Lacy stepped up, stood out and stayed unbeaten when an uppercut in the eight round sent Vanderpool into a world of hurt and to his third defeat of his 38 fight, eleven year star studded career. Vanderpool said that he was about to take a knee when referee Robert Byrd jumped in a called a halt to the bout. Youth was served for the twenty-seven year old Lacy who said, “I proved myself tonight that I’m a great champion” while thirty-two year old southpaw Vanderpool stated that he felt he was in control of the entire fight. What’s next for these two fighters? Lacy said he proved that he can fight anybody in his division and WBO champion Joe Calzaghe’s named was tossed around as an opponent for his next bout, but he also stated that he would walk around with this victory for now. As for Syd Vanderpool, he said that he would take some time off for now. In my opinion this was the fight of the night with both fighters giving it their best in this fast paced punching, crowd-pleasing championship fight.
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