Hinkley, MN – Tonight’s featured bout at Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota was to have been a match between two New York boxers: Queens native Phil Williams and Queens-based Connecticut native Jaidon Codrington. Codrington, however, dropped off the card less than a week before fight night, his team claiming an unspecified career-threatening injury. So tough and experienced veteran Antwun Echols was brought in as a late replacement for Codrington, and a sensational bout between the two redeemed a somewhat disappointing undercard.
Two major league punchers put on an electrifying show tonight, with the loser showing commendable class in the aftermath.
Phil Williams, a Queens-born barber in north Minneapolis, improved his record to 11-1 with 10 knockouts by TKOing tough veteran Antwun Echols (now 31-11 with 27 wins by knockout) in a thrilling super middleweight bout tonight. Both men fought with passion and abandon, each throwing all his best shots at his opponent.
Williams had the best of the early going, repeatedly landing power shots from both hands. But Echols, who has fallen short in world title matches with Bernard Hopkins and Roman Karmazin, among others, showed tremendous grit in sticking it out and hurting Williams with some breathtaking right hands in the third and fourth rounds.
Williams, whose only career loss came last summer to 19-0 prospect Marcus Oliveria, showed this time that he has the toughness and resilience to endure such shots. In the sixth and seventh tonight Williams threw everything he had at Echols, and though Echols was game, his corner showed admirable discretion in throwing in the towel in the seventh when Williams had rocked Echols twice with thunderous combinations and was chasing his prey into a neutral corner to finish him off.
Given an opportunity to speak after the bout had ended, Echols advised the Minnesota crowd, “I was in with Bernard Hopkins and he couldn’t do nothing with me. This man is for real. When it comes time for him to make a step up, he’s going to be the man!”
In other bouts on tonight’s card:
- Boxing Digest prospect of the month for April 2009 Caleb “Golden” Truax (12-0 with 8 kayos) won a boring 8-round jabfest against Durrell Richardson of Youngstown, Ohio.
- Marcus Oliveria of Kansas (19-0 with 15 kayos) knocked former reality TV star Otis Griffin out cold in the second round. Griffin, a former reality TV boxing star whose record is now 19-6, was effectively jabbing from the outside until Oliveria caught him with a perfect right uppercut.
- Thomas Snow of Washington DC (11-1 with 8 kayos) beat highly touted prospect Willshaun Boxley of Coon Rapids, Minnesota (now 5-1 with 3 kayos) in a six-round bout.
- Michael Faulk, a Queens native making his professional debut, defeated Mexico’s Marvin Rodriguez (1-2) by majority decision in a four-round bout.
- Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo of Kampala, Uganda (3-0 with 2 kayos), defeated Josh Jungjohann (0-2) in a scary first-round knockout. When Jungjohann went down for the second time in the first round, his head and neck landed on the bottom rope and whiplashed upward. Jungjohann was able to rise after about two minutes, and was expected to be taken to a hospital for an MRI.