By Jason Pribila: On an evening when ringside judges again proved that the action that takes place in the ring does not necessarily translate to the scorecards, cruiserweight Garrett Wilson (13-5-1, 7 KO) dismissed the jury and scored a chilling knockout over Andres Taylor (20-2-1, 7 KO) at the 2:50 mark of the final round.
Wilson, of Philadelphia, book-ended his uneven performance by knocking Taylor off his feet in the opening and closing frames. He now finds himself as a player in the cruiserweight division, due in large part to his ability to display late knockout power, as well as the confidence that has accompanied him to the ring since he picked up a regional title.
Wilson improved to (5-0, 4KO) since he settled for a Draw in Taylor’s hometown, where they first met in September of 2010. That year began with Wilson dropping three straight by decision.
The 5’9” brawler reminds me of another Wilson who fought at cruiserweight and was well known for scoring highlight reel knockouts, Darnell “Ding a Ling Man”. Each man is known for throwing their left hooks with bad intentions. Disabling that weapon would be key for Taylor, but Wilson showed early that he is no one trick pony and he dropped Taylor a minute into the bout with a huge right hand. Taylor survived the round, but an impression had been made.
The early success may have altered Wilson’s own game plan, and he soon fell into the role of being a stalker. By the third round he was fighting with his hands at his sides, as he began to load up to land another big blow to close the show.
Taylor was not doing much offensively, but he began to do a better job of controlling the distance, and smothering some of Wilson’s power punches. Taylor was gaining confidence, but when he decided to exchange, it was Wilson who would add the punctuation.
The ringing of the bell to start round eleven seemed to serve as an alarm clock for Wilson. Several rounds of inactivity could have allowed Taylor back into the fight, and Wilson seemed determined to have a conclusive outcome this time. A hard right followed by a left hook sent Taylor across the ring. Wilson pounced on his reeling foe. Wilson landed another pair of left hooks. The second one sent Taylor crashing to the canvas face first. On his second attempt, Taylor took the Trevor Berbick route to make it to his feet. The bell rang to end the round, and Taylor was allowed to follow his unsteady legs back to his corner.
Taylor’s corner was crowded between rounds, but after a long look he was allowed to continue. Out of respect, Wilson seemed content to run out the clock. He used his legs rather than test his foes. However, just as writers and judges were about to sign-off for the evening, Wilson landed a final left hook brought the evening to a chilling and dramatic close.
Taylor was out cold before landing flat on his back with his arms stretched out to the side. He received immediate attention from the medical staff, and the unwelcome sight of a stretcher made its way under the bottom rope. After a few scary moments, Taylor made it to his stool, and eventually his feet.
It was reported that Wilson led on all three cards at the time of the knockout by scores of: 106-101, 106-101, and 105-102. Scores that became academic after leather gave chin a goodnight kiss.
Wilson was victorious by KO. He erased an earlier Draw from his record, and he added his name to the short list for Knockout of the Year honors.
In the co-feature, Detroit’s Christopher Finley (5-4, 4 KO) came into the doghouse to face hometown favorite Osnel Charles (9-3, 1 KO) in a battle of lightweights. Charles began the bout full of confidence, and began darting in and out attempting to establish work to Finley’s body. Finley soon timed his opponent and in a flash he landed a right-left combo that sent Charles backward where only the ropes kept him upright. Finley used a double-right to score another knockdown in round three to secure the upset via unanimous decision with official scores of: 59-53, 58-54, 58-54.
The seven bout card held at the Bally’s Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey was presented by Peltz Boxing.
Prib Notes: While the knockout provided fans with a dramatic conclusion to their evening, and will no doubt raise Wilson’s profile, I question if it was necessary. Taylor was in no shape to continue after barely making it to his feet at the end of the eleventh round. He only has 7 knockouts in his career and there was no indication that he would be able to avoid the inevitable by landing anything dramatic. I give him credit for wanting to continue, but this was a case where several people could have saved Taylor and his family from experiencing the tense moments that were soon to follow.
April 14 was circled on my calendar as soon as the Brandon Rios – Yuriorkis Gamboa fight was announced. I wonder what Gamboa’s advisors thought as they were going through legal paperwork rather than competing against a very beatable Brandon Rios?
“The Money Team” is back in full effect as HBO’s 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto premiered. For those expecting to see a more humble Mayweather were disappointed as “Money” now added PETA to those who will tune in on May 5 to see if the dog-loving Cotto could somehow be the first to solve Mayweather.
This will be a busy stretch for Hall of Fame promoter Russell Peltz. He is set to bring his brand of boxing back to Bally’s on May 19, with Harry Joe Yorgey headlining against Jamall Davis. He then teams up with Main Events for the next two installments of their Fight Night series scheduled for June 1 and June 16. In between, his prized pupils take aim at major titles as Mike Jones and Teon Kennedy are set to support the Pacquiao-Bradley PPV in Las Vegas.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions/comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @PribsBoxing
April 14, 2012