Steel Stacks II: 5 Fights 5 KO’s, 1 Hr, 3 min. in Bethlehem, PA
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Steel Stacks II: 5 Fights 5 KO’s, 1 Hr, 3 min. in Bethlehem, PA
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 21, 2013)

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Unbeaten Cuban Heavyweight Luis Ortiz19-0, of Miami, FL, was scheduled in the main event against Cruiserweight Rayford Johnson, 8-12, of Longview, TX, over 8 rounds. Seems Executive Director Greg Sirb waited until the week of the fight to question the size difference. Ortiz at 6:04 and 230 against Johnson who was 186 in his last fight but “reported” coming in at 204.

Sirb informed the promoter Jay Newman of VIP Fighting Events that he would reduce the fight from 8 to 6 rounds. Ortiz refused to drop down to the 6 round level so the main event was off the card along with 2 other scheduled fights taking 16 rounds off the card down to 20 rounds and 5 fights. Rules call for 28 rounds. But the “show” would go on short changing the fans out of their hard earned money. I doubt Johnson would last 6 minutes so reducing the rounds made no sense but cost the promoter the main event.

The 5 bouts lasted less than 9 rounds in 1 hour and 3 minutes. How the “opponents” were passed by the commission is subject to question as each ended in 5 mismatches. This writer knew it was not going to be a bad night when Sirb made his usual sarcastic remarks this time about “my pants”. When a man makes a comment about looking at my pants (blue jeans) I must admit I get a very uneasy feeling. As I took my seat at ringside I handed Mike Mittman who along with former heavyweight champ Larry Holmes handle the Service Electric Cable 2 hour broadcast.

I handed Mittman a Rocky Marciano toy figure bound in plastic to give to Holmes who in 1985 after losing for the first time in his 49th fight to Michael Spinks remarked “Rocky Marciano couldn’t wear my jockstrap”. I’m sure Rocky wanted nothing to due with Holmes jock strap. 25 years later Holmes claimed “that comment cost me endorsements. What I meant to say is Marciano couldn’t walk down the same sidewalk I do. In Alabama he might be right but it would be Marciano on the sidewalk, not Holmes.

Mittman laughed at the figurine of Marciano and assured me he would give it to Holmes. Seems the classy Marciano family invited Holmes to Brockton for the presentation of the Marciano statue and Holmes handled it quite well.

At about that time Sirb comes over and tells me I must remove my hat or be removed at ringside per the rules. What rules? I informed Sirb it better be the rule for everyone not just me. After Sirb left I looked into the ring where Mittman’s son Steve who by the way is a chip off the old block and a very good ring announcer like his father stood next to a large man in blue jeans and a hat being former world heavyweight champion Buster Douglas. I guess Sirb didn’t want to question Douglas’ attire. Smart move on his part.

In the opening bout super middleweight Chorles Parker, 1-2 (1), of Wilson, NC, came out looking like he wasn’t sure he wanted to be there while Jeremy Trussell, 4-0 (3), of Baltimore, MD, looked ready and willing to mix it up. 2 knockdowns later at 3:05 of the opening round Parker was counted out by referee Gary Rosato.

Next up would be the grandson of Holmes, Jeffrey Dorsey Holmes, 0-3, of Easton, PA, looking for that first win. His opponent Robert James III, 1-0 (1), of Cinn., OH, the much taller of the 2 featherweights came out looking for an early night and scored a knock down with a combination halfway through the round. To his credit Dorsey was up and throwing back a couple of overhand rights.

In the 2nd round a left hook put Dorsey onto the bottom rope and then took a knee as Rosato waved it off after taking a look at Dorsey who beat the count. I have witnessed all his 3 fights and the kid has not been put in easy but lacks an amateur background per unbeaten Jerome Rodriguez who was sitting next to me.

The third match had 2 unbeaten boxers in the super middleweight division. Rodriguez informed me that southpaw John “Mad Man” Magda, 3-0 (3) “, of Rutherford, NJ, can fight knowing him from the Nationals.

Fight is right as he tore into his opponent Terry Van Avery 1-1 (1) who seemed overwhelmed. Magda rarely missing with a punch until he finally cornered his opponent unleashing a vicious variety of punches forcing Rosato to step in and save Van Avery from any further punishment at 1:33 of the 1st round.

Looking like a very polished boxer decked out in TR (Top Rank?) robe southpaw Gervonta Davis, 5-0 (5), of Baltimore, slipped and ducked and swirled around while the taller Eric Goodall, 1-2 (0), of Las Vegas a late opponent who was stopped less than 60 days ago was trying to land a punch. After easily taking the first 2 rounds Davis opened up landing 11 straight unanswered punches knocking down Goodall. As Goodall got up a lead right upper cut rocked him just prior to the bell.

Rodriguez and I both felt the corner should not allow Goodall come out. In the final scheduled round Goodall was moving and using his jab when Davis landed his fist punch of the round, a left hook, causing Rosato to step in and wave it off at 1:55 of the 4th round.

In the final match southpaw Jesus Gonzalez, 1-2 (1), of Bethlehem, now out of the Ronald Cruz stable and Marquis Pierce 1-3 (0), of Philipsburg, NJ, (beat Dorsey in his debut) banged heads causing a bump the size of a golf ball on the left side of Pierce’s forehead. Neither fighter was checked by Rosato.

Rodriguez said “they have to stop it. That is bad.” I thought the same but Rosato and Sirb never asked the doctor to check him for some reason. As the fight progressed it only got worse until a right uppercut from Gonzalez knocked Pierce out cold at 2:07 of he 1st round.

5 fights, 5 stoppages, in 1 hour and 3 minutes per writer KO Obermayer. Matchmaker Cedric Hardwell put on one of the most competitive shows in June for Steel Stacks but this will go down as one of the worst this writer has witnessed let alone the shortest! Hopefully the commission can do a better job in approving of these types of matches and Hardwell can come up with better “opponents”. Steve Mittman earlier announced Steel Stacks would be coming back in December. Let’s hope there will be a Steel Stacks III like Steel Stacks I.


Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: kenhissner@gmail.com

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