weather icon Mostly Cloudy
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Kelley shows he still packs some punch

At age 41, Kevin Kelley doesn’t need to fight to make money in boxing. As an up-and-coming HBO analyst, his future in the sport appears secure.

But the Flushing Flash thinks it’s more fun to fight than announce, and he is quite a showman. An announced crowd of 1,210 in the Las Vegas Hilton showroom Tuesday night could attest to that.

In his 70th professional fight and his first in nearly 20 months, Kelley scored a 10-round unanimous decision over lightweight Jaime Palma.

Glenn Trowbridge scored the fight 98-92, Patricia Morse-Jarman 97-93 and Adalaide Byrd 99-91.

“Forty-one baby!” Kelley said after raising his record to 60-8-2. “I didn’t think it was close. He was a tough guy to fight because he’s so lanky and awkward. But I thought I controlled the fight, and I thought the judges got it right.”

The fight was Kelley’s first since he lost a 12-round decision to Manuel Medina on Nov. 11, 2006, in New York and since he had surgery for a detached retina in his left eye.

“It felt good to be back in there,” Kelley said. “Sixty wins. That’s sweet!”

Understandably, there was some rust to knock off, so Kelley was cautious early, trying to get into a rhythm.

Palma wasn’t helping by awkwardly ducking and diving into Kelley, burying his head in his opponent’s chest. Palma constantly held Kelley, trying to keep him tied up.

But by the fourth round, Kelley began scoring with his left. He twice tagged Palma on the chin, but the 32-year-old showed toughness and remained upright.

At times, Kelley looked like a 41-year-old fighter, and he admitted he felt like one.

“The layoff definitely hurt me,” he said. “One thing I usually don’t miss with is my left hand. It’s usually there for me. Tonight, it wasn’t always there. But the sharpness was there in spurts. It wasn’t steady, but I felt like I controlled the fight. I took my time and I cut him up.”

• NOTES — Dyah Davis’ eight-round light heavyweight fight was called off because opponent Dante Craig sprained his ankle running across a street Monday night. … The card started 45 minutes late because promoter Sterling McPherson was late arriving with the checks to pay the fighters. This was his first card as a promoter in Nevada. … Heavyweight Kaspars Kambala (3-0-1) scored a first-round technical knockout of Ron Weaver. The 276-pound Kambala knocked down Weaver twice in the first 2:08, and referee Kenny Bayless wisely stopped the fight before Weaver (0-2) could absorb any more punishment.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Sports on TV in Las Vegas

Here’s today’s local and national sports schedule, including television and radio listings.