Mike Lee beat overmatched Gary Tapusoa at Resorts World Casino in Queens, NY on Saturday night, in the first installment of boxing on CBS Sports Network, and Derric Rossy weathered some thunder and lightning from Ak Muralimov to snag a UD10 in the mainer.
Lee (age 27; 14-0) wasn't in tough against Tapusoa (age 35; 6-4-1), an MMA guy who we were told was asked to quit MMA by his wife. Boxing might be next, as he has now lost three straight by stoppage. Lee's hand speed and power and technique edge was obvious from the start. He sent Tap to the mat three times in the second and final round. He won a UBF cruiser belt this evening.
The Rossy-Mura bout was much more evenly matched. Rossy (30-9) got buzzed a few times, mostly from left hooks. But in rounds where he pumped a jab, and moved constantly, so Mura (now 16-1; age 27) couldn't get a bead on him to unload, he was alright. The result was up in the air when the cards were read, but the Medford, NY, who at 34 needs to secure his money fight real soon or it won't come, was happy to hear his name called.
Sal Musumeci was the promoter and did a good job attracting funding and sponsors, hopefully to the extent that he will continue to use this CBS platform. Promoter Greg Cohen will also be showing off his fare here, and word is Al Haymon will also place boxing on this cabler.
Adapting to changing circumstances is something a skilled boxer does well. Those that can't go with the flow, when the current shifts, gets nastier, often drown. Get buzzed, and instead of adapting, going into deal-with-it-and-shake-off-cobwebs mode, you're going to drown, for instance.
Mike Lee, the Chicago-based boxer, with a 13-0 (7 KOs) mark, fights Saturday evening in Queens, at Resorts World Casino, and he will be faced with a new challenge, an adaptation that must be conquered for him to have the evening be as successful as it could be.
You see, Lee will fight 6-3 Gary Tapusoa, and that bout will air on CBS Sports Network, at 10:30 PM. Col. Bob Sheridan will call the action, along with Benny Ricardo, and they will see Lee, and his better than average hand speed look to show off his technical edge over the more rugged brawling style of Tapusoa. Then, most ideally, if things go his way, and Lee gets the win, he will bolt from the ring, yank off his gear and pull on his fancy clothes. From there, he will run to ringside, where he will pull on a pair of headphones, and work the main event, as a color man, with Sheridan and Ricardo.
“There will be two aspects to the night,” the 28-in-June-year-old told me, while driving to a presser at Resorts World to hype the card, which is being put together by Sal Musumeci. “And that hit home when they sent me an email with production meetings info. Then I realized, I will be in the fighter meeting, and then I will go to the other side of the table, when the main event fighters come in. I'm really excited for it, I'm not nervous.”
Heavyweights 29-9 Derric Rossy and 16-0 Akhror Muralimov of Ukraine will tangle in a heavyweight scrum in the mainer, so Lee has been doing his homework, watching Rossy fights, after getting done with training for his own bout.
This arrangment was supposed to kick off for a Dec. 13 card that evaporated, so Lee has been readying himself mentally for awhile. He said that he thinks it will go swimmingly on air, as he has had ample on-camera time, having been part of the Subway marketing push since 2011, when he was 5-0. “The fighting part is one hundred percent where my head is,” Lee told me, agreeing that a screwup in the ring can be much more catastrophic than an on-air flub. “I see these as two events. I think doing the color makes me a better fighter, it forces you to study other fighters, and styles, learn more about the sport. But it's unique..and I know anything can happen. I could get cut. Knock on wood!”
Lee, who holds a degree in finance from Notre Dame (2009), and has been a magnet for attention on Twitter since the Subway gig started. He signed early with Tiop Rank, though is now a promotional free agent, and has dealt with chops-busters who wonder why a non world champ gets that Subway gig. Wise guys also bust on the Universal Boxing Federation Championship on the line Saturday night, in his cruiserweight tangle. But he knows that's part of the territory, and told me he thinks anyone would have taken the Subway gig if offered. “Any time you're doing something exciting, you get those critics. But at the end of the day, I'm busting my ass to be the best fighter I can be. I just want to keep beating guys, and getting better and better.”
Photo Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime
Follow Woods on the Twitter: