Tyson - Williams Under Card Report
By Aaron Imholte Live from Louisville (July 31, 2004) 
Photo © Chris Gully, DHB
Before the shock that was the main event. Before the jaws dropped and the landscape of boxing changed permanently, there was some great boxing and some impressive individual performances.

Starting with Randy ‘The Gentleman’ Griffin, a Kentucky native who impressed everyone ringside and in the arena with a dominant tenth round knockout over Julio Garcia for the NABO and NABA middleweight titles. Griffin showed great defensive skills throughout the fight, moving his head well and blocking with his hands, there were times where he was virtually un-hittable to both the head and body. He fired off some fantastic combinations upstairs and down while displaying sound footwork and a hard right hand.

He kept Garcia away from him almost the whole fight, except for a few times where Garcia got in some solid shots to the body of Griffin but those were few and far between. The gentleman won every round one judge’s card and 8 of the complete 9 on the other two. When Griffin exchanged inside he almost always came out on top and everyone in the arena knew by about the seventh round that this one would not go the distance, it was just a matter of when the knockout happened. About 90 seconds into the tenth round it happened. Garcia missed with a wild left hand and Griffin quickly seized the opportunity to nail Garcia with a hard straight right hand, a punch that had staggered Garcia previously in the fight.

Now Griffin, 19-1-1 (11), is expected to be ranked in the top 10 of the middleweight division while Garcia will drop to 25-4-2. With Bernard Hopkins nearing the end of a brilliant career, one must wonder whether or not Randy Griffin is a threat in the post Hopkins middleweight division. If he continues with performances like this he may be well on his way.

The Showtime pay-per-view telecast began with a WBO junior flyweight title fight between champion Nelson Dieppa, 21-1-2 (12 ) and Ulises ‘Archie’ Solis, 18-1-1 (13 ). The fight was an uneventful one. There was limited action in the ring besides a handful of times when the two fighters would stand in one spot and trade fast combinations in which Dieppa got the best of.

The crowd seemed more excited about the arrival of Mr. T rather then the fight itself. Well some of us were watching and although he displayed a pretty good jab, Solis could not keep Dieppa away enough. The jab won him a few rounds of the fight and many others were swing rounds that could have gone either way. In the end however Dieppa’s body work and combinations earned him a majority decision by scores of 114-114, 120-108, 120-108, which may have been a little extreme on the latter two scores, but was a just and fair decision for Dieppa who retained his crown.

The first fight that really blew the roof off of Freedom Hall was of course IWBF super middleweight champion Laila Ali, 18-0 (15) defending her crown against Monica Nunez, 9-2 (5). For the start of the fight not one person in the arena was sitting. Chants of ‘ALI’ and ‘ALI BOMAYE” started in spots and soon gained ground.

Ali came out snapping her signature jab keeping Nunez away and making her miss badly with wide looping punches. Ali worked the head of Nunez at first but soon moved downstairs when she realized the wind was coming out of Nunez’ sails fast after throwing big hook after big hook.

Round two was a decent one for Nunez, she landed a couple big left hands and really pressed an attack on Ali for part of the round. You could already see however, the energy being sapped from Nunez’ body. An effect from all the power punches.

From the third round on it seemed to be all Laila, and by the fourth Nunez was bleeding from the nose after Laila landed two hard right hands back to back. At this point the ALI chants were deafening and Laila seemed to have the fight well in hand.

For rounds 5-8 it was Ali picking her spots and finding openings and rocking an obviously spent Nunez who was grimacing after body shots at this point. By round six Nunez was using a pathetic desperation pawing motion for a jab and a clinch for her only defense to Ali’s punches. Ali seemed to be literally swatting every Nunez punch away and countering effectively.

By the final round nine Nunez was landing absolutely nothing and Ali had caught her against the ropes on three different occasions. After the third time Ali caught her with a left hook to her head which sent Nunez staggering to the ropes. This prompted team Nunez to jump on the ring apron waving the towel frantically. The referee and Ali however did not see the towel until about three punches later. When they did the fight was stopped immediately and Freedom Hall went bananas. Ali winner by TKO in round 9.

That is your under card report from Kentucky. While these fights will receive very little of the national and worldwide media attention next to the main event, they provided great entertainment for the near capacity crowd here in Louisville.
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