HILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 17, 2017  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. / dcobbjr.com


Delaware boxing fans came out in force Friday Night to get a glimpse of former multi-champion Roy Jones Jr. in the twilight of his career, and the 48-year old ring legend thrilled his many supporters by coming out victorious at Wilmington’s Chase Center. Adding to the excitement was the fact that this was the first boxing show in Delaware in three years. The event was promoted by David Feldman Promotions in association with Kings Promotions and Nelson Promotions.  

Jones, 65-9, 47 KOs, scored an 8th round TKO of traveling tough guy Bobby Gunn, 21-7-1, 18 KOs, in the evening’s main event, scheduled for 12 rounds. Hopes were quickly dashed that Gunn’s pedigree as a professional boxer and a bare-knuckle fighting champion (72-0) would help him to bully and bludgeon the aging future Hall of Famer.   

From the start, Jones dominated the action and only appeared threatened when the skirmish moved to the ropes and corners. Gunn hurled a number of wild punches at the old champ, but none of the shots did much damage.  

Jones popped Gunn with an array of potshots and cruised through the first six rounds, building a lead and wearing Gunn down over the first six rounds. Although Jones began to look a bit winded, he had plenty of fire left to handle Gunn’s crude advances. 

Toward the end of round seven, Jones nearly floored Gunn with a blunt left hook. The punch was clean and hard, and Gunn buckled from the blow, and the fight appeared nearly over. With Gunn wounded and reeling, it seemed all Jones needed to do was land one more punch – even a tap – to close the show.  However, Roy backed off and chose not to throw another punch. Instead, he let the round expire and Gunn survive.   

Roy's display of mercy toward Gunn was par for the course in this rather friendly fight. The evening was filled with mugging, smiles, handshakes and mutual respect between the fighters. Clearly these two liked each other.   

After a minute's rest following the seventh round, the bell sounded for the eighth. Gunn took a step toward ring center before his corner men called him back and asked referee Bill Clancy to stop the fight. Clancy complied and the fight was over. The official time was seven seconds of round eight.

The victory earned Roy Jones Jr. the WBF cruiserweight title. Jones weighed 199; and Gunn weighed 197.4 pounds.

After the fight, both fighters praised each other and continued their friendly banter.  

"I think he took it easy on me," Gunn said of Jones.  

No doubt that was the case.  

In the semi-final bout, undefeated Kanat Islam, 23-0, 19 KOs, overcame a head butt that left his right eye a bloody mess to knockout Brazilian Robson Assis, 16-3, 9 KOs, in their scheduled 10-rounder. The Kazakhstan fighter kept pressing after the butt, and landed an overhand right that dropped Assis for the count. Referee Vic de Wysocki reached the count of ten at 2:12 of the first round. Islam was impressive in his performance and called out Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto after his victory. 

In a 6-round junior lightweight fight, Allentown southpaw Frank De Alba, 21-2-2, 9 KOs, won a one-sided unanimous decision over Mexican German Meraz, 55-42-1, 32 KOs. Meraz, a 98-bout pro making his second local performance in two weeks, once again appeared more than content being on the receiving end of the battle. Only in the final round did Meraz test out his offense, but still failed to win the round. De Alba was patient and workmanlike throughout and took the official decision by three shutout scores of 60-54.  

In a scheduled 4-rounder, Delaware's Joey Tiberi, 14-2, 7 KOs, halted Bryan Timmons of St. Joseph, MO, 5-9, 5 KOs, in the final round of their junior welterweight fight. Referee Vic de Wysocki stopped the bout at 2:04 of the fourth. There were no knockdowns. This was Tiberi’s first appearance since 2014, when he won a bout at the same venue. 

In the opening bout of the night, Dominican junior featherweight Dagoberto Aguero, 11-0, 8 KOs, scored a 6-round majority decision over Olimjon Nazarov of Uzbekistan, 14-5, 8 KOs. Aguero controlled most of the action, while Nazarov tried to turn the tide with his sweeping power shots. It was a scrappy match with many exchanges. After the final bell, Aguero was awarded the victory by scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 57-57.   

After the Jones-Gunn main event, three walkout bouts took place to close out the show. 

First, heavyweight Lamont Singletary, 8-1, 5 KOs, knocked out Dan Biddle, 9-6, 5 KOs, in an all-Delaware battle scheduled for four rounds. Singletary staggered Biddle with a right hand shot in the opening round, and then poured it on until another right dropped Dan for referee Vic de Wysocki's full ten count. The time was 1:49 of round one.  

Next, German lightweight Ikram Kerwat, 7-1, 5 KOs, won her 4-rounder against Virginia's Britain Hart, 2-1, 2 KOs, by unanimous decision. The three official scores were all 40-36.  

Finally, in an over the limit light heavyweight bout, Canadian Henry Stewart, 3-0, 1 KO, beat Martez Williamson of Alliance, OH, 2-16, by majority decision over four rounds. The scores were 39-37, 39-37 and 37-37.  

By the end of a long night filled with production delays, the estimated crowd of approximately 2,400 had dwindled, but only after the main event, to about 100 die-hard fans during the final few bouts. The four main bouts were internationally televised via Pay-Per-View.




John DiSanto - Wilmington - February 17, 2017