BOXING Warren's Hanshaw defeats Nigerian
The crowd was solidly behind Hanshaw.
By BOB ROTH
CANTON -- Tony "The Tiger" Hanshaw, a Warren native, remained undefeated Friday night as he won a 10-round decision over Kingsley Ikeke of Nigeria.
Hanshaw (12-0, 9 KOs) was a unanimous choice of all three officials, 98-92, in the super middleweight (168 pounds) boxing match before 3,600 fans at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.
In handing Ikeke his first setback in 15 fights, Hanshaw went 10 rounds for the first time in his career.
The scene: In round two, the crowd begin chanting for Hanshaw, and it seemed to motivate the boxer as he became the aggressor.
A left hand by Ikeke bloodied Hanshaw's nose in the second round.
Late in the round, Hanshaw started working solid combinations, and it was a turning point in the bout. He started showing his strength, forcing the fight in the fourth and beginning to pile up points.
"I thought the fight was close," said Hanshaw. "I never bleed, but he caught me with a hard left jab in the second round."
In the middle rounds, Hanshaw connected with body and head punches. Ikeke, 6 foot, 7 inches, used counter punches to keep the fight close.
Loser's reaction: "This guy's tough, and when the fight was over, I thought it was close and was surprised at the 98-92 decision," Ikeke said. "Hanshaw was tired, and we didn't take advantage of it."
Hanshaw forced Ikeke to the ropes in the ninth round and connected with several sharp left hooks.
In the 10th round, he started quickly with a two-fisted attack, but Ikeke came on late. Hanshaw still held on for the win.
"I was ready and in good shape for this fight," said Hanshaw. "The crowd helped me a lot. I was able in the middle rounds to tag him several times with good left hooks.
"This was a big test for me and there is no turning back now," he said. "I am on my way to my father's [Henry Russell] dream of winning a world title."
Manager: Shelley Finkel, Hanshaw's manager, said, "Tony has a superior jab and great natural moves, but sometimes he gets away from being a boxer because he's such a warrior.
"This was a big step up in his opposition. I didn't think it was a close fight, but it was a nervous fight.
"It was the first time Tony had to go 10 rounds," he added. "Now we could be looking for a title fight [168 pounds] late this year or early next year."