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MARCH 27, 2007

  2007 Southeast Coast Region Tournament of Champions -Fight Synopsis
by Daniel Terrill
March 27, 2007

The 2007 Southeast Coast Region Tournament of Champions took place at the Margarette H. Miller Cosmetology Center in Columbia, SC, where 39 fighters competed to earn a spot on the Southeast Coast Regional Team and advance to the USA Boxing National Championship in Colorado Springs, CO, where they will box for a place on the 2008 Olympic boxing team.

Eleven men and two women will represent a region consisting of the Florida Association, Florida Gold Coast Association, Georgia Association, North Carolina Association and South Carolina Association.

The bouts were organized by weight class and were randomly matched by a computer, so four boxers had to box three times. But amateur boxing poses different challenges than in professional. In the amateur tournaments, like this one, the bouts are four two-minute rounds as opposed to three-minute rounds. And judges award the boxer displaying more activity, technical skill, showmanship and sportsmanship rather than being the best puncher.

March 16

106 lbs: Daniel Lazono vs. Roberto Ceron

The tournament opened with the bout between Lazono, FL, and Ceron, GA and ranked 1. Lazono said this was his second time competing in an open division making his win that much greater. Lazono kept his punches going and his feet moving giving Ceron a tough time. The crowd cheered and shouted suggestions at the boxers. After an exciting bout the judges decided Lazono should advance to the National tournament. 

119 lbs: Zachelus Watkins vs. Jessy Cruz

After the judges announced Cruz’s, FGC, win by decision against Watkins, GA and ranked 6, the boxers congratulated each other and left the ring together with the audience waiting to shake their hands and tell them, “good job champ.”  

125 lbs: Darrel Harris vs. Richard Rivers

       Rivers, NC, won by decision against Harris, FL. The boxers slugged it out throwing hooks, but saved enough energy to finish the last round. The judges thought Rivers just had that much more and gave him the win.

132 lbs: Jose Perez vs. David Hamby

            Hamby, FL, danced in the ring while dropping his guard and showboating, but Perez, FGC, stayed near him and wrestled him, at times, to keep the bout going. The boxers closed-in on each other and, to the audience, two bodies tangled in each other’s arms moved around the ring. They kept the fight on the inside throwing short punches, mostly hooks and uppercuts without tiring. In the end Perez was given the win as he bowed to the audience.

138 lbs: Christina Swanson vs. Isihka Lay

The fifth bout of the night involved Swanson, FGC and ranked 3, and Lay, FL, and was the only female bout. Swanson relied on her aggressive forward movement to control the bout and keep Lay moving. Following their coach’s advice, as it was shouted from the corners, both boxers kept their hands going. In the end Swanson took the win and advanced to the nationals.

141 lbs: Brad Solomon vs. Alan Knight

In the sixth bout Solomon, GA and ranked 3, stood a head taller than Knight, FL. Knight tried smothering Solomon’s punches, but Solomon danced too much for any close fighting. In the fourth, Solomon waited periodically with his back near the ropes inviting Knight to throw as the small crowd of family and friends cheered for them. Solomon took the win.

152 lbs: Malcolm Stemphill vs. Marcus Willis

The seventh bout involved two very talented boxers Stemphill, FGC, and Willis, FL. They spent the night catching each other with left-hooks, but Willis constantly invaded his space. He’d slide in Stemphill’s zone to land short combinations and then move his head away before any retaliation. The announcer called it “a war,” however the judges saw it in Willis’ favor.

 165 lbs: Coy Lambert vs. Lamar Russ

The eighth bout ended during the first round after Russ, NC, landed a combination of body shots on Lambert, SC. Shortly after the 8-count, Russ opened with a straight-right directly to Lambert’s sternum sending him to the floor. 

178 lbs: Robert Campbell vs. Ibaheim King

The first round of the ninth bout started slow with Campbell, FL, and King, FGC, taking their time circling each other. During the bout they both picked their shots, and threw hard. The intensity increased as the fighters lunged in with left-hooks and straight-rights. “Don’t let him rest,” their corners yelled. Then Campbell caught King with a right to the body, but King complemented his scorecard by landing shots that staggered Campbell and giving him the win.

201 lbs: Aleco Lawton vs. James Jenkins

The tenth bout started fast, but slowed after the second round. Lawton, FL, and Jenkins, GA, kept an inconsistent tempo in rounds one and two with an on-and-off slug fest. The third round showed two tired boxers throw few punches and the result was Lawton advancing to the nationals.

201+ lbs: Lenroy Thompson vs. John McDermott

During the last bout of the night Thompson, FL, and McDermott, GA, battled it out with a consistent and inconsistent styles. The larger McDermott followed aggressively to Thompson’s swift movements. The audience seemed shocked when McDermott got an 8-count early on and they chuckled when Thompson slipped and fell through the ropes. Entering the third round both fighters received heavy criticism because McDermott moved slower and slower and Thompson just danced and jabbed while occasionally throwing a straight-right. In the fourth McDermott threw heavy and wild shots, but it was Thompson’s steady movements that sent him to the next round.

March 17

141 lbs: Kendrick Baker vs. Jared Robinson

            The crowd cheered for the SC native Robinson when he fought Baker, FGC, in the first bout of the night. The first round both fighters threw strong combinations and when single shots were thrown the crowd shouted, “punch-in-combinations.” Robinson kept Baker moving and at times pinned him against the ropes. Then in the fourth round Baker punched at every angle keeping Robinson in the center. The smacking noise of punches landing against a body was heard over the crowd. Unfortunately after a hard fight only one fighter can advance and it was Robinson.

 141 lbs: Quinntrial Thompson vs. Brad Solomon

            Solomon, GA and ranked 3, returned the second night to face Thompson, NC, for the second bout. The first round was filled with hooks and uppercuts from both fighters. Solomon’s left hand hung low as he skillfully ducked Thompson’s punches. But it was Solomon putting his weight behind his punches that knocked Thompson down in the second round causing Thompson’s trainer to stop the fight.

 152 lbs: Timothy Andrews vs. John Williams

            The third bout involved Andrews, SC, and Williams, NC, two tall fighters who put their jabs to good use. In the first round Andrews threw lead left-hooks and Williams jabbed at the body. Moving in to the second round both boxers fought on the outside while working their jabs and using their long bodies to step in-and-out. Later Williams focused more on defense while Andrews remained active, but with deep breaths and slower movement they looked to be reserving energy for the fourth. They opened the final round with quick and heavy punches like Williams’ lead right-hook, but Andrews’ steady activity advanced him to the next round.

 152 lbs: Mark Sanders vs. Marcus Willis

            Sanders, GA, stood a head taller than Willis, FL, in the fourth bout. But height didn’t matter to Willis who jabbed setting-up a 1-2-3 plus right-hook combination and dropped left-hooks on Sanders throughout the fight. Early in the third Sanders got penalized and had to turn-up his intensity. At the end of the round Sanders got caught with heavy blows contributing to his swelling eye, which his corner worked on during the break. At the opening of the fourth Sanders sticks-and-moves trying to keep Willis away, so Willis began throwing lunging power shots. The fight ended with both fighters smothering each other’s punches and Willis winning.

 165 lbs: Jonathan Cepeda vs. Richard Grant

            The aggressive Cepeda, FGC, and Grant, FL, go at it in the fifth bout. Cepeda, at first, did everything “textbook,” he moved in-and-out, bobbed his head back and forth, and while slipping punches he’d counter with a left-hook. But in the second, Cepeda started pushing Grant where he wanted until he got penalized for it. Then to regain dominance he threw heavier punchers and landed a solid blow stopping Grant.

 165 lbs: Terry Roscoe vs. Lamar Russ

            Russ, NC, and Roscoe, GA, adapted early on to each other’s style with jabs but grew more intense near the end of the round. They both used precise technique, but the more skillful Russ worked the body and head. His corner coached him through the fight by pinpointing all Roscoe’s flaws. In the fourth, Russ picked his shots throwing mostly power punches and landed one that rocked Roscoe enough for an 8-count. Russ won for the night.

 201+ lbs: Kassim Howard vs. Alonzo Lumpkin

            Howard, FGC, and Lumpkin, SC, felt each other out in the opening round. Light on his feet, Howard moved around the ring with his back near the ropes while Lumpkin tried cutting it off. In the third, Lumpkin caught Howard with lead left-hooks, but Howard responded with his left-hook and worked his jab. Howard stepped it up in the fourth and landed harder shots. Lumpkin punched to move in. Nearing the end of the round, both fatigued fighters wrestled each other. The decision was given to Howard.

 201+ lbs: Luster Sampson vs. Lenroy Thompson

Sampson, NC, stalked Thompson, FL, as he danced around, but Thompson’s 1-2 combination kept Sampson away. In the second round, Thompson came out jabbing and it looked like his constant movement became too much for the tired Sampson. During the third round cheers of excitement were not heard, but laughter at the punishment served to Sampson. Tired of waiting and frustrated, Sampson grabbed Thompson and earned himself a warning. Almost instantly in the fourth Sampson got a standing 8-count. Waiting in the corner Thompson listens to people say, “The ref should have stopped a while ago Lenroy.” Afterwards Sampson became a punching bag, which made it an easy decision for the judges.

 150 lbs: Tiaryn Daniels vs. Rachel Clark

            Daniels, FL, and Clark, NC, began the fight slow as the two southpaw fighters circled each other. Late in the first, Clark turned it up catching Daniels with shots that backed her in to the ropes, but the bell rang. In the second round both fighters stayed in the center throwing mostly straight punches, while the third held most of the action. Clark hit Daniels with clean shots staggering her back until the ref intervened with an 8-count. Becoming more aggressive, both moved faster and threw harder, but wildly. Clark had the upper hand giving Daniels her second 8-count of the round. Clark advanced to the Colorado Springs.

 125 lbs: Johnny Narvaez vs. Richard Rivers

            Narvaez, FGC ranked 4, and Rivers, NC, moved slow in their first round, but sped up the tempo during the second with Rivers dancing around the ring with his back near the ropes and his jab going, but Narvaez slipped low and moved swiftly and at one point caught Rivers with three consecutive left-hooks. They kept each other in constant motion. At the start of the third, Rivers left his corner the aggressor, but midway through the round the tides-turned, yet, Rivers was no punching bag because he slipped shots gracefully. In the fourth they came out swinging until Rivers attempted a different approach. He grabbed Narvaez to move him, but Narvaez punched and punched until Rivers got an 8-count. Afterwards Rivers laid on the hooks, but with his quick feet and hands Narvaez gave Rivers another 8-count, which concerned the doctor. The fight ended with Rivers landing a solid right-hand, but Narvaez took the win and advanced to Colorado Springs.

 132 lbs: Jamar Saunders vs. Jose Perez

            Saunders, GA, came out the aggressor as Perez, FGC, moved, slid, and rolled punches off his body gracefully, but later traded blows with Saunders. Even though Perez came out the aggressor in the second, neither showed fatigue and the fight continued with constant energy while they moved around the ring. Even when Saunders caught Perez with a clean left-hook, Perez returned it as well as he got it, if not better, to take the win and advance to Colorado Springs.

 178 lbs: Nicholas Bray vs. Ibaheim King

            The fight really picked up at the end of the second when King, FGC, staggered Bray, GA, into the ropes, but the bell saved him. At the start of the third they brawled and moved, throwing mostly hooks. In the fourth, heavy punches thrown from both fighters gave the audience something to cheer about, but King soon controlled Bray with his punches keeping him against the ropes and in the corner. King won and advanced to Colorado Springs.

March 18

            The fighters and officials arrived before 9 a.m., the start of the end as each fighter knew this was his final chance in this tournament to advance to Colorado Springs to fight for a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team. Looking around the room with open spaces and stacked chairs, few attendants viewed the last four fights of the tournament.

 141 lbs: Jared Robinson vs. Brad Solomon

            The fight started action packed as both fighters quickly found their rhythm. Solomon, GA and ranked 3, with his long arms and legs danced while punching from the outside and Robinson, SC, shorter than Solomon, moved with his hands up and head moving. The second round reflected a great amount of skill as Solomon, with his right hand high and left under his chest, threw a long 1-2-3 combo, but Robinson fought smart. He saw the long left-hook coming, so he kept his right hand high and jabbed his way inside. Solomon kept his back near the ropes and managed not to get pinned. In the third, the fighters stayed center ring boxing very technically. As it’s all on the line, both fighters laid heavier punches on each other in the fourth, but the tempo faded after the ref penalized Solomon. The tempo slowed as Solomon moved with Robinson stuck to his chest, but Solomon eventually picked a position on the ropes to speed it up. The fight ended with Robinson throwing combos and Solomon straight punches with Solomon advancing to the nationals.

 152 lbs: Timothy Andrews vs. Marcus Willis

            Andrews, SC, and Willis, FL, fought in the center of the ring, but Willis became the aggressor of the first round. Opening the second, Andrews switched between Orthodox to Southpaw and threw many combinations leading with straight-rights, but they were fighting what looked to be Willis’ fight: with tie-ups, close fighting and short punches. Andrews tried keeping his jab on him, but Willis put his hooks in the right places positioning Andrews against the ropes. In the fourth, Andrews stayed on his toes with Willis on the outside, but it seemed to be in Willis’ rhythm. The round ended with them swinging and Willis advancing to the nationals.

 165 lbs: Jonathan Cepeda vs. Lamar Russ

            Russ, NC, had a tough first round with Cepeda, FGC, and as the taller fighter he jabbed his way around the ring and worked the angles with pivots while Cepeda brawled whenever close enough. In the second, Russ moved with his back near the ropes while Cepeda stayed the aggressor with little leg movement. Russ jabbed until Cepeda saw an opportunity to turn the fight in to a slugfest where Russ received a standing 8-count. The third continued the tempo of the second as Cepeda wrestled Russ where he wanted. Russ tried keeping his jab in Cepeda’s face, but Cepeda continued his forward-motion. The ref penalized Russ twice for holding and later disqualified him for it. Cepeda advanced to Colorado Springs.

 201+ lbs: Kassim Howard vs. Lenroy Thompson

            Thompson, FL, quickly developed his rhythm of dancing and jabbing around the ring while Howard, FGC, tried cutting it off. Attempting to break Thompson’s rhythm, Howard grunted while throwing combinations. When the round ended both fighters moved to their corner: Howard got sprayed with water while sitting, Thompson got sprayed while standing. At the bell they moved towards each other and, in an attempt to control the fight, Howard grabbed at Thompson for inside fighting causing Thompson to push, which he was penalized for, but had no intention of dumping his game plan. Thompson threw slow jabs and good straight-rights to set-up his left-hook. Therefore Howard tried to pin Thompson, but Thompson kept dancing and he soon became the aggressor by leading combinations with straight-rights and eventually pinned Howard against the ropes. Early in the last round Thompson switched to Southpaw and pinned Howard against the ropes again. They began trading blows, but Thompson appeared to control the fight and allowed Howard to come closer. With all the excitement of the coaches and the crowd cheering, their feet stayed still while they exchanged body shots for the final moments of the fight. In the end Thompson advanced to the nationals. 

Any comments, questions or concerns send via email to Andrew Stokes at drewstoks@aol.com or Daniel Terrill at dnterrill@yahoo.com.





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