A pair of Uprising Promotions fighters recorded wins on Sunday in Macon, Ga., with Samuel “Main Event” Clarkson (18-3, 11 KOs) and Kemahl “Hitman” Russell (10-0, 8 KOs) putting on impressive performances. Clarkson, who is co-promoted by Uprising Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions, defeated gritty 53-bout veteran Rayco Saunders via unanimous decision, while Russell registered two knockdowns en route to a second round stoppage of late replacement Henry Mercer.
“Samuel did exactly what he needed to do after a long layoff to get in there and leave with the win over a very difficult opponent,” said Ronson Frank, President of Uprising Promotions. “We now look to build off this win and get him rolling again. The next goal is to get him ranked and competing against top 10 contenders, which is a challenge that he is more than prepared to take on. Right now, he is so anxious that he is ready to get back in the ring tomorrow.”
Coming off a year layoff, Clarkson shook off the rust early in his main event bout, immediately ripping shots to the body and banging up top while putting numbers behind his punch combinations. Throughout the eight frames of competition, Clarkson did a very good job of mixing up his offense and switching levels, and he also remained very composed defensively.
Clarkson maintained control of the contest by being the clear aggressor, landing hard shots that have crumbled opponents over his recent run of fights. However, Saunders absorbed punishment better than most, and he showed why he only has two stoppage losses over his 53-bout career. In the end, it was a unanimous decision for Clarkson, who did a disciplined job of sticking to his game plan over eight rounds.
Earlier in the card, Jamaican middleweight Kemahl Russell kept his perfect record intact by making short work of late replacement Henry Mercer. At the onset of the fight, Russell displayed a clear speed advantage over Mercer and proved to be the more polished fighter. He began digging to the body in the first round while changing levels back up top, which set him up for the finale in the second frame.
Early in the second round, Russell ripped a left hook to the body that sent Mercer backpedaling, but Russell relentlessly stayed on the body to earn his first knockdown of the bout. Mercer showed his toughness by continuing after the eight-count, but Russell would not let him off the hook. The Jamaican prospect immediately swarmed him when action resumed, and it was a left hook to the chin of Mercer that left him unable to continue.
The official time of the stoppage came at 2:11 of the second frame.
“Unfortunately, we had a change of opponent with Kemahl at the last minute, and we want to thank Henry Mercer and his team for stepping in there,” Frank remarked. “Henry definitely tried his best, but Kemahl was able to prove that he is the better fighter. As we progress forward, I really think Kemahl is going to surprise a lot of people. He does a lot of things well, and he is a dangerous fighter. Once he truly learns how to take advantage of his physical attributes a bit more, it will be entirely onwards and upwards for him.”
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