Allan Green won a unanimous decision over Tarvis Simms in the main event of last night's Shobox from Newkirk, OK, improving to 29-1 (20) with the victory. Green likely keeps his spot as the Super Six alternate, but credit should be given to Simms, who at 38 came in on a few days' notice and fought a taller, stronger, younger and more athletic fighter and gave him a tougher time than most might have expected. Bad Left Hook actually scored it a 95-95 draw, as Simms clearly gave Green a ton of trouble mentally, and we got the Green that gets lazy tonight, rather than the Green that comes out for the kill.
Of course, do credit Green, too. He didn't have to take Simms, a damn sound fighter and a lefty, on such short notice. Simms is a much better fighter than Green's originally-scheduled opponent, Victor Oganov. Not a puncher, but a good defensive fighter who made Green hit a lot of gloves and elbows, and also just plain miss plenty. Official scores (being that Green is from Oklahoma) were 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.
It was the night's featured undercard bout, though, that provide the action, the drama, and really, a fair bit of controversy. In a welterweight battle, Antwone Smith scored another big win, taking Henry Crawford's "0" with a TKO/RTD win following nine rounds.
In the earlygoing, Crawford was clearly the faster, stronger fighter, but Smith, as always, plugged away. He's not much of a boxer, really. He does a lot of things wrong, he doesn't finish (we'll get to that), and he can gas himself out, which he did at one point tonight. But it was Crawford that got exhausted first in this fight, and it cost him.
In the sixth round, Crawford was knocked down and then staggered around the ring for about two minutes, taking constant punishment with glassy eyes and his hands down. There is no question that referee Gerald Ritter or Crawford's corner should have stopped the fight during that round or after. Crawford wound up winning the next two rounds on the BLH card, but it was more due to Smith being tired after throwing a metric ton of wild punches trying to put Crawford away in the sixth.
In the ninth, Crawford walked into a bomb of a right hand from Smith, and went down like a big oak tree. Delayed reaction, slow fall, the whole nine. Again, he was so clearly out on his feet that any decent referee in the world would have waved it off. Crawford, though, was allowed to continue. Luckily, the bell sounded before Smith could walk up to him and cave his face in, because it was obvious Crawford's hands weren't going up.
Crawford, who had drooled his water back out between rounds prior to the vicious second knockdown, was yelled at by his corner, who tried to get his attention, get him to look up. In fact, the first thing they said when he said down was a communication between corner men: "Wake up! Wake him up!" and out came the sponge. Eventually, the corner couldn't possibly have sent him back out for the tenth round, and they mercifully saved Crawford from a potentially horrible situation. He barely had any clue where he was.
But the bigger issue than even the corner is this: Where was the referee to protect the fighter? And why didn't the ringside doctor go take a look at this man who was OBVIOUSLY messed up between rounds from the sixth through the ninth? Not once did the physician go over to Henry Crawford and ask him how he felt. He was struggling to respond to instructions and seemed to be fighting on instinct.
Fact is, this fight may have ruined Crawford, which I hope isn't the case, but he took an ugly, unnecessary beating and was unable to protect himself for the majority of the sixth, then got his brain smashed again in the ninth.
Had Crawford even come back to win that fight, it wouldn't change the fact that it was the wrong decision to let him keep taking punishment in the sixth round, and that letting him go back out for the seventh was just as wrong.
Smith is now 17-1-1 (9), while Crawford falls to 23-1-1 (9).
In the TV opener, Marcus "Too Much" Johnson improved to 18-0 with an eight-round decision win over a very tough, very game but totally outgunned Victor Villereal in super middleweight action. Johnson won the fight 80-71 on every card, and Bad Left Hook scored it the same.