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Mansour Wins USBA title over Harris at Dover Downs

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By Ken Hissner & David Ruff at ringside (For Doghouse Boxing and MaxBoxing)


At the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Friday night Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 19-0 (14), formerly of Penns Grove, NJ, now out of Wilmington, DE, took a major step by winning the vacant USBA heavyweight title and defending his WBF Continental title defeating Maurice “Mo Bettah” Harris, 26-18-2 (11), of Newark, NJ, before his many fans from NJ, and DE. This will vault him into the IBF top 10. It was an exciting fight up until the final bell with a “cat and mouse” showing by the crafty Harris who had to survive the furious attack of Mansour time and time again throughout this 12 round bout. Throw out the record of Harris and the scores at the end! He’s been in with many of the top contenders including losing controversial split decision to Larry Holmes.

With the unusual honesty of a sport not known for much of it Mansour announced after the fight “I ducked 2 boxers in my career, (Nigerian “Nightmare”) Ike Ibeabuchi (20-0 16ko’s) and Maurice Harris. I could have fought Harris 3 years ago. Forget his record for he can fight. I want to thank all my fans here at Dover Downs and the people running the show (DD promotes with Nick Tiberi as matchmaker),” said Mansour. He gave an honest account of his fight and needs more distance fights like this.

At the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Friday night Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 19-0 (14), formerly of Penns Grove, NJ, now out of Wilmington, DE, took a major step by winning the vacant USBA heavyweight title and defending his WBF Continental title defeating Maurice “Mo Bettah” Harris, 26-18-2 (11), of Newark, NJ, before his many fans from NJ, and DE. This will vault him into the IBF top 10. It was an exciting fight up until the final bell with a “cat and mouse” showing by the crafty Harris who had to survive the furious attack of Mansour time and time again throughout this 12 round bout. Throw out the record of Harris and the scores at the end! He’s been in with many of the top contenders including losing controversial split decision to Larry Holmes.


This writer sat next to Mansour’s manager Keith Stoffer for the entire 12 rounds. Stoffer as always decked out in a solid colorful suit was in a pale green suit and two-tone green shoes to match. He’s one of the most likeable managers in the business. He’d ask on occasion “how did you have that round? Even though I scored it 119-109 as did judge Brian Costello there were 4 close rounds that could have gone either way as top judge Joe Pasquale had it 116-112. It would be hard to argue with that score. Judge Mark D’Atilio had it 120-108.

On my other side was Lisa Rollins, publicist for Dover Downs who always makes it a pleasure to come to the casino with her hospitality. I noticed something new with her and asked “is it true blonds have more fun?” She answered “I have been getting a lot of looks (since going blond) and it’s nice” as she gave me a “high 5”. CEO Ed Sutor was in the front row as usual and came over as usual to say hello to fellow dhb writer Dave Ruff and I. He and Dave have been friends for years.

This writer visited both Mansour and Harris prior to the start of the show in their dressing rooms to wish both “good luck”. Harris and his corner were all sitting together with Ron Horn one of the inspectors for the VA commission. Upon visiting Mansour he was lying on a sofa with a head set on all alone. I excused myself, knowing him, we smiled and he shook hands as I wished him good luck. Not only has he the heart of a lion but is one of the nicest boxers outside the ring. New VA inspector Greg Hackett, former Ruff boxer, was on his way to Mansour’s room.

Mansour came out firing looking for an early knockout. Rumor on Tuesday at another shows press conference was he was in a hospital battling the flu the week before. You would never know it as this muscular southpaw started the show but as the fight progressed there were times he was running on heart alone but still dangerous. Harris had the usual look of surprise when he took a couple of body shots from Mansour. Harris seemed to tower over him at 6:04 though there was only about a 3” difference. In Mansour’s corner were trainer Moses Mosley and assistant Danny Davis.

Mansour won the first round and the second was one of the close ones as Harris countered with a straight right after a solid jab. The fourth and fifth were close with both fighters landing well but Mansour always much more. This Marvin Hagler look alike in a heavyweight body could slip and dance away from Harris after landing mostly solid body shots and combinations. In the seventh it looked like Harris took the first of several rounds off possibly hoping for Mansour to wear himself out.

In the tenth round Mansour came in and faked a lead left and came over the top with a right hand rocking Harris who had to hold on as referee Bill Clancy broke them up. The eleventh would be foreign to Mansour whose only fight going 10 was with unstoppable Dominic Guinn. Mansour controlled the eleventh and the twelfth and final round was one of the best as Harris was setting up looking for the one shot to end it and Mansour busier than a hornet trying to do the same. You knew when it was over and Mansour didn’t do his usual back flip he was spent and the rumor must have been true of his illness but what a finish to an most interesting 12 rounds!

In visiting Harris after the fight along with James “Big Cat” Gibbs, with team Mansour, Harris acknowledged the decision and told Gibbs “if you need anyone to work with him (Mansour) let me know. At 41 all can see the greatness of the future of Mansour but time is running out!

Prior to the main event former boxers “Terrible Tim” Witherspoon 2-time heavyweight champion (off to the UK soon) and always smiling former IBF light middle champ Buster Drayton, two South Philly boxers. Then came the “Jewish Bomber” Mike Rossman, former light heavy champ who went back to his seat with former boxers Stevie Traitz, Jr., and Mark Goodwin. Traitz and Mansour have been close friends for years.

Next show at Dover Downs was announced as November 22 nd with the hope of a Mansour return with possibly one of the “other” contenders moving toward the final dream of the IBF world heavyweight championship.

In the co-feature Spanish Harlem’s Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana, 28-4 (19), coming off 2 hand injuries in January stopped veteran Ecuadorian Luis Hernandez, 22-7 (15), of Maimi, FL, at 2:16 of the sixth round. Referee Clancy stopped it as Hernandez was dropped in the fourth and the sixth rounds after a gallant effort on his part but in no condition to continue.

In his first 8 rounder Wilmington’s Omar “Super O” Douglas, 10-0 (8), electrified the crowd with a vicious left hook to the liver of Kenyan Anthony “Toto” Napunyii, 14-14 (7), of Canal Point, FL, at 1:11 of the first round. It was his fifth straight stoppage for the popular lightweight who is one to watch. “I worked too hard to lose in and out of training camps. He caught me on the nose with a jab and I countered with the left hook to the mid-section,” said Douglas.

The trainer of Douglas is Doug Pettiford, one of the unsung trainers in DE, who also worked the corner of his debuting southpaw welterweight Anthony “Shottabox” Miller, 1-0 (1), from St. Ann, Jamaica, living in DE. He was a fine amateur making a fine debut devastating Dominic “Warlord” Goode, 0-1, of Clayton, NJ, in the first round. Vic deWysocki was the referee. “It was a major difference from amateur to pro but the fans made me feel comfortable,” said Miller.

Unbeaten Washington, DC, welter Dusty Hernandez Harrison, 17-0 (10), won for the sixth time this year by stopping Guillermo “Macho” Valdes, 12-4 (3), of Maimi, FL, at 0:45 of the fourth round of a scheduled 6 after scoring a knockdown in the second and fourth with referee Clancy calling a halt. This 19 year-old will be back in action in DC on November 2 nd . “It’s always good coming back to Dover Downs (3 rd time this year),” said Harrison. He is trained by his father Buddy Harrison.

Opening the show was Dover super middle John “Church Boy” Bowman, 7-0-1 (1), winning all 4 rounds over Kenneth “Sharpshooter” Moody, 2-5-2 (1), of Norfolk, VA. Bernard Miller trains Bowman along with Lamont “Problem Solver” Singletary, 6-0 (3), of Dover who had an exciting cruiserweight win over Earl “The Bull” Platt, 3-1 (3), winning all 4 rounds. Platt won the fan’s over with his gutsy performance despite a nasty cut on the bridge of his nose in the first round. He switched from southpaw to orthodox but Singletary was there with the answer every time. Boxer Frank “Freight Train” Filippone worked Platt’s corner. Referee was deWysocki. “I want to thank God and dedicated this fight to my cousin Veronica Singletary who was killed in a car accident recently,” said Singletary. Platt looks like a smaller version of Randall “Tex” Cobb.

Lightweight and fan favorite “Jolt’n” Joey Tiberi, 11-1 (5), of Bear, DE, won a 4 round decision over Darrell “Two Pack” Martin, 4-15 (1), of Baltimore, MD. Tiberi forced the action to the fan’s delight. His father Joe Tiberi is his trainer. Referee was deWysocki. Like Douglas it was their second win in 3 weeks.

In one of two swing bouts Atlantic City’s Antowon “Ice Man” Aiken, 8-0 (1), won all 4 rounds in the super middleweight division over game Marcus “the Gatekeeper” Brooks, of Columbia, SC. deWysocki was the referee. Aiken is promoted by Diane Fischer out of Atlantic City.

All in all the show was decent and pretty well received by a near sell-out crowd. The fans in this part of DE really get behind their fighters and one’s they adopt.


Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: kenhissner@gmail.com


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