Mike Jones Defeats Lenin Arroyo
& Other Results From Bally’s Atlantic City

By Tim Donaldson
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey

For those who say that boxing is dead, I say you must come to a match promoted by Hall of Fame Promoter Russell Peltz. Saturday night at Bally’s was a great night of boxing. From the main event featuring Mike Jones, the Jamaal Davis’ fight, and even the pro debut fights of Ryan Carson and Josh Mercado, the night was full of exciting, and more importantly, evenly matched fights.

Mike Jones was forced to go the distance for the first time since May of 2008 when he fought Gilbert Venegas. Although Lenin Arroyo was a second choice replacement fighter, he proved to be a worthy opponent for Jones. The conventional wisdom of those in attendance was that it should be an easy fight. Arroyo typically fights as a light welterweight, so Jones should have a weight advantage, as well as the several inch height advantage. But Arroyo has never been stopped in the ring. This fight was no exception.

The first round was slow, with each fighter trying to get used to the other. Jones and Arroyo had no real time to train for the fighting style of the other, so this was there only chance. By the second round, Jones was looking like his usual self. He was fighting harder, bobbing and weaving, and throwing lots of combinations. But Arroyo was staying right there with him, never backing down. In the third round, Arroyo tried to push Jones against the ropes, but Jones quickly moved away. One thing was evident. Arroyo was not intimidated by Jones’ size or record. And even when Jones would throw everything at Arroyo, Arroyo just kept taking it and just kept coming forward.

I have always thought the sign of a champion was that they do not lose their composure when things are not happening exactly as they had planned. Jones has a long list of knockouts. And the way he was hitting Arroyo, it was surprising that he did not go down. But Jones kept calm throughout the fight. In the fifth, Jones began to double his jab before throwing his right. Arroyo was still coming right back after him, but he was failing to connect his shots. In the sixth, Arroyo came out swinging. Jones came right back and dominated the rest of the round. At one point, however, Jones seemed to be trying too hard for the knockout. He began to look a little sloppy, but quickly regained his composure.

In the seventh, both Jones and Arroyo were looking tired. Although Jones controlled the round, it was a much closer round than the ones before. In the eighth and ninth round, Arroyo would control the early part of the rounds, and Jones would control the middle and the end of the rounds. Jones spent the final rounds relying more on his right. In the tenth, Jones landed a hard shot to the head of Arroyo, but still Arroyo refused to go down. Jones won by decision. Two of the judges scoring the fight 99-91 and one 98-92.

Earlier in the evening, Jamaal Davis fought Manuel Guzman. Davis, who is called “Tyson” by many of his fans, proved why he has earned that name. Davis came out swinging in the first round, putting pressure on Guzman from the beginning. But Guzman was able to survive the barrage and did not back down the entire round. In the second round, Davis would punish Guzman every time he came in to throw a punch. Davis was not making it easy for Guzman. He kept moving, keeping Guzman off his fight plan.

In the third round, Guzman was already looking tired, and by the fourth, he looked worn out. He was trying to hang on to Davis to stop the hits. Although Davis dominated the round, at times Guzman was able to come back. And he looked dangerous, like a cornered animal trying to fight back against his aggressor. But as long as Davis kept moving, he was able to dominate Guzman. By the sixth and final round, Davis was out punching Guzman by at least three to one. Guzman was able to land one last power shot in the sixth round, but it was not enough to put Davis down. Davis won by unanimous decision.

The night started out with the pro debut of Ryan Carson against Osnel Charles. Judging by the first round, I would have thought that Charles would be the winner. He looked more professional and to be more in control. But Carson came out in the second round ready to prove that he belonged in the ring as a professional fighter. He knocked down Charles late in the round. Charles went down but got right up. He looked unsteady on his legs, and Carson knocked him down again. The referee stopped the fight at 2:39 in the second.

The second fight was the pro debut of Josh Mercado. Mercado came out in the first round, landing several good combinations against Terrell Boggs. Boggs seemed to be waiting for something. That something might have been the second round. Boggs was much more aggressive in the second. However, Mercado never backed down. Round three was a toss up. Both fighters showed that they wanted this fight. But by the end of the fourth round, Boggs seemed worn out. Mercado dominated the last minute, and Boggs was not returning fire. Mercado won by unanimous decision, only losing one round on the scorecard of one judge.

Ronald Cruz scored a TKO victory over Julias Edmonds. In the third round, Edmonds ear was cut. The cut looked much worse than it was, almost looking as though the blood were coming from the inner ear rather than the cut on the top of his ear. The fight was stopped after the third round on the advice of the physician.

Jerson Ravelo defeated Willis Lockett, scoring the unanimous decision in what was probably the slowest fight of the evening. And the final fight of the evening saw Frankie Trader scoring a unanimous decision over Francisco Palacios.

Boxing is only dead if we let it die. Good boxing can still be found. So go out and support it.


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