Gilbert smashes Sims!

By Socrates Palmer Jr


Gilbert smashes Sims!

The Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York hosted an enjoyable evening of boxing on Wednesday night. The 7 bout card presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing featured the New York debut of one of the stars of the “The Contender” TV show, Joey Gilbert in the main event. Gilbert (13-1, 10 KO’s) was defending his NABO middleweight championship against the well traveled Keith Sims (25-13-1, 14 KOs). Sims who made the trek from Kansas City, Missouri was more than likely viewed by most as a step up for Gilbert. However at age 39 Sims looked every bit the part of a boxer who is way past his prime.

Also if you take into account that Sims had suffered 7 knock out losses amongst his 13 defeats you have to wonder how much of a test was it really for Gilbert? Nevertheless there are no guarantees in boxing and Gilbert took care of business basically thrashing the crafty lefty pillar to post. Gilbert methodically strolled into the ring to the sounds of the “Godfather” theme song and draped in the colors of his Italian roots, he carried a scowl on his face that indicated an almost robotic seek and destroy focus.  For the 30 year old Gilbert it was the first time he was facing a south paw as a professional. Sims tried somewhat valiantly to frustrate Gilbert throughout the bout, by holding and using a sneaky jab. The first two rounds saw a plotting Gilbert playing the role of the aggressor, while Sims played keep away. By the third round Gilbert who is a practicing Nevada based lawyer used a devastating body attack to stymie any attempt of offense from his opponent. By round 3 Gilbert strength advantage was obvious as Sims grunted with every hook to the ribs that Gilbert unleashed. Gilbert who is ranked number 11 by the World Boxing Order seemed content to out muscle Sims and showed a strong jab when he chose to employ it. The end of the bout came when Gilbert landed a lead right hand that sent Sims staggering into the ropes. Referee Ken Ezzo mercifully halted the action at 1.57 seconds of the 6th round. Gilbert sees his record improve to 13-1 and earned his 10th knock out win of his career. Sims sees his record fall to 25-14-1.

In other action “The Kosovo Kid” Elvir Muriqi won a hard unanimous decision over “Terrible” Teddy Muller of Moline, Illinois. Muller was a game opponent, showing a lot of heart after suffering a cut over his right eye early on the bout. However his efforts were thwarted by a very impressive looking Muriqi. Muriqi delivered crisp combinations and displayed decent defense to earn a sweep on the judge’s scorecards. Muriqui who was slated as the co-feature bout in this 8 round light heavyweight attraction, definitely brought the biggest fan contingent. The rafters and most of the arena were dressed in the Albanian red and black colors. The Bronx resident Muriqi improved his record to 32-3 with the win. Muller drops to 19-8-2.

We have a new USBA Jr. Middleweight champion as Terrance Cauthen (32-3, 8 KOs) scored a tenth round TKO over Dante Craig (17-5-1, 13 KOs) in a battle of former U.S. Olympians. The fight was stopped 11 seconds into round ten when Craig failed to answer back from a Cauthen flurry. Cauthen showed that he is a legitimate world title challenger and a force to be reckoned with in the 154 pound division. Cauthen out of Trenton, New Jersey is currently not in the IBF’s top 10. This is sure to change after his big win.

Undefeated junior featherweight prospect Roberto Benitez continued his undefeated ways and moved his record to 5 -0- 3KO. Benitez a native of the Dominican Republic had to earn his victory against fellow Jr. Feather weight Vineash Rungea.  The scrappy, Runega did not come to be a stepping stone to his highly touted opponent. Runega landed his own share of offense against Benitez. However Benitez, class rose to the occasion as he abandoned boxing skills for most of the night in favor of flat footed scraping. The two men fought toe to toe for 4 crowd pleasing rounds. The former 2004 Olympian’s power punches and cleaner shots were the difference in this contest. Rungea, recovered well from being dropped in round 1 and fought through a cut in round 3 to go the distance. Benitez takes the win by scores of 40-35, 40-35, and 39-37. In my humble opinion this earned my vote for fight of the night.

Kevin Johnson 11-0-1, 5 KOs) took a very uneventful 6-round unanimous decision over Demetrice King (9-15). Scores were 60-54, 60-54, 59-55. Joshua Snyder defeated fellow middleweight Dex Pejcinvic by unanimous decision. Krabir Suleymanov of Brooklyn captured a unanimous decision victory over Philadelphia based bantamweight Omar Carroll.


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