In a main event that could have been billed as a passing of the torch, Dorin Spivey, the 39 year old NABA lightweight title holder from Portsmouth, VA took a majority decision over then undefeated Ron Salka, of Bunola, PA. For me, memories of Spivey were none to recent. My strongest memory of him was when he faced Mike Stewart, now retired, in 2002; although he has made more recent appearances in the ring and maintained an active career.
It was expected, some would say, for Salka to make easy work of the old man. From the first bell it was apparent that it would be anything but that. The fight started at a quick pace, with both fighters eager to set the pace, but it was Spivey who was more effective, cutting off the ring and landing clean counter punches. The second round was more of the same. Spivey was landing inside of Salka’s high guard and showing sheer athleticism for someone who has been fighting for nineteen years (yes, my math is right!). After keeping the same pace through the third round Spivey catches some body shots from Salka in the fourth, but there are still signs that Salka is not adapting. And although Salka was looking a little tired in the fifth round he came alive in the sixth.
After catching on to Spivey’s pattern of counter punching the seventh round showed a slower pace as each fighter tried to adjust their game plan. Salka was not throwing any punches, leaving Spivey with nothing to counter. Spivey was rocked by a hard right hand in the eighth round but does a good job of recovering and making his way out of the round. Spivey came out in the ninth round like the eighth didn’t happen. While Spivey is taking huge shots he lands big ones as well. The fight ends with both fighters banging and bleeding. Spivey was awarded a majority decision victory in what was a very close fight.
Another Virginia native on the card was Frankie Filippone. The Norfolk fighter won a unanimous decision over Reggie LaCrete of Brooklyn, NY. From the first bell it was clear that although both fighters had the ability, Filippone was the better boxer. It was clear from the beginning that Filippone had little power on his punches, when LaCrete was rocked in the fourth and fifth rounds, leaving Filippone completely powerless in the sixth; he did nothing to finish the fight. It was a boxing lesson all six rounds and Filippone went home with a unanimous decision, all three judges scoring the bout 59-55.
In a heavyweight bout that featured, you guessed it, more Virginia natives, Shaun Lewis and Dorsett Barnwell. Barnwell, although he admitted he was not happy with his performance in an exclusive interview, was clearly dominating the fight when it was stopped at 2:12 in the 4th round. “I feel like sometimes i fight to reflect my opponent so if he is not that great, i don’t look that great, and that is something i am working on.” The fight could have been ended in the third round when Barnwell landed a huge straight right hand to the chin of Lewis, but the punch landed as the bell rang.
The opening fight of the night was Atlantic City’s own Antowyan Aikens facing Akron, Ohio’s Steven Tyner. Although it was a seemingly dirty fight with Tyner clinching, holding Aikens down, and hitting behind the head, Aikens was still able to pull out a unanimous decision. The fight was predominately his but would have been a completely different fight if he had used combinations and followed up on the jab. All three judges gave the fight to Aikens 59-55.