Welliver claims decision win over Hempstead in Idaho
Report and photos by Ricardo Ibarra

Coeur D' Alene Casino Resort, Worley, Idaho

In front of a raucous hometown crowd, former WBC Continental Americas heavyweight champion Chauncy "The Hillyard Hammer" Welliver (57-12-5, 23 KOs) claimed the second consecutive victory of his recent comeback on Saturday night at the Coeur D'Alene Casino in Worley, Idaho, defeating Montana's Eric Hempstead (7-1, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision. In the main event of the Coeur D’Alene Casino's 'House of Fury' card, Welliver dropped Hempstead in the second round and went on to use his superior experience to out-land and out-maneuver his younger opponent over ten rounds.

The fight ignited into a wild slugfest early in the first round, with Welliver charging at Hempstead, unloading with a barrage, and Hempstead obliging with his own assault. Welliver, though, proved to be the savvier fighter, using his cross-armed defense to deflect a lot of what was being thrown his way and countering, landing the cleaner and more effective punches. Late in the round Welliver buckled the knees of Hempstead with a precise combination.

In the second round Welliver continued to press the action, pushing his way in close and trading with Hempstead. Both fighters landed early, but it was Welliver’s better leveraged and more accurate shots that did more damage. Late in the round a counter left hook dropped Hempstead for a count. The round ended before Welliver could follow up.

Welliver continued to control the action in the third and fourth rounds, coming forward with a tight defense and landing solid shots in close, but in the fifth he began to slow his output. Hempstead rallied, and although the fifth round was close, he appeared to land at a higher rate, particularly late in the round when he unloaded with a spirited barrage.

Hempstead picked up his output in the sixth and out-worked Welliver in the round, who appeared visibly tired. The Montanan continued to land the higher volume of punches into the seventh round as Welliver slowed down considerably.

In the eighth, though, Welliver rallied back, drawing chants of "Chauncy, Chauncy" from the crowd as he unloaded with looping shots in close. He kept up his work rate down the final stretch of the fight, slamming Hempstead with hard hooks to the head and body and buckling his knees in the last round. All three judges scored the fight for Welliver with scores of 99-91, 98-91, and 98-91.

With the win the Spokane, Washington resident adds his fifty-seventh career win and his second win in three months. Hempstead, meanwhile, suffers the first loss of his pro career.

Welliver catches Hempstead with his right

Welliver's right connects to Hempstead's chin

Pakau lands to Quinett's body

A six-fight undercard rounded out the rest of the line-up. In the semi-main event, Spokane's Sean Quinnett (6-3, 2 KOs) claimed a six round split decision win over New Zealander Santos Pakau (28-9-2, 11 KOs). Quinnett, fighting out of a southpaw stance, maneuvered well around the ring, sliding in and out of the pocket with quick combinations and avoiding what was being returned his way. For the first three rounds he dominated the fight with the quicker hands and faster feet.

Pakau mounted a rally in the fourth round, cutting the distance and pushing Quinnett back to the ropes with hard hooks to the head and mid-section. In the fifth he continued to press, cornering Quinnett on occasion and forcing him into exchanges, making for a close round. In the final stretch both fighters let their hands go, but it was Quinnett who appeared to land the more damaging blows. Two of the judges scored the fight for Quinnett with scores of 58-56, and 59-55, with the last judge seeing the fight for Pakau at 59-53. Quinnett adds the sixth and most notable win if his career, while Pakau drops his ninth loss. The bout was contested in the welterweight division.

In a six round cruiserweight rematch, Spokane's Patrick Ferguson (14-0-1, 11 KOs) defeated Miguel Cubos (11-19, 8 KOs), of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, by unanimous decision, securing his second win of the year over the tough journeyman. Ferguson pressed the action from the start, pushing Cubos back and landing heavy power shots to the head and body. Cubos came back in the second round, though, landing looping counters as Ferguson moved forward. Ferguson upped his tempo in the third round and regained his momentum, landing cleanly in the pocket and maintaining a busier work-rate. In the fourth, Ferguson showed some new versatility to his game, getting on his toes a bit and working at range. Working off his jab, he maneuvered in and out of the pocket well, unloading with hard combinations in close before pivoting out of the way of his opponent's retaliatory swings. In the final stretch of the fight Ferguson closed in on Cubos and unloaded with heavy artillery. Cubos gamely rallied back, making for some intense exchanges to close out a crowd-pleasing fight. The official tallies read 60-54, 59-54, and 58-56, giving Ferguson the unanimous decision win. 

Ferguson punishes Cubos with his right

Lecoure (left) and Hallman exchange punches

Popular Montana cruiserweight Kadin LeCoure (3-0, 2 KOs) added his third win as a pro, stopping former UFC fighter Dennis Hallman (1-3) in the first round. LeCoure pressed from the outset, working behind his jab and following up with hard right hands. Mid-way through the round, Hallman fell back to the ropes complaining about a shot to the eye. LeCoure, at first hesitated, but after seeing Hallman cover up, let his hands go, catching Hallman with a solid left hook that dropped him to the canvas. Referee Mike Grow waved the fight off at 1:55 as Hallman laid on his back.

Turning in an impressive performance, Tacoma's Andre Keys (9-1, 5 KOs) scored a second-round stoppage victory over journeyman Lionel Jimenez (5-25-1, 4 KOs) in a Jr. middleweight bout. Keys took quick control of the fight in the first round, setting the range with his jab and peppering his opponent with a consistent stream of lead left hooks and right hands. In the second, Keys opened up early and sent Jimenez to the mat with a left hook to the temple. Seconds later he drilled him to the body with a hard right, dropping him once again. After a left hook to the mid-section sent him down for a third time, referee Joel Scobie stepped in and called it at 1:07 of the second round. 

Keys catches Jimenez with a right

Undefeated New Zealand cruiserweight Craig Thomson (11-0, 7 KOs) added his second win on U.S. soil, scoring a first round KO over the winless Ruben Roundstone (0-4), a last-minute replacement. Thomson quickly deposited Roundstone on the deck seconds into the fight with a series of body shots. Roundstone made it up at eight, but after taking a solid right to the mid-section, dropped to the canvas once again where he would stay. Referee Mike Grow hit the count of ten at :30 of the first round.

An exciting back and forth battle opened the pro card, with Great Falls, Montana's Billy Wagner (1-0) making a successful entrance into the paid ranks, claiming a four round unanimous decision win over Lewiston, Idaho's Andrew Whitfield (1-1, 1 KO). It looked like Wagner might have a quick night when, early in the first round, a left hook sent Whitfield down for a count. Moments later, a left hook counter deposited him on the canvas once again. Whitfield weathered the early set-back and began to cut the distance with a more measured approach as the round wore on, though, finding success with clean hooks in close.

Whitfield came back in the second, pressing the action and finding success with hard hooks to the head and body. The two engaged in some wild exchanges in the round, making it close, but a round that Whitfield appeared to win. Both fighters had their moments in the third round, trading momentum and landing some hellacious shots on each other in a fiercely contested round. The pace continued in the fourth as they battled in close, but it was Wagner that appeared to land the cleaner shots. Late in the round Wagner scored another knockdown with a right hook. They closed out the fight unloading on each other to the appreciative screams of the crowd. The official tallies read 38-36 twice and 38-35, giving Wagner the unanimous verdict. The contest took place in the middleweight division.

Whitfield (left) aims for Wagner's chin

Sierra and Reck opened the show with an amateur bout

An amateur exhibition bout between two young ladies kicked off the festivities, as  Abbi Reck, of Clarkston, Washington, took on Pine Ridge, South Dakota's Niyah Sierra at 110 lbs. Both boxers opened up early, swinging away with great effort, but it was Reck who appeared to land at a higher rate in the bout. No decision was rendered in the match-up.

The Coeur D’Alene Casino and event coordinator Sarah Welliver put together an entertaining card that left the near sell-out crowd buzzing after a solid night of boxing action. No date for the next show has been announced yet.

Event Coordinator Sarah Welliver, Referee Joel Scobie with Chauncey and Lemyn Welliver

The House of Fury Ring Card Girls

In the ring the Ring Card Girls work the crowd