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Boxing Odds and Ends: Don King’s White Elephant and More

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  • Boxing Odds and Ends: Don King’s White Elephant and More

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    By Arne Lang

    Legendary promoter Don King is on the hook for more than $3 million dollars relating to Saturday’s promotion in Miami. The main event alone, Trevor Bryan vs. Daniel Dubois, is costing him $3,116,001, the amount of his winning purse bid.

    By all accounts, the event at a Miami casino and jai alai fronton attracted fewer than 500 paid customers. The TV revenue wouldn’t come close to covering the shortfall. Adding insult to injury, King’s fighter Trevor Bryan was knocked out in the fourth round. Unless King carved out a deal that would entitle him to a piece of Dubois’ future earnings -- a long-established practice in boxing, honed to a science by King in his heyday – the red ink from this show may have rucked “His Hairness” into retirement.

    The announced co-feature, a match between beefy, short-armed heavyweights Jonathan Guidry and Dacarree Scott, went on after the main event with the result that the outcome didn’t become generally known until the next morning. Guidry won by KO, improving his record to 18-1-2 (11). The end came in round seven when Guidry pinned his adversary against the ropes and felled him with a series of punches. It was a true knockout.

    Scott was 7-0 coming in with six knockouts, five in the very first round.

    Guidry is a great human-interest story, albeit no one is suggesting that he could hold his own with the top fighters in his weight class. He hails from tiny Dulac, Louisiana, which is deep in Cajun country, 70 miles south of New Orleans, where like most of the menfolk in the community he works as a commercial fisherman, trolling the wetlands and marshes for crabs and shrimp. Professional boxing was never more than a sideline for Guidry, a 32-year-old father of four, whose purses seldom amounted to more than a few hundred dollars.

    Guidry, who developed something of a cult following after taking Trevor Bryan the distance in his previous fight, losing a split decision as a late sub for Mahmoud Charr, dedicated his victory over Dacarree Scott to his late promoter Les Bonano who passed away last month.

    ---

    Daniel Dubois’s shellacking of Trevor Bryan was another feather in the cap of trainer Shane McGuigan who was brought on board after Dubois suffered his lone defeat at the hands of Joe Joyce.

    Among others, McGuigan handles ever-improving WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie and Caroline Dubois, Daniel’s sister. A silver medalist in the Tokyo Olympics, the 21-year-old Dubois is 2-0 as a pro.

    ---

    The biggest upset of the weekend was forged by Dakota Linger, a junior welterweight from Buckhannon, West Virginia. Heading into his match with Josue Vargas on the undercard of Berlanga-Angulo at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Linger was 12-0-2 in West Virginia rings and 0-5-1 when fighting on the road.

    Vargas, from the Bronx by way of Puerto Rico, had been knocked out in the opening round by Jose Zepeda, reducing his record to 20-2, but he was still considered a solid prospect befitting his nickname, The Prodigy. It figured that Top Rank would throw him a softie on a show staged in conjunction with New York’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

    In the second round, Linger staggered Vargas with a right hand. Seconds later, Vargas went down, a delayed reaction that referee Ron Lipton ruled a slip. After the action resumed, Linger knocked Vargas through the ropes and then landed two more good shots when Lipton allowed the match to continue. The official time of the stoppage was 2:06 of round two.

    This was Linger’s second appearance at this venue. In his previous fight here, he went toe-to-toe with an undefeated local fighter, Matthew Gonzalez (12-0), in a six-round barnburner that was ruled a draw. The general feeling was that Linger had done enough to edge it.

    Josue Vargas was taken to the hospital as a precaution where he reportedly was given a clean bill of health.
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