ESCANABA - The Hannahville Boxing Club's Fight Night in Escanaba proved successful Saturday as it drew approximately 350 people into the Ruth Butler Exhibition Building at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds.
"We had a real good turnout," said Hannahville head coach Keith Tebear. "I thought the fights were great. Overall, we're very pleased with the way everything went."
The bouts were very competitive with 13-of-16 decided by decision, including the five-round main event.
Keith Shelton | Daily Press
Bob Johnson, left, of Hannahville Boxing Club delivers a blow to Cream City Boxing Club’s Chavez Edwards in a Senior Novice Division fight Saturday night at the Ruth Butler Building at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. Johnson won by unanimous decision, 29-20, 21-17, 49-46.
Brandon Larvadain of the Crown Boxing Club in Lansing won the finale over Derrick Futch of Cream City Boxing Club of Milwaukee.
Larvadain appeared to be in solid position to win this bout late in the fourth round of the 178-pound senior open match-up when he landed a few jabs and was able to follow with some combinations in the fifth.
"My game plan was to stick with the jab," said Larvadain. "He was leading with his right (hand). I saw he was getting tired in the second round and was able to make advantage of some openings to the mid section. You've got to pace yourself for five rounds. I do a lot of running (3 1/2-4 miles a day). My stamina is real good."
178 senior open (five rounds) - Brandon Larvadain, Crown, dec. Derrick Futch, Cream City.
138 junior novice - James Williams, Peshtigo, Wis., over Christian Garza, Lansing, technical knock out.
141 junior novice - Daquota Skenadore, Peshtigo, over Dennis Hammond, Crown, TKO.
60 junior novice - Josh Stell, Hannahville, dec. David Metzger, Hannahville.
165 junior novice - Joe Johnson, Crown, dec. Marcus Daniels, FCP Warriors.
201 senior novice - William Alloway, FCP Warriors, dec. Marvin Mercier, Hannahville.
65 junior novice - Anthony Miley, Hannahville, dec. Dominic Metzger, Hannahville.
65 junior novice - Emmanuel Peterson, Hannahville, dec. Xander Spry, Hannahville.
178 senior novice - Destone Smith, Cream City, dec. Chinendum Nweze, Crown.
80 junior novice - Keanon Wandahsega, Hannahville, dec. Demitrius Wandahsega, Hannahville.
132 junior novice - Aarkeyse Higdon, Crown, dec. Mike Fowler, Cream City.
152 novice - Delvontae Nappier, Cream City, over Tony Williams, Hannahville, by knock out.
165 senior novice - Tyrone Triplett, Crown, dec. Derrick McWay, Cream City.
165 senior novice - Bob Johnson, Hannahville, dec. Chavez Edwards, Cream City.
180 senior novice - Richard Holder, Cream City, dec. Hector Mendoza, Crown.
180 senior novice - Romel Jackson, Crown, dec. Umar Ali, Cream City.
In an earlier three-round bout, Hannahville's Bob Johnson thrilled the hometown crowd by taking a unanimous (29-20, 21-17, 49-46) decision over Cream City's Chavez Edwards in the 165 senior novice division.
Johnson, showing at least a three-inch reach advantage, nearly scored a knock out in the closing moments of the third.
"The longer reach gave me a huge advantage," said Johnson. "Everytime he tried to go inside, I was able to keep him out of there with my jabs. I think he got tired in the end."
Johnson appeared to set the tone by connecting on a few jabs at the end of the opening round. He also landed several combinations in the second and forced Edwards to take a standing 10-count in the third.
"He was always leading with a jab, and I tried to hit some body shots," said Johnson. "I wanted to wear him down. I just kept listening to my coaches and trainers and never gave up."
Hannahville's Marvin Mercier went toe-to-toe with William Alloway of the FCP Warriors Boxing Club of Wisconsin, dropping a split decision in a 201-pound senior novice bout.
"I think his conditioning made a difference," said Mercier. "He has been at it for eight years and I've been boxing for just three months. I thought I did good, considering the difference in experience. I've lost 15 pounds and pretty soon I'll be under 200. It's just a matter of working hard and staying on the right diet. I'm motivated by my brother Matt Karaja and friend Lexie Keshick (both of whom have won their first professional fights). I'm also hoping to turn pro someday."
Tebear was generally pleased with the performance of the Hannahville boxers.
"Marvin was in with a guy with more experience," he said. "He had about 10 more fights, but Marvin gave him a run for his money. Bob always comes to fight. I think all our kids did great. This was a good experience for them. I think the Hannahville Boxing Club has lot of potential."
In a 152-pound novice bout, Hannahville's Tony Williams was knocked out in the first round by Cream City's Delvonte Nappier.
Among the younger boxers, Hannahville's winners were Josh Stell (60-pound junior novice) and Anthony Miley and Emmanuel Peterson (65 junior novice) and Keanon Wandahsega (80 junior novice).
"I love working with the younger kids," said Hannahville assistant coach Ricky Smith, who commutes from Green Bay to work with the team. "The little guys look good everytime and they're getting better and better.
"I thought we had a very good turnout. I would like to see a few more bouts up here."
Smith, who earned five national and two Junior Olympic titles as a youth boxer, hopes to turn pro in February or March.
"I'm trying to turn this into a professional living, only I may need to travel a little further to do that," he said. "It's great to see boxing is making a comeback."