Unbeaten S.C. fighter Chris ‘The Irish Ghost’ Fitzpatrick
headlines ‘Undisputed’ with dominating performance, unanimous decision victory

By MIKE ROSIER/Morris News Service
Photos: Scott Matthews
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  COLUMBIA – Chris Fitzpatrick’s seventh professional opponent brought his mouth and plenty of taunts into the ring, but it was “The Irish Ghost” who brought the heat.

Headlining his first professional fight card for Palmetto Boxing Promotions in Columbia on Saturday night at the Radisson, Fitzpatrick put on a boxing clinic for six dominating rounds in earning a unanimous decision victory over former amateur rival Torrence King.

Fitzpatrick (7-0) stuck to his corner’s game plan – consistent work and constant pressure while looking for openings for his power shots – utilized superior footwork and movement to position King wherever he wanted in the ring, pushing him back into the ropes with an accurate jab before punishing him to the body with damaging hooks.

If anything, Fitzpatrick had to withhold some of his aggression and desire to brawl in order to maintain his concentration. As King, (2-3) fighting out of Akron, Ohio, kept talking and taunting, the sold out home crowd kept spurring the Columbia fighter to seek the knockout.

But that wasn’t part of Fitzpatrick’s fight plan, even though he was able to drop King in the third round after a smart hybrid left upper cut caught his former amateur rival flush.

“I definitely wanted to do it (knock King out), but my coach kept that in my mind about staying with the plan so that’s what we did,” Fitzpatrick, a middleweight, said. “He wanted me to go out there and box and look for my spots (for power) so that’s what I did.”

Fitzpatrick’s trainer, Dom Robinson, said he knew King was not a likely knockout candidate.

“He’s a durable guy and he took some shots, but that’s what we wanted for Chris, a tough, durable guy,” said Robinson of King. “We knew this was a guy who we probably weren’t going to knock out, so I wanted Chris to box him and he did an excellent job of that.”

King rarely threw punches in combination as he retreated for much of the fight.

In the first five rounds, he seemed to be content with laying on the ropes, seemingly hoping that Fitzpatrick would tire later in the fight. But while “The Irish Ghost” did see his work rate decline a bit in rounds four and five, King was only able to take advantage in spots.

And while those punches were able to bruise and swell the area just below Fitzpatrick’s left eye a bit, for the majority of the fight it was the home fighter’s footwork and angles that lived up to his ghostly moniker – leaving the Akron fighter with very little to target or hit.

“He couldn’t hit me because I was moving too much for him and he couldn’t see anything to land,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was a great crowd tonight, these are beautiful fight fans.”

Robinson said Fitzpatrick would be back in the gym on Monday.

“Chris has a lot of potential so we’re going to stay in the gym and stay ready to fight,” he said. “We’ll keep working and start looking for something else.”

“There’s no slacking off in the gym,” added Fitzpatrick.

Two other South Carolina fighters also put on stirring shows for the home crowd.
Noted amateur fighter Jared “The Quiet Storm” Robinson, of Sumter, made his professional debut in spectacular fashion with a knockout of Shaun Piles of North Carolina just 14 seconds into the fight, while female fighter Angel “Non-Stop” Gladney of Columbia made her opponent from Arkansas quit on her stool after just a single round of action.

While his opponent was slinging wild punches from every possible angle immediately after the opening bell, Robinson instead calculated his distance and unloaded a left hook that exploded on Piles’ chin, knocking him cold and rolling his eyes back even before his body slammed into the canvas. Piles remained down for several minutes recovering from the blow, but he would eventually rise to his feet and be declared okay.

Gladney, meanwhile, spent her round forcing Nikita McCargo into the corner and pounding her with various shots. She then stood and implored her opponent to keep fighting, which McCargo was not inclined to do, earning plenty of boos from the pro-Gladney crowd.

In the first bout of the evening’s 11 fights to eclipse the first round, 135-pound South Carolinians Darryl “Rampage” Watson and Jonathan “2 Gunz” Hernandez put on three rounds of steady action with Hernandez earning his first professional victory after Watson’s corner threw in the towel following a pair of knockdowns.

Hernandez saw his consistent work to the body – though several shots did drift below the belt line, for which referee Mark Campbell docked him one point – pay off in the final round of the fight. As he caused damage to the body, opportunities for offense opened upstairs as well and Hernandez connected with well-timed power shots to drop Watson twice.

And after the second knockdown, Watson’s corner had seen enough.

FIGHT NIGHT NOTES: Torrence King, for all of his pre-fight talk and aggressive body language before and during Saturday night’s main event (even choosing to fight minus his trunks, a set of faux fur pelts which referee Mark Campbell made him remove due to excessive shedding on the ring canvas) brought very little action where it counted, in the ring with his fists … Jared Robinson’s dramatic KO of Shaun Piles will have fans clamoring for tickets to his next fight … Aiken’s own Paul Williams, who is currently in talks for a future bout with either middleweight king Kelly Pavlik, or Pavlik’s lone conqueror, legend Bernard Hopkins, was on hand and signing autographs for the fans … boxing twins “Tremendous” Travis Simms and Thomas Simms were also on hand and made a special appearance for the capacity crowd … Virginia-based middleweight Jeremiah Wiggins cast an imposing physical figure, and he has Paul Williams trainer George Peterson in his corner helping out his longtime trainer Gloria Peek … All five of the featured fighters from New York were in terrific shape and won their fights in convincing fashion – MR




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