The Ring of Truth: Turning Stone Is Becoming a Mecca for Boxing

The Ring of Truth: Turning Stone Is Becoming a Mecca for Boxing

Ken Polisse Jr.

ShoBox: The New Generation has been creating world champion boxers for the past 10 years, and on July 25 the show aired its 200th episode live from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The event was the 12th nationally televised boxing event for the casino in less than two years, and it was a draw in more ways than one.

The live four-fight broadcast began at 10 p.m. following three unaired undercards, with the main event between Antoine Douglas and Michel Soro for the WBA International belt.

Douglas, of Burke, Virginia was the aggressor early in the fight, but stoppage time in the fourth round seemed to take away some of his momentum. Soro had a rip in one of his gloves, and the change-out of gloves took nearly five minutes. By the eighth round, Soro was closing the scoring gap and Douglas started to look tired. Soro took the final three rounds after stunning Douglas in the eighth with a flurry of punches to the head and body, connecting with a solid headshot that Douglas never fully recovered from. The judges scored the fight 96-94 (Soro), 95-95 and 95-95, with the two draws forcing the rare decision of majority draw.

ShoBox has been a launching pad for future world champions, with over 40 fighters graduating on to win world titles, according to the promotions press release prior to the airing. The July event was the third collaboration for ShoBox and Turning Stone.

Turning Stone has quietly become one of boxing’s go-to destinations for broadcasts, hosting fights for Showtime, HBO, ESPN, and NBC. The Oneida Nation has hosted multiple title fights, beginning with the IBF Flyweight title bout from July 26, 1998 between Mark “Too Sharp�? Johnson vs. Luis Rolon on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. On August 23 of 2013, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who was recently inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (a short drive down the road from Turning Stone, in Canastota, New York) in 2011, made his debut as a promoter on the season finale of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises, parent company of Indian Country Today Media Network, said, “Turning Stone is extremely proud that Mike Tyson chose our award-winning resort for his first fight as a promoter. As an incredible athlete and renaissance man who continues to reinvent himself, we understand that Tyson could have gone anywhere for his debut, and we are deeply honored he chose Turning Stone.�?

In the co-main event, Jerry Odom of Bowie, Maryland defeated Vilier Quinonez of Miami, Florida by a technical knockout at 2:25 of the seventh round. Odom who improved to 12-0 (11 KOs) was crowned the WBC FECARBOX super middleweight champion.

Boxing fans also saw Cecil McCalla of Randallstown, Maryland defeat Oscar Godoy; and Tony Luis, of Canada, defeated Wanzell Ellison of Newark, New Jersey. Both fights went eight rounds and ended with unanimous decisions.


Overall it was a great night for fighting, even if the main event ended in a draw. That just means the rematch is already of interest, and if fight fans in upstate New York are lucky, it will be in Verona, at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

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