By: Rich Quiñones, Ringside
Heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon made a successful return to the ring Saturday night courtesy of an eight-round TKO win over a very gritty and game Tyyab Beale at the Riverwinds Community Center in West Deptford, New Jersey.
The win marked the return of Witherspoon, who was out of action for almost two years. Fighting on his own card, Witherspoon was able to shake off the rust and get some rounds in.
He used his jab from the onset and was able to floor Beale in the fourth before pouring it on in the eighth. The back-and-forth affair was a good test for the 32-year-old Paulsboro native.
His last time out, Witherspoon (31-3, 23 KOs) suffered a devastating loss to Seth Mitchell back in April of 2012, this time though against a lesser opponent, he was able to give his home-town fans something to cheer about.
The first two rounds of the scheduled eight-round affair, saw Witherspoon get his feet wet against Beale, moving around well and using his jab.
In the third round, his left jab set up some very nice straight right hand power shots, as he was able to back Beale up against the ropes late in the stanza stunning him with some pinpoint shots.
Beale (9-5-1, 3 KOs) came out swinging in round four, but Witherspoon was able to stay away and avoid any danger. Midway through the round, Witherspoon connected with several hard rights hurting Beale, who looked like he was falling back into the ropes.
Witherspoon connected with one more good right cross that grazed the left side of Beale’s head, knocking him down. He was able to beat the count and make it out of the round.
Round five saw the veteran Witherspoon slip some quick jabs to the midsection and late in the round both fighters were able to connect with a late flurry of shots.
Again, though, the round went to Witherspoon.
Round six was more of the same as was round seven. Beale had some minor moments but never really threatened to hurt Witherspoon as he looked like he was running out of gas. Beale, however, proved tough and game and did land a couple of nice right hooks in the sixth round.
He tried but failed to use his jab to keep distance, but it was clear he was tiring late.
Witherspoon took advantage of that and once again was able to the force the 38-year-old native of Newark, NJ., up against the ropes.
Witherspoon landed several hard shots to the mid-section and tagged him with a couple of more good body shots to close out the round.
In the seventh, Witherspoon fought as if he was winning the fight and then poured it on the eighth, applying pressure against Beale from the beginning of the round.
Beale, who seemed to be against the ropes for most of the fight found himself up against them again, but this time, Witherspoon made him pay, rocking him with a right.
Beale was throw back as Witherspoon landed a series of punches forcing referee Allan Huggins to halt the bout at 1:58 in the eight.
It was the 23rd KO of his career, but more importantly he got a win over a tougher than expected opponent.
“He was tough man, he came out and he fought a hard fight and I wanted to get some rounds in and I did,” Witherspoon said. “It felt great to get back in there and I knock some of the rust off early on. But like I told you before. I have been training and sparring and working hard.”
The theme of the night was Witherspoon’s jab which was solid throughout, something the veteran has always had in his career.
“Well you know I have always been able to jab and do it consistently and tonight was no different,” he added. “I used it well, something I worked on more and I am really just happy to be back and really want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting me, my real fans, thank you.”
In the co-main event, welterweight “Relentless” Jeff Lentz, who predicted a win prior to his fight, pulled the upset over Tim Witherspoon Jr. The triple threat Lentz, who also is also an active kick boxer and MMA fighter, just outworked Witherspoon Jr. and was the busier fighter.
He got stronger as the fight progressed and his conditioning was never an issue, something he worked on.
The judges scored it 59-55 across the board for the 25-year-old Lentz, who improved to 4-0 in his young career.
“I always come into a fight in shape, but I really worked on my cardio,” said Lentz. “He was a tough fight, man he is a good boxer, but I was able to just get inside. I am very happy with this win.” Lentz said.
Witherspoon Jr. fell to 10-5-1.
In other action, Kevin Womack Jr. (4-5-2) and Anthony Prescott (3-3-2) fought to a four-round draw, while Nick Valliere scored a fourth-round TKO in his debut against a now winless Jamil Gadsden (0-6).
A debuting Matthew Gonzalez earned a split-decision win over Rafael Machado (0-2), while Malik Jackson (1-3-3) pulled off the upset of the night earning an unanimous decision win over previously undefeated Luis Cream (3-1).
Rich Quiñones is an award winning broadcaster and journalist. He is the lead blow-by-blow Boxing voice for GFL.tv and Go Fight Live’s Boxing on Comcast. He has sat ringside calling the action with Monte Barrett, Brian Adams, Amir Mansour, Danny Garcia, James Kirkland, Mark Breland, Ronnie Shields, Teddy Atlas and Lou DiBella, while broadcasting over 125 bouts for GFL in 2013-2014.
Rich is also a contributor to Ringnews24.com and he has also handled calling the action for Muay Thai and is exclusive lead blow-by-blow voice for CFFC MMA.