Lajuan Simon defeats Jose Angel Rodrigues at Turning Stone
By Ken Hissner at ringside (June 28, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
It was a good night of boxing at Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, New York Saturday night. Dave Escalet’s Fistacuffs Promotions had a good and vocal crowd as USBA middleweight champion Lajuan “Simply Marvelous” Simon, 23-2-2 (12), of Philadelphia defeated southpaw Jose Angel “Silver Boy” Rodrigues, 15-2-1 (2), of the Bronx in a 10 round non-title bout.

Rodrigues found out early in the 1st round he wasn’t going to outpunch the stronger Simon. Simon’s body work and jabs had the nose of Rodrigues reddened by the end of the round. From that point on Rodrigues with a little help from referee Dick Pakozdi used his shoulder, head and hands to jab and tie up Simon throughout the fight hardly without a warning.

Simon is one of the cleanest and nicest boxers you want to meet and he dealt with it with a good body attack especially with left hooks off the jab. He methodically stalked Rodrigues. “I saw film of him and he did not fight like this,” said Simon. Give Rodrigues credit for not having much competition in his career so far to step in with a rated contender who gave then champion Arthur Abraham all he could handle in a title attempt. There were times that Rodrigues was too defensive minded and it cost him.

The head butt had Simon’s mouth bloody and left eye partially swollen. Cut man Bob Miller did a fine job of keeping it from getting worse. With Simon’s corner of Wade and Randy Hinnant he was encouraged just to keep on doing what he was doing until the 8th round when he turned southpaw. In the 9th round a very low shot from Rodrigues hurt Simon who took very little time and shrugged it off to come back and have Rodrigues in trouble with four unanswered shots to the head.
Rodrigues came back in the 10th to make a fight of it. Though the scoring of the judges had it 99-91 from Wynn Kintz, and 97-93 from both Tom Schreck and Don Ackerman it seemed generous for Simon but no doubt he deserved the win. “He was a lot tougher than I thought and there were times not only did he hold my left hand but somehow tied up both hands,” said Simon. Rodrigues showed good sportsmanship “after” the bout by applauding the decision in favor of Simon.

In the co-feature 6 round middleweight match and the only one on the seven bout card without a New York boxer, Philadelphia’s Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis, 12-6 (6), took a close decision over Mustafa Johnson, 6-7-1 (2), of Indianapolis. The fans didn’t take too kindly to it but press row had it even as did this writer. Davis had to make a corner adjustment and swarm Johnson to the ropes and flail away with both hands. Whenever Johnson had punching room he was dangerous. He let the fight get away from him at the end. All three judges had it 58-56 for Davis. The referee was Charlie Fitch.

Local favorite Shawn Miller, 2-1 (0), of nearby Troy, was upset when a vicious body shot to the liver from debuting Steve Tyner, 1-0 (1), of Akron, O, stopped him at 1:49 of the 1st round. Miller was holding his own but got dropped and barely beat the count in no condition to continue forcing referee Pakozdi to stop the fight.

In the fight of the night Jackie Trivilino, 4-2-1, (1), out of Plattsburg, NY, put on a magnificent performance that had the fans cheering throughout this 6 round featherweight match defeating Angel Gladney, 6-2-1 (5), of Colombia, SC, but not without a fight. Trivilino deservingly won the “fighter of the night” receiving an award named after late trainer Oscar Suarez which Escalet plans to give out on all his future shows. The shorter Gladney could punch but she didn’t seem to know what hit her from every possible angle from Trivilino.

Rounds three and four could have been 10-8 rounds the way Trivilino dominated. She suffered a bloody nose from the hard punching Gladney who seemed overwhelmed inspite of her corner’s encouragement to throw more punches. Trivilino had such an array of punches and seemed to throw punch at a non-stop rate. A rematch with unbeaten Amanda Serrano whom she lost to by majority decision in their debuts was mentioned.

David “King” Brown, 1-2 (1), of E. Orange, NJ, came out firing on the shorter Andy “Magnafico” Mejias, 7-0 (3), of Utica, NY, and had his opponents mouth bleeding. In the 2nd round of this 4 round light heavyweight match Mejias shifted to southpaw during an inside exchange and landed a thunderous right hook to the jaw of Brown that flattened him for the count at 1:04 of the round. Referee Pakozdi didn’t even have to bother to count though he did. It took Brown awhile to get up off the canvas. Mejias had a very vocal backing from the fans and is a showman.

Brian Clookey, 2-0 (1), of Chase Mills, NY, used a jab to the mid-section the entire 4 rounds of a cruiserweight match to easily defeat Keon Graham, 2-2 (0), of Akron, O., who seemed to be going through the motions. Clookey who was too quick for Graham rocked his opponent on three occasions in the 1st round with right hands. He repeated this in the 3rd round gaining the judges scores by 60-54 twice and 59-55.

In the opening bout southpaw Stephan “Hurricane” Scott, 3-1 (0), of Albany, started out fast dropping Tolan Tascoe, 1-4 (0),of Orange, NJ, in the 1st round. Tascoe seemed to come back in the 2nd round but seemed too tentative the rest of the way losing by scores of 40-35 and 39-36 which agreed with this writer. This was a 4 round light middleweight match.
Matchmaker Nick Tiberi did a fine job and let’s hope promoter Escalet comes back on a regular basis.

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