By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent-Ringside
*Photo Credit: Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media
New York, NY (February 15th. 2015)– Final Forum boxing promoter gambled at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York, on Valentine’s Day and hit the jackpot in the main event on Saturday evening, February 14, 2015. Of the five fights on the card televised by the CBS Sports Network, Musumeci gambled his veteran heavyweight Derric Rossy could outlast inexperienced 16-0 Abkror Muralimov in a 10 round war which pitted Rossy’s technical skill in the center of the ring against Muralimov’s raw power. Musumeci’s risky gamble paid off, and CBS also got a great card of boxing entertainment.
Rossy, now 30-9, 14 knockouts, Medford, New York, fought his third consecutive 10 round battle. After beating 21-1 Joe Hanks by 10 round decision last May, Rossy apparently got robbed of a 10 round majority decision against 17-0-1 Vyacheslav Glazkov last August.
Early in his bout with Muralimov, the more experienced Rossy got staggered a number of times along the ropes standing in front of his shorter more powerful foe. Muralimov comes from the new generation of heavyweights including Andy Ruiz, Bermane Stiverne, Deontay Wilder, and Bryant Jennings. The turning point for Rossy came when he settled down in center ring, firing off jabs out of distance range, and outworking his opponent. Rossy saved a bit for the late rounds, where he successfully dragged Muralimov into deep waters.
Muralimov, unable to get inside, was reduced to hoping to get lucky when Rossy inadvertently strayed out of his game plan and wandered along the ropes. Muralimov was somewhat dirty, throwing a number of flagrant shots to the back of Rossy’s head, and punches below the belt, but did not have points taken away despite getting warned by referee Gary Rosato.
Rossy had a few close calls when he was hit hard, and had to hold to survive, which kept the television bout exciting to the final bell due to its ‘anything can happen’ possibility. Rossy was able to win primarily because he found his game plan, and took control of the ring, letting his hands to in order to get the job done. Muralimov hesitated before throwing his punches all night, and for the last six rounds was not letting his hands go.Rossy demonstrated ring generalship, and also had heart. Muralimov showed he had power, but for the most part could not do anything with his only asset.
By the end of the eighth round, Muralimov was visibly tired.
Rossy has now fought opponents with a combined record of 54-1-1 in his last three pro bouts. Since Rossy is looking for another big bout, names on the radar could include Ruslan Chagaev, Dereck Chisora, Andy Ruiz Jr., Antonio Tarver, Alexander Povetkin, Bermane Stiverne, Steve Cunningham, Amir Mansour, Charles Martin, David Price, Tony Thompson, and Chris Arreola. As Rossy now holds the IBF North American regional belt, promoter Sal Musumeci has the option of defending Rossy’s belt at home on his next card in two months, or heading to Europe where the paydays and stakes are higher.
Real Combat Media scored the bout 97-93 for Rossy, who appeared to win at least five of the last six rounds on points easily. The fight did not appear to be close, yet if Muralimov, now 16-1, 13 knockouts, Uzbekistan by way of Houston Texas, had won one more round on the scorecards, the bout would have been a majority draw.
Result: Derric Rossy Win 10 Abkhor Muralimov, Heavyweights
Rossy wins International Boxing Federation Vacant North American Heavyweight Title
Scoring: 97-93, 96-94, 96-94 Rossy. Referee: Gary Rosato
In the other title bout on the card, Mike Lee of Chicago, Illinois, a light heavyweight, stepped up to cruiserweight and knocked out Gary Tapusoa in the second round. After a cautious first, Lee opened up on the slower Tapusoa, knocked him down three times, the third time for good. Lee, who won the Universal Boxing Federation All Americas vacant Cruiserweight title, still looks like a light heavyweight. Tapusoa, now 6-4, five knockouts, Independence, Missouri, is a decent technical fighter, but cannot handle heavy hitters.
Lee, now 14-0 with eight knockouts, is probably more dangerous at light heavyweight. In the 175 pound division, Sergei Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson are running out of championship caliber opponents, and the sky is the limit for talented fighters who can rise up in the 175 pound weight class.
Result: Mike Lee TKO 2 Gary Tapusoa, Cruiserweights
Lee wins the vacant Universal Boxing Federation All Americas Cruiserweight title
Time: 2: 08. Referee: Johnny Callas / UBF Supervisor: Mike Melendez
Undercard Bouts at Resorts World Casino, February 14, 2015
Referees: Gary Rosato, Johnny Callas, Danny Schiavone
Brandon Williams Win 6 Micah Branch, Super Featherweights
Armin Mrkanovic Win 6 Dave Valykeo, Cruiserweights
Henry Beckford Win 4 Phillip LeGrand (Pro Debut), Middleweights