The transition from July to August saw the return of the annual Ringside Products boxing tournament in Kansas, City, MO. John “The Big Jump” Keck of Stillwater, MN won the 200 pound Masters Division, ages 36 to 50, Novice championship, redeeming his second place finish in his first competition last year. Elliot Mosley of Maplewood, MN, won the first fight of his life in the 178 pound, 36 to 52 year old novice division, with a second round stoppage against St. Paul’s Bill Mackie, who competed out of Kansas City. Both Keck and Mosley train at the Uppercut Gym in Minneapolis.
Keck, a former collegiate ski jumper who won the first two fights of his life last year with powerful stoppages of tough opponents and lost in the final, achieved a much sought after championship with two decisions this year. The first came against Craig Johnson of Saskatchewan, Canada. He had to come back in the first match after an overwhelming start from Johnson in the first round. It was a close and competitive round as Johnson went on the immediate attack, but Keck kept the jab solidly in Johnson’s face, establishing command of the ring before the bell. He continued with that jab throughout the fight, landing strong right hands behind it and scoring two standing 8 counts in the third. As his trainer I preferred the rounds to last one and a half minutes, but according to Masters Division rules both corners have to agree, and Johnson and his trainers insisted on one minute rounds. The extra time would have undoubtedly permitted Keck to finish off his man before the final bell. Keck repeated the same scenario in the finals, although he took control of the fight from the opening bell and had his opponent, Robert Berland of Edmond, OK, fighting from behind throughout. He scored two eight counts in the final round and won by decision. A special thanks to Uppercut Gym trainer Alfonso Vasquez for assistance in the corner.
Mosley was set to take apart his opponent in the finals, and I was leading him to the ring to work his corner (Mosley’s trainer, Alfonso Vasquez, was working the corner of another Uppercut fighter in a different ring at the time) when the referee stopped us from entering. It turned out the officials were discussing a technicality in Mosley’s registration that prevented the fight from happening. Unfortunately for Mosley a mistake in his registration had not been caught earlier in the week and he was prevented from competing in the final. Lucky for his opponent, though, because the speedy light heavyweight was ready to display his speed and power once again. Since the technicality was not caught initially by officials, Mosley was given his own Ringside championship belt even though his opponent was officially declared champion.
© Copyright Mark Connor, 2012