Handson outclasses Blair; Jones finishes Smith early Shamrock FC: XFN 7 Recap

Jose Jones drops Bo Smith XFN 7 / Jimmy Range
Jose Jones drops Bo Smith XFN 7 / Jimmy Range

The Lumiere Casino was once again host to the action packed Shamrock FC Xtreme Fight Night also know as XFN 7. The headlining fight was a boxing match between Raymond Handson and Joel Blair making his pro boxing debut. It was a fight that showed a hard nosed fighter of all sports face a legit boxer. In the co main event it was a similar scenario but a shorter outcome as Jose Jones dispatched Bo Smith early in the first round. XFN gives fighters of all disciplines a chance to work and show off skills in other areas but unfortunately sometimes they run up against someone too skilled in their own sport. Still it is always an exciting and entertaining evening for the Shamrock promotion and gives pure validation to the word Xtreme!

Raymond Handson and Joel Blair started off in a brawl. While Raymond stayed on the outside poised, Joel egged him on. Clearly the more technical fighter Raymond held his ground as Joel charged forward. Raymond landed often and bloodied the nose of Blair early. The antics of Blair continued as Handson upped the volume towards the end of the second round. Blair had his best start in the third but eventually Handson stayed to the outside landing hooks as Joel chased. Raymond finally got the punch he was looking for as he hit Joel while he back pedaled sending him completely out of the ring. It was only a matter of time before a punch like that was going to land as Blair’s head movement was clearly calculated. Handson continued to piece up Blair as Joel continued to duck his head right into his hooks. Anyone that has seen Joel fight before knows the heart he possess but the technical savvy of Raymond had no answer.

Jose Jones and Bo Smith meet in the center of the ring and Bo looked for an opening but Jose remains poised. Bo starts in with the jab but equally takes shots to the body from Jose. Once he finds his range Jones lunges forward and puts Bo against the ropes. That’s followed by a body shot that drops Smith. Then once he’s back on his feet it’s only a matter of seconds before Smith hits the canvas again. Bo stands up again but eats one more shot from Jones that sends him sprawling and the referee has seen enough. Another short evening for Jose Jones at XFN.

The first boxing match of the evening was between Terrence Akins and Kevin Brown. Akins shows off his pedigree early with timely shots to the head and body of Brown. Kevin lands a few hits to the chin of Terrance but Akins shakes it off. In the second round is where the cardio of Terrence took over. Kevin repeatably went for the big shot but in the process continued to eat more combinations from Akins. Finally a little fatigue set in for Akins in the third but the jab was still quick and accurate. This made Kevin the aggressor in the round but still couldn’t match the volume of Akins. The final round started off with Brown covering up and absorbing everything from Terrance trying to tire him out. The strategy would be to no avail as the output of Akins continued. Give Kevin credit for being durable and testy but the fight was completely dominated by Terrance who won all four rounds.

Matt Murphy and Demetrius Wilson met in the center of the ring and after a slight feeling out went to the clinch. Murphy made the first mistake of the match by trying to do a body to body take down. It put Wilson on top but not much offense followed. As Murphy stood Wilson went for a jumping guillotine that was followed by a slam by Murphy. Matt escaped with both fighters ending the fight on the ground. The second round started with a big slam by Wilson as he went to work on the top. Once he gained posture he started to rain down elbows on the top of Matt who could do nothing but fight from the bottom. Once standing Wilson tried to change levels but Murphy staved him off. After a brief separation Murphy landed a take down and went for a rear naked but there was not enough time left in the round. In the third the fighters had another small exchange but both settled for the clinch once again before another timely take down by Wilson. He took the back of Murphy at the end of the round and laid into the head of Murphy with hammer fist. The referee stops the fight with immediate protests from Murphy. It may have been early but the damage was done. Wilson controlled this fight from the first take down and picks up the hard fought victory.

The main card for XFN 7 started with an impressive performance by Clayton Graves as he pulls off an arm bar submission of Jake Willyard in the first round round. The fighter clinched early and it was only a matter of time before the fight went to the mat. Jake had the upper hand on the mat but a great leg reversal by Graves landed him on top where he went to work for the finish.

In the most anticipated prelim of the night Drew Gigax started the night off with a vicious kick to the body of Dan Skaggs. From there the rangy technician went to work attacking the leg of Skaggs which by the second round caused difficulty for Dan to stand his ground. Every time Drew landed a kick on his leg he was unable to put any pressure on it. In the second round the doctor called the fight as Skaggs was clearly unable to continue. Drew has been on a tear as of recent and continues to show why he is on on the best kickboxing team in the area.

The game plan for Merrill Williams was clearly to come out swinging. That’s exactly what he did as he laid an early assault on Joe Kelso. Joe regrouped in the second and utilized a bullying tactic to push the emerging Williams off of him while landing shots to his head. The body shots by Kelso started to take there toll on Williams in the final round. It was another pick em fight but Merrill must have done enough to persuade the judges early as he picks up the majority decision.

Cavin Williams is a fighter to watch out for. He came out with an explosive attack landing a kick to the head of Cody Naucke which set the tone for the night. Cody’ s offense was to drive head first into the chest of Calvin but eventually Williams used his length to his advantage. By the end of the first round Cody had a foot print on his back and chest to go along with the shiner under his right eye. Calvin took over in the third round and landed a devastating shot to the body before following up with big right to finally take him down. Williams has pure talent and should be on a main card soon.

Jason Brown came out throwing thunderous kicks to the legs of Kyle Smart but Kyle was up to the task. The first two rounds were extremely close and Brown took momentum heading into the third. Smart delivered knees to the body of Brown to start the third but the combos of Brown were too much. In the middle of the round Jason landed a left cross and dropped Kyle for the TKO finish. It was very impressive performance by Jason Brown.

Intriguing match up between Jeremy Evans and Tony Lanzarini. The length and range of Tony halted the wild swinging offense of Evans but he improved in the second. The third round was probably Evans best even though he was too gassed to hit Tony with more than one punch. Still Tony landed the clearer shots and it put the judges in his favor. This fight was a toss up and probably would have had a different outcome if both competitors were the same height.

Vince Hutchins and Nick Martin started the second fight off at a frantic pace waking up the crowd. The fight was stopped in the first round with a knee to the lower section of Hutchins. The referee decided to deduct a point from Martin even though the knee didn’t look intentional. The third round belonged to Martin who scored a knockdown in route to an easy victory.

The ammy portion of the night started off with a kicking boxing match between Anthony Lucas and Angelo Young. The first two rounds were a lackadaisical display by each competitor until the third. That’s were Angelo picked up the pace and cornered Lucas with shots until he wanted no more.

Up next for Shamrock FC is Shamrock FC: Aftershock live from the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri on May 28th. For all upcoming events for the promotion please vist www.shamrockfightingchampionships.com

Images courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography / Shamrock FC

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Travis Brown

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