The Bobby Hitz's match of the "Return of Tommy Z" was to honor fallen Chicago Firefighter Daniel Capuano and donate a portion of the proceeds to Daniel's family. I believe this , one of my favorite guitar covers for a favorite tune for this hero and for the loss of music this week is in order.
Craig Wicks " Fight Night "Report
Action returned Friday night to “The Belvedere” event center in Elk Grove Village, IL as promoter Bobby Hitz presented a four-bout card featuring promising heavyweight Nick Mazurek as well as the return of former NFL safety and Notre Dame All-American standout, Tom Zbikowski. As expected, an overflow crowd turned out as did many luminaries from Chicago’s fight fraternity. Throw in Chicago Cub catching legend, Randy Hundley, and someone in Cubs garb racing around ringside mumbling “Ronnie Woo Woo” and fans had an interesting night to say the least.
In the opener, Javier Rivera (2-0, 1 KO) Palatine, IL defeated winless but durable Luis Guerrero (0-4) Phoenix, AZ by unanimous decision (40-36 across the board) after four rounds of bantamweight action. After a brisk opener, which saw both men working well on the inside, the relentless Rivera gained control in the second and never looked back.
Nick Mazurek (4-0, 4 KOs) fighting out of nearby Palatine, IL took out overmatched Randy Easton (3-9-1, 3 KOs) Sunbury, PA in the second of a scheduled four round heavyweight contest. After softening up Easton with jabs and hooks to the body and head in round one, Mazurek dropped Easton three times in the second, all courtesy of stiff right hands upstairs, resulting in the fight being stopped at the 2:16 mark.
Giovanni Maletti (1-0, 1 KO) Chicago, IL had no issues in his pro debut, starching inept DeShawn Debose (0-4) Milwaukee, WI in round two of a scheduled four round super lightweight bout. Maletti, working behind a quick, peppering jab, dropped Debose twice in round one with left hooks to the body and closed the show a round later with a sweeping right hand, also to the body. Time of the stoppage was 1:24.
After nearly five years away from boxing, Tom Zbikowski (5-0, 3 KOs) made sure that in addition to his ring return, the legacy of Daniel Capuano, a heroic Chicago firefighter whose life tragically ended while battling a warehouse blaze last December, was honored Friday night. According to Bobby Hitz, a portion of the night’s proceeds were to be donated to the Capuano family, an idea that was fostered by Zbikowski, a current Chicago firefighter. Zbikowski, who last fought in April of 2011, was matched tough in the form of Springfield, Missouri’s Keith Jackson (2-3-2, 1 KO). Jackson, whose record belies his skills, was tricky throughout and made Zbikowski work hard for the win in their four round cruiserweight clash. While ring rust was apparent, Zbikowski's work rate and combination punching, primarily left hooks to the body followed by right hands to the head, impressed. Jackson, who was constantly switching from conventional to southpaw, was resilient throughout however, shaking off Zbikowski’s big shots and, in many cases, especially in rounds three and four, giving as good as he got. Still, the tempo of Zbikowski was too much for Jackson, allowing ‘Tommy Z’ to sweep all three judge’s scorecards by identical 40-36 margins.
Post fight afterthoughts – Terry McGroom, a celebrated amateur and respected professional fighter who recently passed at the age of 50 from bone cancer, was appropriately given a ceremonial 10-count in his honor prior to Friday’s action. Tom Zbikowski, according to Hitz, is committed to boxing and wants to see how far he can go in the sport. This renewed focus should come as good news to ‘Tommy Z’s’ legion of fans and supporters, as his well-documented personal demons have long been a cause for concern. Nice to have Whitney Houston’s non pareil version of our National Anthem back Friday night. Former Chicago Cub catcher, the classy Randy Hundley, looked regal sitting ringside, never turning down a photo request from adoring fans. And finally, should Mr. Dubose be allowed into a boxing ring again, he may want to consider picking up extra income by advertising on the soles of his shoes....
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