Paris reigns in Michigan

By Andre Courtemanche


Paris reigns in Michigan

Michigan update

Fans of the local fighters went home happy after the Heavy Hitter Promotions and Carlos Llinas International Production’s “Night of Knockouts”, at Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan on Thursday night, as the left side of the bout sheet ran the table.

In the main event of the evening, “The Iceman” Vernon Paris kept his unbeaten streak alive and further asserted himself as a prospect to watch by taking apart Philadelphia’s tough Kevin Carmody in seven rounds.

Paris (17-0, 12 KOs), last seen scoring an educational unanimous decision over John Brown in October, came out with a more reserved temperament and the resulting improvement in his stamina was evident. Flashing the quick hands that have become his trademark, Paris attacked the head and body with a well-schooled variety of power shots.

Not one to shy away from the rough stuff, Carmody (10-8-2, 1 KO) kept his composure and fired back with sharp counters over Paris’s sometimes lazy right hand. Both fighters exhibited exceptional defensive skills, Paris with the “Mayweatherian” shoulder tuck and Carmody with intelligent head movement.

The fight broke open in round six, as a still-fresh Paris ripped into Carmody with both hands and nearly put him out along the ropes with a savage right hand. Only the bell prevented the festivities from wrapping up a round earlier than they did.

In the seventh, sensing the kill, Paris once again tore into Carmody. An unanswered volley of head and body shots prompted referee Ron Cunningham to stop the contest at 1:07, just as a surrender towel flew from Carmody’s corner.

With the victory, Paris picks up a minor junior welterweight title and continues his rise in one of boxing’s most exciting divisions.

Returning from a long layoff, once promising Detroiter Damon “Bulldog” McCreary made the second appearance of his comeback and scored a TKO over Las Vegas-based veteran Salah Zabian.

Fighting about ten pounds heavier than in his light heavyweight heyday, cruiserweight McCreary (12-0, 9 KOs) seemed puzzled at first by the movement of Zabian (6-8, 4 KOs).

However, the heavy-handed “Bulldog” finally zeroed in with a strong right hand along the ropes in round two that ripped open a nasty gash on Zabian’s left eye.

Upon examining the wound before the start of round three, ringside physician Dr. Evans Farres advised referee Frank Garza to stop the contest.

While the stoppage victory was somewhat unsatisfying to McCreary’s vocal army of fans, he is at least active again. With a wide array of quality Michigan super middle and light heavyweights available, including Ronald Hearns, Rubin Williams and the Dirrell brothers, McCreary could be in line for several all-Michigan television-quality showdowns in the near future.

Hometown heavyweight hero Fadi Faraj (5-0-1, 3 KOs) returned from nearly a seven-year layoff to score a “good while it lasted” first-round knockout over Muskegon, Michigan’s Salomon Becerra (0-5).

While trying to knock some of the rust off early in the fight, Faraj nearly got his block knocked off by a right hand from Becerra. But Faraj is unbeaten for a reason; he shook off the effects and returned fire with a jarring right hand that left Becerra crumpled on the mat.

Referee Ron Cunningham didn’t bother to count and Faraj was declared a winner at 2:36.

Admitting he felt discouraged by fights falling through and missed opportunities in the past, Faraj says he is now on a full-throttle comeback.

Other Results:
Muskegon heavyweight Andy Cornado was impressive in his debut, despite losing a unanimous decision to Lansing’s Tommy Washington Jr. Cornado stayed tough for the first three rounds under sometimes heavy fire and then came back strong to win the fourth and final round. Cornado had never boxed amateur or professionally before.

Adrian, Michigan, light heavyweight Santos Martinez scored a first-round demolition over White Hall, Michigan’s Shawn Dean.

Dean had some power and rocked Martinez briefly, but lacked the chin necessary for pro boxing. Martinez right hands sent him crashing down twice, the second time for good at 2:20 of round one.

Detroit heavyweight Larry Carter (2-2-1, 2 KOs) scored a TKO 1 over Muskegon’s “Big” John Lofquist (0-1) when Lofquist suffered a dislocated shoulder at 1:06.

Editor's Note: Boxingtalk is proud to welcome aboard Andre Courtemanche, who has been covering boxing in  Michigan for nearly a decade. He is a contributor to the Detroit Free Press and has been published in several boxing magazines. He is also the President of Big Media Buzz, a public relations firm based in Windsor, Ontario, as well as a ring announcer and stand-up comic. Boxingtalk extends a promise to Andre that it will never harass him at his workplace or try to rat him out to governmental authorities with bogus accusations.