PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                     November 16, 2013


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by John DiSanto
Photos by Mike Gladysz & Doreen Donnelly


Philly's Garrett Wilson stepped in at the last minute on Saturday afternoon at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY, against Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov, and put up a spirited fight in his first heavyweight assignment. Glazkov won a comfortable unanimous decision, but the 10-round bout was anything but relaxed for the undefeated heavyweight prospect. Lightweight Karl Dargan also won a 10-rounder on the same NBC-nationally televised fight card. While Dargan put in a career-best performance, Wilson managed to log an exciting performance that, even in defeat, may win him future ring opportunities.

Czar Glazkov was scheduled to fight Tomasz Adamek on this day. However, when Adamek fell ill, Wilson answered the call as a late substitute, and jumped into the heavyweight division to do it. Glazkov had a 6-inch height advantage and weighed 18 pounds more than the usually-cruiserweight Wilson. The size difference was significant in the fight, but Wilson gave it the old college try.

From the opening bell, Wilson swung for the fences and managed to land a few hard shots in the early going. The wild attack rattled the rising heavyweight star a bit, but to his credit Glazkov kept his cool and used a strong jab and his own power shots to cool Wilson's jets. The message was clear however, Wilson had come to Verona to fight. 

In round two, a clash of heads caused a vertical cut over Glazkov's right eye. The wound bled the rest of the way, along with a pair of left eye slits that Wilson opened later in the bout.

Many of Wilson's attacks were crude, but they kept Glazkov on his toes all afternoon. Around the fourth round, Glazkov found the target several times on Wilson, and the Philadelphian appeared hurt. Although the crisis slowed Wilson down in the middle rounds, he was clearly not going anywhere.

Unlike many fighters who get thrown into a high-odds situation that they are supposed to lose, Wilson did not collapse, nor did he back off and allow what was expected to happen take place. 

After hibernating for a few rounds, Wilson dug down and started roaring back. By the second half of the fight, he was well-behind on points, but Wilson is no stranger to last minute comebacks.

In a second wave, Wilson showed the crowd and TV audience why he is called the Ultimate Warrior. Midway through the seventh, Wilson started landing, and then drilled Glazkov with a booming right uppercut that wobbled Glazkov. Garrett continued to swing wildly at his foe, but Glazkov avoided another bomb and survived. By the end of the round, the favorite had regained control of the action and continued to pile up points.

Glazkov dominated the fight in many ways. The punch-stat numbers confirmed that he was in charge of the fight the whole way. However it was Wilson who had won the crowd with his earnest effort and go-for-broke attitude. 

By the end of the fight, Glazkov was well-up on the cards. Judge Don Ackerman scored it the closest at 97-93. John McKaie had it 98-92, and Tom Schreck scored 99-91, all for Glazkov, 16-0-1, 11 KOs. Wilson fell to 13-7-1, 7 KOs. The defeat may have raised Wilson's stock however.

Wilson is a fighter who is better than his record indicates, and he has fought his entire career off television. This high-profile platform (free, Saturday afternoon broadcast TV) served as his introduction to boxing fans.

At the post-fight press conference, promoter Kathy Duva praised Wilson's performance and said that she had every intention of bringing him back for another fight on the NBC Sports Network Fight Night series.

So even without the upset, Wilson's big risk may have still been his big break. He's a hard-working pro who deserves to fight for a larger audience than he usually does.

In the co-feature bout, Karl "Dynamite" Dargan also lived up to his nickname, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Mike "Lefty" Brooks. For the  second straight bout, Dargan looked better than ever.

The free-swinging Brooks made the fight exciting, but Dargan dominated the action with his cool and collected style. Dargan piled up points and kept Brooks from building any kind of momentum in the bout. It was an excellent performance by Dargan, who as a pro, is starting to look like a contender.

All three judges scored the fight for Dargan. Tom Schreck and Don Trella both had 99-91 cards, while Wynn Kintz had it a point closer at 98-92.

Dargan improved to 14-0, 7 KOs, while Brooks, 10-1-1, 2 KOs, lost for the first time as a professional. It was the first time either fighter went 10 rounds.

Other results in the off-TV bouts were as follows:
Light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba W8 (U) Michael Gbenga
Cruiserweight Sevdail Sherifi D6 (M) Quantis Graves
Super middleweight Andy Mejias W4 (M) Latif Mundy (Philadelphia)




John DiSanto - Verona, NY - November 16, 2013
Photos by Mike Gladysz & Doreen Donnelly