Hometown Boys Victorious

Two St. Pete natives returned to their home in what has been considered the biggest night of boxing in Tampa.

Richard “Winky” Wright (51-3-1) and Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy (22-1) both defeated their opponents in the co-main events. Wright defeated Ike Quartey (37-4-1) by a unanimous decision while Lacy barely slipped by Vitaly Tsypko (17-2).

Lacy, who tore his rotator cuff in the fight, was expected to dominate Tsypko. The big Ukranian, however, used a methodical approach to wear down Lacy. He moved his feet slowly and took a lot of shots, but Lacy landed the bigger ones.

As the fight moved into the later rounds, Tsypko began to beat Lacy into submission. The scorecards showed Lacy dominated the first six rounds but lost the last four.

One judge’s decision was a 95-95 draw while the other two scored it a 96-94 victory for Lacy. The fight was only ten rounds, and many felt that Tsypko could have won in twelve. At one point in the seventh round, Lacy took a right hook to the side of his head and wobbled just before the bell.

The main event of the night featured St. Pete’s Winky Wright against Ike Quartey, a middleweight from Ghana.

Wright appeared to score a knockdown on Quartey in the second, but the Ghanaian jumped up quickly and smiled. Replays show Quartey slipping as the two fighters’ feet became entangled.

Wright systematically beat Quartey into submission, winning the 12-round match 117-110 (twice) and 117-109 (once). Late in the fight a scuffle broke out in the crowd.

As the referee and Wright both turned to look, Quartey took the opportunity to land a big punch to the side of Wright’s head.

The judges gave the match to Wright by a unanimous decision. Many celebrities were seen on stage, including L.L. Cool J and Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De la Hoya.

The untelevised undercard events were just as exciting as the main fights.

Super bantamweight Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista defeated Giovanni Andrade by TKO one second into the fourth round. Andrade complained of difficulty breathing between the third and fourth rounds, causing referee Jorge Alonso to end the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor.

Darrell Woods, also of St. Pete, scored a TKO victory over Levan Easley early in the second round. Woods landed the hardest hit of the night, a vicious left hook that sent Easley into the ropes.

Woods took advantage of the stunning hit and jumped on Easley with a barrage of two fisted attacks. Referee Frank Santore Jr. stopped the fight despite the protests of Easley and his corner.

The night was a boon to Tampa fighting and the Florida Boxing Commission. The crowd was lively, and the arena was packed. Wright hopes to face the winner of the upcoming De la Hoya-Mayweather fight.

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