“The Standing Eight Count”-
Ringside For ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights


By Dave Wilcox



The Nokia Theater in Los Angeles played host to Goossen-Tutor Promotions as the dapper Joe Tessitore and the not so dapper Teddy Atlas called the action for Friday Night Fights. This would be a fight card hosted by a venue normally reserved for stage shows and concerts. This was not your normal Boxing atmosphere. If you picture going to a play, that’s what we had here. The ring sat on the stage and the entire crowd was on one side, as if they were at a movie. Us media scrubs sat on the stage.


For the main event, I went to my cliché bag and pulled out the term “crossroads” for this bout between the once heavily regarded Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and “Fast” Eddie Chambers from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The winner in this one would most likely be in line for a title shot, while the loser might just fall into oblivion.


The day before, we found out that Sam Peter weighed in at a svelte 265 pounds, which was twelve pound heavier than he had ever weighed previously for a bout. Not exactly a sign that Mr. Peter is taking his craft seriously.


The classy Jimmy Lennon, JR. introduced the fighters and we were ready to roll.


As round one began, Chambers moved as Peter chased. It was apparent immediately that Sam was the much bigger man, although we must give Chambers credit for having the bigger “man-boobs”.


I gave Peter round one due solely on the fact that he pushed the action. Neither guy seemed to be throwing enough punches.


In rounds two and three, “Fast” Eddie picked up the pace with the jab and worked his quick right hand nicely. I gave both rounds to Chambers.


The next four rounds could have gone either way. In what I call coin flip rounds, I gave rounds four through seven to Sam Peter. Chambers simply was not throwing enough punches. It’s not as if Peter was doing much either to be quite honest. This fight reminded me of the glory days of Tim Witherspoon and Tony Tubbs in the 80's when they would come into big fights without the ability to show up in shape. When all else fails and both guys look like crap, I go with the guy pushing forward. In rounds four through seven, that man was Sam Peter.


In round eight, the light fisted Chambers picked up the pace with his right hand and actually got the attention of Sam Peter with one quick overhand right. In a boring and uninspired affair like this, I’ll take anything I can get and that modest right hand by Chambers was the best punch of the night. Holyfield vs. Dokes this fight was not. I gave round eight to Chambers.

In round nine, for the first time in the fight, Peter actually started going backwards as Chambers became more confident. Eddie was more aggressive and was able to take the round.

The tenth and final round couldn’t have come sooner for me. The final round began with Peter again coming forward and landing the better shots. Chambers didn’t throw much and didn’t fight as if he needed the round to win. At the time, I thought it was a bad move for Chambers. As it turns out, he knew much more than I did and the bout turned into another episode of my favorite game, the “Dave has no clue how to score a fight” game.


With all the close rounds, this one really could have been scored either way. One judge had the fight scored a draw at 95-95. A second had it in favor of Eddie Chambers 96-94 and the third blind mouse scored it 99-91 for the winner by majority decision, “Fast” Eddie Chambers.


Yours truly had it scored for Sam Peter by the score of 96-94 and I was severely ridiculed by my friends sitting with me at ringside. I was falling asleep through many of the rounds, so it is quite possible I scored a few incorrectly in this one. In the end, both guys were unimpressive and uninspiring. We are no closer today in finding an exciting heavyweight as we were on Friday morning. I’m sure Eddie Chambers will be in line for one of the Alphabet titles in the near future, but he doesn’t have the power or the work rate to be successful in my opinion.


As for Sam Peter, there is always a place for a big, slow Heavyweight that can punch. I’m sure we’ll continue to see him as an opponent in the future. Hell, If Jameel McCline is still getting fights and Oleg Maskaev can be a mandatory #1 contender, why not Sam Peter?     


The Undercard:


-Goosen-Tutor had Olympic teammates on the card. For the first time in nearly ten years a promotion company had more than one former Olympian signed to a pro contract.


The first and most well know at this point is Super Middleweight prospect Shawn Estrada from East Los Angeles, California. His opponent for this one was a character named “Infamous” Ray Craig from Oakland, California. For this scheduled four rounder, I should have know right away that this one would be quick. I never trust a guy with two first names and Craig would not disappoint. Estrada is a nice looking fighter but until he steps up the competition, it is just too hard to tell at this point how good he really is. I have been ringside at all three of his bouts and to be honest, none of the opponents seemed to try to hard. In this bout against Craig for example, we should have given Craig a pair of swim trunks and put him on a diving board if you know what I mean. As the fighters made their way to the ring, a fellow scribe that I made nice with asked me, “What do you think of this Craig guy?” My reply was, “Well, apparently, he is no good, or he wouldn’t be here.”


As for the fight, Estrada did what he was supposed to and took out the “Infamous” one in round number one as the three knockdown rule came into affect.


Shawn Estrada will next be in action on the undercard of the Paul Williams and Winky Wright bout on April 11th in Las Vegas. Estrada improves to 3-0 with 3 knock outs, while Ray Craig falls to an inspiring 5-5 mark with (2 KO)


-The other Olympian on the card was Welterweight Javier Molina of Commerce, California and he made his pro debut against Jaime Cabrera of Alhambra, California in a four rounder. Cabrera was also in his pro debut. Molina got his opponent out of there in round number two with a couple big right hands, followed by a hard body shot. This was an impressive second round knockout for the youngster and a good start to what we hope will be a successful career.


-The most exciting bout on the undercard only lasted a round and a half and pitted undefeated and heavily favored John Molina, JR. from Covina, California against lightly regarded Carlos Vinan of Newark, New Jersey in a Junior Lightweight bout scheduled for six rounds.


As round one began, Vinan started throwing shots and didn’t stop the entire round! It was absolutely wild. Molina was caught off guard and for the first half of the round, he was being overwhelmed. Coming in to the bout, Vinan had only one knockout in seventeen bouts, so apparently he doesn’t have a lot of pop, but man oh man did he try and make it up with volume. Towards the end of round one, Molina settled down and started landing some hard shots. At the twenty second mark, he staggered Vinan with a big right hand. In round two, both guys continued to throw a large volume of punches. Molina started getting best of the exchanges and landed hard punch after hard punch. I couldn’t believe how Vinan took the shots and kept coming forward. Finally the referee had seen enough of the punishment and stopped the action in round two.


Molina improves 16-0 (11 KO) and Vinan falls to 8-7-3 (1 KO)


-In a six round Light heavyweight bout, Ismayl Sillakh of Simi Valley, California made quick work of the human punching bag, Carlos Reyas of Phoenix, Arizona. A huge right to the belly put Ryes down for good in round number three.


Sillakh improves to 7-0 (6 KO) and Reyes falls to 4-2 (2 KO)


-In a six round contest, Francisco Santana of Santa Barbara, California faced off against Antonio Johnson of Oakland, California.


Santana controlled the action as he pushed forward against the slick Johnson. After six rounds they went the cards and Francisco Santana was awarded the unanimous decision by the scores of 58-56, 59-55 and 59-55.



Random Thoughts:


-As usually is the case at a fight card in Los Angeles, James “Lights Out” Toney was ringside. As Sam Peter took off his robe, I think I heard Toney say, “Damn, Peter is fat!”


-Eddie Chambers might get his Heavyweight title shot, but I suspect he won’t do much with it. As of today, I’m still waiting for David Haye and Chris Areola to save me from my heavyweight misery.


-It seems that Ronald Hearns has inherited a lot from the old man, especially his chin.



Thanks for reading and Keep Punching!


Don’t forget to listen to the “Talkin Boxing with Billy C.” Radio Show” It’s live 5 days a week from 6-7:30 am EST. It’s also available anytime on Podcast. Go to www.talkinboxing.com for details.

Dave appears every Monday morning to go over the weekend’s action.


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