Sal Musumeci's Final Forum and matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz brought boxing to Brooklyn’s Russian émigré community in Brighton Beach Saturday night. The seven bout card played to a houseful of Slavs at the Atlantic Oceana. They were eating blintzes and drinking vodka, but they were there for the fights.
The first bout of the night featured Nimrod Koren (9-1-1), aka The Jewish Kid, hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, against Terry “2 Sweet” Johnson (5-9 1 KO), fighting out of Dayton, Ohio, in a six round welterweight contest. Johnson landed first, but he was slow. Koren, however, was even slower. He wouldn’t let his hands go, so Johnson landed a combination and trapped Koren on the ropes. The first round went to Johnson 10-9. The second round was a repeat of the first – while it lasted. Johnson continued to beat Koren to the punch, whose loping, slo-mo punches missed the mark. Johnson caught Koren with a big left hook that had him reeling. The referee Pat Sullivan stepped in and stopped it at 1:19 of the second. Terry “2 Sweet” Johnson got a TKO win against The Jewish Kid from Tel Aviv.
Bout two was a competitive four-rounder between light heavyweights. Brooklyn’s own Jason Quick (4-0-1 3 KOs), fighting out of the red corner, got it on with William Santiago (2-1-1 1 KO) from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, fighting out of the blue. Both men landed at the opening bell in a devil-may-care free-for-all. Santiago did damage first. Then it was Quick’s turn to hurt Santiago. Quick won the first round10-9, based more on style than on substance. He got off first in the second, but Santiago countered. Quick landed a right to Santiago’s face and his left eye began to swell. Another 10-9 round for Quick. Santiago controlled the action in round three. His left found a home on the mug of Quick. Santiago 10-9. Both men went for the kill in the fourth and final round and Santiago had Quick on Queer Street, but the Brooklyn Brawler made it to the end of the round and the end of the fight. All three judges scored it 38-38.
Fight three was a scheduled eight round shootout between welterweights. From Haifa, Israel, Merhav “The Sergeant” Mohar (12-1 5 KOs), wearing camouflage trunks, met Mike Dobbs (9-12 7 KOs), wearing black trimmed with red and fighting out of his hometown of Oklahoma City. Dobbs landed first with a nice straight jab, but a Mohar combination sent Dobbs into the ropes. He recovered and the men resumed boxing. The Israeli found the range and knocked the Oklahoman down, once, twice, three times in rapid succession. The 3-knockdown rule was in effect. The Sergeant from Haifa scored a technical knockout at 2:31 of the first round over the cowboy from Oklahoma.
The fourth fight was a four round clash between New York heavyweights, featuring Derric Rossy (2-0 2 KOs), wearing red trunks with white trim and hailing from Medford, versus Ruben Bracero (2-2 1 KO), wearing red trunks and visiting Brooklyn from the Bronx. Bracero was flabby, punched wide, but was in Brighton Beach looking for a fight. Rossy was in shape, punched clean, and was happy to oblige. A barrage of punches in the first round put Bracero down. He beat the count and was saved by the bell. A 10-8 round for Rossy. Bracero was holding and hitting in round two. Rossy landed everything but the kitchen sink, which Bracero absorbed like a sponge, but to his credit he fired back. Rossy caught Bracero at the end of the round and almost put him down again. A 10-9 round for Rossy. Round three was all Rossy. His lefts and rights punched the fight right out of Bracero. Rossy won the round 10-9. Rossy owned the fourth and final round. Rossy has talent, but he is a work in progress, very raw and rough around the edges. The judges scored it 40-35, 40-35 and 40-34 for Rossy.
The evening’s fifth fight was for the WBC Fecarbox Heavyweight Title. Timor Ibragimov (16-0-1 10 KOs) from Uzbekistan, battled William Douglas (10-3 8 KOs) from Columbus, Ohio, in a twelve round slugfest. Billy Douglas is the younger brother of former heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas, so Billy’s got a fine bloodline. He is, however, not in shape, which is a pity, because the man has potential. Ibragimov dominated Douglas in the first five rounds. Billy was in the fight, but just barely. He turned things around in round six. Douglas landed a big right which rocked Ibragimov. To the surprise of everyone, a fight broke out at the Atlantic Oceana. Douglas won the round 10-9. The Ohioan won the seventh and eighth, stalking the Uzbek, who seemed either hurt or very tired, landing combinations to the face and body when he caught him. Ibragimov turned things around when he stunned Douglas with a big right in the ninth. The tenth could have gone either way, with Douglas having the edge. Ibragimov won the eleventh and twelfth rounds and it went to the scorecards. The judges scored it 117-111, 117-111 and 119-108 for Ibragimov.
The next bout spotlighted John Duddy (7-0 7 KOs), the kayo artist from County Derry, Ireland, wearing green trimmed with gold, versus Glenn Dunnings (3-1 2 KOs), wearing white trunks and boxing out of Cleveland, in a middleweight six-rounder. Dunnings out-slicked Duddy to win the first round 10-9. Dunnings’ speed and skills were too much for John Duddy. But that was about to change. Duddy went swinging for the fences in round two and sometimes his shots hit home. A 10-9 round for Duddy. Dunning boxed and Duddy rumbled in round three. Duddy landed body shots to try to slow his man down. Then Duddy landed hooks to try to knock him down. With Dunnings bleeding from the nose, Duddy won the third 10-9. Duddy went for broke in round four. He was less a pugilist in the squared circle than an animal in the wild. The ref deducted a point from the Irishman for hitting behind the head. A 9-9 round. John Duddy let it all hang out in the fifth. He swung and missed. He swung and landed. Dunnings hit the deck. The ref waved it off at 1:29 of the fifth round. The Derry Destroyer won by technical knockout.
The final fight of the night was for the WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title. Sultan Ibragimov (14-0 12 KOs) from Machachala, Russia met James “Hurricane” Walton (19-6-2 10 KOs) from Cleveland, Ohio in a scheduled twelve round fight. Ibragimov was wearing white trunks trimmed with red and fighting out of the red corner. Walton, in the blue corner, had gold trunks trimmed with black. Ibragimov, the southpaw, is built like a tank, but he has no right jab, leads with his straight left, and uses his hook to finish combinations. Ibragimov plowed through and won the first round 10-9. Round two was a mess, made even messier by an intentional Ibragimov low blow which sent Walton crashing through the ropes. The referee deducted two points for the infraction, giving Walton a 9-8 round. The Russian won the next four rounds without much resistance. Walton was bleeding from his nose. He had a cut above his left eye. He was limping. He kept getting tangled in the ropes. At the end of the sixth, the ref waved it off. An Ibragimov win via TKO over the Hurricane from Cleveland.
The crowd in the Atlantic Oceana exploded with cheers - because the Russian won, and because it was, after all, a night at the fights.