(Omar Henry at Friday’s weigh-in; photo via Don King Productions)
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Don King returned to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida for the second edition of “Viva Don King.” The main event featured Connecticut’s hard punching Tony Grano against veteran DeVarryl Williamson.
The main event began with two lackluster rounds. There was only one significant punch landed in each of the first two rounds, both by Grano (20-2-1, 16 KOs). A straight right hand momentarily sent Williamson (27-7, 23 KOs) back in the 1st, and a left hook that landed clean in the 2nd.
A right hook hurt Williamson in the 3rd round, and the crowd erupted, seemingly waking Grano up, as he poured on the pressure, landing a left hook that hurt Williamson badly to end the 3rd.
It appeared Grano was looking for the perfect punch to land in the 4th, and he did just that. A straight right hand, followed up by a right/left hook combination ended the night for Williamson, as he was counted out at 2:27 of the 4th round.
In the ring after the fight, Don King said he wants big fights for Tony Grano. “We’re calling out Vitali, and anyone that looks like you,” King said.
Also on the card, was one of Don King’s top prospects, emerging Cuban lightweight contender Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (13-0, 10 KOs). Santana, born in Cuba, now fights out of Miami and there was a immense Cuban crowd there to applaud him on for what most believed was Santana’s toughest test of his career against Justin “Le Voodoo” Savi (26-2, 18 KOs).
Early in the 1st round a head butt caused a cut under the right eye of Savi, and in what was not the brightest of moves, Santana began to target the right eye almost immediately. Santana’s hand speed was evident from the start as he moved in and out landing clean shots and receiving nothing in return.
A right hook in the 3rd hurt Savi, and sent him to the canvas. After rising to his feet, Santana sent Savi reeling back into the corner as the referee stepped in and called a halt to the bout at 1:51 of the 4th round.
Miami’s local fan favorite, Cuban-American Joey Hernandez (22-1-1, 12 KOs), faced off against journeymen Brandon Baue (12-7, 10 KOs). Hernandez was booed out of the arena the last time he fought under the lights of the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, when he won a disputed 12 round decision against Elco Garcia. But Hernandez bounced back strong, stopping normally durable Shakir Ashanti in less than one round back in April.
Hernandez boxed and moved in the 1st round, fighting mostly from the outside, feeling out his opponent and landing an occasional left hook inside. In the 2nd round Hernandez found a home for his left hand, working the head and the body sending Baue back to his corner with a badly swollen right eye.
After a wild exchange in the 4th round that saw both men land clean shots, Hernandez dropped Baue with a series of left hooks to the head. Baue was able to rise back to his feet, but it wasn’t long before the referee jumped in and called a halt to the fight at 1:11 of the round.
“I’m calling out all junior middleweights,” Hernandez said. “I’m young and fan friendly.”
Omar Henry (12-0-1, 9 KOs) was finally back in the ring Saturday night against Tyrone Selders (8-3, 6 KOs). Henry is coming off an inactive 2011 which consisted of only two fights and a total of three rounds.
Henry came out wild, winging right and left hooks to the body. Midway through the 1st Henry looked gassed, but reemerged, hurting Selders with a straight right hand to close out the round. Henry slowed down in the 2nd, but continued his strong body attack hurting Selden and backing him up with strong combinations to the body.
In the middle to late rounds Selden resembled more of a punching bag than a live opponent, rarely returning fire as Henry poured on a mixer of strong hooks to the head and body. Selden looked out on his feet numerous times throughout the night but never once went down. Henry won a UD, winning every round on all three judge’s scorecards, 100-90 twice and 100-88.
Henry addressed his inactivity after the fight. “My goal is to stay active. I fight again next month, and hopefully again in August,” Henry said. “I want to keep staying active and I want to fight for a title, any of the 154 pound champions.”
Thomas Snow (16-1, 9 KOs) and Ernie Marquez (9-11, 3 KOs) entrained the crowd with a good back and forth scheduled six round scrap. In the first two rounds saw great back and forth action with both men landing hard shots. But in the 3rd Snow poured it on causing a cut above Marquez’s his right eye on his way to hurting him numerous times.
In the 4th, Snow closed the show with a devastating right hook on the chin, Marquez climbed to his feet but the referee ruled he could not continue, the time of the stoppage was 0:46 seconds of the 4th round. After the fight Snow proclaimed himself ready for anyone in the 115 pound division. “Anyone at 115, I’m ready to take it to the top,” Snow said. “Everybody at 115 watch your chins.”
The first three bouts of the evening all resulted in entertaining 1st round stoppages. Welterweights Esaie Estimar and Xavier Lugo both made their pro debut, but it was Estimar that made quick work of Lugo, knocking him out at 2:22 of the 1st round. Undefeated heavyweight prospect and 2011 Olympic alternate Trevor Bryan stopped local Miami prospect Hector Hodge at 0:34 seconds of the 1st round. And junior welterweight Amir Imam knocked Kelvin Williams down three times in the 1st round, the fight was stopped at 2:59 of the round.
Tonight’s attendance was announced as 3,158.