|Dicky Eklund in the McCreedy corner|
Unfortunately for local fans, only one of their homeboys came away with a win that night as McCreedy was thoroughly beaten by Shujaa El Amin while Eklund got a comfortable win over journeyman James Ventry in the co-feature.
Fast forward ten months, and boxing was back again. Last night in Lowell, the venue was the Tsongas Center, and like last year, McCreedy (now a light heavyweight) was featured in the main event, this time against a Canadian opponent, Michael Walchuck, who reportedly did next to no training and was only approved by the Massachusetts Boxing Commission within a week of the fight. In other words - he just got off the couch. Dicky's nephew Sean Eklund was originally scheduled to appear on this card as well but a right shoulder and bicep injury knocked him off the bill and sidelined him indefinitely.
|Adama fails to make weight in Lowell|
What a long strange night in Lowell it turned out to be. There was confusion and chaos everywhere you turned. Reports coming from the locker room confirmed chaotic scenes behind the scenes. As a metaphor for how unprepared the promoters were, consider that when it was discovered there was only one corner stool, two milk crates were hastily taped together to be used as a stool. Fortunately, a second stool was found but the delays continued when the ropes were found to be too loose. By the time the ring was ready for action, it was already past 9PM. For the Irish McCreedy, the delay suited him just fine as he'd have a chance to actually fight and win in Lowell on St. Patrick's Day 2013.
In the main event, which didn't begin until after midnight, Lowell's Joey McCreedy (14-6-2, 6KOs) beat Canadian Michael Walchuck (9-9, 2KOs) by majority decision over eight rounds to lay claim to the vacant UBF US Northeast light heavyweight championship. The wild swinging McCreedy was making his first start as a light heavyweight after having outgrown the super middleweight division in the loss to El Amin last May. Brought in on short notice, Walchuck offered a nice jab and follow-up right hand but it wasn't enough to beat McCreedy or keep him under control.
|Winner and new champion Joey McCreedy|
He won by scores of 78-74, 77-75, and 76-76.
Said the joyous winner afterwards, "It feels good to have Lowell back on my side and it feels good to have a title on my waist. I want to thank my trainer Dicky Eklund, he gave me great advice in the corner and I listened. I love him and if it wasn't for him in the corner, I probably would have lost tonight."
In the co-main event, world rated middleweight contender Osumanu Adama (21-3, 15 KOs from Ghana) defeated Grady Brewer (30-15, 16 KOs from Lawton, OK) by split decision over ten rounds. The fight was originally scheduled to be for three vacant intercontinental middleweight titles but because Adama failed to make the middleweight weight limit, the belts were only at stake for Brewer if he won. In the ring, it was a slow and sloppy fight with Brewer appearing to have outworked Adama over ten rounds. The action heated up a bit late in the fight but it wasn't enough to get the attention of a partisan Lowell fight crowd only there to see their hero McCreedy. To most everyone in pressrow, Brewer appeared to have done enough to get the win. Split decision scores in favor of Adama were 97-93, 96-94, and 94-96.
Said the dejected Brewer afterwards, "I thought it was a bad decision. I think I got screwed. I hit him with better, cleaner punches, I had him hurt a couple times. I thought I did enough to win the fight. I'm down about it, I'm pretty upset about it. If I had known this was going to happen, I'd have used everything I had in my body to get him out of there."
On the undercard:
In a middleweight fight, Russell Lamour (3-0, 1 KO from Portland, ME) went to war with Eddie Caminero (7-7, 7 KOs from Lawrence, MA) and came away with a hard fought six round decision to stay unbeaten. A slow opening round gave way to better action in the second as these two traded for most of the round. Caminero appeared notably smaller than Lamour in the ring but he enjoyed greater crowd support and fought with more urgency until the last round. In the third, Caminero wailed away to the head and body and Lamour looked uncomfortable trying to keep his opponent at bay. Caminero's relentlessness continued to pay dividends in the fourth and he scored a knockdown from a grazing right hand off the side of Lamour's head. In the fifth, Caminero continued to tee off with right hands while Lamour backed away and held when he had to. Lamour finally got something going late in the fifth with good body shots and he kept it going in the sixth by scoring a knockdown of his own off a right hand to the head. Lamour won an unpopular unanimous decision by scores of 57-56, 57-55, and 57-55.
|Traietti bombs Seever|
In a welterweight cure for insomnia, Shakha Moore (11-19-3, 2KOs from Norwalk, CT) and and former WBA welterweight champ "Vicious" Vivian Harris (30-9-2, 19KOs from Sanford, FL by way of Guyana) boxed around, jabbed a lot, and only occasionally opened up with real punches. The problem was that when they did, they really didn't land very much and it was sloppy action at best. The crowd chanted "BORING" for most of the fight and it was hard to blame them. Ultimately, Harris used his reach advantage and his boxing skills to win a unanimous decision by scores of 78-74, 80-72, and 77-75, his first win since 2008.
At bantamweight, Josh Crespo (1-1-1, 1 KO from New Haven, CT) stopped Michael Martin (0-1 from Lowell, MA) after two rounds when Martin was not allowed by trainer Dicky Eklund to answer the bell for the third round after getting knocked down in the second round. Martin was speedy but the Luis Rosa trained Crespo brought more solid fundamentals to the fight. KO Digest caught up with Eklund after the fight to ask him why he stopped it. "Mike's legs were gone. I was protecting my fighter," pleaded Eklund.
Said the victorious Crespo after the fight, "Mike Martin is a good little fighter. He's too small for that weight class. He wasn't trying to get hit or get into a fight and when he felt the power it was all jabs to keep me away. I attacked to the body while pressing and capitalizing with the left hook."
|Cage fighters in a boxing ring|
Images & Words by Jeffrey Freeman