June marked the beginning of hurricane season and graduation ceremonies in South Florida. Last night at The Seminole Hard Rock Live, a healthy crowd of vocal fans witnessed the pugilistic equivalent of both. The Heavyweight Factory promoted an 8-bout card titled: “Hollywood Fight Night” featuring a rising star, two veterans in search of an elusive world title and two former world champs seeking to regain former glory. The exceptionally-matched fights highlighted a herculean effort from under appreciated boxing matchmaker Johnny Bos. Bos, a member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, worked tirelessly through Friday and into Saturday to secure the right fighters for the right fights.
Heavyweight veteran Cedric “The Boz” Boswell (35-1, 26 KOs) single-handedly defended his NABA and WBC Latino belts against Kertson “Warrior” Manswell (20-3, 15 KOs) in the 10-round main event. The 41-year old Boswell started strongly with chopping right hands to serve notice to his Trinidadian opponent, forcing Manswell to raise his guard and shoulder high in defense. Boswell followed up with a quick 3-punch combination as he started to dictate the pace. Manswell fired back a probing right hand to the body and hooked Boswell’s head in a clinch as the round ended.
The second round saw Boswell land a wicked 3-punch combination as Manswell unwisely turned to referee Frank Santore Jr. to complain of a prior right hand he felt strayed low. “The Boz” followed this up with a swift left hook upstairs. Santore stepped in to warn both men for hitting behind the head. The warning apparently wasn’t heeded as Boswell fired a long right hand that caught Manswell to the back of his head. It appeared Manswell may have turned away from the punch, which caused him to crumple to the canvas. Referee Santore Jr. started a standing-eight count but changed it into a 1-point deduction for Boswell. As action resumed, Boswell fired a stump of a jab to stun Manswell, followed by quick, short combinations to the head. Manswell responded with a clean right uppercut to close the round.
Boswell bid farewell to his right-hand punches in the third round after landing a short right hand to Manswell’s head. “The Boz” pelted Manswell with crisp jabs and meaningful left hooks throughout the stanza. By the fourth round, it became evident Manswell was fighting a one-armed man. Amazingly, Boswell continued to hold his own behind an active jab and left hook. By the seventh round, Manswell seemed to understand his tactical advantage and opened up with strong left hooks of his own. Undeterred, the Detroit native trash-talked the advancing Manswell in the 8th and 9th rounds while peppering him with every left-handed blow in his arsenal.
Boswell circled away to his left in the tenth and continued to give Manswell a verbal and physical lashing. Manswell switched to the southpaw stance to attempt an even greater tactical advantage. Boswell’s lead on the scorecards was too great however as judges awarded him the unanimous decision victory with identical scores of 98-90. After the fight, Boswell confirmed he injured his right shoulder: “Whooping him (Manswell) upside his head.” Having Boswell and fellow heavyweight Jameel McCline in the same room was apparently bad for Boswell’s shoulder, since the injury appeared to be the same rotator cuff tear suffered in his only career blemish: a 10th round TKO loss to McCline. (McCline sat at ringside during last night’s bout.)