Middleweight Billy Lyell stunned a packed Pikesville Armory Friday night, as he cruised to a convincing unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated Baltimore prospect Tony “Cyclone” Cygan. Lyell (10-2, 2 KOs), fighting out of Warren, Ohio, used a mixture of movement and lightning fast combinations to win by scores of 80-72 twice, and 79-73. Boxingtalk scored the fight 79-74 for Lyell. Stepping up in class, Cygan (9-1, 6 KOs) was unable to match Lyell early with his own power combinations. After sustaining bad swelling under his right eye in the third round, and a cut under his left eye in the fourth, Cygan seemed to abandon his combinations in search of one big shot to end it all. He never found it as Lyell handed him his first professional defeat.
In the co-feature, Baltimore heavyweight Jed “the Punisher” Phipps landed an enormous left hook flush on the chin of David Cleage near the end of the first round, which put Cleage down for good. Phipps’ blowout of the outgunned Cleage (4-8-1) comes on the heels of a hard fought sixth round stoppage of Dan Whetzel in December. As Phipps (17-3, 10 KOs) steps up his level of opposition, the question is whether his offensive talents can compensate for a suspect beard. All three of Phipps’ losses have been by knockout.
The night began with one of the most brutal knockouts in recent memory. Baltimore super middleweight Nick Collins made a sensational professional debut with a devastating first round knockout of Eddie Otts, of Salisbury, Maryland. In a fight eerily similar to Allan Green’s first round destruction of Jaidon Codrington on ShowBox in November, Collins pounded Otts to the ropes after the opening bell with a series of hard shots. As Otts became entangled in the top rope, Collins landed several more hard blows, before Otts fell awkwardly down the ropes and to the canvas. The fight was an illustration of two careers heading in opposite directions. Collins showed great promise in his first professional win, while Otts (0-2-1) suffered his second knockout defeat in three professional bouts, in addition to several knockout losses as an amateur.
Earlier in the night, Baltimore junior middleweight Jessie “the Beast” Nicklow, also making his professional debut, pounded out a unanimous decision over Lawrence Frisby. Nicklow scored a knockdown in the first, when a series of hard combinations sent Frisby (3-6) headfirst under the top rope. The referee correctly ruled that only the bottom ropes stopped Frisby from hitting the canvas, and declared a knockdown. The Beast outworked Frisby the rest of the four round bout with hard counterpunches en route to scores of 40-35 on all three judges’ cards.
Third time was a charm Friday night, as comebacking lightweight Dean “Pitbull” White, of Frederick, Maryland, won a six round split decision victory over Marty “Too Sweet” Robbins. The win was White’s (12-4, 6 KOs) first in three comeback fights following a nearly five year absence from the ring. Official scores were 58-56 and 58-57 White, with and 58-56 for the rugged Robbins (21-29-1, 15 KOs). Boxingtalk scored the fight 59-55 for White.
Former multi-division world champion Vinny Paz was in attendance Friday night, and received a thunderous ovation from the crowd. Also in attendance was former Mike Tyson and Vinny Paz trainer Kevin Rooney.
The card was promoted by Jake Smith, who donated proceeds and conducted a silent auction to benefit Baltimore heavyweight Mike Dietrich, who sustained stab wounds in a December attack. For information on future Baltimore Boxing cards visit www.baltimoreboxing.com
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