By Peter Lim
Houston, TX -- Local heavyweight Skipp Scott (16-1, 10 KOs), survived two knockdowns to win a close and controversial 10-round unanimous decision over Kerston Manswell (23-7, 17 KOs) and claim the lightly-regarded WBF International belt at the Bayou City Events Center. In the first round, Manswell caught the 6-foot-eight Scott with an overhand right, dropping him for the first time in his career.
Scott, 34, outboxed Manswell over the next four rounds. Dictating the action with a long jab he often fired in doubles, he sporadically caught Manswell with a snappy right cross. But Manswell, 36, rode the incoming punches well and was never seriously hurt.
Just when Scott seemed to have found his groove, he walked into a short right that dropped him to his knees in the sixth round. From that juncture, the fight deteriorated into a hug fest that that became a nightmare to score as both fighters became entangled in a clinch every time they engaged. Referee Bobby Gonzalez deducted a point from Scott in the seventh round for excessive holding. Manswell appeared to drop Scott again with a haymaker to the back of the head in the tenth round but it was ruled a slip.
All three judges scored the bout 93-92 for Scott. Boxingscene.com had Manswell winning by 94-93.
Fuming at the verdict in his dressing room, Manswell, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, said: "They brought me all the way from the islands to rob me. Do the fucking math, man. I won."
Junior welterweight southpaw Regis Prograis (4-0, 4 KOs) drilled David Green (2-14-1, 1 KO) with a head-jolting left and finished him off with a follow-up flurry in the second round.
Middleweight Chase Corley (2-0, 2 KOs), a converted Muay Thai exponent, dropped switch-hitter Darius Shorter (1-6, 1 KO) four times en route to a fourth-round TKO in a bout that was more competitive than the numerous knockdowns suggest.
Fifteen seconds was all heavyweight Issac Teran (2-0, 2 KOs) needed to blast Tony Wilcox (0-4) out with double-fisted flurry.
Lightweight Ivan Otero (9-2, 2 KOs) outworked DeShaun Williams (4-12-1, 2 KOs) to win a four-round majority decision.
The card was staged by Savarese Boxing Promotions.