Photos by Kurt Howard
Vincent sends sweat flying from Giovanni Sarran's head with this punch.

SLIDESHOW: Thompson remains unbeaten, wins 13th straight bout

Normally a patient tactician in the boxing ring, unbeaten "Vicious" Vincent Thompson threw caution to the wind and went for an early knockout on Saturday night.

His plan nearly backfired when his opponent, ex-MMA fighter Giovanni "Bam Bam" Sarran, refused to play patsy and survived the round and the fight.

Though Thompson was tired and spent after his first-round blitzkrieg, he managed to tough out his 13th consecutive professional win in the six-round main event before 1,123 fans at the Skookum Creek Event Center at the Little Creek Casino and Resort in Shelton.

"Vince was trying hard for the knock out and burned himself out," said Thompson's coach Sam Ditusa, a Normandy Park resident. "(That) threw the game plan out the window to box and to take opportunities to box and opportunities if they came for a KO."

Thompson (13-0, 2 KOs) of Federal Way said he wanted to go for the early knockout to please his fans and to quiet those in the boxing game who doubt his power.

"I just wanted to show I have power and I'm here to hurt people," Thompson said.

He looked good in the first round, probably better than he has in his career so far, landing big hits to Sarran's head and body with his feet firmly planted while staying in the pocket, something his coaches (Vince's father, Calvin Thompson, of Federal Way and Jack Stafford of Renton) have been working hard with him about in training.

Sarran, who trains at the Fight Factory in South Central Los Angeles, was just too tough of a customer to go down.

"I give Sarran kudos," said Thompson after the fight. "He didn't let me knock him out, even though I wanted to get it. He's a tough, strong kid. It was no easy win."

Sarran was a late addition to the card after Thompson's original opponent, Harvey Jolley of Detroit, was scratched.

Thompson admitted he didn't study tapes of Sarran before the fight and didn't know Sarran had been a MMA fighter.

"The similarities (to MMA style) were there," said Thompson, who weighed in at 242 pounds. "He kept low and kept trying to wing punches over the top. He played his game, while giving away three or four inches in height, with his bob-and-weave style. I couldn't catch him."
Sarran, 229, was busy and aggressive in the middle rounds, but his punches were mostly ineffective.

"He didn't hit hard and he grabbed me the whole fight, what can I do?" Sarran said. "When I would bring it, he wanted to hold. If he wants to hold, then he should go to MMA. If he wants to bang, stay in boxing. He didn't want to bang."

In Thompson's defense, Ditusa said, "We knew Sarran was a tough guy coming in. I think Vince was tired from throwing so many punches (early) and Sarran was tired from getting hit.

"If Vince could've mounted some kind of offense and gone to the guy's body with short, quick punches, he could've ended up stopping Sarran.
"Vince does need to knock people out and he does feel the pressure. He went for it (without success). It happens. He learned a valuable lesson."

In other bouts on the six-bout card, four other fights were decided by unanimous decision: undefeated junior middleweight Issac Tadeo (4-0, 3 KOs) of Kent defeated Carl Hill (1-3, 1 KO) of Los Angeles; unbeaten light heavyweight Mike Gavronski (11-0, 5 KOs) of Tacoma beat Nathan Bedwell (5-11, 4 KOs) of Jackson, Tenn.; women's welterweight Gloria Ramirez (12-16, 1 KO) of Garden Grove, Calif., defeated Tammie Johnson (4-5-1) of Lynnwood; and heavyweight Avery Gibson (1-2, 2 KOs) took Freddie Miller (3-8-1, 2 KOs) of Spokane. Seattle cruiserweight Eric Dahlberg knocked out Jake Wilson (0-2) of Portland with a big right hand in 36 seconds of the first round in his pro debut.

Lorin "Big Lo" Sandretzky of Seattle made his debut as a ring announcer.

Thompson, under contract with Roy Englebrecht Productions, will fight again on May 18 at Little Creek Casino and Resort.

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