Mike Oliver wins vacant IBO Super Bantam Belt at Mohegan Sun
Veterans Honored in Amateur Boxing Event
By Alex Pierpaoli
originally published 11/15/07 on KOFantasyBoxing.com
Hartford’s Mike Oliver picked up the vacant IBO super bantamweight (122lbs) title with a unanimous decision victory over Al Seeger in a 12 round main event at Mohegan Sun. Oliver-Seeger was the main event of the fight card which honored Veteran’s and included amateur and professional boxing.
Despite a swollen right eye, likely the result of a thumb, Mike Oliver dominated the Main Event of the evening and looked sharp in spots against the Savannah, Georgia native. Although numerous clinches marred the action, largely a result of the clash of Seeger’s orthodox style versus Oliver’s southpaw stance, there was action in heated exchanges with Oliver dominating the middle rounds to secure the victory. Oliver scored repeatedly with jolting left hand leads to the face of Seeger and hurt him in rounds six and eight. Al Seeger often had little option but to clinch the aggressive Oliver as Oliver’s aggression could be blamed for causing some of the clinching as Seeger was forced to grab once Oliver was so close inside. The fight was rough and ugly at times and Seeger lost a point in round number ten after he nailed Oliver with a low blow.
After the end of twelve, judge Larry Hazzard Jr. had it 116-111, judge John McKaie saw it 115-112, and judge Steve Weisfeld had it just slightly for Oliver at 114-113. The closeness on the scorecards the likely result of scoring the eye and all the clinchingﾗgiving Seeger credit for the swelling on Oliver and penalizing Oliver for all the falling in and grabbing. No matter.
Oliver moves to 21-0 (7) and Seeger falls to 27-3 (21).
In the co-feature, Hebron heavyweight Tony Grano got more experience in his 8 round split decision win over Akron, Ohio’s David Polk than in most of his previous quick kayo victories at Mohegan Sun. Much to the chagrin of the Grano-loving crowd, David Polk offered serious resistance and a sloppy-clutching-grabbing but effective style versus the slugger from CT.
Polk, clearly a survivorﾗhe’d never been stopped nor stopped anyone in seventeen fightsﾗmade effective use of just about every trick in the book to blunt the often wild swinging charges of Grano. To his credit however, Grano did pick up the pressure as the fight wore on and came on strong in the later rounds, territory Grano had never seen as a professional.
With his first victory over the eight round distance, Grano moves to 12-0-1 (10) while Polk drops to 10-7-1.
Heavyweight Phillip Miller of Providence Rhode Island defeated Jermaine Warner of Philadelphia by first round TKO. A Miller left hook put Warner on his knees for the third and final time at 2:49 of the opening stanza. Miller improved to 2-0 (1) while Warner remains without a victory at 0-3.
The theme of the first half of the fight card was Freedom Fighters, put on by USA Boxing and the US Marines in honor of America’s Veterans, which featured 8 amateur bouts between United States Marine Corp boxing team members, Native American boxers and regional fighters.
The evening opened as the USMC team entered behind a man playing From the Halls of Montezuma on a bagpipe. Veterans were honored and awarded statues for their service in the ring after each amateur fight, allowing the competitors and the assembled crowd to pay their respects to veteran servicemen. The National Anthem and God Bless America were sung by local luminaries and the Marine Corps color guard presented the Stars and Stripes in ring center.
Goodwill is a major part of USA Boxing’s message and it was in the air again this year as has become the tradition at the Connecticut casinos. Each year the action is consistently heated in the ring but it is always without malice or ugliness. The fusion of veteran’s remembrance and heated competitive fights makes for a memorable and poignant annual tribute to our vets.
Send comments or questions to Alex Pierpaoli at: KOFantasyBoxing@gmail.com