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Boxing returns to Lansing, more bouts planned for 2017

Austin Short

LANSING, Mich. – Boxing returned to the city of Lansing for the first time in seven years, when Ron De Leon Promotions staged a seven fight event at the Lansing Center on Jan. 28. The card, in association with the Gallo Boxing Gym, was well received, with an enthusiastic crowd packing one of the convention center’s ballroom spaces.

“Boxing has been my first love. This was my passion and I felt it was the time [to bring boxing back]. And as you can see from the crowd and the energy, this is the place to be,” said promoter De Leon, who has produced boxing and mixed-martial arts events in mid-Michigan for 19 years.

De Leon is planning more bouts in 2017 in mid-Michigan. Harris, the winner of the main event, also mentioned that he planned on fighting in another De Leon Promotions event soon.

Tyrone “Fists of Fury” Harris defeated Gregory Coverson Jr. for the event’s lightweight co-main event belt. Harris won, by decision, the six-round battle.

“It was just a blessing to fight in front of friends and family again. Ron has been like a father to me. He knew me since I was boxing when I was little,” Harris, a 35-year-old fighter from Lansing, said.

The other co-main event featured the Lora Ferguson and Melisa Holmes squaring off for the third time each scoring a victory in their previous matchups. The two rivals first fought at De Leon hosted MMA event, but this time they met in the ring instead of an octagon.

Holmes and Ferguson traded shots throughout the heavyweight bout. Even though Ferguson held a reach advantage, the 43-year old Holmes was able to find her range quite nicely to secure a decision victory.

“Lora’s tough, she’s always been tough. She beat me first, took my belt. I was a little upset. Second time I was a little upset, so I had to take my belt back. Third time, it’s kind of like fighting a friend now. It’s been pretty cool,” Holmes said of her relationship with Ferguson.

After the fight, Holmes and Ferguson discussed the possibility of another rematch. Neither ruled it out, but Holmes mentioned she is considering retiring.

Credit Austin Short / WKAR

The rest of the card featured exciting fights. Eric Moon, of Southfield, Michigan, started with a split decision win. Brandon Johnson won his fight by second round TKO against Darren Gibbs. The other notable performance of the night was Kevin Shacks, earning a stoppage victory by delivering big blows to Chad Coon’s body in the fourth and final round.  

“I think in the second round I started sensing that he was gassed out. He pretty much gave me his best in the second round. Third round I sensed he was getting more tired, started going to the body and just listened to my corner,” Shacks said.

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