Steve Collins clips Billy Willis
By Vikram Birring at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 19, 2009)  
Three days ago, Steve Collins never expected this.

It was supposed to be his date with destiny, a crack at a regional championship that would elevate in heavyweight boxing rankings and escalate his career to new dimensions.

Instead, original Darrel Madison was denied due to problems with his medical exams and now he was caught in an intense,
cross-town war with a man whose nickname is “Third Ward;” the most dangerous neighborhood in Houston.

One round remained and nobody really knew who was winning. Collins (21-1, 15 KO) had long stretches of inactivity, in which Billy Willis (11-17-1, 9 KO) would punish him and bull him around the ring.

Yet still, Willis himself picked spots to throw, as he took the bout on seventy-two hours notice, and when he did relax, Collins pot shotted him in his usual style, one punch at a time.

So the fight was up for grabs, three minutes remained, and the question was: who wanted it more?

Both men threw everything they had and the proverbial kitchen sink, going for the knockout. Collins seemed to get the better of the exchanges in the final round, but as the bell sounded to end the bout, the question was, was it too little, too late? Had he given away too many early rounds?

The final round proved to be the difference, for if Collins would not have won it, the bout would have been a majority draw. Final scores were 77-75, 77-75, 78-74.

In his last bout, Chase Shields had electrified the local fans with a vicious knockout against local rival Cliff “Shotgun” Ellis. It was the type of bout Shields was not known for, a real fight, as he tends to intelligently box and win on points.

His six round match against Marcus Brashears proved that the English bout was an anomaly. Brashears had recently retired Jose “Topita” Gutierrez, and looked to make it two for two against Houston ticket sellers.

But “White Tiger” (29-2-1, 14 KO) would have none of it, as he chose spots and boxed six rounds against the shorter Brashears (7-13-2, 2 KO). It was not the most entertaining bout, but it got the job done and preserved brain cells.

In the audience, former MMA World Champion and fellow local boxer KJ Noons called out Shields. It would make for a good fight between popular local boxers. One hopes it happens.

One year ago, Nagy Aguilera was a hotshot heavyweight prospect from the Dominican Republic.

Then he was disqualified against Marcellus Brown in a bizarre scene for continuously head butts.

Most recently, against Darrel Madison, he did not engage much and lost a split decision.

The antidote to such disappointment comes in boxers like Jerome Johnson. Though he was undefeated, his two victories came against others making their professional debut. He was out of his league against Aguilera, most notably physically, as the six foot, three inch Aguilera towered over him.

Displaying the killer instinct missing against Madison, Aguilera (14-2, 9 KO) badly hurt Johnson (2-1, 2 KO) midway through the round. He did not let up, following him around the ring and drilling Johnson with punches to the head and body. After two minutes, thirty-two seconds of punishment, Johnson would have no more. The fight was stopped.

Brad “Vanilla Gorilla” Bowers won the contest of having the most interesting nickname, but Fred Allen (2-0, 2 KO) did not seem to care much for it, as he quickly knocked him down with the first two punches he threw, a 1-2 combination. Bowers (5-10, 5 KO) thought about rising, then thought better of it, staying on the ground and keeping his senses intact. If you ran to the restroom, you would have missed it. Time was only forty-two seconds.

In her last bout, Tiffany Junot fought an alarmingly determined Kimberly Connor to a draw. To get back on the winning track, she was given Jessica Grimes. Grimes had one victory on her ledger, but one wonders how bad that opponent must have been, for she showed less than novice ability. She bounced on her toes holding her hands high like a street fighter.

Junot (7-2-1, 5 KO) was not amused. She pushed Grimes (1-1, 1 KO) into the corner and nailed her with punch after punch, to the point that Grimes turned around and referee Robert Gonzales saved her from a fatal beating. Fifty-one seconds was all it took.

Jimmy Guzman and Edwin Solis faced off in a battle of very young welterweight prospects. It was Guzman’s first bout and Solis’s second.

Solis (1-1, 1 KO) used his height advantage in the first, peppering Guzman (1-0) with jabs followed with the occasional right cross.

In the second, Guzman began to make headway, moving his head on the way in and landing some damaging blows. This pattern continued in the third and the fourth, as he landed some crunching punches to Solis’s skull, but his opponent showed no quit and kept trying. Guzman won the unanimous decision, 40-36 on all three cards.

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