– “Outlaw” Hunter Guns Down Blackwell in 3!
Date: Friday, June 6, 2008
On the eve of the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown, gas prices climbing beyond the four dollar mark and temperatures rising past 80 degrees fahrenheit, the boxing faithful in the tri-state area rode into The Legendary Blue Horizon on a balmy Friday afternoon for another action-packed night of boxing and they were not disappointed.
In the main event, featherweight Eric “Outlaw” Hunter (8 wins - 1
loss - 0 draw - 3 kos) with only five-days notice handed Jules ‘The
Ghost” Blackwell (7 wins - 0 loss - 0 draw - 2 kos) his first loss by
stopping him in the third round of their scheduled eight-round affair.
Similar to thoroughbred Big Brown who toyed with Macho Again and Icabad
Crane before blowing them away by 5 Ľ length in the Preakness, Hunter
had his way with Blackwell from the opening bell.
In round one, Hunter stalked the southpaw Blackwell landing several telling blows to the body and head. It was evident that this fight was not going the distance because Hunter was in total control, unloading at will. This was his coming out party and he entertained the crowd by doing an impersonation of former heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott by dropping his shoulders to the left and walking away from Blackwell.
In round two, like jockey Kent Desormeaux, holding back the reins on Big Brown at the half-way mark during the Preakness, it was obvious that Hunter’s trainer, Sloane Harrison, had him in check – wanting him to showcase his talent for a while longer. Hunter stalked Blackwell landing precision shots like a sniper. With about ten seconds left in the round, Hunter dropped Blackwell with a right to the body followed by a short left hook to the head. Dazed and hurt, but showing the heart of a champion, Blackwell beat the count as the bell sounded.
In the third round, Harrison let go of the reins and like Big Brown, Hunter knew it was time to take this one home. He came out of his corner and turned up the heat on Blackwell dropping him with a tremendous left hook in the neutral corner. Blackwell rose to his feet but was in no shape to continue as referee Blair Talmadge waived an end to this contest – no surprise.
This bout should not have happened. Jules Blackwell is a courageous young man and a good professional prospect. However, when compared to Eric Hunter, who was already a national amateur champion by the time Blackwell laced up a pair of boxing gloves, he is out of his talent bracket. Blackwell had only eighteen amateur fights locally while Hunter Blackwell’s second trip to the canvas (Picture: courtesy of Merrick Foster) made it to the finals of the 2004 Olympic trials. Hunter is one of those terrific Philadelphia fighters who come along every twenty or so years. If he were to fight for a world championship by his fifteenth bout, you would not want to bet against him – he is an exceptional talent. Blackwell, on the other hand, is a boxer who is learning on the job – and if placed in the right fights could develop into a world class fighter.
To finalize my point, Blackwell had no business in the ring with Hunter at this stage of his development. He is fortunate that he was not seriously hurt. However, the blame does not lay with Blackwell, who would fight a silverback gorilla wearing a pair of boxing gloves, but with his manager and former professional boxer, Jimmy Deoria who accepted the fight. It is difficult to see or even begin to understand Deoria’s rationale for accepting a bout in which his fighter had little or no chance of winning. Maybe, he expected a pigeon to fly in off Broad Street and peck out Hunter’s eyes during the bout – giving Blackwell an edge. And even with that advantage, I am not sure that Blackwell would have won. Or maybe he thought that with five days notice Hunter would be out of shape and ill-prepared for combat. Having known Hunter since his first amateur fight, I know that he is a gym rat and is never, ever out of the gym. This guy walks around at his fighting weigh. This is public information shared by every trainer in Philadelphia. I guess that all the phone lines from Phoenixville (Deoria’s hometown) to Philadelphia were down because a simple phone call would have confirmed that Hunter was in shape and ready.
The irony of the situation is that somehow Blackwell’s team will convince him that he could have done something different to win the bout and that there is a lesson to be learned from this loss. Poppycock! Blackwell was a dead man walking when matchmaker Don Elbaum presented the fight to Deoria – who should have turned it down. The only lesson to be learned is that Elbaum is a better salesman than Deoria is a manager. And for this reason, Blackwell should ruminate intensively about new management.
Eric “Outlaw” Hunter, just twenty-one years old, demonstrated why he is a hot-prospect and the most talented Philadelphia fighter. It is only a matter of time before he has one of the world championship belts around his waist.
Not to be outdone by Hunter, junior-welterweight Steve “Showtime” Chambers (16 wins -1 loss - 1 draw - 4 kos) lived up to his nickname by annihilating Jaime Morales (4 wins -7 losses - 0 draw - 2 kos) within a minute and thirty-seven seconds of the first round of their scheduled six-round bout. At the opening bell, the game Morales stormed out of his corner and pinned Chambers to the ropes with several vicious body shots. Covering up and looking for an opening, Chambers bided his time as Morales whacked away like a buzz-saw with wide hooks to the body. In the blink of an eye, Chambers found an opening with a right uppercut that drove Morales to the ropes. Morales rolled with five It’s Showtime! (Picture: courtesy of Merrick Foster)punches not expecting what was coming next. Like an octopus with gloves, Chambers ripped off what seemed like a thirty-punch combination with the majority of them landing on Morales’ chin forcing the referee to end the fight.
Coming all the way from Haifa, Israel, heavyweight Ran Nakash (12
wins - 0 loss - 0 draw - 8 kos) landed a blistering right hand at 40
seconds of the second round that leveled southpaw James Porter ( 5 wins
- 12 losses - 1 draw -1 ko) of Terra Haute, Indiana bringing an end to
what was a competitive fight in the first round. Porter never saw the
right hand and looked like a runner sliding into home plate when he hit
the canvas in no shape to continue.
With former two-time heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon in his corner, Englishman Steve O’Meara (1 win - 0 loss - 0 draw - 0 ko) looked good in stopping debuting Dontre King at ninety-seven seconds into the second round.
Junior-welterweight Julias Edmonds (1win - 1 loss - 0 draw - 0 ko) won a spirited unanimous four-round decision over debuting Soumna Nidom Abboulane of Nija. This bout was fought at close quarters as both combatants worked the body effectively. However, the relentless Edmonds landed the most effective shots as he pressed the action throughout the entire fight.
Junior-lightweight Paul Fernandez (2 wins -1 loss - 1 draw - 2 kos) won a unanimous four-round decision over the lanky and unorthodox Darrell Martin (2 wins - 3 losses - 0 draw - 0 ko) who made a habit of losing his mouthpiece throughout the bout. In the fourth round, Fernandez sent Martin’s mouthpiece sailing into the audience after a quick combination to the face. Martin’s trainer, former IBF Junior-Middleweight Champion Vincent Pettway, did not have a replacement and referee Blair Talmadge had to suspend action for a few minutes until someone from the audience found the mouthpiece.
Lightweight Gerald Smith (2 wins - 0 loss - 0 draw - 0 ko) was
impressive in dropping the debuting Randolph Scott twice in the fourth
and final round on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Luck with the ring card girls, Ms. Michael & Marc Abrams (Picture:
courtesy of Merrick Foster)
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