By Ryan Burton
St. Louis - In the evening's first bout, Vardan Gasparyan (12-2-5) defeated Jesse Davis 11-19-1) in a slugfest in the welterweight division. The Armenian set the tempo from the beginning as both men exchanged power punches. Gasparyan clearly got the best of it and he poured on left upper cuts and right hooks as the first round came to an end. The second round was even more lopsided as Davis appeared gassed and his punches were even slower and wider. The ref stopped the bout at the 2:43 mark of the 2nd round.
Junior welterweight Ramzan Adaev (8-0-1) kept his record unbeaten but saw his knockout streak snapped when he won a unanimous decision over Chris Tyler (2-4-1). Scores were 59-54 and 58-55 twice. All of Adaev's previous victories had came via knockout.
The native Chechnyan by way of Germany started out tentative in the first round. It was definitely a feeling out round but it seemed that Tyler the hometown spoiler did enough to win the round. Adaev started the second round out much more aggressively. Tyler had his moments but Adaev displayed his hand speed advantage as he landed left and right hooks to the body at will. Neither man used much of a jab and in the third round Adaev seemed more patient as he let Tyler come to him so he could set up his counter punches. The fourth and fifth rounds had a lot of back and forth action but Adaev seemed to land more than his opponent. Tyler started the sixth round by trying to rough up Adaev by wrestling him. Ref Celestino Ruiz finally saw enough of the rough house tactics and deducted a point from the St. Louis native.
Local favorite Ryan "The Irish Outlaw" improved to 15-0 by defeating former Tough Man champion Warren Browning (12-1-1) via TKO at the 2:21 mark of the 9th round. Coyne who hails from nearby St. Charles had a vocal contingent of supporters who arrived early to see his fight.
Coyne started out tentative and he let Browning bring the fight to him in the first round. Browning landed a few shots but nothing of significance. Coyne picked up the pace as he started to land some of his own shots on the last 20 seconds of the round. Browning seemed to be the much bigger man but Coyne's advantage in hand speed was apparent.
Browning seemed to be tiring a little in the second round but was doing enough to win the round until Coyne caught him with a right hook to the head to score a knock down. Browning was able to recover and easily finish the round. In the third round Browning began using his size advantage to maul Coyne into the ropes and clearly win the round.
Sensing the fight wasn't going his way, Coyne picked up the pace in the fourth round and appeared to win a close round. Browning clearly slowed down in 5th round but Coyne was still taking more punches than he would like. The Irish Outlaw started to land his over hand left and right upper cut with more great accuracy to easily win the round in a real turning point of the fight.
The 6th and 7th were more of the same as Browning had his moments but Coyne was the fresher and busier fighter. Coyne turned up the pressure in the eight round and landed huge left hand bomb to Browning's head to the delight of the crowd. Although Browning was clearly hurt from the punch it seemed to have woken him up. Browning landed a couple hay makers of his own to make it a close round. Browning bounced off the ropes into a heavy left hand. Browning tried to get up but when his knees buckled referee Mike England called a halt to the bout.
In an upset, former Contender Series participant Cornelius Bundrage (30-4) destroyed Cory "The Next Generation" Spinks (37-6) much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd. Bundrage lifted the IBF junior middleweight title by being too fast and too strong for Spinks. K9 was simply the hungrier fighter and overwhelmed his opponent. Manny Steward must be given credit for the work he has done with Bundrage.
Bundrage came out with aggression and thoroughly dominated the first 2 minutes of the 1st round. At various points it appeared that Spinks would go down. The 2nd round started slower but midway through the round K9 started to turn up the heat and landed another barrage of punches. Spinks displayed a hell of a chin as most other fighters would have went down.
The third round started with the fans chanting "Cory Cory!" and Spinks was able to regain his composure and have a better round although it didn't appear to be enough to win it.
The fourth round was a close round where Bundrage landed the harder punches and Spinks landed more total punches. The round could have went either way. In the fifth round Bundrage went on the attack again and Spinks went flying into the ropes and almost out of the ring as both men's feet tangled. Spinks got up but was pummeled back into the ropes and referee Mark Nelson called a halt to the action at the 1:21 mark of the 5th round.
Spinks was upset with the stoppage but he was clearly hurt and taking a beating at the time of stoppage as he layed sgainst the ropes. Spink's trainer Buddy McGirt said, "Cory is a world champion and deserves the benefit of the doubt." Spinks wasn't punching back when it was stopped and the stoppage was justified.
Plans of a Cory Spinks-Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo co-feature to Devon Alexander-Tim Bradley in January went up in flames.
Jorge Espinoza (6-0) kept his record perfect by defeating Ryan Pederson (2-6) via TKO in their super featherweight clash. Fighting in a 4 round swing bout between the Spinks-Bundrage and Cloud-Johnson contests, both men fought in front of probably the biggest crowds of their careers. Both fighters came out swinging and firing away much to the delight of the crowd. Espinoza was to strong and talented for his overmatched opponent, dropping him twice on route to a first round stoppage.