By Jake Donovan

Twice in the span of four months, undefeated middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero brought the television cameras to his adopted hometown of Salisbury, Maryland. What he failed to leave the crowd with was the same knockout ending featured in every other fight of his young professional career.

That dynamic changed on Friday evening, as Guerrero scored two knockdowns en route to a second round stoppage of Brian Norman at the Wicomico Civic Center.

The bout served as the main event of a webcast that aired live on, the hosting website for the show’s promoters, Prize Fight Boxing.

Normally a strong starter, Guerrero instead fought the opening round at a controlled pace, measuring up his opponent before waiting to explode. The plan was to gauge Norman’s punching power as well as determining his ability to absorb.

Guerrero liked what he saw in both regards and opened up the attack in the second. It proved to be the beginning of the end for Norman, who found himself outgunned and eventually on the canvas. A right hook from Guerrero stunned the 30-year old Georgia native, who would tumble to the canvas from an ensuing combination moments later.

Norman recovered and even dared to fight back, but was greeted by a three punch combo that once again sent him reeling. He managed to barely beat referee Kenny Chevalier’s count, but was on wobbly legs, forcing the veteran third man to end the fight.

The official time was 2:35 of round two.

With the win, Guerrero advances to 14-0 (12KO). More importantly, he showed no signs of hesitation four months after suffering the lone knockdown of his career in his ESPN2-televised fight with Gabriel Rosado, which also took place in his hometown. The Dominican was forced to rally back hard in the second half of what turned out to be a brutal slugfest, showing little regard for defense along the way.

It was a different story on Friday evening, albeit against a considerably lesser opponent in Norman, who stumbles to 17-9-0-2 NC (5KO). The loss puts the journeyman at 2-4 over his last six bouts dating back to December 2007.


The evening proved to be a family affair, with Fernando’s older (and larger) brother Alex Guerrero enjoying a successful pro debut with a four-round decision win over Jackson, TN cruiserweight Rodrika Ray. It wasn’t easy, but in the end was enjoyable for his hometown fans once they heard the scores of 39-37 (twice) overruling an even verdict of 38-38 in favor of the elder Guerrero, now 1-0 (0KO). The loss evens up the record of Ray, now 2-2 (1KO).

A battle of undefeated prospects was expected in the co-feature, but changed shortly before yesterday’s weigh-in when Dion Savage withdrew from his scheduled bout with former amateur standout Shawn Porter of Akron, Ohio.

Taking Savage’s place was upside down journeyman Brandon Wooten, who proved to be no match for the gifted Porter. The action was brief and never competitive as Porter scored three knockdowns in forcing referee Mark Waleed to intervene at just 2:09 of the opening round.

Porter advances to 9-0 (7KO) with the win. Wooten, who has never enjoyed a winning record at any point in his career beyond his pro debut, falls to 6-14-1 (2KO) with the loss.

The lone competitive bout of the evening came in the other scheduled fight between unbeaten newcomers, as Farah Ennis of Philadelphia struggled in outlasting Bobby Jordan in their eight-round affair.

With the exception of two-way action highlighting the final round, there was little to take from the fight, other than Ennis (now 11-0, 5KO) subscribing to the theory of winning today and looking good the next time. Neither he nor Jordan (now 6-1-1, 2KO) could crack an egg with a hammer, and it showed for much of the fight. Ennis appeared to go through the motions, settling for whatever openings were presented and hardly impressing in the way of defense.

In the end, it was enough to remain unbeaten, though final scores of 79-73 (twice) and 79-75 failed to coincide with the relatively close nature of the largely forgettable bout.

It’s a two-hour drive from Dominic Wade’s hometown of Largo (MD) to Salisbury, but it turned out to be a night of less than five minutes worth of work for the talented middleweight newcomer, making quick work of perennial opponent Anthony Cannon. Wade (3-0, 3KO) cornered Cannon (4-13, 1KO) like a caged animal and unloaded midway through the second round, prompting referee Bill Clancy to intervene. The official time was 1:46 of round two.

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of and an award-winning member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Contact Jake at