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BOXING: Thompson beats Willis in Battle at the Boat 84
Who’s the best boxer in the Northwest? Federal Way heavyweight Vincent Thompson is making his case.
The undefeated Thompson won a unanimous decision after a controversial main event in Battle at the Boat 84.
The Nov. 5 bout at Emerald Queen Casino pitted Thompson (10-0, 2 KO) against Tacoma boxer Jonte Willis (8-2-1, 3 KO). The fight was called in the eighth round after two minutes. Willis signaled that he was hurt and was wobbly. The fight was stopped, the doctor got involved, and Willis was unable to continue. Thompson was penalized two points for an alleged hit to the back of Willis’ head. The crowd booed furiously, many jeering Willis. Thompson also had a few detractors. The penalty made little difference, however, as all three judges scored the fight 78-72.
Thompson was dominant through every round of this intense and high-energy fight. Both boxers had to be broken up at the bell a few times. In the victory, Thompson applied consistent speed and pressure from the start. Willis certainly got in a few licks. When the two fighters would go toe-to-toe in a blitzkrieg of combos at the center of the ring, it was pure boxing bliss.
Willis weighed in at 215.5 pounds while Thompson measured 237 pounds. In a casino lounge before the fight, Thompson and Willis were calm and focused, mingling with their friends and family. The weeks leading up to the highly-anticipated match were flavored by a little Facebook trash talk, along with banter from Willis.
“My fists are doing the talking like they always do,” said Thompson, who later did his talking in the ring. “I respect Jonte for stepping up. It’s gonna be me with the victory.”
Before the fight, Willis noted the significance of this fight for his boxing career.
“When all is said and done, it’s business,” said Willis, eager to fight in front of the hometown crowd. “It’s another step that goes to show I’m not done.”
After the fight, Willis was disappointed with the way the fight ended.
“I didn’t know whether to keep going,” he said of the controversial eighth round. “I take my hat off to Vincent in respect.”
Thompson glowed backstage after notching his 10th professional win. He said the key strategy was to keep his punches down against Willis.
“I didn’t go in there underestimating him,” Thompson said, thanking his coaching team and dad, Calvin, for pre-fight advice. “I wish we could have went the distance just to give the crowd a good show.”
He added: “I thank God for the win and thank the fans for coming out. It’s a beautiful blessing.”
Stay tuned for Battle at the Boat 85 in January. To learn more, visit halquistproductions.com.
Undercard: Battle at the Boat 84
• Sylvestor “Doc” Barron (5-1) defeated Everado Garcia (1-1) in the five-round semi-main event. The two heavyweights swung wildly at each other in a sloppy but entertaining match. In the third round, Garcia had Barron against the ropes and nearly knocked him out with a barrage of solid punches. They seemed to run out of steam in the fourth round, and Barron had a strong finish in the fifth and final round. Judges scored the fight 47-47, 48-47 and 48-47 to give Barron the majority decision.
• Corben Page (4-2) won a majority decision over Alonso Barandila (0-1). Judges’ scores were 39-37, 40-36 and a draw. Page started off stronger in Barandila’s pro debut. The fight slowed down in the third before both boxers heated it up toward the final bell.
• Randell Corpuz (2-1) won a unanimous decision over Dave Petryk (2-3-1), capped by a solid fourth round in which both slugged away to the final bell. Judges scored the entertaining fight 40-36, 39-37 and 40-36 for Corpuz, who showed more punching power and control.
• Adrian “Hollywood” Herrmann (2-2-1) and Ronald Simmons (3-4-1) fought to a majority draw after four rounds. Judges scored the fight 38-38 twice, and 39-37 for Simmons. This was a fairly even fight. Hermann hit well in the middle rounds and Simmons owned the final round with better punching power.
• Ralph Prescott (2-5) defeated Mike Joy (0-1) in the four-round opener that went the distance. Judges scored it 40-35, 40-35 and 38-37 for Prescott, who put on the pressure early and even sent Joy to a knee in the first. Prescott landed harder punches, especially in the first two rounds. Joy, making his pro debut, put up a good fight.