June 27, 2006

South Carolina's boxing scene got a much needed shot in the arm tonight at The Jamil Shrine Temple in Columbia, S.C.   As S.C. based Promoter Andrew Stokes and company at Palmetto Boxing with the help of boxing magnate Billy Stanick, put on an excellent professional fight card with over a 1000 in attendance entitled Summer Showdown, with the added attraction of many top-ranked fighters in attendance. Including: WBA 154lb CHAMP Travis Simms, Current WBO WELTERWEIGHT CHAMP Paul Williams (Fresh off his big win on HBO AFTER DARK), THE REAL IBA CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION local hero SHELBY GROSS, Current IBA Continental Light Heavyweight Champion Berry Butler, and more.  Championship Trainers in action such as:  Dominic Robinson-Neal, Nirmal Lorick (Luis Collazo's Trainer), Coach Selwyn Doughty, and George Peterson(Paul Williams) among others.  And there were plenty of characters from the southern circuit as well!  There was an amazing number of fights 12 in all.  VERY competitive matchups for the most part, with many hard fought distance fights and some upsets along the way.                                                                                                                                         The Southern boxing circuit has needed a jumpstart lately and I think they are off to a good start here!    In the opening bout of the evening York, S.C.'s Josh Green used his size and power to control his limited but game opponent for a (4 round dec. win) in his debut. He was virtually untouched and appeared to possibly carry his opponent to gain valuable experience. He fought a very intelligent fight and has definite potential.   Light heavyweight Robert Dunton from Palmetto Boxing won by exciting KO, seizing his opportunity in the 1st round against a fairly solid opponent, with (I believe) a big right hand that sent his man flying into and through the ropes where he was counted out!! His vocal fans appeared to have added to his confidence and energy level.

While he showed great power and explosiveness, he needs to continue his commitment to the basics due to his lack of amateur experience. But that is the way to start your pro career! Robert, who has been working hard in the gym during the last year has improved greatly in a short time with Coach Dominic. ( If you want to get in shape, and I mean top shape, Dominic is your man.) Contact me to get his information or contact Palmetto Boxing and Fitness (803-691-4761). 

Another Palmetto Boxing fighter in his pro debut,  Kenrick "KO" Watkins looked very controlled and professional tonight in winning a 4 Round Decision. With a tight defense and good power shots he used a balanced attack to weaken his opponent, who came to fight and withstood Watkin's heavy shots. While I would have liked to see more left hooks to the body from "KO", he understandably didn't want to take any unnecessary chances against his shorter opponent. Kenrick had his man going a few times but tired a little in the end. Overall a good solid win in a professional debut for another crowd favorite.  

In the upset tonight Columbia's Steve Sawyer was in tough with Allen Prescott. Sawyer came out strong but appeared to tire from a busy pace and unexplained fatigue but showed a tremendous amount of  heart and will in nearly pulling out a close decision. He suffered a knockdown, while he fought his heart out in a back and forth battle that had the crowd ON THEIR FEET CHEERING!!  With Prescott winning the decision in 4 Rounds due to the final round knockdown. Steve should have no shame in a gallant effort and all credit to his opponent Prescott (who reportedly suffered a broken jaw).     

Former S.C. female amateur standout Karla Sweat-Mazone got her professional career off and running with an intimidating and aggressive start, which had her opponent quickly rethinking a career in boxing. (TKO-1) for Karla. Look for more exiting things from Karla in the future as she looks to make her mark in the world of women’s boxing. 

The Brooks Brothers out of White Rock Boxing Gym, looked to get back on the winning track after short notice losses on a Winky Wright promoted card down in Florida.  Marcus and Johnny both got wins in their fights and showed developing skills despite having to fight late in the night, as the card was full of fights! 

Overall a smooth night of boxing with no serious injuries, beyond a busted eardrum suffered  by Steve Sawyer's opponent Allen Prescott.   BIG BOXING NEWS on this night was the RETURN of Jaidon Codrington, a NEW YORK fighter on the comeback trail after a devastating KO defeat in his first loss after a 9-0 9ko's start to his career. He showed no visible effects from the loss to Allan Green 20-0. He showed patience and solid offense as he landed heavy shots on Hickory N.C.'s road warrior Tough Robert Marsh, a real character on the boxing scene. Robert will fight any time, anywhere, and against anybody! (From 168-200lbs) He hung tough and gave a gutsy performance and landed the occasional sneaky shot including a solid right hand that appeared to wobble Codrington a bit.

Most fighters would not stand up to Jaidon's shots and Marsh gets high marks in going the distance, which NO ONE has done with the well-regarded prospect Codrington.  (MORE FIGHT REVIEWS TO COME FROM THE REST OF THE FIGHT CARD.  A solid night of fights with a diverse crowd in the high hundreds at least (official numbers to follow).  Andrew Stokes has shown that southern boxing can be presented in big time style and the knowledgeable boxing fans will tell you that there were some of the top names in the sport in attendance, and possible FUTURE STARS from right here in SC!  Even some of the young amateur stars were on hand to give demonstrations including SC youth boxers, De'Andre Robinson-Neal, Timothy Hunter and Touree Stokes!!  If tonight was any indication of things to come, I'm looking forward to Palmetto Boxing's future promotions!  Great job fellas....and LADIES!!.

P.S. One notable character at the fights was Trainer/Fighter Danny Wofford, who was working the corner for several fighters and they all put in solid showings. Check out Danny's record at as it contains fights with a who's who of the Heavyweight division over the last 15 years, albeit most of them decision losses. Meeting this guy was a treat for me because, like Robert Marsh, he is the kind of fighter that boxing forgets but needs, to test the skills of the many young prospects they have faced through the years. My hat goes off to these guys, and as I said to Danny: "Somebody had to do it" to which he laughed......And the same goes for Andrew Stokes and team who are making an honest attempt at taking South Carolina Boxing into the 21st Century!





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