Michael Grant wins in Philly
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (July 14, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com  
Big Michael Grant, 44-3 (33), USA, and little Demetrice King, 14-16 (12), of Flint, Michigan, were both riding five fight win streaks when they collided at Northeast Philadelphia’s National Guard Armory Friday night. It looked like David and Goliath, but this time the big man won out winning 7 out of 8 rounds on all judges’ scorecards. Though Grant was outweighed by almost 20 pounds, he must have had a foot in height on his game opponent.

Southern Starr Boxing made their Pennsylvania debut before a very small crowd that were entertained from the opening bell. It may have been bizarre in some ways but competitive boxing was at the forefront. The show was shortened to five bouts and one exhibition, which featured the only stoppage. The promotion has to do as good a job getting the word out prior to the show as they did in putting on good fights.

Grant’s return after ten months of inactivity produced much needed work said Grant’s new trainer, former world champion Eddie Mustapha Muhammad. “Michael spent seven weeks in camp with me in Las Vegas. He should be back in the ring in September,” said Muhammad. Grant let it be known, “I needed the work and King was a tough opponent. I used my jab well and thought I could hurt him to the body, but he was even tough down there.” He added, “I am supposed to be in a million dollar tournament in October in Las Vegas.” Though methodical at times, which Grant always has been, it was good work losing only one round when King went southpaw, inside and scored well.
When questioned why he didn’t do more of that he replied, “I wanted to throw some overhand rights but Grant either pushed me or hit me low all night.” The referee, Eddie Cotton, did give King a short rest from an apparent low blow.

In a semi six rounder Alexander Mancera, 8-2 (5), of Queens, scored a mild upset over Philly’s Jameel Wilson, 13-14-3 (8), in a super middleweight match, by majority decision, that had Mancera coming in over the limit at 173. Mancera suffered a cut on the hairline near the end of the 1st round that had blood flowing in his face for the remainder of the bout. In spite of this, it was Mancera being the aggressor from the opening bell. His punch accuracy was very high. Wilson’s only offense was when he threw body combinations. Though the decision was a majority, the fans received Mancera’s win well. Wilson never seemed to get his offense untracked in this one. He has had many wars. Only experienced judge George Hill saw the fight even.

The show opened with a wild four rounder with Philly super featherweights Gustavo Dailey, 2-2, scoring his second straight win, this time over Devon Ellis, 0-2, who never stopped trying. The southpaw Dailey cut the left eye of Ellis in the 1st round and the right eye in the 2nd round before he had his own left eye cut. It was that kind of a fight for the entire four rounds. Ellis who was going all out in the 4th round took one to give one.

In a lightweight four rounder, Jose Guzman, 3-3-1, evened his record by winning a majority decision over Atlanta’s Jamar Saunders, 0-1, who was making his debut. Only the experienced judge Steve Weisfeld saw it a draw as did this writer. Saunders was the aggressor throughout against the switch hitting Guzman whose experience paid off.

In a battle of female heavyweight’s, both scaling 212, Brooklyn’s southpaw Tanzee Daniels (1-0) showed a powerful jab and seemed to punish her opponent Tiffany Woodward (1-1), Wilson, North Carolina, whenever she wanted to. Woodward’s best action seemed to be the final 10 seconds of each round which caught the eye of judge Rose Vargas, if no one else’s. This writer agreed with judges Hill and Weisfeld scoring it 39-37 to the winner Daniels. There are not a lot of female heavyweights boxing today but Daniels is one to keep your eye on.

Due to a too great weight difference Tim Witherspoon, Jr. (0-1), son of the former two time heavyweight champion, he had his match with Juvair Dennis (1-1, 1 KO), reduced to an exhibition. He made Dennis pay for it with severe body shots dropping Dennis to the canvas in the 2nd round forcing referee Shawn Clark to put a stop to it. The weight difference reminded me of the days when former world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson, of Philly, would come to the weigh-ins with lead weights in his pockets in order to fight heavyweights. Whatever happened to Dennis in a day’s time we may never know, but he tried his best while in there.

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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