Kendrick Ball Jr. Hits Home Run vs. Bryan Vera
Former New England middleweight champion Kendrick “Peppa”
Ball, Jr. turned in a career-best performance in last
night’s main event against dangerous Bryan “The Warrior”
Vera on the evening portion of the “Crossroads” day-night
doubleheader, presented by Granite Chin Promotions, at New
England Sports Center in Derry, New Hampshire.
The pre-fight plan was followed as Ball (16-1-2, 11 KOs)
boxed and moved, while Vera (28-17, 18 KOs) applied
pressure, right from the opening bell. Ball took control in
the second round, when he stayed in the pocket, snapping off
crisp combinations. Ball fired more effective combinations
in the third round as Vera started chasing his opponent.
Ball started moving around the ring and fighting from the
outside in the fourth and stayed on his toes the remainder
of the fight.
Ball won an 8-round unanimous decision (79-73, 79-73, 78-74)
to become the World Boxing Council (WBC) USNBC (United
States) Silver Super Middleweight Champion.
“This was my best fight, because of who I fought, and the
magnitude of the fight,” Ball commented. “The plan was to
box and move because he was much smaller and slower. At
times I banged, when I knew he wasn’t hurting me, but I
shouldn’t have taken the risks.”
The 39-year-old Vera isn’t the same fighter he was when he
beat three different world champions – Andy Lee, Sergio Mora
(twice) and Serhiy Dzinziruk. The Texan needs to decide if
it’s time to finally hang up his gloves.
“This was awesome, definitely our best show to date,”
Granite Chin’s Chris Traietti declared after the show. “We
feel great about stepping up to give these fighters,
especially the locals, a platform to perform on in front of
fans. I think a lot of promoters have gotten lazy. They gave
us a lane and Granite Chin took advantage. This was our
fourth show with fans during the last year. Brian fought
hard and he’s a great guy, but he’s not the same guy he was
in 2011. He needs to think about what he’s going to do.
“Granite Chin returns here June 26th with another
doubleheader. The afternoon show will be the Granite Chin
Invitational for open elite boxers. With the New England
Golden Gloves canceled again there is a void to fill. If
promoters are going to help amateurs, I certainly will,
starting June 26th.”
Challenger Marquis Bates (8-4, 6 KOs) dethroned defending
New Hampshire Welterweight Champion Ryan Dibartolomeo
(3-2-1, 1 KO) via a sixth-round stoppage in an entertaining
co-feature. A devastating overhand right from Bates gave him
his new crown as the referee didn’t even count as the ring
doctor quickly entered the ring.
Larry “Hitman” Pryor took the contract out on Scott Lambert
and he wasted little time taking care of business to become
the New Hampshire Cruiserweight Champion. Pryor took
advantage of his decisive height and reach advantages,
closing the show with a perfectly thrown left hook that sent
Lambert to the canvas. Lambert managed to beat the count,
but the referee stopped the fight midway through the opening
round when he saw Lambert wobbling back and forth on rubbery
Lanky left-handed Francis “The Tank” Hogan (5-0, 5 KOs)
graduated last night with a brilliant performance against
Larry “Slo Mo” Smith, who was in his 60th career fight.
Hogan put down Smith early in the third round and caught the
Texan late in the same round with a lefty-combination to the
temple. Smith beat the count, but he was unable to answer
the bell for the fourth round, and 20-year-old Hogan became
the new New Hampshire Junior Middleweight Champion.
Former New England heavyweight champion Justin “Crazy Train”
Rolfe (5-2-1, 4 KOs) positioned himself for another N.E.
title shot with a spectacular knockout of Alfredo “Choncho”
Trevino (9-9-1, 1 KO). The 263-pound Rolfe, fighting out of
Fairfield, Maine, charged across the ring at the bell and
put his Arizona opponent to sleep right in his corner, when
he was counted out at the 20-seconds mark.
The newest member of the fightin’ Whitley family from
western Massachusetts, undefeated welterweight Denzel
Whitley, cruised to his fourth victory with his fourth
knockout. He drilled Aquilandro Brandao late in round one
and the fight was stopped by the referee.
Undefeated Jahye Brown (9-0, 7 KOs) captured the vacant ABF
Athletic junior middleweight title with a hard fought
8-round unanimous decision over a game Mexican opponent,
Dormedes Potes (12-4-1, 9 KOs). The two fought toe-to-toe
from the opening bell and Brown landed the more effective
punches inside to earn the victory.
Promising middleweight prospect Julien “Black Dragon”
Baptiste improved to 2-0 with his second knockout, blasting
out Bruno Dias in the third round.
Fighting for the first time in more than eight years, Fall
River, MA welterweight Dustin Reinhold (6-4, 2 KOs) won a
4-round unanimous decision over pro-debuting Anthony
Andreozzi in what can best be called a rough and tumble
Junior middleweight Carlos Castillo’s professional debut was
a gem as the Holyoke, MA fighter dropped Theo Desjardon
twice, the last closing the show late in the first round.
“Cannon” Berry stops Ibarra in 5
UBO All-America Welterweight Champion Brandon “The Cannon”
Berry (21-5-2, 13 KOs) successfully defended in the
afternoon card’s main event, overcoming a slow start in
which he was buzzed to stop challenger Gael Ibarra (5-3, 4
KOs) in the fifth round.
Berry finished the fight in the fifth, when he unloaded twin
barrages of unanswered punches on a trapped Ibarra until the
referee waved off the fight.
“I’m glad it wasn’t a 4-round fight,” Berry said after the
fight. “He was a strong guy. I was feeling it. He tested me.
I want to thank my family and friends here, and Granite Chin
and everybody involved in the promotion.”
In the co-featured event, New England heavyweight champion
Mike “Fly” Marshall (4-1, 3 KOs), in a non-title fight,
knocked out Tracey Johnson (4-10-6) in the third round.
Popular Boston Irishman Jimmy Torney (3-0, 3 KOs) – 6’ 6”,
269 lbs. - needed only 42-seconds and one big right to stop
pro-debuting heavyweight Marco Nascimento.
Massachusetts welterweight Eric “Gladiator” Goff
convincingly won his pro debut against Jader Alves (0-5) as
he pitched a 4-round shutout
Three-time New England Golden Gloves champion Demek
“Hightower” Edmonds had an awesome pro debut, dropping
cruiserweight Francisco Neto twice in round one, the second
a vicious body shot ending the fight. Edmonds, a southpaw
from Worcester, MA, is a college graduate and bonafide
prospect to watch.
In a non-title fight, New England welterweight champion Mike
“Bad Man” Ohan, Jr. (12-1, 6 KOs) schooled his 54-fight Las
Vegas opponent, junior middleweight Rynell Griffin. Ohan
decked Griffin three times in the first round, the third
with a left hook to the body from which Griffin was unable
to beat the count.
Canadian cruiserweight Yan “Wild Thing” Pellerin (11-1, 5
KOs) landed two stinging rights to the body of 63-fight
veteran Steve “The Spoiler” Walker, both flooring the
Missouri fighter, the second resulting in an opening-round
knockout for the vacant ABF Atlantic title.
Connecticut welterweight Omar “The Beast” Borday, Jr. (1101,
3 KOs) dominated 65-fight journeyman Dewayne Wisdom en route
to a one-sided 8-round unanimous decision.