Iron Mike goes easy on T-Rex
Warren's Zack Page won by unanimous decision in the co-feature.
By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Yes, Mike Tyson took it easy on his former sparring partner in their featured bout at the Chevrolet Centre Friday night before more than 4,000 fans and a national Pay-Per-View television audience that launched "Mike Tyson's World Tour."
After Tyson, of Las Vegas, Nev., who formerly lived in Southington, knocked down Corey "T-Rex" Sanders of Washington, D.C., in the first round, he softened his offense and his blows and managed to carry his good-natured opponent the four-round distance in a non-decision exhibition match.
Tyson looked good, no two ways about it, and he hit Sanders with hard blows to the face and body in the last two rounds, but Sanders hardly threw a punch and whatever he did throw were pillows.
The crowd sensed that the bout was just a glorified sparring session, and the boo-birds came out to show their displeasure, but for most of the fans it was just great to see Tyson back and throwing punches in the ring.
Page wins co-feature
In the co-feature, muscular Zack Page of Warren was aggressive throughout and landed more punches than experienced southpaw Lou "Honey Boy" Del Valle of Long Island, N.Y., to earn a unanimous 10-round decision in their cruiserweight bout. The scoring went 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93.
Page (12-8-1, 4 KOs) stung Del Valle (35-4-1, 22 KOs) with a right late in the fourth round of their scheduled 10-round cruiserweight bout, and that started his dominance of the fight as Del Valle lacked little offense and consistently sought refuge with clinches and also with ducking in an attempt to tie up Page -- both tactics being his best weapons.
In the first Pay-Per-View TV fight at about 10:45 p.m., Tyron "T.T." Watson of Pittsburgh beat Stephan "The Millenium Hawk" Pryor of Cincinnati on a six-round split decision (58-55, 60-53, 56-57) in a super middleweight bout.
Watson (4-0, 1 KO) was helped by a first-round knockdown in the first few seconds of the bout. But Pryor (10-3, 7 KOs) quickly recovered to last the round and force the distance of what turned out to be a fairly evenly-fought battle with strong finish by both fighters.
Three straight TKOs
The card opened with Chris Archer of Pittsburgh defeating Vance Garvey of Indianapolis by a TKO in 2:52 of the sixth round of a scheduled six-round middleweight bout. Archer improved to 6-1 with 4 KOs while Garvey fell to 6-24-5 with 1 KO.
In the second bout, Frank Gill of Pittsburgh had too much firepower for Ken-Yon Kellum of Warren, who tired early and was unable to defend himself. Gill (2-3, 1 KO) overpowered Kellum, who was in his pro debut, with a TKO in 1:18 of the third round.
Kellum began experiencing medical problems as soon as the fight was stopped, and was given oxygen in his corner and then helped from the ring and removed on a stretcher.
The third bout also ended with a TKO as "Sugar" Ray Narh of Pittsburgh via Ghana stopped Justo Sanchez of Howell, Utah, in 2:05 of the sixth round.
Narh (19-1, 16 KOs) began connecting with combinations in the sixth round, and Sanchez (16-20-1, 0 KOs) was forced to take a knee. When he got back up, the referee stopped the bout.
Smith wins on knockout
The fourth bout between heavyweights Octavius Smith of Indianapolis and Roy Anthony Bechtord of Akron was a real crowd-pleaser.
Smith, weighing almost 300 pounds with a big weight advantage, won by a knockout in 2:34 of the second round after connecting often with thumping blows during both rounds.
Smith floored Bechtord in the first round with a combination of punches. Then in the second round, Smith hammered Bechtord to the deck two straight times, and the fight probably should have been stopped after the first knockdown. But it wasn't, and a few seconds later, Smith put away Bechtord away with a blockbuster right.