Mashantucket, Conn. – Former Olympian Lawrence Clay-Bey, 21-3-1 (16 KOs), Bloomfield, Conn., 258, managed to eke out a hard-fought ten round draw with scrappy southpaw Derek Bryant, 18-4-1 (15 KOs), Philadelphia, 212, at Foxwoods as the headliner of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
Clay-Bey, clearly overweight and unable to fight with consistency, was nevertheless able to fight in spurts that allowed him to steal rounds from the more active, though light-punching, Bryant.
Bryant threw and landed more punches but was unable hurt Clay-Bey despite numerous opportunities.
The early rounds went to Clay-Bey as his crisp punching, including solid body shots, were more damaging than Bryant’s return fire.
Bryant came on in the middle rounds, often delivering dozens of unanswered punches, but never appearing to hurt the resting Clay-Bey. In fact Bryant joined him in resting for significant portions of rounds when it was obvious that Clay-Bey could not have kept up the pace had Bryant continued to work.
Clay-Bey’s corner exhorted him to continue at the end of round seven when he appeared ready to call it a day. He summoned what he had left and closed by capturing the final two rounds and saving himself from what would have been a sure loss.
Scoring was 96-94 Clay-Bey, 95-95, and 95-95. The Sweet Science scored the bout 95-95.
Lenord Pierre, 17-1 (12 KOs), Catskills, NY, 159½, stopped Les Ralston, 15-2 (9 KOs), Buffalo, NY, 161½, in the sixth and final round of their bout. Both fighters were wide open to virtually any shot thrown by the other. Pierre was ahead at the time of the stoppage.
Delvin Rodriguez, 16-1-1 (9 KOs), Danbury, Conn., 146, scored a thunderous first round knockout of Luther Smith, 22-4-2 (12 KOs), Washington, D.C. 147. A flurry of sharp punches sent Smith to the deck face first where he remained for several minutes. He was taken from the ring on a stretcher. Time of the knockout was 2:59.