By Drew James @ ringside
Minnesota's Matt “Predator” Vanda won a narrow split decision over Ramon “Yory Boy” Campas in a junior middleweight bout held at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Scores were 116-112, 115-113 for Vanda and 117-112 for Campas. It was a back-and-forth war, with both fighters landing their best shots. The decision was a bit controversial, but nowhere near as bad as the debacle in 2004 that gave Vanda an undeserved win over Sam Garr. Boxingtalk had Campas. a former IBF junior midleweight title holder, winning 115-113. The bout was boradcast on pay-per-view, and a technical snafu saw Comcast and Time Warner Cable drop television coverage in the Twin Cities metro area with only two rounds remaining in the fight. The card was promoted by Team Freedom and sold on PPV for $20 but fans were deprived of the main event's ending when the broadcast went black at 11 pm. Vanda, rated in tthe WBO top ten, picked up a minor title while improving to 34-1 (21 KOs) and will continue to chase big fights with Fernando Vargas and Daniel Santos. The competitive Campas drops to a very respectable 86-8 (70 KOs).
Saint Paul middleweight, Troy “TNT” Lowry won a sixth-round technical decision over Panamanian Santiago Samaniego. In what was a foul-filled affair, Lowry was cut over the left eye from what first seemed like a head butt in round six. But a replay showed that it was in fact a punch from Samaneigo that opened the cut and that referee Denny Nelson failed to take notice. He did take notice of the four low blows from Samaniego but didn’t see it necessary to take a single point away. Both men had their moments during the short-lived contest but it was Lowry who controlled the majority of the fight, working behind his jab and strong right hands to the head and body. All three judges scored it 59-54 for the local Lowry. Santiago, who last week was talking about future bouts with Fernando Vargas and WBA title holder Alejandro Garcia (Travis Simms has been stripped), drops to 36-9 (29 KOs) and looks to get his career back on track. Lowry improves to 27-5 (16 KOs) and will most likely chase a rematch with Matt Vanda, to whom he lost a very close decision to in March.
Michael Grant won again with an eight-round unanimous decision over Marcus McGee in a heavyweight bout. It wasn’t a pretty fight and was all but exciting. Grant showed resemblances of his old self late in the fight but couldn’t seem to hurt his opponent whatsoever. The referee deducted a point from Grant in the 7th for excessive pushing. Scores were 77-76, and 79-79 twice. Grant, who challenged Lennox Lewis for the world heavyweight championship five years ago, improves to 41-3 (31 KOs), while Marcus McGee falls to 13-7 (7 KOs).
In what was a very exciting action packed bout, Columbian junior middleweight Richard Gutierrez made his U.S. debut a successful one, with a fifth round stoppage of Luis Santiago. It was a vicious overhand right that knocked Santiago out on his feet in the fifth, forcing referee Mark Nelson to step in and stop the fight. Gutierrez improves to 20-0 (12 ko’s), while Santiago falls to 18-7 (11 ko’s).