Rock/pop Clubs by Night
Rock/Pop Club Directory
Rock/Pop Bands in Town
Jazz Clubs by Night
Jazz Club Directory
Jazz Bands in Town
Entering the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom with my father and a crew of friends this past weekend to see ESPN2ís Friday Night Fights, the atmosphere was immediately familiar to a fight fan like myself, and not just because smoking is still legal in New Hampshire restaurants and venues (live free or die), which produced the obligatory haze that collected and lingered above the ring. It looked like the opening scene in the first Rocky movie, where Rocky gets his ass whipped by Spider Rico in a dingy Philly club.
We had come to see Jason "the Hammer" LaHoullier, who trains out of the bunker that is the Portland Boxing Club, and who has amassed, in his professional career, an impressive record of 16-0, with eight KOs. His opponent in the match for the Northern New England junior middleweight title was Jose Medina (8-4, with four KOs, although he had won six of his last seven matches). According to one boxing Web site that I checked before driving to New Hampshire, LeHoullierís world ranking in his division was 224 out of 859 fighters, Medina was ranked 264.
LeHoullier wore red, Medina black and gold. The referee called seconds out, the corner men exited through the ropes, the cameras turned on, and the fight began. The first round was brisk and exciting, with both men coming out hot and swinging, but there was more moving and feeling out than actual damage inflicted. Overall, the round went to Medina, at least on my card. They came out that way for the second round, too, but that pace slowed down considerably when LeHoullier landed a hard right on Medinaís face, the first real big shot of the fight, after which Medina started tying LeHoullier up, not wanting to feel another. The second round went to LeHoullier. In the third, Medina again came out fast, but he was anxious and flailing, his arms looking like someone demonstrating the breaststroke while sitting in the chair. He was missing by a ton, and LeHoullier was biding his time, waiting for an opportunity, which came about halfway through the fourth. Medina got his left jab going, and he was peppering LeHoullierís face pretty good, but then LeHoullier caught him with another big overhand right and knocked him right on his ass.
Medina, who from everything we saw was a very tough, very game fighter, just not as talented as his opponent, got right to his feet and took the standing eight count before continuing. He whined to the ref about LeHoullier holding his head, and then the round expired. The fifth round was spirited, with neither man landing the shots they wanted, and overall, it was a round that Medina gathered himself up to win. LeHoullier was moving around a lot, and while he wasnít on his bike, he did seem to be once again biding his time. In the sixth Medina hit LeHoullier with his best shot of the night, a right hand that made LeHoullier teeter for a moment before regaining his balance. However, even though he took the round, Medina couldnít effectively follow his big shot up, just as LeHoullier hadnít been able to capitalize on the fourth-round knock down.
In the last two rounds of the eight-round contest Medina got his best punch, the left jab, going again, but LeHoullier kept answering with his big right hand. One of those shots knocked out Medinaís mouthpiece and the ref called time so he could put it back in, which caused the crowd to boo. In the final round, LeHoullier knocked Medinaís mouthpiece out twice more, and the crowd booed him so mercilessly that I almost felt a little sorry, although the judges didnít. They scored the fight 76-75, 77-75, and 77-74, giving LeHoullier a unanimous decision and the championship.
What a night in New Hampshire. In Jason "the Hammer" LeHoullier, Portland has a new, exciting champion.
Rick Wormwood can be reached at email@example.com
The Game On archive.
Issue Date: July 15 - 21, 2005
Back to the Features table of contents
|© 2000 - 2013 Phoenix Media Communications Group|