As boxing promotions go, Bellonora McCallum’s World of Boxing promotions company has a way to go before it can plant its flag in the Charlotte sports landscape as an elite enterprise, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t off to a decent start.
The three amateur and six professional fight card at Amos’ Southend was World of Champions’ fifth offering since making its debut a year ago. The amateur bouts, one an intense matchup of ladies, were impressive. Each was three rounds, one minute each presented by the Charlotte Boxing Academy.
By the time the pros got their chance, if you blinked you would have missed the first two fights because both ended in the first round at 1:19 and 0:48, respectively, and maybe there was a kind of diving intervention because the winners had names like (Nathaniel) Heaven and Noel (Echeverria). Neither was very competitive with Heaven (now 5-0, 4 KO) dropping Andrew Ward three times to force a stoppage while Echeverria (7-0, 4 KO) needed one body blow to end his.
One of the more entertaining matchups pitted Bobby Hornsby against Jose Rivera in a light welterweight tilt and despite the lopsided win for Hornsby (3-0, 1 KO) who landed the majority of power shots, the scoring was 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37, both boxers put on a solid performance.
The fourth bout was the most intriguing of the evening pitting 50-year old Mark Weinman, in his second comeback fight after a layoff of more than two decades, against winless Jahaad Wingfield who was 24 years his junior. Wingfield scored a first round TKO at 2:04 (Read more about this bout here).
The co-main event was a battle of heavyweights, Keith Tapia and DJ Hugley, who banged on each other throughout their four round tussle. In the end Tapia upped his record to 7-0 (5 KO) with a unanimous decision mostly because he knocked down Hughly in both the first and second rounds.
In the finale, Lee Campbell is now 5-0 after scoring his 3rd knockout when he used a heavy body punch to stop Jeffrey Edwards in his professional debut. The Laurinburg, NC native landed a low blow earlier in the round and Edwards was given some extra time to recover, but after a couple of shots upstairs Campbell put an end to it at 2:02.
The officials for the evening are as follows:
JUDGES: Barry Lindenman, Valerie Dorsett, Kathy Leonard
REFEREES: Donnie Jessup
RINGIDE DOCTOR: John Scheitler
The World of Champions card was held at Amos’ Southend, not far from Bank of America Stadium. It was the first time boxing was held at the music hotspot and you could tell because the lighting in the ring was substandard and may have contributed to the performance of some of the fighters.
There were only two large spotlights that hung from the roof and neither was directly over the ring. The house lights did not offer anything substantial in the way of illumination. The North Carolina Boxing Authority must have thought it was serious enough to attempt a solution between the amateurs and professionals and it was abandoned after a kind of workshop light that was hung from the second deck was deemed to be more dangerous because it could have blinded boxers.
Amos’ Southend could be a terrific, intimate boxing venue for about a thousand fans because of the building’s configuration, but unfortunately the kind of lights needed for around the ring were permanently affixed over the stage on one end of it. There are metal trusses lights could be hung from if the ring was positioned properly, but that would take a long term commitment from Amos’ Southend and World of Champions.
The bottom line is that the North Carolina Boxing Commission failed to inspect the site beforehand in order to protect the promotion and more importantly the fighters.