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Williams, Rodrigues break even with draws, Koyongo and Abell get KOs, Adyaka a win

Super Middleweight Phil ‘the Drill’ Williams was held to a draw by Derrick ‘Superman’ Findley Friday night at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Friday night. The ambidextrous Williams opened the fight in the southpaw stance and won the first round with good movement behind the jab, not switching to the right handed stance till the end of the round. He landed a few solid shots that round and was able to keep his end in the next two rounds although Findley was continuously pounding Williams’ body. Although Williams was in control the momentum was seeming to change, Williams frustrating much of Finley’s efforts with clinches and smothering tactics, but not continuing with effective movement and powerful punches. Findley definitely won the fourth round and was dominating and winning the fifth, but the round was close and Findley was off balance with a left hook when Williams landed a light right hand that dropped an off balance Findley at the bell. Referee Mark Nelson called it a knockdown, making what should have been a 10-9 Findley round into a 10-9 Williams round. Thereafter, Findley continued with an up close body attack in the final three rounds, landing effective hooks to the head and occasional overhand rights that won the final three rounds for him. The final scoring saw a split decision, Gary Miescwa seeing it 78-74 Findley, Scott Erickson seeing it 77-74 Williams, and John Mariano calling it 76-76. Boxers and Writers Magazine agreed with Mariano’s score.

Williams obviously showed the ability to win this fight, but Findley was determined and continued with his relentless body attack in a close-quarters brawl that was very pleasing to the crowd. Williams didn’t use the ring effectively enough to win the fight. With more movement he could have kept Findley at a longer distance and continued to dominate as he had in the first round. Instead he was content with the wrong strategy, fighting inside where Findley is strongest. The draw sets up the possibility for the two to fight again in a rematch that will be appealing to the Twin Cities’ fans.  We can only hope Williams of Minneapolis, now 12-5-1, 11 KOs, and Findley of Gary, IN, now 20-10-1, 13 KOs will face each other again in the near future.

Corey Rodrigues of Minneapolis, 7-3-3, 3KOs, was also held to a draw by Gilbert Venegas of Moline, IL, 12-9-4, 8 KOs. After Rodrigues opened the fight with strong dominance behind effective jabs and foot movement, landing good combinations throughout the first three rounds, he began to fade as Venegas built momentum behind a body attack. While Rodrigues moved, he failed to utilize the entire ring and wound up fighting too much off the ropes. In rounds 4 through 6 his punch output waned as fatigue seemed to fit in and Venegas gained momentum. This fight also was close enough, competitive enough, and exciting enough that local fans will undoubtedly be interested in a near future rematch. Although the 4th round could have gone to Rodrigues, it was too close to complain and the Minnesota judges did a good job in arriving at a unanimous 76-76 decision over six rounds.

Heavyweight Joey ‘Minnesota Ice’ Abell, 29-6, 27 KOs of Coon Rapids, MN, made quick work of Maurenzo Smith, 11-7, 8 KOs, Houston, TX, knocking him down in the first round  and battering him for the remainder of the round. As the bell rang for round 2 Smith’s corner asked referee Mark Nelson to call the ringside doctor to the corner. Smith was complaining of “triple” vision and the fight was stopped, a first round TKO victory awarded to Abell.

St. Paul’s Ugandan immigrant Mohammed ‘the African Assassin’ Koyongo, 17-2-1, 11 KOs, scored a third round TKO over Fred Thomas, 1-12, 2 , of Davenport, IA. Thomas was game in the first round, but Koyongo was calm, sharp and in control of the fight from the opening bell. He landed a solid right hand followed by a left hok to put Thomas down and punished him thereafter. In the second Thomas came forward with a strong left jab but held his chin in the air, and Koyongo calmly timed a straight right hand that dropped him again. Koyongo is definitely not a man one can fight while exposing one’s chin and taking punches, which Koyongo was only too willing to prove. Koyongo basically carried Thomas for the rest of the round, moving with him for the rest of the fight until deciding to take a wide opening to shoot a straight right hand into his chin, dropping him at 2:14 in round 3 to end the fight. This is the 7th KO loss for Thomas. Koyongo is definitely worthy of much stronger opponents, but Thomas was matched with him as a last minute replacement when planned opponent Brandon Beau of Missori fell through.

Fighting at the 126 pound featherweight division for the first time in a career previously pursued as a junior bantamweight, Ugandan immigrant Philip Adyaka, 2-3, 2 KOs, won via 3rd round TKO over Jim Sharp, 0-5 of Chicago, IL. Adyaka has made some changes and worked hard in recent months, utilizing a strong jab and movement in this fight, landing first and throwing combinations on his way to a much anticipated win.

by Mark Connor

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