RESULTS FROM NYC: Tua, Banks Victorious
By Evan Korn
For the past half-decade, you would be more likely to find David Tua (44-3-1 38 KO’s ) on the back of a milk carton than in a boxing ring. After resolving his managerial squabbles, the former heavyweight title challenger squared off against Edward Gutierrez (15-2-1 6 KO’s) in his third bout back after a two year layoff.
Fighting as the co-main event on a “Wednesday Night Fights”, the 245 pound Tua looked nothing like the menace that tore through the heavyweight division in the mid to late 1990’s. Against Gutierrez, he did not need to be, as he scored a fourth round knockout against the 40-year-old, who has now lost three in a row.
In the opening stanza, Tua resembled the plodding, overweight heavyweight who had trouble catching up with the likes of Chris Byrd and Lennox Lewis. He ambled in with his jab, seemingly unable and unwilling to throw his trademark sweeping power shots. By the middle of the round, the vociferous New York City crowd started to roar in disapproval. According to Tua, that was all part of his master plan.
“There was some ring rust, but I wasn't looking for a first round KO,” Tua said. I wanted the work to try and establish my jab."
By the second round, Tua appeared to find his rhythm, knocking Gutierrez down with a short left hook. That punch was not enough to finish Gutierrez off, as the Oak Lawn, Ill native came back for more punishment. By the fourth round, the bout had the feel of a man marching towards the electric chair, only to feebly attempt to break free from the shackles.
With a single left look to the body (it would have made Micky Ward proud), Tua zapped the last bolt of electricity into Gutierrez, finishing him off at 1:12 into the fourth.
Now, with a televised win, Tua will soon find himself in the thick of the heavyweight picture. Like Shannon Briggs, Tua’s name recognition will carry him to a title shot sooner rather than later, regardless of whether he beats a legitimate contender on this “comeback.”
If there ever was a crossroads fight in the historically uneventful Cruiserweight division, the yesterday evening’s main event fit the bill.
Undefeated Emanuel Steward protégé Johnathon Banks (12-0 9 KO’s) turned the page from prospect to contender, knocking out Eliseo Castillo (20-2-1 15 KO’s) in the fourth round of a seesaw battle.
In the first round, it was Banks who tasted the canvas twice. Somehow, someway, Banks managed to rise to his feet after both hellacious knockdowns, showing the presence of mind of a seasoned veteran. He kept clinching, as his undefeated record, reputation, and future in the sport hung in the balance. It was the ultimate gut-check moment for an undefeated prospect, and he passed with flying colors.
By the end of the second round, Banks finally got his legs back. In the fourth, the fight was over with a right hook to jaw, completing Banks’ Houdini act.
Undefeated New York City Middleweight, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (6-0, 5KOS) obliterated William Prieto (2-1) with a Hearns-esque straight right hand 66 seconds into the opening round.
John “ The Fighting Marine” Schneider tore through Milwaukee native Eddie Kimbrough (0-1). The less said about this fight, the better. It is why casual boxing observers look at pugilism as a glorified “Tough Man” contest. Kimbrough, who entered the ring at a fleshy 230 pounds, had little business being inside an amateur boxing ring, let alone fighting as a professional. This was the softest possible touch for Schneider, who must have faced much more harrowing dangers in the service.
Bryant “The Fighting Cop” Pappas (4-0 4 KO’s) knocked out James Durham (0-2) at 2:59 of the opening round.
Jorge Teron (11-0-1 8 KO’s) squeaked by veteran Armando Cordoba (21-26-2 16 KO’s) via unanimous decision in a six round contest. All three judges scored the bout 58-56.