Super middleweight Richard Pierson stopped Charles Hayward in the main event.
Gabe LaConte’s First Round Promotions returned to the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, on Wednesday night, bringing a six-bout card to the Brick City. Following is a recap of the action.
Richard Pierson (11-2, 8) vs. Charles Hayward (7-5, 3)
Hailing from the tough boxing City of Philadelphia, Hayward came into this bout with a deceptive record that was not indicative of his grit and skill, while a newborn Pierson has been on the fast track back up the rankings since assembling a new team around him. Both competitors looked to establish the jab in the early going, and Pierson tried to gain the advantage by using his speed to find Hayward. However, the Philadelphia resident was up for the assignment and attempted to time his punches to close the gap on that pace. Fighting close to his hometown of Paterson, Pierson rallied off a series of right hands in the second frame that found their mark, but his opposition used his grit to recover from the damage. By the end of that round, though, it was evident that some bad blood was brewing, and a nice scrap had emerged.
With former heavyweight fighter Lou Esa screaming, “We’re having fun. Let’s go!” from his corner, Pierson looked to pick up the tempo in the third frame. Hayward threw his blows with bad intentions, but the quickness and movement of Pierson kept the New Jersey native clear of danger. In the ensuing round, he truly began to utilize his speed to engage, putting together a nice rally that had his opponent backing off a bit at one point. At that time, Pierson threw a left lead jab and followed it up with a flush right hand that landed perfectly sound to the chin of Hayward, who was violently sent to the canvas. While he got back to his feet after the blow before the 10-count, referee Randy Neumann stepped in and deemed him unsuitable to continue at the 2:37 mark. The stoppage was the first TKO loss of his career, and it gave Pierson his third consecutive victory.
John Thompson (7-0, 3) vs. Jamond Bourgeois (4-2, 1)
Both of these fighters came into this contest owning some good young records, and each competitor displayed a decent amount of speed in the opening round. However, everything started to change when the second bell rang. Bourgeois came in a bit reckless, and Thompson quickly took advantage. Midway through the frame, he patiently stalked his opposition into the corner and then immediately exploded with a four-punch combination. When that last right hand landed, Thompson went flailing in between the ropes. After temporarily trying to return to his feet, the New Orleans fell face first to the canvas and was out cold. The official time of the stoppage was 1:58 of the second round.
Leandro Acevedo (1-0) vs. Marcus Clay (0-2)
The evening got started with the professional debut of middleweight Acevedo, taking on Baton Rouge native Clay. Feeling the intensity of boxing in a professional setting for the first time, Acevedo anxiously threw his punches mostly with his left hand and from some overly swinging angles. He found his spots over the first two frames, but Clay was able to subside that aggression and started to turn the momentum as his opponent began to slow a bit. Clay started to find his jab over the last pair of rounds, and the hooks from Acevedo became wilder. He also began switching his fighting stance back and forth, and he finally got what he was hoping to achieve in the final minute of the bout. He worked Clay to the ropes and then exploded. Referee Sparkle Lee had a very fixated eye on the action, but Clay was responding just enough for him to survive for the cards. The three ringside judges all saw the action differently, and Acevedo edged out a split decision victory by counts of 39-37, 37-39 and 40-36.
Michael Concepcion (1-0) vs. Dan Morales (0-5)
Concepcion understandably came out a bit tight in his professional debut, but he was tossing a decent jab when he got it off. He became more comfortable as the action continued, but the jerky movement of Morales made him an awkward fighter to engage. Overall, Morales displayed some good heart over the four frames of this encounter, but Concepcion was just too much for him. When the final tallies were revealed at the conclusion of the 12 minutes, Concepcion emerged victorious with a count of 39-37 accompanying a 40-36 card.
Aaron Kinch (3-0-1, 1) vs. Kevin Howard (2-6-1)
Nearly 530 pounds of heavyweights entered the ring for this contest, and the two big fellas put on an entertaining show. Howard seemed to own the action after the opening bell, working a heavy jab and seemingly landing every punch he threw. However, the tide began to turn a bit in favor of Kinch in the second round, and he began to really find his groove in the third frame. The duo continued the big fisted confrontations throughout the entire four rounds of action, running on fumes yet throwing bombs until the final second ticked off the clock. After what turned out to be a really fun and entertaining bout, Kinch kept his unbeaten record intact with a majority decision with scores of 38-38 and 39-37 twice in his favor.
Qa’id Muhammad (7-0, 6) vs. Steven Johnson (7-5, 4)
Newark fight fans were definitely given a glimpse into the future of the flyweight division in this contest, with the highly impressive Muhammad looking nothing short of outstanding before closing the books on the undercard action. The Atlantic City native started fast and furious, immediately setting the table with a left jab before dropping his opponent with a straight right hand in the opening minute of the first round. He constantly applied violent pressure, never giving Johnson any room to breathe, and he never seemed to get touched while seriously touching up the opposition. In the third frame, the audience found out why his nickname is “Kid Dynamite” after the New Jersey resident chased down his opponent just before the midway mark. That was the moment when he fired a devastating right hand that dropped Johnson viciously to the canvas. Despite being completely out, the California native instinctively tried to return to his feet, but referee Randy Neumann did the right thing and stopped the fight before it could continue. The official time of the TKO was at 1:24.