Pasadena's Veazey victorious in final amateur bout

It's rare that an interviewee asks the first question after a sporting event.

Don't tell that to Pasadena's Joey "Bazooka Joe" Veazey.


The 17-year-old recent graduate of Northeast High School was quick to ask, "Did I put on a good show?" after dismantling Nigel Fennell of the Down Under Boxing Club in Salisbury in a three-round bout that represented the final amateur fight for both boxers.

Veazey, representing Baltimore Boxing Club, used his speed and a strong left hook and jab to earn the three-round decision over Fennell in their 156-pound bout Thursday at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. It was the 101st and final amateur fight for Veazey, who will be turning pro in the fall. He finishes with an 80-21 record as an amateur for a 79.2 winning percentage.


"I think tonight was one of my best performances in a long time. I think I was sharp as a tack out there. Everything was on point out there. This was a 'I took him to school' type of fight," said Veazey, who lost to Fennell in Ocean City last year. "We fought one other time and he won a very, very close decision. In his hometown basically.

"Like they say, speed kills,'' Veazey added. "One of my favorite fighters is Micky Ward, and he likes that left hook to the body so I've worked on that a lot. Plus, when I was about 11, I had surgery on my right hand, so I couldn't throw my right. I've worked my left a lot and now it is as strong as my right."

Joey Veazey is not like many of his former classmates at Northeast High School. While most are spending the summer preparing for college or lining up jobs, Veazey decided to take a different path.

Veazey started strong as the combatants danced for a brief time before Veazey struck a good left and then a combo with Fennell against the ropes. Veazey's speed allowed him to duck or dodge many of Fennell's punches. Veazey mixed in a few right jabs then unloaded two lefts to rattle Fennell, leading to Fennell being warned by the official for punching on the break.

In the second round, Veazey caught Fennell with a left hook; another left to the body then sent Fennell staggering against the ropes to give the round to Veazey.


In the final 3-minute round, Veazey wanted to finish strong and give the moderate crowd its money's worth. He landed quite a few combos, followed by a strong left jab and a sweeping left hook to walk away with the decision.

"I'm now ready to start my pro career. It looks like I'll be fighting at 154 pounds, which is junior middleweight," Veazey said. "But there is a possibility that I could get down to 147, which is welterweight."

Veazey was fighting without his father and trainer, Vince Veazey in his corner. The senior Veazey is recovering from triple-bypass heart surgery after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease two years ago. The Veazey family held a special 50-50 raffle that Ted Wilkinson, originally from Baltimore and now residing in Glen Burnie, donated right back to the family. Estimated results were around $1,000.

"This was for a good cause. It was just right to give it back," Wilkinson said. "That was the whole intention. Anyone sitting at my table were going to give it back to the family."

Joey Veazey has been through a lot recently, first deciding to stay close to home rather than go to the Ringside World Championships last week, then having to visit his recovering father in the hospital leading up to Thursday night's affair.

"It was maybe a little harder than normal getting ready for this fight, but I've done this 101 times," Bazooka Joe said. "I've done this over and over. I have my routine, I know what I have to do and I went in there and took care of business."

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Stepping in and helping out with Joey Veazey in his father's absence was promoter and Meade High School graduate Jake "The Snake" Smith. He was quite helpful and extremely proud of Joey.

Adding to the Veazey family's joy from Thursday night was the announcement that Smith has scheduled his next event for Sept. 15 at Michael's, which will also serve as a fundraiser helping Vince Veazey's recovery costs and medical bills.

"Vince's son has been in hard training, busting his butt, getting ready for this fight," Smith said. "Vince, being the boxing guy that he is, and the true person that he is, is a stand-up, class act, good dude all around. He didn't want to take his son off the card. He wanted to keep Joey in the gym and keep him focused. I've been helping guide Joey his whole career, along with Vince. He just wants me to do my part, which I'm there for him and Vince knows that. We have a whole team that is behind Joey.

"Joey definitely accomplished what he set out to do tonight. His winning totals are top of the line for an amateur. And he showed it tonight," Smith continued. "What he did out there was really impressive."

In other action Thursday, Ali Alegalli of Fairfax, Virginia, opened the card with a win over Magnus Benz at 119 pounds. The second bout had Tory "Hitman" Hilton of Baltimore defeat Joseph Huggins of the Brooklyn Boxing Club.

The third match featured a pair of 170-pounders from the same gym battle with Antoin Lewis defeating Andre Hudson in three, 1-minute rounds. As ring announcer Brad Dudley said, "No one was going to steal their lunch money."

In the next bout, Stefon McCray of Baltimore, a former Stevenson University basketball player, was upset by Thomas Mottinger at 195 pounds. McCray was a week removed from winning the Ringside World Championship in Independence, Missouri. Tyrell Boyd of Baltimore won the East Coast Championship at 175 with a win over Genc Pllana, then Dominique Sanders scored an upset win over a fan favorite, Clayton Frazier of the Baltimore Boxing Club.

Finally, John Washington defeated Nathaniel McClain and Dallas Butts won the decision over Drew Ryan, both at 200+ pounds.

Thursday's results

119 — Ali Alegalli decisioned Magnus Benz

165 — Tory Hilton decisioned Joseph Huggins

170 — Antoin Lewis decisioned Andre Hudson

195 — Thomas Mottinger decisioned Stefon McCray

175 — Tyrell Boyd decisioned Genc Pllana

175 — Dominique Sanders decisioned Clayton Frazier

156 — Joey Veazey decisioned Nigel Fennell

200+ — John Washington decisioned Nathaniel McClain

200+ — Dallas Butts decisioned Drew Ryan