Duluth boxers win big at home

Andy "Kaos" Kolle and Anthony "Showtime" Shuler butted heads in the fourth round of their bout on Thursday at Grandma's Sports Garden, and the boxers weren't happy about it.

Andy "Kaos" Kolle and Anthony "Showtime" Shuler butted heads in the fourth round of their bout on Thursday at Grandma's Sports Garden, and the boxers weren't happy about it.

Shuler complained. Kolle got angry.

The result was a Kolle victory.

Kolle knocked out Shuler with a devastating left at 2:05 in the fourth round of their scheduled eight-round junior middleweight bout before about 1,000 fans as part of Bridge Battle II. Apparently, Kolle has the harder noggin.

"Or hit harder," Kolle said. "Our heads hit and we didn't like it, but that's boxing and it happens. I figured if he was complaining about it, it must have hurt him, so I went after him. His eyes appeared to gloss over."


The pro boxing card marked the return of Kolle and fellow Horton's Gym headliner Zach "Jungle Boy" Walters to Duluth, where they had not officially fought since Truth in Duluth II on Sept. 10, 2005. While it was largely a night of amateur and pro exhibition bouts, the final fight showcased two skilled boxers.

"This place was great. The fans were great. You couldn't beat it," Kolle said. "It felt like there were 10,000 people here."

Until the incidental head butt, the fight was fairly even, although the 27-year-old Kolle (19-2, 14 KOs) was clearly the aggressor against the 32-year-old boxer from Indianapolis. Shuler (20-6) hadn't fought since being knocked out by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on April 14, 2007, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, and he weighed in Wednesday at 167 pounds to Kolle's 155.

Despite his lengthy hiatus from competition, Shuler, who couldn't be reached for comment, clearly showed he was still a very slick counter-puncher.

Kolle found out early he had to be more cautious until he saw that woozy look in his opponents' eyes in the fourth round and seized the moment. He floored Shuler with a right jab, followed by a quick right hook and left cross reminiscent of Kolle's knockout of Anthony Bonsante for the Minnesota middleweight title in March.

"When you see a boxer who hasn't fought in awhile come in overweight like that, you wonder if they've come ready to fight, but Shuler gave me a good fight," Kolle said. "He came at me from some good angles and landed some nice shots. I didn't know where a few of them were coming from, but fortunately, none of them fazed me too much."

Walters TKOs Morrow

While it won't likely go down as an official super-middleweight bout, Walters considered his fight Thursday with James Morrow of Lafayette, Ind., his debut in the class, and the Duluth boxer wanted to make an impression.


So Walters dispatched Morrow with a technical knockout at 1:46 in the second round.

"I love the atmosphere here," Walters said. "I wanted to give the hometown crowd a good show, so I got after him from the get-go."

Walters was clearly the superior boxer, but was coming off back-to-back losses at light heavyweight. After seeing the first round, one local boxing fan said, "Morrow appears to know why he's here."

He became Walters' punching bag.

Morrow (11-13-3), who came in overweight, all but sealed his fate by goading Walters to punch him late in the first round. Walters nearly ended the fight there.

"I feel faster, I'm more agile and I'm able to land my shots better at this weight," Walters said. "I'm putting it all together."

NOTES: Both Shuler and Morrow were cornered on Thursday night by Reggie Strickland of Indianapolis, who last boxed in 2005, finishing his career with a record of 66-276-17. He delivered 14 knockouts while being knocked out 25 times, meaning he wasn't very good, but he almost always lasted until the end ... unlike the boxers he worked with Thursday.

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