By Jake Donovan
The 'Viva Don King II' card live from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL began and ended with a bang, as Tony Grano capped a night of knockouts with a four-round blitzing of DaVarryl Williamson.
Grano endured some rocky moments early on, all of which came as a direct result of ignoring advice from his corner. The 43-year old Williamson has long ago seen better days, but still carries power in both fists.
It was a lesson Grano learned the hard way, getting tagged with a right hand in round two. The 31-year old shook off the blow and took over the fight in round three. The moment Grano began to land, Williamson was never able to recover. The former title contender was flopping around the ring in the third, and ultimately finished off in the fourth after getting drilled with a right hand.
The official time was 2:27 of round four.
Grano scores his third straight win - all by knockout - as he improves to 20-2-1 (16KO). If history suggests anything, it's that the win means promoter Don King will find a way to position the journeyman into an eventual title shot.
No such luck for Williamson, whose nine lives appear to be all used up. The fallen heavyweight drops to 27-7 (23KO).
Prior to the main event, King was honored in the ring for more than four decades in service and 80 years in life. Several fighters of past and present were on hand to commemorate the occasion, including former world heavyweight champions Larry Holmes and Evander Holyfield.
In the final undercard bout of the evening, Angelo Santana registered his sixth straight win inside the distance, scoring a third round stoppage of Justin Savi. Santana (13-0, 10KO) had his way with Savi (26-2, 18KO) before dropping and stopping him in the third round. Savi beat the count but his left eye was swollen shut and was taking unnecessary punishment when referee Frank Gentile stopped the contest at 1:51 of round three.
Though not known for his power, Joey "Twinkle Fingers" Hernandez has now scored fice knockouts in his past seven fights. The latest victim was Brandon Baue, who was dropped and stopped in the 4th round of their regional title fight.
The bout was surprisingly competitive early on, as Baue was intent on proving his mettle. Hernandez (22-1-1, 13KO) began to came on in the third round, then ceased matters in the 4th. Baue (12-7, 10KO) was floored early in the round and then deemed by the referee to be unfit to continue. Baue has now lost four straight.
Following the first bout to extend past the opening round was the first fight of the evening to go to the scorecards. Unbeaten 154 lb. prospect Omar Henry was gunning for the knockout in every round, but was forced to settle for a 10-round shutout against Tyrone Selders (8-3, 6KO). Scores were 100-90 (twice) and 100-88 for Henry (12-0-1, 9KO), who stated in the post-fight interview that he has bouts lined up in August and October.
In the first bout of the evening to extend past the first round, D.C. native Thomas Snow scored a picture-perfect knockout of Ernie Marquez in the 4th round of their super flyweight bout. The early going was a foul-filled affair, but Snow (16-1, 9KO) came on as the bout progressed and ended the fight with a textbook right hook to send Marquez (9-11-2, 3KO) packing.
Amir Iman made his pro debut on 'Viva Don King I' last November, on his 21st birthday. The young super lightweight prospect continues to steadily advanced, as shown in his 1st round stoppage of Kelvin Williams. Iman (5-0, 4KO) remained patient as Williams (1-2, 1KO) came rushing out of his corner. The brief action proved that only one of the two fighters had a game plan, as Iman scored three knockdowns before the bout was waved off at 2:59 of round one.
Trevor Bryan made ridiculously quick work of Hector Hodge. A matchup of unbeaten heavyweight newcomers lasted just 34 secods, as Bryan (4-0, 3KO) put Hodge down and out - and we do mean OUT - with a picture perfect left hook. Hodge (1-1, 0KO) was face-first on the canvas as referee Frank Gentile had the sense to wave off the fight without a count.
In the opening bout, Esaie 'Slick' Estimar scored a violent 1st round knockout of Xavier Lugo in a ball of pro debuters.
Lugo tried to get inside Estimar's head early, taking a swipe at him while the fighters were instructed to touch gloves. Once the bell rang, it was all Estimar (1-0, 1KO), who closed the show with a three-punch combo which included a right hand that put Lugo (0-1) down and out.
The entire show was broadcast live on Pursuit Channel, as part of a last minute deal reached between the network and King. Serving on the broadcast was King's stepson Carl King, who insisted that the show was the first of a planned ongoing boxing series. The trail of one-off shows presented by King on obscure networks in recent years suggests that statement will ultimately ring hollow.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter:
Tags: Don King