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24 JUNE 2018

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Mikhaylenko Is Still Unbeaten

Dmitry Mikhaylenko, 153, Gelendzhik, Russia, 17-0 (6), was too busy for skilled but shopworn Sechew Powell, 148, Brooklyn, 26-6 (15), in a hectic eight. Every round was non-stop trading at close range. The smaller Russian constantly forced Powell back, herded him onto the ropes, and wailed away to body and head. Powell was able to land numerous slick counters, but against the persistent Russian’s work rate, they just weren’t enough. Dmitry was scored upon as he came in, but consistently ducked Sechew’s wider swings once inside, then came up with short blows to body and head. As he was being forced back and against the ropes, Powell stood up straight, losing snap on his punches. After a couple of close rounds, Mikhaylenko had established a clear command of the fight by the third. It was settling into a pattern, but Sechew interrupted that in round five when he managed to gain a little room and became more effective with his counters. Was the Russian running out of steam from the frenetic pace he was setting? Would Sechew make it a new fight down the stretch? No. Mikhaylenko turned up the heat in a torrid round six, regained control, and kept it on high through a sizzling finish. Powell fought back hard in an appropriately active final round, but couldn’t get the better of the Russian’s relentless attack. Lindsey Page scored 78-74, Eugene Grant 79-73, and Lawrence Layton 80-72. Randy Neumann refereed.


In a sensational six, Adam Kownacki, 258, Bklyn, 7-0 (7), outlasted “King” Charles Ellis, 233, Wichita, 9-2-1 (8), for a TKO at 0:15 of the fifth. There wasn’t a bit of mauling in this heavyweight Armageddon, and no point-scorers, either. The two took turns throwing knockout bombs from long range, rocking each other back and forth, until it looked like a game of “last tap.” The lanky Ellis kept hands low and stood straight up, making an inviting target. Kownacki couldn’t resist, and had no trouble reaching him, jolting Ellis’ head back repeatedly. Ellis answered back, but just not as often. In a solid-socking first round, Kownacki had him stumbling, but Charles came back with a jolting right that stopped the rally. Ellis was getting walloped again in the second, but gained a respite when he lost his mouthpiece. Starting the third, the Kansan came back strong, staggering the favorite with a clean right. But Charles hurt his own cause by losing his mouthpiece again, giving the stunned Kownacki a critical breather. Adam regrouped and immediately landed a right of his own that rocked Ellis and turned the tide once more. Action then slowed under the brutal pace. Both showed signs of wear in the fourth, but King Charles was now switch-hitting and pawing while Adam still had pop. Kownacki opened the fifth with a solid straight right that sent the tiring underdog stumbling sideways on crab legs, where a sweeping left hook floored him at last. Ref Neumann appeared to be moving to stop it when Ellis began reeling and before he hit the deck, so this only put the exclamation point on the TKO. Randy waved it without a count, at 0:15. Ellis immediately jumped up and protested, but he was sufficiently behind on all cards.


Ellis & Kownacki
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Joey Dawejko, 236 ½, Phila., 11-3-2 (4), made short work of David Williams, 233, Phila., 7-9-2 (2), in a scheduled eight. The statuesque Williams…as in stony immobility…was a sitting duck, and Joey wasted no time. Holding his left low, Williams couldn’t stop the incoming and a series of overhand rights dropped him. As David regained his feet, Dawejko sent him down again, feinting his right and firing a left hook. Finally, the underdog was an open target as Joey walked straight in and launched another right that floored Williams a third and final time. Ref Neumann stopped it, at 1:48 of the opening round.


Perez & Willis
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

In a good and well-boxed six, DeCarlo Perez, 158, A.C., 12-3-1 (4), was too big, too strong, too busy, and too sharp for Marcus Willis, 158 ½, Ft. Myers, 13-4-2 (3). All the rounds were close, but Perez “made” the fight and worked the body well. That didn’t stop Page from scoring a questionable 57-57, but thank goodness, Grant and Layton rescued the majority decision, both 59-55 Perez.


Hakim Bryant, 155, Middletown, NJ, 2-0 (1), was too strong and determined for Anthony Watson, 154, Phila., 0-2, in a muscular slugfest. The southpaw Watson was steadily broken down in hard trading and began to fade in round three. He had little left for the fourth and final, and when a combo buckled him, ref Dali pulled the plug, at 0:38.

Williams & Dawejko
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events
Despite the poor main event, matchmaker Russell Peltz provided a good undercard with all the bouts competitive at least on paper. The heroes made a sweep but had to earn the Ws on their records. The crowd wasn’t large, circa 1500, and less than half filled the arena. But they certainly had something to enjoy with the undercard. The show was a split telecast on HBO’s After Dark series, with other headliners coming from Las Vegas. Legendary Harold Lederman got to work the Vegas show while rising star Steve Weisfeld did the telecast here. Fans were further entertained following the main event by an internally televised interview as Max Kellerman brought together Kovalev and presumed next opponent Bernard Hopkins. The loquacious Hopkins pretty much talked about his long career and achievements, which speak for themselves. Kovalev was duly respectful and promised to be ready, have an exacting game plan, and not rely on the “lucky punch” which many figure to be his principle chance. At least that will be a much better contest than this one, regardless of how it plays out. Kovalev can’t beat Hopkins. But pushing fifty, Bernard is going to one night “get old.” That’s Sergey’s best chance.
Bryant & Watson
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events


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