SYRACUSE, N.Y. (September 4, 2009) – 2004 Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada, women’s boxing trailblazer Christy “The Coalminer’s Daughter” Martin and super middleweight prospect James McGirt, Jr. were all impressive winners last night at the “Fight Night At The Fair” show, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), in association with the New York State Fair and International Boxing Hall of Fame (IHOF), at the Mohegan Sun Grandstand in Syracuse, N.Y.
“Jason was devastating in one of his best wins,” promoter Burchfield said. “He fought a guy who, on any given night, can give any heavyweight a very tough fight. Christy looked great winning the WBC title and James McGirt also turned in a great performance.”
The Estrada-Lawrence main event featured some good, back-and-forth action. After Estrada (16-2, 4 KOs), bouncing back from a loss by decision in Germany to top-rated Alexander Povetkin, after a slow first round came out swinging early in the second and dropped Lawrence with a hard overhand right, followed by a left to the body. He nearly finished off his opponent later in the round, but Lawrence (24-15-4) got a reprieve when his hand got stuck between the ropes, giving him a few extra seconds to get his legs back. The fight slowed a bit during the middle rounds until Estrada dropped Lawrence again in the seventh with a big right hand, prompting the referee stop the fight with 27 seconds to go.
“I just wanted to catch him,” Estrada noted after the fight.”I knew no matter how well he stood in there, he's 39 years old and not too many fighters at his age would be able to withstand that punishment. When I dropped him (in the second round) I thought it was over, so I had to settle back in, get my bearings and finish the job. It was very satisfying. I was just hoping I wouldn't get cut, because when we got close and I tried to break him down inside, we banged heads a few times.
“I feel good. I wasn't tired at all. Basically, what we wanted was for him to get aggressive again. He started out fast, but after that knockdown he went into a shell. I wanted him to come at me again, but I had to take my time and draw him in. We finally got him. It was a satisfying finish.
Martin (49-5-3, 32 KOs) controlled the action-packed fight early and her experience appeared to play a major factor as she stayed low against the bigger, taller Stone (9-8-4) and worked her way to the body while finishing with hard overhand rights to score big in the opening rounds. As the fight wore on, Stone's youth began to play a factor and she made the fight much closer by picking up points in the later rounds. She also showed her toughness by standing toe-to-toe with Martin through the latter half of the fight and even absorbed a few hard shots that slowed her progress. Martin broke her right hand landing an overhand shot in the beginning of the 10th round and spent the closing minutes trying to back away to avoid any further damage. With enough points under her belt via her fast start, Martin circled the ring in the closing seconds with her hands raised triumphantly. She captured the vacant WBC junior middleweight title with a majority decision.
“It was an overhand right,” Martin described the punch that broke her hand.”I wanted to finish the show with a knockout. I knew it was broken the second I hit her. I just tried to stay away, then I thought about Arturo Gatti and figured, If Gatti can throw with a broken hand, so can I. My corner was telling me, 'Don't slow up. Throw more combinations!' As the fight went along, I started throwing my hands a lot better. It's tough when you only fight about once a year, but no excuses.
“She landed some solid shots, but didn't punch as hard as I did. I like to go to war. (My corner) told me to move more, but I was having fun. I want to get to 50 (career wins) but this hand is broken and I don't know how long it'll take to heal. If a great fighter like Rocky Marciano can stop at 49 (wins), then so can I.”
From the opening bell, McGirt's offense was too much for Anthony Pietrantonio (6-3), who lacked the experience and movement to keep pace. McGirt (21-2-1, 10 KOs) landed clean, early and often, nearly sending Pietrantonio to the canvas in the opening round. Finally, with seconds running out in the third round, McGirt landed a solid left hook, followed by an overhand right that sent Pietrantonio through the bottom two ropes for a knockout.
“I hurt my (left) hand about four weeks ago sparring and wasn't even going to fight,” McGirt commented. “I don't want to say I trained harder this time, but for my last fight (his CES debut), I only trained about three to four weeks. For this fight, I stayed in better shape and didn't get out of the gym at all. I made weight comfortably and just felt excellent. I felt way better -- much stronger. I had been in the gym training since the (Chad) Dawson and (Antonio) Tarver fight (in May). Then I hurt my hand and two about two weeks off from sparring or hitting the bag, but I just felt so much better this time -- much stronger.
“He had five knockouts, so I knew I had to respect his knockout power, and he was coming down from light heavyweight to take this fight, so I knew he was the bigger man. I just had to take it to him. No disrespect to him, but I knew I would land a lot of shots. He didn't have too many fights and I knew my experience would play a role. I don't want to take anything away from him, but my experience definitely played a big role. My pops (Buddy McGirt) kept telling me to put combinations together and once I did, that's all she wrote.
His experience probably helped a little bit,” Pietrantonio added. “He was a lot stronger than I thought. I definitely underestimated his punching power. I was told he couldn't punch. I think I might've cracked a rib (in the first round). That slowed me down a little bit. I was trying to work my way inside and wear him down. I thought maybe he'd punch himself out. I was told he didn't have much punching power, so I underestimated his strength. He's got some pop. I tried to get my left hook to work.”
In other undercard bouts, Jackie Trivolino (1-1-1) pitched a shutout against featherweight Priscilla Trompowsky (1-3), winning each round en route to a unanimous 4-round decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36); lightweight Jayme Resnick (2-1) stopped Luquan Lewis (0-6) at 1:152 of the opening round.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?