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fightnews.comReleford upsets Kassi!

By: Drew Amendola at ringside
Photography by
Scott Foster

This past Saturday, the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis on Mississippi's Gulf Coast and promoter Les Bonano of Brawlin in N'awlins' took another major step toward revitalizing the local boxing scene that was significantly damaged by Hurricane Katrina and a sluggish economy.  

The attendance was excellent and
the crowd was enthusiastic as heavyweight Fred Kassi (15-2, 8 KOs) was upset by late substitute Kendrick Releford (22-13-2, 10 KOs). 

Releford neutralized Kassi's aggression during the early rounds with a stinging jab and snappy, quick combinations.

Releford had much more effective speed and footwork as compared to the crowd favorite Kassi.

Releford outboxed Kassi in the early rounds but Kassi came out with more determination and focus for the fourth round.  Kassi was able to close the gap which created several exciting exchanges of in-fighting.

Releford and Kassi fought mostly fought shoulder-to-shoulder the last six rounds. 

Releford was the more effective puncher and especially adept at landing left hooks to the head of his opponent.

Releford fatigued in the late rounds but was clearly the winner.  The superior boxing of Releford produced the scores of 98-93, 98-91 and 97-92.


Anthony Doughty (8-1, 7 KOs) pulled a rabbit out of the hat by scoring a sixth round knockout over the previously undefeated Justin Verdin (9-1, 6 KOs) in a cruiserweight bout scheduled for six rounds. The fight was a mostly tactical with the each fighter relying upon their jabs and counterpunching abilities.  In the sixth and final round, Verdin was seemingly ahead on the scorecards when Doughty caught him against the ropes with a left-right combination.  A visibly wobbly Verdin was ruled no longer able to continue by the referee and Doughty was awarded the TKO at 41 seconds of the round.



Marcus McDaniel (3-0) pitched a shutout over Billy Cunningham (3-5, 3 KOs) in their four round super middleweight bout. Cunningham tried to establish a jab early but was unable to connect due to McDaniel’s excellent footwork.  McDaniel was the busier and harder puncher plus he showed better technique than his opponent.  All three judges scored the bout at 40-36 for McDaniel.


Lightweights David Hill (0-1-1) and Aubrey Norris (0-0-1) fought to a four round draw.  Hill counterpunched Norris throughout the fight and scored a knockdown in the second round.  Scores were 39-36 for Hill, 38-37 for Norris and one judge scored the contest at 38-38.


In the opening bout, middleweight Jamond Bourgeois (1-0) won his pro debut as he scored a unanimous decision over Josh Thorpe (1-1).  Bougeois avoided most of aggressive approaches of his opponent by retaliating with his superior hand speed.  Bourgeois outboxed Thorpe on both the outside and the inside.  Scores were 40-36, 39-38 and 38-38.

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