BOXING Koval defeats Waller to improve mark to 21-2
The Austintown heavyweight said he needs to work harder on his conditioning.
CHESTER, W. Va. -- A five-bout card Thursday night, presented by World Class promotions and promoter Greg Nixon in "The Harv" at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort had four title fights and a six-round heavyweight clash that was an attraction between a brawling duo of big boys.
The crowd of 2,412 had just settled in the seats when Austintown heavyweight Chris Koval and Stafford, Va., veteran Jason Waller began to tee off on each other.
Waller from the early going was effective, landing short rights followed by left hooks. But Koval, in his first fight since losing a 10-round decision to Alex Dimitrenko March 10 in Germany, landed more explosive punches and had end-of-the-round rallies through the first three rounds.
Koval was more effective with a number of rights to Waller's body and after a fierce exchange in the fourth, the Austintown boxer used a left hook with a short right and then followed with a looping right to stagger Waller.
Midway through that round Koval whistled a short right to Waller's jaw that sent him down for an eight count. He staggered to his feet and was fortunate to survive the round as Koval was unable to finish him.
The next two rounds belonged to Waller, who outpunched a fatigued Koval. But at the end of the sixth round, Koval, who spent most of that round trying to tie up Waller, came back, staggering his opponent as the bell rang.
Judge Jim Pauchnik voted the fight a draw at 56-56, but judges Frank DeCaria and Dave Ashley voted 57-55 for Koval, giving him a majority decision.
Koval, now 21-2 who came in at 254 pounds to Waller's 213 pounds, said, "I should have finished him in the fourth round because my lack of conditioning really caught up with me in the last round.
"This fight taught me once and for all to be fully ready in my conditioning before I take another fight with anyone."
His manager, Pat Nelson, concurred.
"The good thing about this fight is that Chris did some good work in the ring and he is back to winning again," said Nelson, "but he is going to have to work a lot harder on his weight and conditioning."
Waller's record fell to 27-27-4.
Four title fights followed Koval's win, including Dan Harvision, at 190 pounds from McKeesport, Pa. He won the previously vacant NABO cruiserweight title with a 12-round decision over Pittsburgh's Rayco Saunders. Harvison (12-0) worked his long range left jab against the aggressive Saunders (14-5-1).
Monty Mesa Clay of Rankin, Pa., won win a 10-round split decision over James Baker of Washington, D.C., for the IBC Americas junior lightweight crown. Clay (15-0) was constantly busy and used excellent hand speed against Baker (13-7-3), who was an exceptional counter puncher.
The final two title bouts were the only fights to not go the distance. Pittsburgh's Joe Wyatt, in a scheduled 12-rounder for the NABO super welterweight title, won a technical decision over George Klinesmith of Bloomingdale, Ohio. The fight was stopped after round four because Klinesmith (20-10) was unable to continue with cuts over both eyes and the referee ruled the first cut was because of an unintentional head butt. When the scorecards were tabulated Wyatt (20-0) was ahead 39-35 on all scorecards.
Both Wyatt and Harvision are managed by Nelson.
The night's finale had Verquan Kimbrough, from Aliquippa, Pa., stop Chad Wright from Galion at 2:06 of the fifth round in a scheduled 10-rounder for the IBC Americas featherweight title. Kimbrough (11-0-1) won his sixth fight by knockout. He used straight rights and a left hook to send Wright (11-5) down three times in the fourth and fifth rounds.