Glenn Dezurn Jr dominates with KO1 win after 16-month layoff; young Cincinnati prospects Adrian Benton and newcomer Messiah Snow earn first-round KOs on the first New Era Boxing Champs card in Covington, Kentucky
The great philosopher Plato is credited with an obvious yet profound statement: “…the beginning is the most important part of any work…”
On Saturday, September 21 in Covington, Kentucky, Randall Wyatt and his Wyatt Promotions team launched its new series “New Era Boxing Champs” at the Hits Arena & Sports Complex. Local fight fans were introduced to a new aspiring fighter, and witnessed the latest steps for a few other fighters in their respective journeys.
Baltimore, Maryland’s Glenn Dezurn Jr. represented the event’s special attraction. Dezurn (9-2-1, 6 KOs) returned to his first action since enduring a rugged eight rounds of action in a 10-round bout with current Bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. last May. The 32-year-old debuted on ShoBox: The New Generation in April 2017 as an undefeated Bantamweight. He went 1-1-1 in three ShoBox, so after 14 months of inactivity his assignment versus Juan Bryand was intended to be a means of knocking off the rust. That was until an early short right hand Bryand reminded Dezurn there are no scrimmages under the lights. There isn’t any extra pay for extra work neither.
Dezurn responded immediately, pressing forward with purpose and connecting with a series of violent hooks to Bryand’s body that put the Laredo, Texas native on retreat. Dezurn’s pressure soon backed up Bryand (1-8-1) against the ropes where the ShoBox alumni unleashed a head and body attack that quickly culminated with a knockout at the 1:02 mark.
The second part of Plato’s wise words is: “…especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken…”
Cincinnati’s own, newcomer Messiah Snow, made his debut appearance versus Ryan Venable, of Roanoke, Virginia, in Super Featherweight action in a scheduled four-rounder. Snow was well-received by the hometown crowd, but he kept his appearance brief.
After overcoming some early jitters, Snow gradually settled into the fighter he’s devoted countless hours in the gym to become. “Man, I just had to be me!”, Snow said later on after the fight.
Snow’s movement and feints seemingly confused Venable, the fight also marked his first as a professional, and soon created the opening for a punishing straight right hand that instantly dropped the visitor. Venable beat the count but Snow moved in quickly after the action resumed. Before the hurt fighter could fully regroup Snow connected with a sharp left hook that closed the show at 2:45.
Snow commented that his favorite fighter is the brilliant Roy Jones Jr. The fights will get increasingly challenging for the 20-year-old, but the initial hunger is there, as well as some of the entertaining in-ring creativity to create the opportunity for big moments.
Another young Cincinnati prospect, unbeaten 19-year-old Super Lightweight Adrian “Play Time” Benton, enjoyed the same kind of dominating first round success as Snow. He took apart Benton Harbor, Michigan’s 39-year-old Robbie Thomas (0-3) in 47 seconds to pick up his third win as a pro. Expect Benton to be a major fixture in Wyatt Promotions’ future New Era Boxing Champs line-ups, or as a fighter Wyatt intends to personally support in advantageous out of town opportunities.
Local Bantamweight Artrimus “El Chapo” Sartor’s performance looked like he was determined to stop his three-fight skid which included one no-decision in February 2017. Sartor (4-2-1) dropped a four-round decision in Cincinnati to a visitor in May 2018, but the stance-switching Anthony Taylor (4-4-1, 1 KO) never got to capitalize on an early left hook to Sartor’s midsection.
In fact, Sartor responded to his corner’s instructions immediately after the shot, increased his aggression and shortly afterwards dropped Taylor with a left hook. Taylor tried to turn the tables and take the lead, but Sartor slipped underneath a shot and floored the Youngstown fighter with a stealth right hook thrown with great timing.
Taylor beat the second count, and switched back to his south paw stance to the land a similar looping left hook to Sartor’s body. This provoked a similar response from Sartor and seconds later, at the 1:57 mark, Taylor was down for the third and final time.
In the second a pair of Heavyweight bouts Cincinnati’s Shaun Seymore made just his third appearance in the last three years versus Austin, Texas resident Deon Ronny Hale. In true road warrior fashion the veteran Hale (5-13-1, 4 KOs) blocked out the hometown crowd and went on the attack early in an attempt to capitalize on the ring rust of Seymore (9-0-1, 5 KOs). The game plan was a success, as Seymore began to execute his moves more effectively over the latter half of the second round, and with greater success in the final two rounds.
Seymore’s counter punching was less accurate initially, as he had to deal with Hale’s constant haymakers. But, he began to time the wider, slower shots in the third and fourth round, while also beginning to find more success with his body shots. Hale disrupted Seymore’s rally for a decision through the last two rounds by winning the inside wrestling game, disallowing Seymore to get his hands free to throw shots after creating the space he was unable to get in the first round. One judge rewarded Seymore for the cleaner work, but the other two judges nullified a win with even scores that resulted in a draw.
Muhammad Abdullah added his fourth win with a one-sided first-round knockout over Henry Mercer. Abdullah (4-1-1, 2 KOs) sent Mercer to the canvas twice, with a right hook bringing the fight to halt, as he continues to seek success in the ring outside of his mixed martial arts background.
Current WBC and newly crowned WBO Super Middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn acted as the chief second to her husband Glenn, and also took a moment to address the crowd, expressing her appreciation for the dedicated work and the importance of the role of local promoters like Wyatt. She also detailed her connection to Cincinnati after an in-ring reunion with three-time Olympian and former WBA Bantamweight champion Rau’Shee Warren, who once presented her with one of her first awards won in the amateurs.
Photos by R.L. Woodson