Charleroi's 'Big Chief' Fitch still undefeated after six-round draw
By Rick Bruni Jr.
Published: Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Morgan “Big Chief” Fitch may have fought to a draw Saturday at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester, W.Va.
But the Charleroi resident and super middleweight feels victorious after he withstood two knockdowns by veteran Darnell Boone to earn the no-decision.
“I'll take a draw over a loss any day,” Fitch said Sunday. “He was a dangerous fighter, no doubt, and you have to fight guys like that to show you can move up in class. I feel I proved what it takes to be a true fighter. It's not about getting knocked down, it's about how you come back.”
One judge had Fitch winning the super middleweight bout, 57-56, and another called the fight for Boone, 58-55. The third judge called the fight even, 56-56.
As a result, Fitch (11-0-1, 5 KOs) is still undefeated in his pro boxing career.
Despite a losing record, Boone (19-21-1 8 KOs) entered the fight with an impressive resume, having been the only fighter to knock down No. 2-ranked Andre Ward and boasting a knockout victory over current WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.
Fitch narrowly won the first two rounds and was winning the third when an uppercut by Boone floored him toward the end. Fitch said he cannot recall the second knockdown in the fourth, and didn't realize he'd fallen twice.
“My coach said going into the fifth round, ‘You probably need to knock him down to win now,' and I was surprised when he told me I got knocked down twice,” Fitch said.
“I was hurt, I ain't going to lie, and that was the first time I experienced that in my career, but I turned it up that much. The adrenaline was running. … All I remember is the fifth and sixth rounds. I told myself, ‘If I'm going out, I'm going out like a true warrior.' Everybody was telling me that it was like (watching) a movie.”
Fitch came back to win the final two rounds, 10-9, and ultimately stave off his first pro defeat.
“If anything, this fight showed me I've got what it takes to get knocked down twice and still come back to avoid a loss,” Fitch said. “It's hard to get rocked not once, but twice, and not only win those last two rounds but dominate.”
Fitch's fight was on the undercard of a main event that saw the comeback of Paul Spadafora screech to a halt. The “Pittsburgh Kid” dropped an eight-round decision to Johan Perez.
Spadafora had overcome alcohol and drug addiction and prison sentences, continuing a rebirth a decade after he won the IBF lightweight title.
Both Spadafora and Fitch have been training at Buzz Garnic's Round 2 facility in Coal Center and have become friends.
“To see where he was at before losing that fight … a guy who went from rock bottom like he did and me knowing him as a person, not just a fighter, of course I felt for him,” Fitch said. “He's not taking it too good right now. But he's still got good opportunities coming up.”
Fitch said he expects to fight again in February.
“You train all those hours just to get one night to fight, and after that, it's back to life again,” Fitch said. “I live a true fighter's life, my job is to train. That's how I put food on the table.”
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
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