MADDALONE DOMINATES BAKER!
By Matt Richardson at ringside
Photography by Marty Rosengarten
Crowd pleasing local heavyweight Vinny Maddalone sent his fans home happy on Thursday night at Russo’s on the Bay restaurant in Howard Beach, New York when his opponent, journeyman Benji Baker, did not come out for the fifth round of a scheduled eight in the main event of inaugural “VIP Boxing” series promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Maddalone (32-5, 23 KO’s) dominated the contest; knocking Baker down in the first, third and fourth rounds. It was the first fight for Maddalone since losing a decision to unbeaten heavyweight Denis Boystov last November.
It was also the first time Baker (18-7, 9 KOs ) had fought since 2001. While he didn’t fight particularly well (he may have won the second round) he was more competitive than his record or recent activity rate would have suggested prior to the encounter.
With the win, the always friendly Maddalone stays in the hunt for a big payday in the wide-open heavyweight division.
In the co-feature, super middleweight contender Curtis “Showtime” Stevens won an eight-round unanimous decision over journeyman Dan Mouton. All three judges had Stevens in the lead, handing in scores of 78-74 (twice) and 77-75. Stevens (20-2, 15 KOs ) came out very aggressive in the first, pounding Mouton to the body. “I was trying to get him out of there,” Stevens would say later, “but his defense was very compact.” Mouton (9-4-1, 8 KOs ) weathered the storm though and survived the round.
As the fight progressed Stevens
remained in charge although he never seemed to be able to hurt Mouton. A wild exchange ensued in the final minute of the fight when both men landed heavy shots. Stevens was clearly drained, however, and couldn’t secure a knock-out in. “I was a little tired,” Stevens would admit. “I didn’t have enough energy to finish him. I only had a couple of weeks to train but I take my hat off to Dan Mouton.”
The key now, according to Stevens, is to remain active (this was just his third fight in two years). “I’ll fight whoever,” he said. “I can’t keep having these layoffs. I just want to fight.”
In an entertaining welterweight fight, Anthony Irons won a majority decision over Rashad Bogar. Scores were 39-37 (twice) and 28-28. Irons now improves to 2-0-1 with 1 KO; Bogar suffers his first loss to drop to 2-1 with 1 KO.
Welterweight Dominick DeSanto and Ashanti Hendrickson fought to a three-round no-contest when DeSanto suffered a cut over his left eye from an accidental head butt. Since four rounds had not been completed, the option to go to the judges scorecards was not available. DeSanto maintains his record at 2-1 with two while Hendrickson is still 1-2.
Jacques Louis made his professional debut a successful one when he won a four-round majority decision over Vernon Jenkins in a heavyweight fight. Jenkins was also making his debut. Judges scorecards read 40-36, 39-37 and 38-38. Jenkins appeared to tire as the rounds progressed. He had a shaky round in the second when he looked ready to collapse. He survived the round, however, and the fight overall. There were no knockdowns.