News May 2019

Rico Hoye returns as heavyweight calls out “ducking” Tarver


By Michael J Jones

Rico Hoye

Hidden away on a mammoth weekend of boxing was the return or former light-heavyweight contender Rico Hoye. Just days away from his 39th birthday, Hoye came back from a four-and-a-half year hiatus to score a first-round knock out in Milwaukee.

The bout took place on Saturday (November 2nd) at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino and was scheduled for six rounds but was all over at 95 seconds of the opening round.

Opponent Brandon Winner failed to live up to his surname as the vastly classier and skilful Hoye hurt him within seconds with power shots from either hand. Some 60lbs north of his old weight division at 237½lbs, Rico landed hard jabs and rights before a sickening left hook to the body made Winner frantically back off.

A follow up flurry dropped the mismatched Ohio fighter to a knee but, even though he gamely got up at ‘6’, the ref sensibly called a halt to raise Hoye’s record to 24-3 (16). Beaten Winner is just 3-9 and has been stopped inside three rounds in all nine defeats in his ten-year career.

Obviously harder nights await Hoye but the Detroit man will be glad to be back in the ring after several dates for his comeback were aborted. At 6’3” Hoye carried the surplus weight well and this writer would be amazed if he ever scaled 175lbs again.

The last time he did he was hammered in three by Adrian Diaconu six years ago.

Apart from a stint in the 2009 ‘Contender’ series in Singapore, Hoye has remained inactive but looks to continue his career as either a heavyweight or cruiserweight.

The Detroit puncher turned pro at 26 after a nine-year jail stint but became one of the top contenders at light-heavyweight after victories over Richard Hall and Montell Griffin. A stoppage defeat to Clinton Woods for the IBF title scuppered his progress and subsequently boxing politics and managerial problems left his promising career in ruins.

Although nearly 39, Rico should be fresh after turning pro late and has been training hard for his ring return. After his latest victory he praised his current team including trainers Fernando Hernandez and Robinson Ayala before calling out Antonio Tarver who he claims has been “ducking him for years.”

Also on the card, Nigerian-born heavyweight Enobong Umohette forced a two-round retirement over former amateur star Dante Craig which was somewhat ironic as Craig was supposed to fight Hoye last August.

Umohette is now 9-1 (8) and looks strong though needs to get a move on at 34-years-old.

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