By Christopher Cook at ringside

Photos by Neal Nachman

Tampa, FL – Former champions Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback and De’Marcus “Chop Chop” Corley scored knockout victories and claimed the WBF belt at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. “Thunder at the Forum: Round 2” presented by Panda 5 Star Entertainment brought two championship fights along with a handful of local fights back to the Tampa Bay area. Hallback headlined the night, squaring off against an old nemesis in Victoria Cisneros for the WBF world belt, while Corley battled a last minute replacement for the WBF North American belt.

Tampa Bay area native, Chevelle Hallback (30-8-2, 13 KOs), 141.8 lbs, clashed with Victoria Cisneros (11-16-2, 4 KOs), 143.4 lbs. Both fighters met in the ring prior, in December of 2010. The fight was a back and forth exciting match, in which Hallback won via a split decision. This match proved no different. Cisneros was the ever-aggressor, coming forward continuously at Hallback. Cisneros worked hard to keep Hallback against the ropes for most of the night. With Hallback pushed back, Cisneros went to work, overwhelming the former champion with sheer output. Hallback adjusted her gameplan as the rounds went on, using her reach advantage to keep her opponent at bay. When the action kept to the middle of the ring, Hallback’s activity and potency of her punches increased. After losing the early rounds to Cisneros, Hallback’s movement earned her points in the middle rounds. In the seventh round, Hallback took control, working her punches at a distance, and keeping from getting caught against the ropes. In the eighth, Hallback’s tactics paid off, as she wobbled Cisneros a couple times with the accumulation of shots. At the 1:49 mark of the round, the referee jumped in, seeing Cisneros’ eyes haze over. The win earned Hallback her first world title since 2008.

In the co-main event, “Chop Chop” Corley (41-22-1, 25 KOs), 139.2 lbs, dispatched of Dedrick Bell (12-20-1, 7 KOs), winning the WBF North American Jr. Welterweight title. Bell took the bout with less than 48 hours’ notice as Corley’s first opponent dropped out. The former world champion, Corley, has hit a rough stretch in his career, losing three of his last four matches. It took less than two rounds for Corley to outgun his opponent. Bell, who had won his previous two matches, never was in the match. The opening stanza displayed Corley’s ring expertise, as he was able to control the pace and deflect much of Bell’s shots. In the second, Corley caught Bell with a series of powerful right hands to the head, dropping Bell at the 0:40 mark for the ten count. With the victory, Corley won the WBF belt and announced his intentions to continue fighting in the Tampa area.

In the opening bout of the evening, debuting Tayfun Tiryaki, 138.8 lbs, made quick work of Yasmani Calzadilla (1-1-0, 1 KO), 140.8 lbs. Tiryaki rocked Calzadilla early in the first with a hard left hook, dropping him. Both fighters let their hands fly freely, paying little attention to defense. Tiryaki’s power showed, as the accumulation of shots dropped Calzadilla with less than a minute left in the round. As the ten count sounded, a sharp counter-right landed flush on Calzadilla, laying him out. Time of the stoppage was 2:50 of the opening round.

Serge Cadeus, 163.8 lbs, easily defeated fellow debut Yoeglis Divergel, 159.6 lbs. The contest was very nondescript, with Divergel dancing and holding throughout. Cadeus dropped Divergel with a left hook in the second, giving the crowd a reprieve from their booing. The judges all scored the bout for Cadeus, 39-36 and 40-35 twice.

Tampa’s Lee Dawson (2-2-3, 0 KOs), 140.4 lbs, drew with Berthin Rousseau (1-8-2, 1 KO), 137.8 lbs in a four round bout. The hometown Dawson was swarmed early and often by Rousseau through contest. Dawson landed few telling shots in the third round, but was seemingly unable to overcome Rousseau continuously punching. The judges scored the bout all 38-38. Fightnews scored the bout 39-37 for Rousseau.

Attendance for the night was 1,809. Panda 5 Star Entertainment will be announcing shortly the date for Round 3 of the “Thunder at the Forum” series at the Tama Bay Times Forum.

August 22, 2014