August 12, 2008

  Simmsí greatest hits collection tops McFail

It was exactly what Travis Simms hoped it would be.

After a tumultuous year outside the ring, the two-time former WBA light middleweight champion scored a unanimous decision against journeyman Mike McFail on Saturday night at the Radisson on Bush River Road.

"This is all I wanted. I needed to get some rounds," Simms said. "I was looking for rounds and (McFail) is a durable guy. I could have knocked him out, but I needed to get in my work."

McFail won the crowd to his side during the six-round bout by occasionally landing a loud hook, but Simms never was hurt and he offered McFail little more than a steely expression. Simms methodically worked through his entire repertoire and easily outpointed McFail in each round, winning the three judges' scorecards, 60-55, 60-54 and 59-55.

"I was hitting the guy with everything," Simms said. "He hung in there, which was good. Boxing needs guys like him. I could have knocked him out right away but that wouldn't really matter that much for my record and it probably would have made the crowd boo me out of the place."

With Saturday's bout, Simms (26-1) officially launched his post-Don King career. He has another fight on Aug. 29 in Philadelphia before a Showtime date in November.

"I think we gave the folks of Columbia a good fight and I'm looking forward to coming back," Simms said.

On the six-bout undercard:

Forgive light heavyweight Robert Dunton for waiting so long to throw an uppercut. He was landing his combos with such ease against Walter Cole that it probably didn't occur to him to deliver the knockout blow. Dunton finally threw the uppercut at the 2:20 mark of the first round for a technical knockout. 

The hardest punch thrown on the undercard belonged to a female.

 In just her second professional fight, Rachel Clark obliterated previously unbeaten Lisa Bolen with a straight right hand, stopping the fight in 91 seconds with a TKO.

Also making his second professional appearance was West Columbia featherweight Darryl Watson. The mixed martial arts aficionado pounded Sylvester Beard with everything except leg kicks in recording a first-round TKO.

The heavyweight bout also ended in a first-round TKO with Jackie Saye ruining Nathaniel Brunson's professional debut.

Mike Rayner's devastating left hook ended his super middleweight fight against Vincent Robbins with a TKO at the 2:11 mark of the first round.

In the only bout to go the distance on the undercard, Juan Aguirre scored a unanimous decision in a well-fought duel with Terry Cade.
Thanks to Simms' presence, Saturday was the most important night of boxing in Columbia since the late 1980s and marked the state's return to the big-time boxing scene. The event was first in a relationship between Palmetto Boxing Promotions and the Radisson.
Reach Obley at (803) 771-8473.




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