Black Tie Boxing at the Dallas Anatole: Fight Night 2006!

By Bob Brown @ Ringside


Black Tie Boxing at the Dallas Anatole: Fight Night 2006!

Last night Dallas enjoyed FightNight 2006, “UNTAMED”, a high profile fundraising event for the commercial real estate community.  Founded in 1989 and sponsored by the Real Estate Council Foundation, this annual event has distributed over $10.5M to worthwhile charities/ organizations in the Dallas area.  This VIP, Black Tie (by-invitation only) boxing match was produced by Steve Crosson, Chairman of Crosson Dannis, Inc, a real estate consulting firm, who was a boxing referee and Treasurer of the WBC in past years.

The ring announcer was Jimmy “It’s Showtime” Lennon, Jr.  The Guest of Honor was Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, the current WBC World Heavyweight Champion.  Rock, a soft-spoken and true gentleman, graciously signed autographs and posed for pictures for all who wished.

1st fight - Dallas light welterweight Wayne Fletcher, 5-15-1 (3 KOs) was denied the victory by Joel Ortega, 4-7 (3 KOs), of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.  Neither came for a KO, but Ortega aggressively threw head & body shots that Fletcher had no answer for.  Scores: 39-37; UD for Ortega.

2nd fight – Dallas’ rising young light middleweight Taronze Washington, 4-2-1 (4 KOs), was ahead on all cards in the 2nd rd. when an unintentional head butt caused a nasty cut over Michael Soberanis, 6-12-2 (0 K0s) of San Antonio.  Ref ruled it a no-contest at 28 seconds of rd. 2.  Washington, trained by the legendary former WBC welterweight World Champ, Curtis Cokes - - was understandably disappointed but he will be back.

3rd fight – Pomona, Ca heavyweight Derek Berry, 12-4 (5 KOs), put it to Killeen, Tx’s Charles Spear, 4-6 (4 KOs), in a 4 rd free-for-all.   Both started fast but Berry came on in rds 2-4 to take a unanimous decision.  Scores were 40-36.

4th fight – McKinney, TX super lightweight Noel Rodriguez (the best fighter at FightNight), 6-1-0 (4 KOs), increased his great record by winning a spirited 4 rd brawl over Edgar Pedraza, 8-15 (4 KO) of El Paso, TX.  Rodriguez was the aggressor as he outworked and controlled Pedraza from the 2nd rd on.  He threw a wicked body attack that withered Pedraza’s offense and won a UD.  Scores: 40-36 all.

The night culminated in a scheduled 10 rd. bout for the vacant US WBC light heavyweight championship between Chris “Cool Man” Henry, 14-0-0 (13 KOs) of Houston, TX and Ettienne Whitaker, 32-20-2 (21 KOs) of Warren, OH.  Both came out fast.  Henry dropped Whitaker at 36 seconds into rd 1, he took an 8 count and returned fire.  In rd 2 Whitaker started dropping his hands and Henry clocked him several times.  Rd 3 saw Henry getting very aggressive and it paid off.  He pummeled Whitaker and the crowd cheered its’ approval!  Henry really went to work on Whitaker with jabs and hooks in round 5 and wore Whitaker down very clearly.  Rd 6 saw Whitaker fighting spurts but Henry was cool and consistent.  He came to take home that belt!  At the beginning of rd 7, Whitaker’s corner said no more and the ref waived it off.  TKO for Chris Henry.  The crowd shouted its pleasure!  That green WBC belt is a handsome one indeed!  Congratulations to Chris Henry!

DFW fight fans contributed may dollars to this worthwhile cause and got every bit of thrills and entertainment they came for.  Thanks, Steve Crosson, for another great boxing event!