Kendrick Ball Jr. gets unanimous verdict over Bryan Vera in New Hampshire
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 legs.
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 match.
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.