Maddalone, Farrell score HW wins in Saratoga Springs

By Don Wright @ ringside


Maddalone, Farrell score HW wins in Saratoga Springs

Some fighters you just know are going to put on crowd pleasing performances even before you take your seat at the arena.  Vinny Maddalone and Shannon Miller are two such fighters, which makes them a rare and precious breed in today’s heavyweight division.  Last night Maddalone and Miller engaged in separate action packed bouts in Saratoga Springs, New York, the site where they fought each other one year ago today in an ESPN Fight of the Year candidate, a fight which Maddalone won by fifth round TKO. 

Vinny Maddalone W10 Jermell Barnes... In a card seemingly designed by promoters Lisa Elovich and Joe DeGuardia as a precursor to a Maddalone-Miller rematch, Maddalone kept up his end of the bargain by rallying down the stretch for a hard fought, ten-round unanimous decision over Jermell Barnes.  Barnes, fighting out of Rochester, New York, came in to the fight having won only one of his past twelve fights, half of which took place in the cruiserweight division.  However, Barnes surprised many in attendance by weathering an early Maddalone onslaught, to press the bigger man throughout the fight.  At the end of round two, Maddalone forced Barnes to the ropes, where the two traded power punches, bringing the crowd to its feet as the bell sounded.  As the fight progressed, Barnes seemed to increase pressure on the tiring Maddalone, winning many of the middle rounds, and cutting the Queens, New York native.  However, with the help of cutman Danny Milano and veteran trainer Al Certo, Maddalone came back, landing a huge right hand in the eighth round that hurt Barnes.  Both fighters showed tremendous heart in the tenth and final round as they continued to trade bombs, but it was Maddalone who won the round and the fight by a narrow majority decision.  The official scores were 95-95, and 97-93, 96-94 for Maddalone.  Boxingtalk scored the fight a draw 95-95.  With the win Maddalone improves to 27-3, 19 KOs.  Barnes drops to 17-13-1, 4 KOs.

Malachy Farrell TKO5 Shannon Miller... In the co-feature, crowd favorite Shannon Miller of nearby Troy, New York, engaged in an action packed fight with Chicago heavyweight Malachy Farrell, before being TKOd in dramatic fashion at the end of the fifth round.  Miller entered the ring a bit thinner, and faster than he has looked in recent outings, and started off strong, landing hard power shots on the taller Farrell.  Farrell negated his height and reach advantages early by underutilizing his jab, and falling into his punches, which allowed Miller to counter with hard hooks and straight right hands.  However, Miller seemed to neglect Farrell’s exposed mid-section, aiming most of his shots to Farrell’s head, a decision that may have cost him the fight.  By the fourth round, Miller’s work rate slowed, and he began looking for one big shot, as his corner pleaded with him to throw more combinations. 

In the very last second of the fifth round, Farrell landed a devastating combination topped with a left hook that dropped Miller hard in Farrell’s corner.  As he usually does, Miller was able to get to his feet, but the referee stopped the fight as Miller walked unsteadily back to his corner.  Miller’s promoter Lisa Elovich and many at ringside, argued that Miller should have been given the break between rounds to recover before a decision was made to stop the fight, but there was no arguing that Miller was badly hurt as he returned to his corner.  With the win Farrell improves his perfect record to 15-0, 12 KOs.  Miller drops to 14-2, 8 KOs.

Wayland Willingham TKO2 Damon Antoine... In the night’s most impressive performance, junior middleweight Wayland Willingham proved himself a prospect to be watched with an impressive second round TKO over Damon “Mailman” Antoine.  The southpaw Willingham displayed excellent speed and boxing ability, along with heavy hands which dropped Antoine in the first round, and again in round two forcing the referee to stop the contest.  Willingham runs his perfect record to 10-0, 6 KOs, while Antoine falls to 4-10-1, 2 KOs.

Brandon Mitchem W4 James North... In other action, super-middleweight Brandon Mitchem (29-4-1, 8 KOs) used constant pressure and a vicious body attack to win a lopsided four round unanimous decision over James North (8-12-2, 3 KOs). 

Abe Torres D4 Eduardo Adorno... Welterweights Abe Torres (0-2-1) and Eduardo Adorno engaged in an entertaining four round majority draw.  Adorno, who was making his pro debut, was hurt a couple of times in the first two rounds, but somehow managed to comeback and hurt Torres in the final round to pull out the majority draw by scores of 38-38, 38-38, and 39-37 for Adorno. 

Eric Rodriguez W4 Wayne Atkins... Earlier, junior middleweight Eric Rodriguez (3-1, 2 KOs) knocked down Wayne Atkins (0-1) in the third round en route to a four round unanimous decision.

It was an exciting night of action fights at the packed Saratoga Springs Convention Center.  Among the many in attendance was former heavyweight title challenger and Saratoga regular Gerry Cooney.  The show was a joint production between Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, and Lisa Elovich’s Pugnacious Promotions. 


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