Mohegan Sun Undercard Report

By George Kimball @ ringside


Mohegan Sun Undercard Report

Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell’s reluctance to engage and Curtis Steven’s inability to do anything abou it produced a ten-round yawner. Although Dirrell won handily on the scorecards (98-92 on Don Trella’s; 97-93 on Tom Kacmarek’s and Steve Weisfeld’s) it was an aesthetically displeasing performance all around.

Dirrell contented himself by running for most of the night, pausing only long enough to fire a few long-range punches, while Stevens was utterly incapable of cutting off the ring.

After ten rounds Dirrell had landed only 98 punches, but it was more than double what Stevens connected with. The frustrated Brooklyn fighter landed just 43 times, or approximately four punches per round. (Nearly as embarrassing was th fact that against Dirrell’s long reach he landed just 9 of 166 jabs, less than one per round, and a connection rate of  5 per cent.

“He wasn’t even trying to fight,” said a disgusted Stevens, now 17-2. “I’d planned on cutting off the ring, but obviously, he was only trying not to allow himself to get hit.”

The audience of 3,514 booed from start to finish, but Dirrell, now 12-0, said “It’s not the crowd’s game. I’m not a crowd-pleaser.”

In a bout cut from eight to six rounds when the rest of the card ran long (only one of seven bouts didn’t go the distance), Colorado welterweight Marvin Cordova Jr. won a unanimous though somewhat lackluster decision over Brazilian Edvan dos Santos Barros. Judges John Mackaie and Trella had Cordova up 59-55, Weisfeld 58-56.

Philadelphia junior lightweight Rashiem Jefferson (14-0-1) was probably fortunate to get a win over his scrappy Ecuadorian opponent, Carlos VInan (now 7-4-2), and the crowd reflected its displeasure at the verdict by booing for several minutes. There were no knockdowns, although Vinan fell down in the seventh and Jefferson twice in the eighth. Feldman had Jefferson winning by an improbable 79-73, while Kaczmarek and Weisfeld each scored it 77-75.

Vietnamese-born, Buddy McGirt-trained featherweight Dat Nguyen posted a sixth-round TKO of Ohio-based journeyman Yamin Mohammad. Nguyen was credited with two knockdown – the first when he dropped Mohammad with a left to the body in the third round, the other near the end of the fifth when he caught Mohammad with a left hook to the jaw and referee Dick Flaherty ruled that the opponent would have gone down had he not bounced off the ropes.

Flaherty was still administering a mandatory 8-count when the bell ended the fifth, and was still eyeing Mohammad warily a round later. When Nguyen landed a fusillade of unanswered punches to the head, the referee moved in to stop it at 2:21 of the round. Nguyen remains unbeaten at 10-0, while Mohammad fell to 7-17-1 with the loss.

Earlier, pair of unbeaten Cleveland youngsters posted wins in their preliminary bouts. Junior welter Pernice Brewer (5-0-1) went the distance in outpointing Canadian Sebastian Hamel (6-11-1). Mackaie scored it a shutout at 40-36, while Feldman and Kaczmarek gave Hamel a round apiece at 39-37.

In another four-rounder welterweight Willie Nelson (4-0) defeated Louisianan Chris Gray precisely the same scored. This time Trella had it 40-36, with Mackaie and Weisfeld returning the 39-37 scores.

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June 16, 2007

JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS: Paulie Malignaggi, 138, Brooklyn, N.Y. dec. Lovemore N’dou, 138 1/4, Transvaal, South Africa (12) (Wins IBF title)

Prenice Brewer, 136 1/4, Cleveland, Ohio dec. Sebastian Hamel, 136 3/4, Longueuil, Canada (4)