MISSISSAUGA — Karl “The Razor” Hess won his fourth professional bout in convincing style Saturday night at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly the Hershey Centre) in Mississauga. Hess is now 3-1 as a pro, only losing a decision in his professional debut. All three wins have been in the form of first round knockouts, the latest against Mexico’s Manuel Gerardo Rodriguez, with a body punch to the ribs, just under Rodriguez left elbow. Hess hit him again while he was crumpling in the corner but it was the body shot that did the damage.
“Rodriguez is a skilled boxer,” says Hess’ coach Jackie Armour who runs Brantford’s Black-Eye-Boxing Club. “I think Karl may have hurt him with the first punch to the jaw. I don’t know whether it was broken or dislocated or something, but I know he was icing his jaw after the fight.”
It wasn’t the only damage he received until the referee stopped the fight around the two-minute mark of the first round, with Rodriguez on all fours and his mouthpiece on the canvas.
Hess looked confident and eager to get it done when the bell rang. But after popping Rodriguez with a hard right to the jaw, Hess says he wasn’t sure if the opponent was playing possum to draw him in, so he didn’t immediately go after him to follow up. Not right away anyhow. After seeing enough to satisfy himself that Rodriguez was actually hurt, Hess opened up with his heavy artillery culminating in a vicious body shot to the ribs that put Rodriguez down.
It was Hess’ third first round KO in a row, and maybe his most impressive.
“I know Karl is getting stronger all the time,” says Armour.”
He knows because he’s the guy wearing the body pad and hand pads when he is training and has felt Hess’ power growing, even through the padding.
Also on the card was Black-Eye-Boxing Club’s professional heavyweight, Craig “Wardog” Hudson who won by way of disqualification after being shoved out of the ring by his opponent.
Hudson, who was injured in the fall, could not continue and Brady Hamel was disqualified giving the win to Hudson, who was well ahead on points at the time, in this writer’s opinion, not having seen the scorecards.
Like Hess, Hudson has an impacting punch that hurts deep with both hands. Hudson was the aggressor for most of the fight until the disqualification.
Hamel is no easy mark. He has an impressive 4-2 pro-career with a bright future, but his record will now include a disqualification loss as well. But it seemed the fight was Hudson’s anyhow.
The 44-year-old Hudson was landing well on 28-year-old Hamel with both hands throughout and the two fighters found themselves against the ropes at the end of the second round. The ropes could hardly bear the combined weight the two and nearly spilled both boxers out of the ring. But Hudson hung on to Hamel and helped pull him back into the ring after the bell.
That should have been a heads up to fight promotors to tighten up the ropes for the heavyweights between rounds, but that did not take place and late in the third round, Hudson took Hamel to the ropes in the corner
Hudson loaded up for a big punch but missed and his momentum turned him just as Hamel gave him a little push to help him along. The combined weight of both large men was too much for the ropes to hold and spilled Hudson over the over-stretched top ropes, off the edge of the apron, catching his back and shoulder on his way down.
Hudson was stunned when he got up and leaned against the apron of the ring assessing his own damage.
“He told me he would go back in if I wanted him, but that he couldn’t raise his left arm,” says Armour.
Eventually, he did get back in the ring but the referee ruled that it was an intentional act to injure and Hamel was disqualified.
Armour doesn’t feel the injury will be career ending by any stretch, however, Hudson will have to undergo some rehab to get full mobility in that shoulder again and regain his strength in his right shoulder.
The success of Black-Eye-Boxing’s stable of professional fighters, including Hess, Hudson and Winston Mathews, a Super-welterweight, Armour is seriously considering hosting a professional fight night in Brantford, perhaps at the Wayne Gretzky Arena later this year.
“If I can get enough sponsorship to pull it off, I really think it would go here,” says Armour. “We have three professional boxers in the stable now, all winning their last bouts. I know a lot more Six Nations fight fans will come if it’s closer, and there are a lot of Brantford and area fight fans to draw from too.”
Armour is quite serious about showcasing his Brantford and Six Nations fighters in a professional atmosphere and has begun a search for someone to help underwrite the upfront cost of professional fight card, which is not cheap.