Russell shines on explosive night of boxing
"I am happy that I was able to make the first successful defence of my title here in Jamaica before my fans, and the sky is now the limit" said an elated Kemahl Russell on Friday night, after he stopped Mexican Michie 'The Matador' Munoz, in the second round of an eight-round fight for the Junior NABF Middleweight title at the National Arena.
Five of the six professional fights on the card ended inside the distance, in an explosive night that produced plenty of action and left the fair-size crowd pleased. The only unhappy people in the audience, which included Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, were the promoters, Real Deal Boxing and Uprising Promotions. Lead spokesman Ronson Frank said afterwards, that "it was a great night of boxing, but we took a beating. Enough fans just did not show up."
In other fights on the card, Sakima Mullings scored a two-minute 56 seconds, sixth-round knockout victory over Edmund DeClou from Guyana; Deandre Ware of the USA knocked out Guyanese Kwesi Jones in the first round; Christopher Pearson from the USA stopped Jamaica's Tsetsi Davis at 2.21 of the fourth round with a body shot that immobilised him; Fedrica Bianca from the USA stopped her rival Rewinna David from Guyana in the second round; and Lawrence Newton from the USA, outpointed Jamaica's Rudolph Hedge, over six rounds.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the Russell versus Munoz fight, as the Jamaican was making the first defence of the title that he won last year. His opponent boasted an impressive 26-7 record with 17 knockouts, so much was expected. Russell, whose record is now 13-1, looked composed and confident as he entered the ring, and the Mexican also seemed ready for action.
STAMP OF AUTHORITY
The Jamaican built his attacks behind the jab in the first round, and his punches bore the stamp of authority. Munoz never looked fazed, however, and a few combinations to body and head from him gave a promise of great things to come. This did not happen.
The action was at close quarters when the second round started and Munoz looked comfortable. Russell backed away to give himself room and this paid dividends immediately. Russell threw a couple of jabs, followed by three left hooks, and Munoz hit the canvas and took the mandatory eight count.
Russell attacked on the resumption, and in a short time, Munoz was back on the canvas. He made a bold but unsuccessful attempt to remain steady, and referee Eion Jardine quickly called a halt to the fight. Munoz did not protest.