By Jake Donovan
Trevor Bryan scored an opening round knockdown, but had to fend off a determined Derric Rossy and brutal outdoor temperatures to claim a 10-round decision Friday evening at D Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Scores were 98-91 (twice) and 97-92 in favor of Bryan (16-0, 11KOs) in the main event of Showtime's Shobox telecast.
For some odd reason, Hall of Fame promoter Don King—a shell of his former self these days—and the event handlers felt it was a good idea to hold a fight outdoors in Vegas during this time of the year. As such, the physically imposing heavyweights were forced to sweat it out in near 100-degree temperatures.
In the ring, it was Bryan who brought the heat early. A left hook followed by a right hand upstairs forced Rossy to the canvas for the bout's lone knockdown midway through the opening round.
Rossy protested that the sequence came as the result of a foul. His cries fell on deaf ears, but was enough to find motivation to slug his way back into the fight. Rossy bounced back strong, and controlled the action throughout the second and third rounds.
Bryan dug deep, holding his own in round four before taking over for good in round five. Rossy appeared to be on his way down and out, but somehow survived a mid-fight swarm from the unbeaten heavyweight, all while throwing back just enough to avoid referee intervention.
The action hardly let up over the course of the second half of the fight, even if predominantly in Bryan's favor. The rising prospect from Albany perfomed well in spite of an inept corner that includes longtime trainer Stacy McKinley, who nearly caused his fighter to peak too early after asking for two more hard rounds prior to the start of the eighth round of a scheduled ten.
Bryan took the advice to heart, celebrating what he believed to be a winning performance after the end of round nine. He had to be reminded by referee Robert Byrd that there was in fact three more minutes, at which point he was subjected to more posturing and generic advice from his misguided trainer.
Both fighters emptied their tanks in the final round, with nary a clinch or backward step in what turned out to be a fun, grueling heavyweight slugfest by fight's end.
Bryan improves to 16-0 (11KOs) in what was his fourth fight in just over four months.
Rossy returns to Long Island with his head held high, but with his fifth loss in seven fights as he falls to 30-10 (14KOs). In fairness, at least one loss—a 10-round majority decision to unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov last August—was widely viewed as his being dealt a horrible injustice.
Friday's bout saw Rossy return to previous form—a durable heavyweight who provided a stiff test for a rising prospect. In other words, everything that ShoBox has always set out to be dating back to its inception in 2001.
DeCarlo Perez upended previously unbeaten Juan Ubaldo Cabrera, scoring a surprisingly lopsided decision win in their 10-round co-feature.
Scores were 97-92 and 98-91 (twice) in favor of Perez, who allowed Cabrera to punch himself out as he surged ahead and eventually to victory.
Cabrera was docked a point midway through the fight, though it proved inconsequential as the fight was eventually put out of reach for the Dominican boxer.
Perez picks up his fourth straight win as he improves to 15-3-1 (5KOs). Cabrera falls to 23-1 (15KOs).
Philly brawler Joey Dawejko scored his second consecutive 1st round knockout. He only needed 75 seconds to get the job done this time around, dropping and stopping Natu Visina in the opening bout of the Showtime-televised tripleheader.
The tone was set early, as Dawejko came in swinging with wild chopping shots. Visina was unable to adjust to his opponent's unorthodox style, failing to defend against an overhand right that rocked him and nearly put him on the canvas for the first time in his career.
That moment would come seconds later, with Dawejko unloaded on a defenseless Visina before finally putting him on the deck. Visina beat the count, but an ensuing nine-punch volley prompted referee Russell Mora to stop the onslaught.
Dawejko advances to 16-4-2 (9KOs) with the win, his second straight. Visina falls to 11-2 (9KOs), with both losses coming in his past three fights.