A haunting night

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"Irish Ghost" takes closest of boxing wins over "Cujo"

  Rihanna played a concert at the Greensboro Coliseum last Saturday night.

The best show at the complex, however, could be found one floor below.  That’s where Bedford’s own Scott “Cujo” Sigmon and Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick duked it out in a Super middleweight bout. 

While Cujo seemed to land the most solid punches, it was to the Ghost that victory went.

It couldn’t have been much closer.  One judge scored the fight 95-95.  The other two each saw it 97-93.  That means that they thought the Ghost (now 14-0) won two more rounds of the 10-round bout than did Cujo.

When the decision was announced, the 300+ fans who had followed Cujo (now 16-3) to this fight howled in derision, while the Ghost’s sizeable contingent from Columbia, SC, was ecstatic.

It’s easy to envision the decision going the other way.

Immediately following the fight, Cujo was forlorn but stayed on an even keel.

“I’m not going to say whether I won or lost until I watch the film,” he said.  “You can’t tell in a fight that close.

“Even if I watch it and see that I won, I know that Chris did his part.”

They don’t score these fights based on the amount of blood drawn.  Cujo would have won that, hands-down.  He ripped open the bridge of the Ghost’s nose in the fourth round, as well as a couple of gashes over each of his eyes.

The Ghost did his part to bloody the canvas, with Cujo springing a leak from the top of his forehead in the third.

Fitzpatrick was expected to dominate this fight in the early going, and he didn’t disappoint.

Still, Cujo was able to land his left jab effectively, with a few roundhouses thrown in for effect.

At the end of the third round, Sigmon let loose with a flurry that quieted the Fitzpatrick partisans.

The two battled nonstop.  By the fifth round, the Ghost had blood coating his face, shins, chest and arms.  He marched on, nonetheless.

As in the other four rounds, the final ten-second block of the fifth was sheer bedlam, as the two whaled away at one another.

Sigmon’s best shot at a knockout came in the ninth round.  A one-two combo stunned the Ghost.  The killer instinct light that flickered in Cujo’s eyes was palpable.  Sigmon headed in, delivering devastating blows.  The Ghost stood tall, accepted the pounding, but remained standing.

As the tenth round drew to a close, the fighters finally showed signs of fatigue from this marathon.


At the end

The final bell found the two men going after each other:  not to dish out more punishment, but to embrace in a clasp of brotherhood and pride.

Before the fight, there was obviously little love between the two fighters.  There was certainly slight respect from one to the other.

Sigmon had stated that Fitzpatrick was a disgrace to the sport.  Fitzpatrick said that Sigmon had a big mouth.

One camp felt the other fighter didn’t have what it takes to go ten three-minute rounds.  The other countered that its opponent was a joker.

All of that talk and preening came to a stop when these two squared off.

By the end, it was obvious that each fighter had won the other over.

The shared a bath that commingled the two’s sweat and pain and blood and hope.

Even into the tenth round, both men swung and danced as if they were in a three-rounder.  Each fighter had vowed that he wouldn’t succumb to the knockout.  Each clung to that vow as if it were the most solemn he’d ever taken.

At one point, the referee halted the proceedings so the fight doctor could look beneath the bloody mask that housed the face of the Ghost.  After getting the doc’s OK to continue, it became obvious that this fight would go the distance.

There was just too much will at play here; too much heart.

“That’s as beautiful as you’re going to see,” assessed Cujo after the fight.

No doubt.  For anyone who is a fan of the sweet science, this bout was, indeed, a thing of beauty.  One to be cherished.