Spina Defeats Taylor !
By: Scott Ploof at ringside
Photography by Emily Harney
A few days prior to his bout at the Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, RI, Joey “The KO” Kid Spina stated in an interview with FightNews that boxing was a lot like chess. In chess, one simple move can take you from losing the game to the brink of victory, while in professional boxing, fighting the right competition and being successful can bring a fighter from journeyman to world title contender.
This past Friday night in front of 1500 screaming fight fans, Joey Spina (25-1-1, 17 KOs) made the next move in his chess game towards a world title shot a checkmate as he defeated veteran gatekeeper, Tiwon Taylor (26-15-1, 19 KOs) over eight rounds by unanimous decision in their light heavyweight main event. Scores of the bout were 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75.
Spina was aggressive throughout the contest as he consistently fired punches at Taylor, who for the most part was a game defensive fighter. For his part, Taylor, who has almost as many losses on his resume as he does knockouts, was unable to land any strong power punches on Spina except for an uppercut that he landed midway through the contest.
"I had to box a boxer tonight and I learned from it. I did what I needed to win. I needed to go rounds to get better; you don't get experience knocking people out in the first round. I'm an emotional fighter and he buzzed me once with an uppercut. It was the only shot he hurt me with. I said to myself, ‘let’s go, it's time to fight,'" said Spina afterwards.
Known for his aggressive in ring style, Spina started out firing right from the gate as he landed bombs that had the crowd on its feet early in the first round. Showing his durability and decent chin, Taylor was able to withstand the onslaught and survive the first round.
Spina’s attack began to slow into round four as Taylor started to get off punches of his own. As Spina continued to look for the home run punch, Taylor was able to comfortably counter his attack and get out of the way from his charging opponent. Taylor continued to effectively counter Spina into round six as he continued to frustrate the Providence native.
Although the pace of the fight slowed into round seven, both fighters were continuing to fire and land with the same power that they did in the first round. Spina used his reach to land hooks to the body and then upstairs. Taylor kept a defensive pace as he was able to circle around the ring and at times counter Spina.
After the fight, Spina stated to the media, "I just couldn't hit him flush. He kept moving his head. He was slick. I knew I hurt him the times that I hit him good, but then he'd hold and I couldn't follow up. Every time I landed a good body punch, he winced but he'd move away and I couldn't unload. He's a crafty guy.”
Both fighters fell to the canvas twice in the final round of the fight, not from punches however, but from grappling and holding. Spina was more effective again using his reach to land the jab and hook combination. Although he continued to fire punches right until the final bell rang, it was clear that Spina had won the decision as he was able to outbox and outland the veteran Taylor.
After the bout, Spina was asked who he would like to matchup with next and he stated that it was up to his promoter, Jimmy Burchfield, and new manager, Eddie Imondi.
Spina then expanded upon his answer when he said, "I want to fight for the world title within a year. I'd take a fight against Bute if it makes sense, but I'd like a fight against Carl Froch more than Bute . But I'd take either.”
“Sakio Biko's style is like mine. He fights like me. But I really want Jaidon Codrington. We don't like each other. We met a few times when I was training in Las Vegas . I want to expose him. I'd knock him out in three rounds," said Spina.
The seven bout fight card was promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports.
Lockett Decisions McCreedy!
Seasoned veteran Willis “The Prophet” Lockett (12-7-5, 5KOs) upset Lowell , MA fan favorite “Irish” Joe McCreedy (10-3-1, 5 KOs ) by scoring a close unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Lockett. McCreedy looked like he had Lockett all but knocked out during the first two rounds. It was apparent after the beginning of round four that McCreedy was running out of gas quickly as Lockett was now the aggressor while his opponent was looking for a rest. Both fighters continued to trade, however all of the power that McCreedy had possessed in the first two rounds was all but gone, and with Lockett continued to win the later rounds to capture the eventual decision.
McGirt Jr. Narrowly Defeats Perez!
James McGirt Jr. (20-2-1, 9 KOs ) won a narrow majority decision over veteran Patrick Perez (25-5, 14 KO’s) in a six round special attraction. Both fighters brought their best as they traded punches evenly throughout the contest. McGirt Jr. had the faster hands while Perez landed the harder shots. Scores of the bout were 58-55, 59-55 and 57-57. This marks the first fight under the CES banner for McGirt Jr. while this also marked the first fight for Perez in almost five years.
Guzman Decisions Eklund!
Bronx , NY ’s Jose Guzman (4-4-1, 1 KO) used his height and reach advantage to outland Sean Eklund (6-4, 1 KO) over four action packed rounds. Guzman took the unanimous decision by scores of 39-37 twice and 40-36. Guzman was able to land and stay out of Eklund’s reach. Eklund, the nephew of boxing legend “Irish” Micky Ward, seemed timid and didn’t throw nearly enough punches to keep the fight close.
Periera Decisions Guillen Jr.!
Pawtucket , RI ’s unbeaten light welterweight Diego Periera kept his perfect record in tact with a unanimous four round decision over the previously unbeaten Melchor Guillen Jr. (1-1). Scores of the bout were 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Pena Defeats Shakoor!
Omar Pena (2-0-1) used his superior hand speed to capture a four round shutout over journeyman Rasool Shakoor. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 for the unbeaten Pena. Shakoor falls to (1-6-1, 1 KO). Pena was able to consistently land with his right hand in the early rounds, while Shakoor could only duck and run. Late in the fight, Pena landed two successive left hooks followed by a right hand. His forward momentum sent Shakoor to the canvas, however the referee correctly ruled it a slip. Pena continued to outwork Shakoor to score the unanimous decision.
Holland Decisions Boykins!
Jay Holland (2-0, 1 KO) was successful in landing hook after hook on the helpless Chris Boykins (0-3) over four rounds to score a 40-35 unanimous decision on all three cards. Holland in the second round landed a left hook that put Boykins on his back. Boykins was able to recover but was outclassed throughout the remainder of the bout.