Antonio Johnson (12-1-1, 6 KO’s) of Saint Paul won the vacant Minnesota State Jr. Middleweight title last night at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN with an 8 round majority decision win over Mohammed Kayongo (18-5-1, 13 KO’s) of Minneapolis .
Many of the early rounds were close as Johnson looked to counter with quick shots out of a tight and coiled defense. Kayongo on the other hand pressured forward with punches while switching back and forth from southpaw to orthodox. The fight also had a lot of awkward moments as the fighters tangled and tripped to the canvas many times.
Kayongo scored the first big round of the fight in the fourth round. “The African Assassin” landed some nice punches and a quick right hook past the midway point of the round to Johnson’s head shook “The Saint Paul Kid” a bit. Kayongo went back to his corner smiling at Johnson.
The big round for Kayongo sparked an offensive surge for Johnson in the next round however. Johnson became more aggressive and let his punches go as soon as the round began. Johnson was getting his punches off first with speedy aggression while avoiding Kayongo’s blows. This time Johnson smiled at Kayongo as the fifth round ended.
Down the stretch, Johnson went back to counter punching and elusiveness to score points and pull ahead on the cards while Kayongo started looking to land a big knockout punch. It wouldn’t come however for neither fighter and the fight went to the scorecards. Scores read 78-74, 78-74 and 76-76.
In the co-featured bout, Duluth’s Andy “Kaos” Kolle (27-5) was upset by Missouri’s Colby Courter (8-8) losing an 8 round decision. The southpaw Kolle was forced to fight most of the 8 rounds without his left hand after hurting it early. He also damaged his right hand as well in the bout with both fists hugely swollen afterwards. Courter came to fight and pressured Kolle with swarming punches, especially once he realized Kolle could not fire back the left.
Al Sands (16-2) of Duluth had a successful comeback, knocking out Gary Tapusoa (7-6-1) with a right hand to the head at 1:11 of the second round. Sands and Tapusoa both stood there ground and traded in the center of the ring in the opening round. Sands dominated from the get go in round two, dropping Tapusoa twice in the round.
Damon Reed (38-18) stunned the Hinckley crowd by winning a majority decision over Aaron Green (16-1). Reed began the fight throwing flurries and then moving away from Green, who outweighed him by 60 pounds. Green stood in the center of the ring waiving Reed in but the Missouri fighter was content to stay on the outside. Green landed some big body shots in the second, hurting Reed but he was not able to put Reed in serious danger. Green began to hobble and hold back his punches from the third round on. He later said that he had re-injured a past leg injury. Reed sensed Green’s tentativeness and began stepping up his attacks in the later rounds. Reed was confident as the bout approached the final round. He began landing hard head shots as Green looked unable to move and was credited with dropping the Minnesotan near the end of the round. Final Scores read 57-55, 57-55, 56-56.
Nate Rubin (3-0-1) stopped Winston Anderson (4-2) at 2:57 of round number 2. The action was intense to start. Rubin began to time well placed counter punches in as the first round progressed. Rubin dropped Anderson once in the second round and for the final time moments later with a straight right before referee Mark Nelson waived the fight off.
Ryan Watson (1-0) had a successful pro debut stopping Matt Foster (0-1) at 2:15 of the second round. Watson wasn’t afraid to take a few to give a bunch more back but that is how the fight started. Watson pulled away though and in round two, landed many unanswered blows to his opponent before referee Gary Miezwa jumped in to stop the fight.
Travis Fulton swept all five rounds in his heavyweight bout versus Van Goodman. Both guys were able to land but Fulton was busier and landed more shots in each round. The fighters stood and traded for 6 seconds straight in the center of the ring to end the bout which got the crowd up and cheering. Scores read 50-45 on all three cards.
George Carter Jr. of Illinois stopped Jeremie Parks at 2:22 of the first round to kick off the nights action.