Kissing the Canvas to Victory ...
The 2003 WBC Title Bout tournament gained another participant
for a total of 15 this year. With some old-timers missing we're
hoping to get to 16 next year for a full bracket.
The tournament started with Cleveland Williams (Dennis Nicholson)
taking on Jack Johnson (Chris Palermo). Williams was the big
underdog but after six rounds his aggressive style was helping
him with the judges and had the fight tied. But in the seventh
round Johnson came out and landed a big shot right to Williams'
jaw and put him down for the count. Next up were Gene Tunney
(Jim Bell) and Sam Langford (Ray Stakanes). After being floored
but surviving in the second, Tunney was put down again in the
third. This time though Langford finished him off for the win.
The next fight in the first round was Peter Jackson (Terry Coleman)
vs. Bob Fitzsimmons (Dan Dolan). After splitting the first two
rounds, Jackson pummeled Fitzsimmons in the next two rounds,
then finished him off in the fifth. Up next was Max Schmelling
(Ken Gutermuth) against Mike Tyson (Andy Joy). Schmelling controlled
the fight form the beginning and forced the referee to stop the
fight in the third round. The fifth fight in the round was Ezzard
Charles (Chris Bauch) vs., Jack Dempsey (Steven May). Charles
surprised Dempsey by wining the first two rounds. This just made
Dempsey mad and he knocked Charles around the ring so bad that
Charles wasn't able to answer the bell for the fourth round.
The next fight in the round was Rocky Marciano (Mike Destro)
and Joe Jeannette (Jonathan Lockwood). This was the only fight
to go the distance but the outcome was never in doubt as Marciano
got the unanimous decision 79-75, 79-73, and 79-75. The last
fight on the card was Sonny Liston (Lisa Gutermuth) vs. Jim Jefferies
(Jeremy Billones). Liston controlled the fight from the start
but couldn't finish off Jefferies. All he had to do was get through
the round and he would have advanced. But late in the final round
Jefferies was able to land one big punch. Liston went down and
didn't get up. Later there were some that claimed that Liston
really didn't get hit but they didn't have any proof.
The second round started with Jim Jefferies and Peter Jackson
going at it with Jefferies coming out on top. Next up were Rocky
Marciano and Jack Johnson. After six rounds Johnson had the fight
won. Realizing that he would lose on the cards, Marciano went
for the KO. He bore in and knocked Johnson all over the ring
until the referee stepped in and ended the fight in the seventh
round. The next fight was Schmelling against Dempsey. Schmelling
won the first round but Dempsey pummeled Schmelling in the second
and forced the referee to step in just before the end of the
round. The last fight on the card was Joe Frazier (Derek Landel)
vs. Sam Langford. Langford controlled the fight from the start,
keeping Frazier away. Finally in the fourth round the ref stepped
in and stopped the fight giving the win to Langford.
The first semi-final was Langford vs. Dempsey. Unlike his
first two fights Dempsey came out strong, winning the first round.
Like his other fights he kept on going and crushed Langford in
the second and won by TKO at 2:55 in the second. The second semi-final
saw Jefferies and Marciano going at it. Marciano won the first
round but Jefferies took the second big and had the advantage
in the third and fourth rounds. Marciano won the fifth and sixth
rounds so it was even going into the last two rounds. The seventh
saw both fighters going at it toe-to-toe which.Jefferies got
the better of and the referee stepped in to stop the fight at
the end of the round.
The final pit Jefferies vs Dempsey. The two fighters cautiously
sparred and split the first round. The second saw Dempsey do
what he did to the other fighters. He came out and just dominated
Jefferies, forcing the referee to stop the fight late in the
second round. Jack Dempsey was the champion.
Congratulations to Steven May for winning the 2003 WBC Title
Bout championship. Not bad for somebody who hadn't played
in a long time. The sportmanship award went to Lisa Gutermuth,
who after getting knocked out with 19 seconds left in a fight
she was easily winning, didn't complain at all. Did she get that
from her dad? Naah ... he never loses.