In a bout marred by injuries, Jimmy Lange (27-3-2), former star of The Contender, and Fontaine Cabell (21-6-2) came away with a draw in their WBC Continental Americas Light Middleweight title bout in Fairfax, Virginia. For Lange, it is a misstep on his quest to become a title contender. For Cabell, loser of his previous three bouts, the fight is a call for respect.
“I hope you guys will look at me after this performance and have a little more respect if you didn’t already before,” said Cabell. “I fought my heart out.”
Lange came into the bout with Angelo Dundee, Buddy McGirt, and Tommy Gallagher in his corner. He was coming off a 10th-round knockout of Thomas Wilt. Coincidentally, Cabell’s last win was a majority decision over Wilt.
Both fighters started the bout tentatively with Lange occasionally firing his jab with minimal success and Cabell throwing power shots with no success.
Round two would set the tone for the rest of the fight. Both fighters came out throwing bombs and fighting inside. In the melee of those exchanges, both fighters injured their right hands. When exactly that happened remains unclear, even to Lange.
“Maybe we hit each other’s hands,” he joked.
Also in the second round, an accidental Cabell headbutt during an entanglement opened a cut on the left side of Lange’s head. By the middle of the round, a stream of blood ran down the side of his face. Fortunately for Lange, cutman Jimmy Glenn was able to close the wound.
“As far as I am concerned, Jimmy Glenn is magic,” said Lange. “I wasn’t even sure if it was a cut. I saw some blood, but that’s boxing. That’s nothing.”
From then on, the bout was often a tale of two jabs. Lange landed his jab with ease throughout good portions of the fight, keeping Cabell at bay and off balance. However, he was never able to follow through with his right, and it allowed Cabell to come back with solitary shots of his own. Rounds six through eight belonged to Cabell, who despite the lack of combinations, was able to land two clean left hooks in round six, a rare right in the seventh, and a plethora of jabs in the eighth.
Lange responded in the tenth, landing a vicious right that sent Cabell into the corner and regularly landing his jab throughout the bout. He managed to keep Cabell at bay for most of the 11th, but Cabell was able to break through midway through the round and land a flurry of punches.
Both fighters stuck and moved early in the 12th round, before Lange began to continuously charge. He would swarm in and land body shots until Cabell would break away. However, Cabell was able to sidestep one of Lange’s rushes and counter with an overhand right. The bout ended with Lange pressing forward.
“That 12th round, [Lange] came out like a true warrior,” said Cabell. “I think if I had worked harder, I probably would have gotten decision but Jimmy Lange worked hard that last round with the crowd behind him.”
Exactly who won every other round except the 12th is debatable. Judge Greg Coleman scored the bout 117-111 in favor of Lange, Judge Phil Kornberg called it 116-112 for Cabell, and Judge Vaughn LaPrade tallied it 114-114.
“We’re all human. To err is human,” said Dundee. “There were a couple of human people out there last night. What are you going to do? This is boxing.”
Both fighters say they are very open to a rematch.
“It was a hell of a fight,” said Lange. “I’d love to do it again.”
On the undercard, former WBO Cruiserweight champion Boone Pultz (25-1) won a unanimous decision over Alonzo Cutchin (7-15). Pultz had reentered the ring as a heavyweight at the age of 47 after an 11-year absence. The fight featured a great deal of clinching as Pultz would find himself entangled with Cutchin every time he would fight inside. The muddling and hugging was so bad in the second round that each fighter bull-rushed the other to the canvas. However, of the landed punches, Pultz threw an overwhelming majority of them. The final scorecards read 59-55, 60-54, and 60-54, all in favor of Pultz. It was no shock to anyone, including Pultz, that his return was a bit sluggish.
“I’m at least six months away from being in great shape,” said Pultz. “But it’s a process. It takes time. If you wait to get in shape, it may never happen. But you can fight your way to shape.”
Pultz said he had only spent about three weeks in the gym before facing Cutchin. He plans to return to the ring in late January of next year.
In the co-main event, light welterweight Dean White (14-5-1) bested Dorin Spivey (34-5) by unanimous decision in a brutal rematch. The two first faced each other in 1998, with Spivey scoring a seventh-round stoppage. In the meantime, White took a five year layoff from boxing before returning to the ring in 2005. Their rematch featured plenty of brawling flurries of punches for eight straight rounds, but White, a southpaw, consistently landed straight shots throughout the fight. The intensity of the bout earned both fighters a standing ovation when the final bell sounded. In the end, the judges all scored the bout 77-75 in favor of White.
Also on the card, junior welterweight Andrew Farmer (4-1) suffered the first blemish of his career, losing a majority decision to Ken Humphrey (3-2). Farmer easily won the first two rounds, but his fortunes changed when Humphrey decked him in the third.
Junior welterweight Jaime Palma (10-10) scored a split decision victory over Reggie Sanders (12-37-4) and light heavyweight Reggie LeCrete improved his record to 2-0 with a decision over William Bailey (5-12-2).
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?