By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent-Ringside
*Photo Credit – Robert Brizel
Bethlehem, PA (February 24, 2014)– Iron Mike. The former Heavyweight Champion of the World. He’s a promoter. He’s big. He’s bad. He’s back! Add Former World Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes and former number one contender Gentleman Gerry Cooney to the mix, and you’ve got game. Tyson, now an aspiring rising boxing promoter of Iron Mike Productions, promoted a nine bout card of professional boxing entitled ‘KO Kings of Tomorrow’ at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Saturday evening, February 22, 2014, broadcast over the internet by Universal Boxing Stream, with ringside commentary from Holmes and Cooney.
Of the eight bouts originally scheduled, only one fight was scratched due one fighter being unable to make the contracted weight. Of the seven bouts held, seven bouts went the distance. One fight came off the canvas to win by stoppage. Only one bout actually ended in a knockout. The results indicated the card was in fact extremely well matched, and made for great entertainment. Two Mexican ringers with great experience were ‘in the house’ and went the distance, though they did not get the decision over the promoter’s fighters. Everyone trained hard and tried like hell to win, which, to Iron Mike’s credit, resulted in a truly competitive fight card at the Sands, far better than one might expect.
Iron Mike Tyson shined! This reporter’s view is Iron Mike-as a boxing promoter-is going to get there. It will take time. Also, Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem continues to rise as a great entertainment venue. Its high ceilings make it ideal for internet and television broadcasts, and the entire resort, casino and entertainment complex are new, pleasant, and have a great staff. The Sands is a great location for staging televised sporting events in Pennsylvania, and hopefully many more boxing shows will be held here in years to come.
There was only one knockout on Tyson’s card. Cuban light heavyweight prospect Umberto Savigne scored a second round knockout of Maxell Taylor, landing an overhand power shot which put Taylor on his back for the full count by referee Gary Rotato. Taylor was out cold for a minute.
Three Mexican journeyman, 77 bout bantamweight German Meraz, 66 bout featherweight veteran Jose Angel Beranza, and 54 bout super featherweight veteran Edgar Riovalle, both went the eight round distance in trialhorse bouts, though they didn’t win. They were in the house, and even though the house grew quiet as the rounds passed, they came in and tried to win, which stands for something. Both Mexicans took every power shot their talented opponents had to give, held when they had to, and countered when they could. Perhaps they won a few more rounds than the scorecards gave them credit for hard work, sheer effort, guts, and courage. They were brought in to test the Tyson prospects, and test them the Mexicans did. They were worth every penny and the airplane tickets for their corners.
Iron Mike Tyson Productions KO Kings of Tomorrow Boxing Card Results
Referees: Steve Smoger and Gary Rosato
Umberto Savigne KO 2 Maxell Taylor, Light Heavyweights (1:11)
Alexei Collado Win 8 Edgar Riovalle, Super featherweights
Claudio Marrero Win 8 Jose Angel Beranza, Featherweights
Claudio Marrero of the Dominican Republic is the World Boxing Association ninth ranked featherweight in the world.
Juan Carlos Payano Win 8 German Meraz, Bantamweights
Sammy Vasquez TKO 4 Berlin Abreu, Welterweights (0:23)
12-0 southpaw Vazquez is a former two U.S. Army and Armed Forces amateur champion.
Abreu knocked down Vazquez in the second. Abreu appeared to suffer a broken nose at the end of round three, and did not recover. Vazquez quickly cut off the ring and finished Abreu on the ropes at 23 seconds of round four. Abreu and Vazquez fought in a center of the ring slugfest. Abreu entered the ring with a knee brace, causing a delay in the bout and a confrontation with the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission and commissioner Greg Sirb, who had a heated discussion with Abreu’s corner before allowing the fighter to fight with the knee race on. Sirb explained to Real Combat Media after the boxing card was completed that “It (the knee brace) was never approved. It’s possible he did have some kind of injury. There’s nothing wrong with a knee brace in boxing, plain and simple it would have been no problem, if we had been notified of it first.”
Lenny Dardar Draw 4 FaridAghayev, Middleweights
New Orleans Mixed Martial Arts fighter Lenny Dardar makes a successful comeback after a four year absence from professional boxing, in the featured opening bout on Iron Mike Tyson’s card. Both fighters are now 1-0 with one draw.
Erickson Lubin TKO 3 Tiribio Ball, Welterweights (2:01)
Iron Mike Tyson interviewed top welterweight prospect Erickson Lubin in the ring after this bout, as seen in the lead photo above to this write up of Tyson’s boxing card. “I was really impressed with how professional and mature you are as a fighter, at only 18 years old!” Noted Tyson.
Dennis Galarza Scratch Jesus Gonzalez, Super Bantamweights
Galarza came in over the contracted 122 pound limit, and Gonzalez refused a late offer to fight Galarza at super featherweight, as Galarza weighed, in over 126 pounds, according to Gonzalez on press row. “I could fight one weight class up, but not two,” noted Gonzalez.