Ringside results from Bally’s Atlantic City: Tapia makes quick work of Collins   Leave a comment

Philadelphia, PA (June 14, 2014) – It only took 82 seconds for Glen Tapia (20-1, 12 KOs) to dispatch Keenan Collins (15-8-3, 10 KOs) in Tapia’s first prize-fight since coming out on the losing end of a war with James Kirkland 6 months earlier. Although Collins was certainly nowhere near the level of Kirkland, Tapia’s comeback was impressive nonetheless. There were no signs of psychological or physical damage from the 2013 “Fight of the Year” candidate, which culminated in one of the most brutal beat-downs witnessed all year. Fortunately for Collins referee Earl Brown was more cautious than Steve Smoger had been in December and the fight was stopped before Collins was truly separated from his senses. After the sole knockdown in the fight, Collins was stopped on his feet in Tapia’s corner moments later. This was Keenan’s 2nd straight TKO defeat. The once 12-1-1 prospect has been a designated opponent since 2007.

Incidentally UniMas, originally scheduled to televise Tapia-Collins as a part of their weekly “Solo Boxeo” program, may not have approved Collins as an opponent due to his lack of credibility. In any event the show was not broadcasted by any entity.

In the co-feature Jesse Hart (13-0, 10 KOs) had a mostly one-sided war with Shujaa El Amin (12-5, 6 KOs) until the abrupt conclusion in round 6. Hart and El Amin traded left hooks and Hart’s hook got there first. El Amin laid flat on his back for a few minutes before he was cleared to stand. Fortunately he was fine. El Amin took Hart’s bombs really well up until the finish. Early on Hart often got away from his jab and tried to take El Amin’s head off without laying the groundwork. However, considering Hart scored knockdowns in rounds 1 and 3 and all 10 of his prior stoppages came inside the first 3 rounds (7 in round 1), it’s not hard to understand why things happened the way they did. It’s “on to the next” for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials gold medalist.

As was the case with the feature fights, the “Red Corner” dominated each time out during the undercard as well. Only 2 fights went the scheduled distance and only 1 of them wasn’t in danger of being stopped. Unsurprisingly the opponent that gave the best account of himself also had the best record of anyone in the “Blue Corner.” Details follow…

Complete Results:

1. Angel Acosta [108.8] TKO3 Eduardo Valenzuela [109.2] (1:55)

Acosta (6-0) dropped Valenzuela (5-4-1) in round 1 and had him out on his feet in round 3. Left hooks did the trick each time. Valenzuela was dominated throughout.

2. Egidijus Kavaliauskas [146.6] TKO4 Larry Ventus [145] (2:13)

Kavaliauskas (5-0) dropped Ventus (6-5-1) in rounds 2, 3, and 4 (twice) before the referee stepped in. Trainer Robert Garcia, working the corner of Kavaliauskas, often reminded his fighter to jab. Kavaliauskas preferred to hook and brawl. Ventus was dropped by right hooks in rounds 2 and 3 and twice took a knee from the accumulation of punches in round 4. There was a large power and confidence gap between the 2-time Olympian Kavaliauskas and journeyman Ventus.

3. Mike Reed [140.6] UD6 Alberto Morales [142.8] (60-53, 60-53, 60-53)

Reed (9-0) dropped Morales (11-3-1) in round 6 with a leaping left hook out of the southpaw stance. Morales had to use his survival instincts to get to the finish line. For the first 3 rounds Morales put up a respectable losing effort. Then Reed did pretty much whatever he wanted to. The 2011 National Golden Gloves Champion is one to look out for in the junior welterweight division.

4. Toka Kahn Clary [127.4] UD6 Jose Haro [127.6] (59-55, 59-55, 59-55)

Kahn Clary (11-0) outboxed Haro (8-0) using his superior footwork, speed, and timing. But Haro was game and never stopped trying to win. He just needed to set his feet in order to get his punches off and Kahn Clary never gave him much time. It also didn’t help that Haro’s right foot was figuratively stuck in the mud. Still, Kahn Clary’s corner was not pleased with their fighter’s following of instructions. There were clearly more things Clary could have accomplished offensively, but he easily did enough to win. Both fighters were guilty of waiting too much.

5. Julian Rodriguez [140.8] RTD2 Angel Figueroa [142.2] (3:00)

Rodriguez (3-0) persuaded Figueroa (3-0-1) to retire in his corner after the conclusion of round 2. Figueroa was dropped by hooks 3 times in round 1 but stayed on his feet throughout the 2nd as the pace slowed. Rodriguez continues to live up to his moniker “Hammer Hands.”

6. Jesse Hart [169.6] TKO6 Shujaa El Amin [168] (1:36)

Hart dropped El Amin, formerly known as Dion Savage, in rounds 1, 3, and 6. The fight ended in highlight reel fashion (see above video).

7. Glen Tapia [154.8] TKO1 Keenan Collins [156] (1:22)

Tapia initially hurt (and dropped) Collins with right hands and kept attacking until the fight was waved off. Unfortunately one of the punches that landed was a left uppercut that split open Tapia’s left thumb. It is unclear if the injury will impact his July 26th fight against Boyd Melson on the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Geale undercard. That being said, he should be able to defeat Melson with 1 hand either way.

But I digress. Tapia had an 8-9 week training camp to prepare for Collins and 7 of those weeks were spent in California with Freddie Roach, Miguel Cotto, and Ruslan Provodnikov. Collins never stood a chance…


Ryan Bivins is the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network

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