Lee gets "joke" of a win, rest of New Daisy roundup

By George Kimball


Lee gets "joke" of a win, rest of New Daisy roundup

MEMPHIS, Tenn. --- Andy Lee TKO1 Clinton Bonds... When Clinton Bonds came charging out of his corner winging windmill lefts and rights, Andy Lee wasn’t sure whether to laugh or duck.“Sometimes a guy like that can be more dangerous than somebody who actually knows how to box,” said the Irish middleweight, who has spent the past several weeks sparring with world champions Jermain Taylor and Kermit Cintron.

Describing Bonds as ‘amateurish’ probably does a disservice to many honest amateurs, but once he got over his surprise, Lee knocked the Oklahoman down three times to score a first-round TKO in the main event of National Knockout Promotions’ six-fight card at the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis.

“It was almost a joke,” said Lee. “Here I’ve been sparring with the best boxers in the world, but it didn’t prepare me for that! The guy was all over the place, throwing hooks from his ankles, roundhouse rights. I could hear Emanuel yelling at me to be careful. He was worried I might get cut if the guy got too close with his head.”

Lee quickly recovered his composure and went to work. Bonds went down for the first time when he stumbled into a three-punch combination, and once he got up, Lee began to punish his unskilled opponent, landing half a dozen hard right hooks to Bonds’ ribcage before catching him with a straight left to the face that sent him down again.

Bonds gamely arose, but this time Lee floored him with a left uppercut. The three-knockdown rule obtains in Tennessee, and referee Alan Lovell waved the fight to a halt at 2:09 of the first.

Bonds’ record fell to 4-9, and Lee seemed almost embarrassed by the win.

“It was my first American main event, but it was almost like padding my record,” said the Limerick boxer, now 9-0. “I’d have gotten more out of a sparring session in the gym.”

“It was a crazy fight,” said Emanuel Steward. “The opponent wasn’t nothing, but it was good to see the way the crowd appreciated Andy’s skills anyway.”

The New Daisy was erected in 1931, and is called that to distinguish it from the Old Daisy, across the street, which dates back to slightly after the Civil War. With the ring surrounded by a raucous crowd culled from the equally raucous Beale Street saloons, it evinces a wonderful old club-fight atmosphere. For over thirty years it hosted boxing on a weekly basis, and promoter Willie Knox is attempting to keep the tradition alive with cards like Friday night’s bill, conveniently scheduled the night before Taylor’s title defense against Cory Spinks at the FedEx Forum.

Unfortunately, the Daisy cards are handicapped by being administered by the Tennessee Boxing Commission, a know-nothing bunch which appears, as New Jersey referee Steve Smoger noted of Friday night’s card, “to make up the rules as they go along.”

Jonathan Banks TKO2 Lloyd Bryan... In the co-featured bout, another of Steward’s fighters, unbeaten cruiserweight Johnathon Banks, had dominated Jamaican veteran Lloyd Bryan over the first two rounds. Midway through the third, a clash of head at mid-ring sent Bryan sprinting across the ring, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

Bryan leaned over the ropes in agony, and as he did a substantial pool of blood began to collect on the canvas beneath him. Once Lovell, the referee, observed blood, he raced over to the corner for a towel.

Bryan eventually got back to his corner, where his head was bandaged, and Steward cut the gloves off Banks, who appeared resigned to what in almost any civilized venue would have been a technical draw.

Wrong. Turns out Lovell, the referee, never saw the butt. He did consult with the ringside judges, but two of them had missed it as well. Since the cut was almost on top of Bryan’s skull, it is almost inconceivable that it could have come from anything else, but Lovell ruled the fight a TKO for Banks.

If it was a TKO, we wondered, when, exactly, had Lovell stopped the fight?  (There had never been a clear signal that it was over.)

“When I went over to the corner and saw him bleeding profusely,” said the referee.

And Lloyd Bryan, naturally, went ballistic. He charged around the ring, berating the referee and the judges, and looked as if he were about to go after the Commission chairman, Meredith Sullivan, when he was restrained by Knox, the promoter.

The odd part of it was that even if the referee had seen the butt, Bryan would still have lost the fight. Under Tennessee rules the issue would have gone to the scorecards, even after two rounds, and it’s probably a safe bet that Banks won both of them on all cards.

Banks, in any case, is now 16-0, Bryan 22-16.

Brooklyn light-heavyweight Jamison Bostic handed Craig Gandy his first loss, scoring a third-round TKO in another classic matchup of a boxer against a barroom brawler. (Guys like Gandy and Bonds must practice on each other.)

A southpaw, Bostic (10-3) used his reach advantage to stay on the outside, fending off Gandy’s wild charges, and put his opponent down with an overhand left in the first. Gandy (5-1) spent the better part of two rounds trying to turn it into a brawl, and when he finally succeeded, he got the worst of that, too, and was forced to take a knee late in the second.

Bostic continued his domination in the third, forcing Gandy to seek refuge by taking yet another knee, and when the Arkansan sank to his knees after a barrage of several punches, Gandy’s corner stopped the fight before Lovell could complete his count.

Unbeaten Chicago middleweight Louis Turner improved to 11-0 with a first-round knockout of overmatched South Carolinian Billy Mitchem (6-16-1).  After feeling his opponent out with a few jabs, Turner knocked the 48 year-old Mitchem down with the first serious punch he threw, an overhand right.

Mitchem floundered about on the canvas and eventually arose, looking somewhat disappointed to have beaten referee William Simpson’s count. The referee surprisingly allowed action to resume, and Turner put Mitchem straight back down again with a left to the chin and a right to the body.

Mitchem didn’t even attempt to regain his feet, but he did roll over into a sitting position, where he remained, plainly unwilling to get back up until he was satisfied that Simpson (who never did pick up the count; perhaps it is a Tennessee tradition) had stopped the fight. The official end came at 1:23 of the round.

Joe Linenfelser, a promising young middleweight from Illinois, went to 4-0 with a second-round KO of Ray Brindel (0-2). Momentarily untracked by Brindel’s swarming attack in the opening round, Linenfelser settled down behind his jab and won the stanza.

Early in the second, Linenfelser flattened Brindel with a jab, and although Simpson allowed the opponent to continue, a four-punch volley sent him reeling across the ring and down for good. Simpson stopped the bout without a count at 2:15.

It has been a dozen years since we saw Peter McNeeley knock out Danny Wofford in the first round of their fight in Worcester. Wofford has gone 2-61 since, including last night’s loss by disqualification to Arkansan Ray Lunsford.

Lunsford (19-7) dominated throughout, while the portly Wofford showed little beyond a remarkable capacity for absorbing punishment. Lovell, who had warned Wofford for holding several times, finally took a point in the fourth, and, when Wofford repeated the infraction several times thereafter, disqualified him at 2:34 of the round. Wofford is now 17-102-2.
*  *   *
New Daisy Theatre
Memphis, Tenn.
May 18, 2007

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Andy Lee, 160 1/2 , Limerick, Ireland TKO’d Clinton Bonds, 164 1/2 , Tulsa, Okla. (1)

Louis Turner, 161, Chicago, Ill. KO’d Billy Mitchem, 156, Spartanburg, S.C. (1)

Joe Linenfelser, 164 1/2, Rockford, Ill. TKO’d Raymond Brindle, 158, Spartanburg, S.C.. (2)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Ray Lunsford, 285 1/2 , Benton, Ark. DQ over Danny Wofford, 301, Jacksonville, Fla. (4)

CRUISERWEIGHTS: Johnathon Banks, 203, Detroit, Mich. TKO’d Lloyd Bryan, 198, Kingston, Jamaica (3)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Jameson Bostic, 176, Brooklyn, NY TKO’d Craig Ganby, 175, Harrisburg, Ark. (3)


Send questions and comments to: gkimball@boxingtalk.com