UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The Long-Nigerian Nightmare is over.
Samuel Peter required just two minutes and 35 seconds to dispose of gangly Michigan giant Julius Long in the main event of Duva Boxing’s five-bout card at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The overmatched Long had already been down once when Peter smashed him with a left-right combination in the third minute of the fight. The 7-foot (allegedly) opponent hit the ropes with such force that he shot back off them like he was bouncing from a trampoline. Unfortunately for Long, the slingshot effect propelled him straight into the path of the right hand Peter had dispatched toward his head, effectively doubling the force of the blow.
Long went down as if he had been whacked with a sledgehammer, and lay motionless on the canvas. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waved it off without a count, but he could have counted to 100. When Long revived a few minutes later, he found himself staring up into the faces of several anxious doctors.
Peter had his way from the outset, with Long offering virtually no resistance. Shortly after the bell, Peter landed a left hook followed by a crisp right that left Long as bandy-legged as a freshly-whelped giraffe.
Julius might not be quite as tall as advertised, but he (like Wladimir Klitschko) is still big enough that Samuel Peter by rights ought to need a stepladder to hit him on the top of the head. The overhand right with which Peter scored the first knockdown did just that, abetted somewhat by the fact that Long was by then crouching – no, make that cowering – along the ropes when he unloaded it, thereby shortening the distance to the canvas.
Long took Mercante’s count on one knee on that occasion, but the end wasn’t long in coming.
For Peter, now 26-2, it was the second straight win since suffering his first career defeat to Klitschko last September, a fight in which he knocked down the recently-crowned IBF champion three times yet still lost convincingly.
Peter said after last night’s short workout that he had “learned a lot” in his twelve rounds with Wladimir.
“It was not my time,” said Peter. “Now it is my time. I will destroy Klitschko the same way I destroyed (Long) tonight.”
So what’s next, Nightmare?
“Anybody, anybody, anybody,” said Peter, by which he actually meant “any Russian with a belt.
“I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world,” he proclaimed.
When it was suggested that he had displayed uncharacteristic early aggression in this one, Peter replied “That was the game plan. You must be aggressive. If you want a knockout, you go after it, even if someone has a knife.”
Julius Long, who didn’t have a knife but probably wishes he had, fell to 14-8.
Going into his appearance in the Friday Night Fights co-feature, promoter Dino Duva had said “Brian Minto is ready for all the top heavyweights,” but there were times in this one when it appeared that Brian Minto might not even be ready for Billy Zumbrun.
After eating a steady diet of jabs over the first two rounds, the game Zumbrun (19-7-1) began to catch Minto with counterpunches and combinations that had the Pennsylvanian reeling, but from the midpoint on, Minto settled down, started to box again, and reestablished his dominance. (While Zumbrun proved to be for the most part a shifty boxer, he seems utterly incapable of eluding a jab thrown right at his mustache.)
Quite late in the seventh Minto staggered Zumbrun with a big left hook that sent him wobbling back to the corner, and once the bell rang to begin the eighth it was apparent that Billy the Kid hadn’t even come close to recovering from the damage. The final three minutes were so utterly one-sided that referee Johnny Callas would have been justified in stopping it at any time, but, remarkably, not one of the three judges scored it a 10-8 round.
Steve Epstein scored the fight 79-72, Clark Sammartino 79-73, and George DeGabriel 78-74, all for Minto, who is now 24-1.
Since Carlos Vinan and Kevin Carmody had engaged in a total of 17 professional bouts and between them accumulated one aggregate knockout, the safest bet in the house was that their six-round curtain-raiser would go the distance. On the other hand, few would have predicted that Carmody would be the upset victor – even after the fight was over.
Carmody (6-6-1) appeared to have solved Vinan (5-2) two rounds into the bout, although from the fourth on he was pawing at a cut above his right eye.
Carmody went tumbling heavily to the canvas a minute into the sixth, but Mercante, noting that there had been skullduggery afoot (Vinan appeared to stomp on Carmody’s foot as he shoved him over backwards, a nifty trick if you can get away with it, which he didn’t), immediately waved off the knockdown.
Later in the final stanza, a Vinan punch dislodged Carmody’s mouthpiece, but the Philadelphia journeyman hung on to prevail on the cards of judges Epstein (59-55) and Dick Flaherty (58-56). DeGabriel scored it at 57-all as the decision went to Carmody by majority decision.
We’re not certain that Dan Whetzel even threw a punch, much less landed one, in the two minutes he lasted against Mike Marrone. Marrone, Duva’s 20 year-old heavyweight from Vero Beach, Fla., took target practice against the hapless Whetzel (7-6-1) until Ken Izzo had seen enough and stopped it at 1:00 of the first.
In the walkout bout, undefeated Philadelphian Lajuan Simon and Youngstown (Ohio) spoiler Darnell Boone battled to a draw, with the judges splitting three ways on the issue. DeGabriel had it even at 57-57, Sammartino scored it 58-56 for Simon, and Mario DiFiore favored Boone by the same score. Simon is now 13-0-2, Boone 10-5-2.
* * *
MOHEGAN SUN ARENA
APRIL 28, 2006
HEAVYWEIGHTS: Samuel Peter, 256½, Akwaibom, Nigeria KO’d Julius Long, 251, Romulus, Mich. (1) (Wins NABF title)
Mike Marrone, 222½, Vero Beach, Fla. TKO’d Dan Whetzel, 225, Toledo, Oh. (1)
Brian Minto, 220, Butler, Pa. dec. Billy Zumbrun, 229¾, Ogden, Utah (8)
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Lajuan Simon, 163½, Philadelphia drew with Darnell Boone, 163½, Youngstown, Oh. (6)
LIGHTWEIGHTS: Kevin Carmody, 133½, Philadelphia, dec. Carlos Vinan, 132¾, Newark, NJ (6)
Who Should Floyd Mayweather fight next: