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15 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Monroe, Jr. Glides Past Vera  

By Marc Livitz: Willie Monroe, Jr. fought a slick and effective fight this Friday evening as he earned a unanimous decision win over Brian Vera at the Turning Stone Casino Resort in Verona, New York. Monroe, Jr. successfully defended his WBA and WBO NABO middleweight titles which he captured last May as part of the Boxcino tournament staged by ESPN.


Vera (23-9, 14 KO’s) followed southpaw Monroe, Jr. around the ring throughout much of the opening round. As the period came to an end, the Austin, Texas resident sought to lessen the distance in an attempt to land his shots at a closer range. Willie was able to keep Vera at bay with his right jab and occasional follow-up left. Each man connected with a few meaningful punches up top in the second as Monroe, Jr. played possum of sorts. Brian pushed the action as round three began and forced his upstate New York foe into various corners. He looked to attack the body, however Willie showed the smarts to fight his way out of trouble via his lateral movement and quick right jab. He caught Vera flush on the chin to close the round with a straight left which was his best of the night thus far.


Brian viciously went to the body of Monroe, Jr. for nearly a full minute to begin the fourth. Willie weathered the storm and took advantage of space created with his jab as he’d done before. He kept Vera away for most of the time thereafter. The fifth was much of the same. Willie wanted to keep moving and keep the action in the middle of the ring and stay clear of the ropes. The first official knockdown occurred with just over a minute to go when Brian was hit with a grazing shot while he was off balance.


Referee Benjy Esteves separated the two for the mandatory eight count. Vera came back with a quick left hook and tried to push the action. However, Monroe, Jr. caught his central Texas foe with several unanswered and cleanly landed left hooks to the face. "The Warrior" Vera grabbed onto the man whose father had gained notoriety many years ago by defeating the great Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Brian was fighting to gain his composure and flashed a smile as he returned to his corner at round’s end. The sixth was not quite as eventful. Monroe, Jr. caught Vera with a right hook a few times in the seventh round. Brian let Willie have free reign of the ring and would get tagged with Monroe’s signature left whenever he got too close or turned the corner to continue the chase.


Willie used the ring in rounds eight and nine as before would not let Vera get too close. Brian was a moving target for him and he fired shot after shot at his head. Nine rounds of ten had now passed and Vera would undoubtedly need a knockout to win the bout. Vera tried and tried to push Monroe, Jr. into a corner or onto the ropes in the last round. It didn’t work and Willie had the entire ring as his playground. The decision seemed easy for the judges with the following scorecards: 98-91, 97-92 and 99-90 - all for the winner by unanimous decision, Willie "El Mongoose" Monroe, Jr., who improved to (19-1, 6 KO’s).


Other results

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Welterweight Taras Shelestyuk w ko 1 Antonio Fernandez
Featherweight Vitor Jones de Oliveira w tko 1 Michael Doyle
Welterweight Greg Jackson w tko 3 Cornelius Whitlock
Light Heavyweight Cameron Allen w pts 4 Borngod Washington


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January 16, 2015

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