Grano Decisions Brown
Reports byScott Ploof
Photography by Emily Harney
Tony “TNT” Grano (17-1-1, 13 KOs) avenged the only blemish of his professional career, his knockout loss to Mark “Oak Tree” Brown (15-3, 7 KOs) back in September, 2008, on Friday night at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, CT by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over Brown. Scores of the bout were 97-92 twice and 98-91. Grano was on the offensive throughout a majority of the fight. Brown conserved his energy for the later rounds of the bout, which hurt him on the scorecards. He connected with a right hook in the final round of the bout that put Grano on the canvas. Grano showed his durability by being able to come off of the canvas to finish off the fight and take home the unanimous decision victory.
The seven bout fight card titled, “Brace for Impact” at the sold out Fox Theatre inside of Foxwoods was promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports. This is the first of two fight cards for CES in the month of March as on Friday March 19th, CES will return to the Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, RI.
Throughout the first six rounds of the fight, Grano kept working his jab as he used it to open up the defense of Brown and to get him to start throwing punches that Grano could then counter. After the fight, Grano stated to the media that, “I did not want to overextend myself and come rushing out.” Brown was mostly on the defensive throughout however his offense was also non-existent as well. He received a warning from referee Joey Luppino for not breaking when told in round six. A flurry from Grano had Brown frustrated as the round came to a close.
Brown landed a hook to the body early in round seven as Grano was able to quickly counter. Grano landed with a right then went down to the body. Once Brown began to see blood trickling down from his nose towards the end of the round, it was like he realized he was in a fight and began fighting back on Grano.
Brown came out firing punches at Grano in round eight however as he missed, Grano countered. Grano landed a left hook to the body while Brown could only clinch to get out of danger. Grano landed a nice left right combination that had Brown backed into the ropes.
Grano was able to land punches right down the middle in between the guard of Brown in round nine. As Brown continued to charge after Grano, Grano kept connecting and moving out of his way.
Brown came out throwing bombs in the final round of the fight. One of those wild bombs connected and grazed Grano as he fell to the canvas. Grano was up on referee Joey Luppino’s standing eight count. With Grano back on his feet, Brown kept throwing for the fences as he looked for the knockout. Grano was able to clinch as well as duck out of the way of Brown’s punches.
In the end Grano methodically took his time in this fight and picked Brown apart. Brown started out too late in the fight as he looked to conserve his energy as Grano pulled out the ten round unanimous decision on the judges’ cards.
“The first fight, I wasn’t a hundred percent. I had a cold. I was going between New York and here and I did not have a home base. This was very, very sweet getting revenge tonight. Brown is a tough guy. He came to fight tonight and I give him credit for giving me a chance tonight at a rematch, “said Grano afterwards.
Oliver Stops Guardia
Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver (23-2, 8 KOs) landed a hard body shot that knocked out his opponent , former two time world title holder Kermin Guardia (37-12, 21 KOs) in the corner at 2:19 of round three.
Oliver who is not known for his punching power landed hooks at will on Guardia who finally succumbed to the punishment towards the end of round three.
After the fight, Oliver said to the media, “My trainer (“Iceman” John) Scully told me to relax and that is what I did. I guess when I hit him with the right hand, I cut him. When I hit him he walked away and when he walked away is when I checked his body with a good body shot. Scully told me to hit him to the body and that is when I caught him and he went down. The referee started counting and I knew he was not going to get up.
Oliver came out in round one landing his jab and following it up with his right hook, a punch that Guardia could not stop all night. Moving around the ring well, Oliver landed a solid left right combination on Guardia in the second. Oliver landed a follow up hook to the body as those punches began to take their toll on the veteran Guardia. Towards the end of the second round Guardia was hit with three right hands and a combination to his body that sent him reeling as the round came to a close.
In the third round, Oliver continued to use his speed to outwork Guardia. Oliver landed a hard right hook to the head of Guardia as he was backed into the corner. He then followed that up with a stiff body shot that had Guardia crumpled in the corner as referee Johnny Callas started his ten count, one that Guardia would be unable to answer.
“I was totally focused on my opponent tonight. That is my new thing now is to try and stay focused. Not to go in there and be crazy and everything,” said Oliver afterwards. “I was trying to take him out because he shouldn’t be in the ring with someone that is real slick and comes to fight. I came to fight and was all psyched and everything about that. I knew about the fight a month ago and was all psyched. I was in the gym and had no one to spar with. My original sparring partner got sick or hurt or whatever, so I had to spar with somebody that was bigger that was from out of town. I got some help from a few light heavyweight guys in order to prepare for this fight.”
When asked what was next for “Mighty Mike,” he said, “Whatever they want, I was talking to Scully at the weigh in yesterday, I made 120 easy and I normally fight at 122. So I said to Scully, you know what, we should try to make 118 because this is the second time that I have made 120 and I feel real good.”
Bauza Decisions Quintros
David Bauza (4-0, 3 KOs) pounded out a four round majority decision over Atlanta’s Erix Quintros (2-4, 1 KO). Scores of the bout were 40-36 and 39-37 in favor of Bauza while the third had the fight 38-38 even. Bauza landed early in the opening round with several hooks to the head of Quintros that had him hurt and almost on the canvas. Quintros was able to get his footing under him as he continued the fight. Another big hook had Quintros hurt again to start the second round. Just like in the first round, Quintros was able to stay on his feet albeit hurt from the punches of Bauza. Bauza was able to land to the body with his right hook and then follow it up with a straight right and a big left that had the crowd on the edge of their seat. A left from Bauza in the third round opened up Quintros guard for more punishment from the charging Bauza. Quintros however was still able to fight back landing a flurry of six punches without a response from Bauza. By the final round it appeared that Quintros was getting tired as another left from Bauza found its mark. Another right hook from Bauza and both fighters land in a flurry as the final round came to a close.
Ali Knocks Out Duran
U.S. Olympian and Brooklyn, NY native Sadam Ali (6-0, 3 KOs) kept his perfect record intact as he landed a flush left hook to the temple of his opponent Jose Duran (6-5-2, 3 KOs) and knocked him out at 1:32 of the first round. Ali fought sharp throughout as he started out landing his jab in the first round while following it up with the right hook combination. Ali started to slowly land punches at will on Duran as the first round came to a close. Ali continued his onslaught in the second round landing his left jab and right hook. Duran countered well at times but was unable to put anything significant together during the fight. In the third, Ali landed two punches to the body of Duran with Duran slipping to the canvas. Moments later, the big left hook landed to the head of Duran and his lights went out for the count of ten by referee Joey Luppino.
Lopes and McCoy Battle to Majority Draw
Super middleweights Manuel Antonio Lopes and Greg McCoy battled to a four round majority draw that left the crowd wanting a fifth and maybe a sixth round between these two fighters. Two of the three judges scored the bout even at 38-38 while the third judge scored it 39-37 in favor of Lopes. Lopes started out the first round landing his jab along with solid combinations early in the bout. McCoy was able to stand toe to toe with Lopes throughout the contest. Lopes landed a good uppercut off of his jab in round two. McCoy began landing punches at will on Lopes in the third round. Lopes was able to fire right back and continue to land his combinations throughout. McCoy in the final round had Lopes hurt and looked to put him on the canvas. Lopes was able to survive the hooks from McCoy as well as survive the final round to get a majority draw on the cards.
Smith Quickly Stops Adams
Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith landed a solid right hook early to the head of his opponent Carlos Adams knocking him to the canvas very early in round one. The journeyman Adams rose to his feet but not for long as another right hook sent him to the canvas for a second time. This time however referee Johnny Callas called an immediate halt to the fight giving Carlos Adams the first round TKO stoppage. Time of the referee stoppage was 42 seconds into round one. With the victory, Smith improves his unbeaten record to (3-0, 3 KOs) while Adams falls to (2-8).
Soto Stops Ortega
Unbeaten New Haven, CT prospect Edwin Soto battered journeyman Joey Ortega in the opening bout of the evening with a barrage of punches, which caused the referee to stop the contest at 2:31 of the first round. Soto landed a clean right that cut the bridge of the nose of Ortega. Later in the round a flurry of unanswered punches caused the referee to stop the contest as Ortega was unable to defend himself. Soto improves to a perfect (3-0, 2 KOs) while Ortega falls to (3-17, 1 KO).