In the Media

Taylor Plans July Fight at Historic MSG

Lockport Cruiserweight Headed to NYC in July

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

It was a disappointing set back last week for Lockport’s Joe Taylor, but there’s good news on the horizon for the hometown hero and knockout artist.

Taylor lost by split decision last Saturday to Canadian Joe George for the WKA Northeast Title in a five-round brutal affair at the Kenan Arena.

Two out of three ringside judges awarded George the fight by 1 point and one judge had it in Taylor’s favor by a point.

“The loss was a learning experience,” Taylor said. “I feel like I could have won the fight if I fought a little harder. You live to learn and I’m blessed to live and fight another day.”

“The learning experience is invaluable” added Taylor’s head coach Corey Webster of Western New York MMA in Buffalo. “While the goal is to win them all, there are bumps along the way.”

The question on everyone’s mind now is, whats next?

Lace Up Promotions CEO Amer Abdallah said the fight was a close one.

“It could have gone either way and we obviously would have liked to get a hometown decision, but that’s what keeps the sport clean and we all respect the decision of the judges,” Abdallah said. “I stayed with Joe all night after the fight. Aside from him being my fighter, he’s my little brother and a close friend. We talked, laughed and began planning the next step.”

Abdallah, Webster and Taylor have decided to continue to push Taylor’s career forward.

“We’re taking Joe Taylor to Madison Square Garden.” Abdallah said. “For the first time in almost 40 years, a Lockport fighter will fight in Madison Square Garden on a worldwide stage. The largest kickboxing promotion in the world ‘GLORY,’ will host Glory 43 on July 14 in New York City at the world famous boxing mecca, Madison Square Garden. I have a wonderful relationship with GLORY and we wanted a big fight for Joe. We aren’t aren’t looking for soft touches. We’re in champion-building mode.”

Added Webster, “I believe stepping on to the big stage will bring out the best Joe Taylor we’ve seen yet. His desire to succeed is unparalleled.

It won’t be easy for the former Lockport semi-pro football all-star running back Taylor (2-1), who will now fight a kickboxer who once beat Joe George, veteran Ariel Sepulveda (4-2).

“It’s an honor to fight in Madison Square Garden,” Taylor said.

“Not too many people have the opportunity to do so. Everything is on the line and I can’t take another loss. I need a big win. It’s all or nothing and we didn’t make it this far to turn around now.”

Only three other Lockport fighters have ever fought at the Garden, Tommy Hicks (1972), Pat Cuillo (1979) and Taylor’s father, Johnnie Taylor (1971).

“These lockport legends paved the way for all of todays champions,” Abdallah said. “Joe will be the fourth person in history to represent our hometown in the Garden and will do so in front of the world”.

Added Taylor, “I thank God for everything and thank Lace Up Promotions, my family, and my community for their support. My sponsors, the McClains, Johnsons and Harris Construction for believing in me. I believe bigger and better things in life will always come.”

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Fight Results

OH CANADA! George Beats Taylor

George Earns Split Decision Title Win Over Lockport’s Taylor at Kenan

By John D’Onofrio
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Canada’s Joe George utilized his height and experience to the hilt, beating Lockport’s Joe Taylor by split decision on Saturday night to capture the WKA Northeast Cruiserweight Championship at the Kenan Arena.

All was not disappointment for the home folks, however, with an inspirational knockout win by Lockport’s Eric Plumeri and victories by other hometown favorites that include Papa Sean Felton, Nate Woods and Brandon Mindoro on an 11-bout international amateur and professional fight card promoted by Lace-Up Promotions.

Before a large, vocal, partisan crowd, Taylor (2-1) landed the more telling blows in his first pro title fight, but the Canadian National Champion never seemed fazed, constantly shortening the distance between him and Taylor and going for clinches whenever the Lockport knockout specialist tried to back him up to the ropes.

George’s long, powerful leg kicks kept Taylor at a distance throughout the five-round main event, which concluded without a knockdown. The judge’s scorecards were 48-47 George, 47-48 Taylor and 48-47 George.

“Joe’s had two pro fights before he took this fight and without making any excuses for him, there was some injuries that he had that we didn’t make public,” said Amer Abdallah of Lace-Up Promotions.

“I didn’t fight for a title until my fourth or fifth pro fight, but we know there’s more of a sense of urgency with Joe because he’s in his mid-30s. They said they wanted to move as fast as he can and this is the next level. In hindsight, I would have taken the guys and progressed them slower, but the bottom line is this was a very close fight.”

After feeling each other out in the first round, the title fight picked up pace in the second with Taylor landing some hard punches to the head, but the Kitchener, Ontario native George never let his opponent dictate the action, moving in to tie him up whenever a flurry started.

Taylor landed more punches in the third with a couple of solid right hands, but even with the crowd chanting Taylor’s name, George maneuvered confidently around the ring unfazed, landing hard leg kicks to Taylor’s legs and body, frustrating the Lockportian throughout.

George (6-2) winced at a possible low blow in the fourth round that delayed the fight only momentarily, then with both fighters beginning to show signs of tiring, Taylor landed a big right hand to close out the round. Taylor remained the aggressor in the fifth and final round, but George maintained his poise and strategy, then walked away with the narrow, split-decision win.

Meanwhile, “The Candyman” can, as Plumeri KO’d Jonathan Hines with just 13 seconds left in the fourth round in their Lace up Promotions Professional Middleweight Championship-scheduled five-round bout.

Hines held his own early on, especially the first two rounds, but Plumeri’s steady dose of body shots began taking their toll in the third. Plumeri’s solid left hand to the midsection dropped Hines in the third, but Hines withstood the 10-count by referee Bill Kiefer and the fight continued on.

The writing was on the wall in the fourth round. Plumeri, always the aggressor, dropped Hines again with lefts and rights to the head early on. Following another 10-count from Kiefer, Plumeri delivered a left to the head, then a right cross to the head that dropped the veteran Hines (26-4) for good.

The fight itself was a “blessing,” said Plumeri (2-0), who’s been the unlucky victim of scheduled opponents failing to show up for fight night cards on several occasions over the past few years. Plumeri is trained by Lockport native Cory Webster at Western New York MMA in Buffalo.

“I was a little hesitant in the first round because I knew he had a lot of experience,” Plumeri said. “Cory calmed me down in the corner and after that, I just let my hands go and just went to work.”

Plumeri said he did his share of celebrating after the win, but when the night ended, he added he was happy just to go home quietly with his wife, Jeri, and infant daughter, Zaria, 16 months.

Abdallah said calls are “pouring in” from across the country for Plumeri.

“That was a huge, huge win for Eric against an experienced opponent. The Candyman’s back,” Abdallah said.

“He said to me after the fight, ‘I will fight for free.’ That’s how much he wants to get back into the ring. Eric, as you well know, has probably got the worst luck with guys not showing up, or guys showing up for weigh-ins then not showing up for the fight, so he’s been through some disappointment. We’re happy he was able to perform and look forward to promoting his next fight.”

Added Plumeri, “I’m just thankful to this community and to Amer and his promotional company, and Cory, and to everyone who’s been supporting me.”

In other bouts at the Kenan on Saturday:

  • 155 pounds, K1: Cody Farrington d. Ethan Woods by unanimous decision, 30-26, 30-26, 29-27.
  • 185 pounds, kickboxing: Nate Woods d. Josh Johnson by unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.
  • 142 pounds, Muay Thai: Jason Jones d. Dan Sopa by unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27.
  • 147 pounds, Muay Thai: Dylan McKenzie d. Michael Veith, by unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.
  • 160 pounds, kickboxing: Papa Sean Felton d. Kru Rich Kniff, by majority decision, 29-28, 28-28, 29-28
  • 160 pounds, Muay Thai: Mike Olds d. Robbie Taylor by unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28.
  • 205 pounds, kickboxing: Demetrius Gardner d. Javier Figueroa, by unanimous decision, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27.
  • 183 pounds, K1: Jeremy Logan d. Brian Williams, by unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.
  • 153 pounds, kickboxing: Brandon Mindoro d. Ernest Johnson, by split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.

Fight night ring referees were veterans Bill Kiefer and Tom Jenkins. The ring announcer was Chris Gullo. Major sponsors were Mulvey Construction, All Metal Works and Lockport’s award-winning Molinaro’s Ristorante.

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In the Media

Taylor to Face Canadian Champion

Fellow Lockportian Plumeri Also on May 13 Kenan Arena Fight Card

By John D’Onofrio
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport’s undefeated professional MMA kickboxer and electrifying knockout specialist Joe Taylor will take to the Kenan Arena ring on May 13 for the biggest fight of his professional career.

“The Son of a Legend” Taylor will take on Canadian National Champion Joe George of Kitchener, Ontario, for the World Kickboxing Association Eastern Regional Championship. Tickets are available on-line at ticketfly.com or in person at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club on South Transit Road.

According to Lace-Up Promotions CEO Lockport native Amer Abdallah, Taylor’s title opportunity speaks volumes about where Taylor is headed.

“Joe has such a vast amount of opportunities ahead of him,” said Abdallah, the WKA’s current world Cruiserweight champion.

George trains at the infamous TKO Fighting Arts gym in Kitchener. Taylor said he knows next weekend’s fight won’t be any “walk in the park.”

“It doesn’t matter who they put in front of me. My job is to win — and win big,” Taylor said. “Fighting in front of my family, friends and supporters is all the motivation I need to capture my first professional title.”

Taylor is trained by Lockport native Corey Webster of Western New York MMA in Buffalo. Webster, a former undefeated middleweight, has been in Taylor’s corner since his debut as an amateur and is happy with his fighter’s progress.

“He’s so athletic and picks things up so fast,” Webster said. “Joe is a different fighter today than he was last time around. I’m looking forward to adding a professional title to our collection.”

Also on the May 13 Kenan card is local favorite Eric “The Candyman” Plumeri. In his last scheduled fight back in November, Plumeri’s opponent had a medical emergency and could not get cleared to compete.

“It was definitely disappointing for us to bring in an opponent for a local fighter and have it cancel literally at the last minute,” Abdallah said. “Eric’s just that much hungrier for this fight.”

Plumeri will take on kickboxing veteran Jonathan “JR” Hines (24-6), a former world champion. “Is it a step up in competition for Eric? Absolutely. Is he ready for it? Absolutely,” Abdallah said.

Martial arts phenom Brandon Mindoro will return and attempt to retain his undefeated record when he faces Ernest Johnson of Southtowns MMA.

“We’re going to see how good Brandon really is on the 13th,” Abdallah said about Mindoro, who is a well known martial arts purist who is coaching several local athletes.

Major sponsors of the event include Mulvey Construction, All Metal Works and Lockport’s popular Molinaro’s Ristorante.

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In the Media

Pro Title Fight is Taylor Made

Lockport Light Heavyweight Joe Taylor Set for May 13 Kenan Showdown

By John D’Onofrio
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport’s hometown hero and current undefeated, mixed martial artist, kickboxer and boxer Joe Taylor will take the biggest step in his professional career on May 13 when he competes for his first professional title at the Kenan Center Arena.

Taylor, 2-0, the Lock City’s undefeated, “Son of a Legend,” is slated to take on Joe George of TKO Fighting Arts in Kitchener, Ontario, for the Lace Up Promotions Light Heavyweight championship.

Taylor, who is promoted by Las Vegas-based Lace Up Promotions, has caught the eye of several national promoters and matchmakers

 “We’ve been getting offers and calls from across the country for Joe,” said Lace Up promoter Amer Abdallah. “With a big win on May 13, we have a great opportunity for Joe which could be a career changer.”

Taylor is confident in his abilities and skills under direction of head coach Lockport native Corey Webster of Western New York MMA.

“I’m excited to be back home fighting at the Kenan Arena,” Taylor said. “This is a statement fight and I will be prepared for anything. I won’t let my community down.”

Also slated to appear on the May 13 Kenan international fight card are Buffalo’s up-and-coming martial artist Brandon Mindoro (1-0). The unbeaten Mindoro is scheduled to take on Southtowns MMA middleweight Ernest Johnson.

“Brandon is a young man who has dedicated his life to training and helping others,” Abdallah said. “He had a great performance on a recent event in Lockport and we look forward to another one on the 13th.”

Lace Up Promotions middleweight champion Corey Vail, who won a close decision over Sean “Superfly” Felton on the last Kenan fight card, will make the first defense of his title against hard-hitting Tonawanda native Quamaine Auston of WNY MMA.

Vail has a massive following and is determined to dominate the division under the coaching of his legendary trainer, Stonehorse.

“This will be a fight you don’t want to miss,” Abdallah said. “Two highly-skilled, powerful guys who aren’t afraid to sit down and bang.”

Tickets for the May 13 Kenan fight card are available on-line at ticketfly.com or in person at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club on South Transit Road.

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Fight Results

Quarantillo, Taylor Score Wins in Homecoming Bouts

By Michael Canfield
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lewiston’s Billy Quarantillo is now the King of the Cage Welterweight World Champion.

Quarantillo won the title in dramatic fashion after his opponent, Ryan Fillingame, was unable to answer the bell at the start of the third round. With loud chants from the crowd of “Billy! Billy!,” Quarantillo was aggressive both standing up and on the ground. Quarantillo seemed to control the fight and nearly had several submissions.

“He’s a tough, tough kid,” he said, referring to Fillingame after the fight.

Quarantillo said the crowd “meant the world to him,” and thanked those in attendance for supporting him. He said he was “thrilled” to win the title at home.

Another crowd favorite, Joe “Son of a Legend” Taylor, announced as “the pride of Lockport,” won a unanimous decision over Alejandro Santiago. Taylor was clearly the aggressor during the fight, stalking down Santiago and hitting the Chicago-based fighter with a mix of punches and loud, cracking kicks. The fight never went to the ground, and Santiago showed visible signs of abuse from the barrage throughout the course of the fight. Despite having Santiago hurt several times, Taylor was cautious and stuck to his gameplan.

“I’m still a rookie,” he said after the fight, which pushed his professional record to 2-0. “I had a lot of patience and just took my time.”

Taylor said he’s going to take a vacation and then get back to work, watching film of the fight and getting back to the gym.

“I need some time to myself,” he said.

In the first title fight of the night, Solomon Renfro, who hails from Cleveland but fights out of Buffalo at WNY MMA, won a unanimous decision over Tate Nelson (Alabama) to secure the King of the Cage Amateur Welterweight World Championship belt.

Starting with a flurry of kicks and punches, the fight fell into a pattern where Renfro was the more aggressive fighter, attempting several times to knock Nelson out. For his part, Nelson attempted several armbars and chokes, but Renfro was able to thwart his attempts. The fight was momentarily stopped in the third round after Renfro delivered a high kick to Nelson’s head, drawing the ire of the referee. Renfro continued to carry the action to Nelson, punctuated by slamming Nelson to the mat dramatically several times.

After the fight, Renfro, who said he’s dedicated his life to MMA, said he’s ready to turn pro.

“I’ll smash all the pros and knock them out,” he said.

In the night’s fourth fight of the night, Welland, Ontario’s Anthony “The Genius” Romero won at 1:27 of the second round, forcing his opponent, Justin Perry (North Carolina) to submit from an arm triangle choke. Romero, fighting at 155 pounds, spent most of the first round trying to break through Perry’s guard, and was able to get onto his back in the second, leading to the choke.

North Tonawanda’s Eric “The Bull” Herbert made quick work of his opponent, Victor “Bonecrusher” Jones (Detroit), earning a stoppage due to strikes at the 2:07 mark of the first round. After the fight, Herbert said he wanted to fight for a title in Niagara Falls.

Former Niagara-Wheatfield lacrosse standout Evan Printup lost his fight at 155 pounds to William Ferguson. Printup, who fought in the events’ second bout of the night, landed several big shots on Ferguson before the fight went to the ground.

Ferguson gained the advantage, and held on for an armbar, making Printup tap out at the 2:46 mark of the first round.

Photo Above
 Lockport’s Joe Taylor, left, fights Chicago’s Alejandro Santiago in a King of the Cage event Saturday night at the Seneca Niagara Events Center. Photo by Paul Battson.

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