Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Hunter KO’s Wilson In 4 At Madison Square Garden


WBC/WBA number six rated Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter scored a dominant fourth round knockout of veteran Mike Wilson on Tuesday night at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. From the opening bell, Hunter’s hand speed and combination punching was simply too much for the thirty-eight year old Wilson to combat. Hunter implemented a balanced attack to the body and head of Wilson and landed several hard shots with both hands in displaying a full range of offense. What quickly became target practice for Hunter through three rounds seemed to give an impression that Wilson’s corner may have been tasked with the decision to stop the fight.


Before Wilson’s corner could face that decision however, Hunter decked Wilson with a flush right hook to the jaw that sent him down to the canvas in late in round four. Wilson was very “Game” as he staggered to his feet at the count of nine, but was unable to respond to Referee Ricky Gonzalez’ questions as he evaluated whether Wilson was able to continue, which prompted Gonzalez to stop the bout at 2:49 of round four. Michael Hunter advances to 20-1-1, with 14 Knockouts. Mike Wilson falls to 21-2, with 10 Knockouts.


Also in action on this card:


Former WBI Jr. Welterweight world champion Chris Algieri scored a convincing ten round unanimous decision over Mikkel LesPierre. Algieri consistently forced LesPierre on the defensive throughout by applying pressure and generating a near non-stop offensive output. In round nine, Algieri appeared on the verge of getting a stoppage when he was able to stun LesPierre with a left hook to the head, which set off a barrage of mostly unanswered punches. Despite this, the fight was allowed to continue and to his credit, LesPierre was able to make it to the final bell. Official scores were: 99-91, and 100-90 (On two scorecards) all in favor of Algieri. Chris Algieri advances to 25-3, with 9 Knockouts. Mikkel LesPierre falls to 22-3-1, with 10 Knockouts.


Unbeaten Jr. Welterweight Aaron Aponte scored a second round knockout of previously undefeated Gerardo Gonzalez. Aponte dropped Gonzalez with a straight right hand the head late in the first round. Gonzalez was able to survive the round, but was on unsteady legs. Aponte, sensing his opponent was in trouble, immediately pressed the issue in round two dropping Gonzalez for a second and final time with a barrage of punches highlighted by another right hand to the head that sent Gonzalez down to the canvas. The bout was stopped by Referee Sparkle Lee at :30 of round two. Aaron Aponte advances to 4-0, with 2 Knockouts. Gerardo Gonzalez falls to 2-1, with 1 Knockout.


This card, which was promoted by Triller in association with Hall of Fame promoter Lou Dibella’s Dibella Entertainment was the first in a new monthly Tuesday night Boxing series that Triller calls “TrillerVerz.”  Although Triller is still a relatively new player in the sport of Boxing, those of us with New York roots like yours truly that are of a certain age are likely old enough to remember Boxing from the Theater at Madison Square Garden, for many years known as the Felt Forum, was regularly broadcast on MSG Network on a monthly basis in the New York market where many of those cards were broadcast by legendary New York Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen and the late great manager, trainer, and Boxing commentator Gil Clancy. Those who are older and go back further than the MSG Network era might remember going back many decades to previous versions of Madison Square Garden, monthly Boxing cards often promoted by Madison Square Garden Boxing were a staple in New York.


For Triller as a new promotional entity in the sport of Boxing that has faced some setbacks in its brief foray in the sport, but has set a quite ambitious goal in an attempt to become one of Boxing’s major players, drawing upon the sport’s history by partnering with Madison Square Garden in an attempt to return monthly Boxing back to “The Mecca of Boxing” is a nice touch and certainly ambitious given both the state of the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic as well as the significant competition they face from other promoters and both digital streaming and traditional broadcast networks. With Triller now owning digital combat sports streaming network and pay-per-view platform FITE, the potential is there for Triller to re-establish monthly Boxing events at “The Garden” for the streaming age. Now the question is whether they will be able to offer the type of cards and subscription pricing where they will not only be competitive in the streaming space, but also offer a consumer-friendly option to the public. 


While this remains to be seen, a good first step would be to be willing to work with other promoters and networks in an effort to offer the best fights possible, something that not every promotional entity that has started out with good momentum has been willing to do. As we have seen, such an approach does not always serve the sport well and leads to fights of significant interest not being made for a variety of reasons. If Triller wants to make a splash in Boxing, this observer can think of no better approach than setting out to be different by showing it is open to working with all promoters. Although it certainly won’t be easy, if they can show that willingness and it leads to increased interest in the sport and more importantly interest that does not come at a high expense for the consumer, Boxing may see something truly beneficial and groundbreaking. For a sport that has no shortage of black eyes and detractors, it would for the all too rare times be a good thing.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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