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OKLAHOMA CITY — Perhaps it was fitting that Trey Lippe Morrison followed the theme of the evening
After a noisy thunderstorm passed through, Lippe Morrison used a thunderous left hook to drop Byron “The Bear” Polley in the third round of a heavyweight clash that was contested in the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder — Chesapeake Energy Arena here Saturday, June 30.
Lippe Morrison, now 15-0 with all of his wins coming by knockout, said he had to shake off some early rust that was part of “Fight Night OKC,” a Top Rank-promoted show televised by ESPN .
Once he got rolling, Lippe Morrison, who said he had been able to spar only three times in the last six weeks due to a lack of heavyweight opponents in his new training home of Tulsa, came up with the same results: a knockout at 1:39 of the third round.
“I felt like I knocked the rust off in the first and second round,” Lippe Morrison said. “I could tell so I think the rest of the crowd could tell. In the third round, I started using my jab a little more. Then I saw started seeing how the jab was opening up other shots.”
Polley was knocked down twice in the first round, once in the second and again in the third before being crushed by a left hook that left him sprawled on the canvas.
“I was looking for the right hand too much in the first and second rounds,” Lippe Morrison said.
He used the right hand then a left hook behind it to open things up.
“I saw that was hurting him, but I was throwing it too much,” Lippe Morrison said. “I was forcing it instead of seeing the whole thing. I was being more of a boxer in the third round. It created and I saw the opening. It worked.”
Shots to the body did some damage, but Polley — who had 54 fights to his credit — continued to battle.
“Usually when I hit people to the body, you can kinda listen to it and hear ‘ugh’. But I wasn’t hearing it,” Lippe Morrison said. “He was a tough dude. I wasn’t seeing the effects. Not to say it didn’t affect him. He was just good at hiding it or not letting it show.
“Honestly I thought I should have gone to the body a little more.”
Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank, was seated ringside watching the action.
“I didn’t even know Bob was there,” Lippe Morrison said. “I knew it was his show, but when I was in the ring, I didn’t think of Bob Arum one time. Not disrespecting him at all, but I was focused on my guy and what I needed to do and get better.”
Promoter Tony Holden admits he always has been the biggest critic of his Four State Franchise stable that also includes Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk, Charles Conwell, Kenzie Morrison and Jesse and Dillon Cook.
“I thought Trey did well,” Holden said. “I thought he was standing up too straight and took a couple shots. Guys like this are extremely hard to fight. I gave him a C-plus.
“We had him hurt and let him go. You can’t do that. When you have the hand on the throat, you have to take him out. He took a couple shots, but he took the guy out.”
There were six other fights on the card, including favorite son Alex Saucedo (28-0) get a seventh-round TKO against Lenny Zappavigna (37-4) of Australia.
The main event saw WBO super middleweight champ Gilberto Ramirez (38-0) log a unanimous decision against Alexis Angulo, who suffered his first loss in 24 outings.
Super featherweight Robson Conceicao (8-0), who was Brazil’s first Olympic gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, knocked out Gavino Guaman in the third round of the co-feature.