Simon upset by Miranda at Dover Downs
By Ken Hissner, with David Ruff at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 6, 2010)
USBA middleweight champion Lajuan “Simply Marvelous” Simon, 23-3-2 (12), of Philadelphia lost a split decision to Dionisio “Mister Knockout” Miranda, 21-6-2 (18), of Miami, via Colombia at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino’s Friday Night Fights in Delaware. This was a non-title bout for Simon but for the vacant WBC Continental Americas middleweight title with the winner guaranteed a WBC ranking.

Simon used his jab at the start effectively but not with the usual pop he has shown in the past. Miranda was throwing bombs from the start. Simon would block half of them but when they landed they were heard throughout the Rollins Center.

This continued until the third round when Simon started to pick-up the action. By the fourth round one could see the confidence leaving Miranda as Simon was pushing forward. The fifth round was the closest round of the bout as Miranda started using a jab of his own pumping 3 at a time. It seemed to annoy Simon more than anything else.

Simon was landing with accuracy throwing the right hand only on occasion but showing a better jab and good left hook. “I hurt my right hand early in the fight,” said Simon. In spite of landing several solid right hands it was Miranda who was showing swelling around his right eye.

Miranda received his second warning from referee Gary Rosato for holding in the eighth round. In the ninth round a straight right hand buckled Simon’s left knee but Miranda didn’t take advantage of this. “He hit me with a good shot in the ninth,” said Simon.

By the end of the tenth round this writer had the fight even. There didn’t seem to be any sign of urgency in the corner of Simon going into the eleventh. “I thought I was well ahead and can’t believe they gave it to him,” said Simon. In the last 3 rounds Miranda’s left hand was down by his side. “I wasn’t tired or trying to draw him in. I was just very relaxed,” said Miranda.

In the eleventh Miranda went to the body in what turned out to be a very close round. In the twelfth and final round with Miranda’s right eye almost closing he seemed confident in countering the more aggressive Simon. In another close round it seemed Miranda’s harder punches were more meaningful than Simon’s jabs.

Ring Announcer Larry Tornambe announced “split decision” as the fan’s started to boo the call. Pierre Benoist had it 115-114 for Simon. Joe Pasquale had it 115-113 for Miranda. Steve Weisfeld had it 116-112 for the winner Miranda. Miranda and his trainer Franco Gonzalez fell to their knees in the middle of the ring in an obvious expression of thankfulness to the Lord which was confirmed by Gonzalez after the fight.

All 6 people in press row gave it to Miranda including this writer by 115-113. “I don’t think he was busy enough,” said Dave Escalete. That was coming from Simon’s manager. Asked if Miranda would seek a rematch for Simon’s USBA title his manager Alfredo Marchio who interpreted for Miranda said “of course not. We got our WBC ranking and that’s what we came here for.”

In an 8 round heavyweight match Wilmington, DE, southpaw Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 11-0 (8), used a strong hook to the body of Joseph Rabotte, 9-15-1 (3), of Myrtle Beach, SC, who was carrying 40 pounds more of blubber compared to the sculptured body of Mansour’s. Rabotte would smile as the welts started appearing on his body and face.

In the third round Mansour landed his first straight left to the chin that drove Rabotte into the ropes and down he went. The fans were going wild with their local favorite’s power punching. As Rabotte beat the count he was obviously in no shape to continue as referee Rasoto called a halt at 1:04 of the third round.

“Mighty” Mike Tiberi, 15-1 (7), of Smyrna, DE, pounded Marcus “The Barber” Hall, 11-6-4 (4), all over the ring for the entire 6 rounds. The local favorite has a large following as the “Tiberi” name lives on through him. “I don’t know what was keeping him up,” said Tiberi. Hall had a lot of heart to hang in there. All 3 judges had it 60-54. It was Tiberi’s ninth straight win since losing a disputed decision in MD, for his only career loss. Vic deWysocki was the referee.

Mike “No Joke” Stewart, 46-7-2 (24), New Cstle, DE, won an entertaining 6 round welterweight match over southpaw Chad Greenleaf, 13-17-1 (6), Parkersburg, WV. Stewart keeps inching his way toward the “50” mark in victories. Stewart won by scores of 59-55 (twice) and 58-56. deWysocki was the referee in this one.

“Rockin” Ryan Belasco, 14-4-3 (3), Wilmington, DE, won using an effective jab over southpaw Gustavo Dailey, 4-10 (1), of Philadelphia, in a 6 round lightweight match by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 (twice). Belasco looked sharp. Rosato was the referee.

Anthony “The Bull” Caputo Smith, 8-0 (6), Kennett Square, PA, stopped Cleoney Fuqua, Jr., 2-4 (4), with a right to the rib cage dropping him. Fuqua took the count on a knee at 0:55 as referee deWysocki counted him out. DE fans seemed to have adopted Smith who lives just over the DE/PA border. He has quite a fan base.

Southpaw Rachel “the Joker” Clark, 6-4-1, won a workmanlike decision over Michelle “The Monster” Garland, 0-1-1 (0), over 4 rounds in an all Philadelphia light middleweight match. All the judges had it 39-37 for Clark. Manager Chuck Diesel seemed pleased with Clark’s performance. Rosato was the referee.

The crowd seemed quite pleased with the action of the show. Lisa Butler with the Casino announced their next show will be February 25th and planning to run every other month after that. Considering matchmaker Nick Tiberi doesn’t have a Delaware main event fighter he’s done a very commendable job in matching the fighters. MCN Sports covered the show locally with former US Amateur champion Henry Milligan doing the color. He was an All-American wrestler at Princeton and was 17-3-1 as a pro.

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