The referee took so many points away from Tony “Mo Better” Jeter early in his middleweight fight Saturday night with Jimmy Lange, it seemed the only way for Jeter to win was to knock out the popular local boxer.
Try as he might, Jeter couldn’t get his elusive knockout. But by dominating the fight from start to finish, he was able to overcome four subtracted points and win a split decision at Patriot Center. Two judges scored the fight 94-91 for different boxers. Jeter’s 93-92 edge on the scorecard of the third judge decided it.
It was the first loss for Lange since 2010, ending his eight-match winning streak with five of the wins coming at Patriot Center. Lange did not show up for the post-fight press conference. But his trainer/father, John Lange expressed disgust at the decision.
“We feel like we got a fight taken from us tonight,” John Lange said. “I can’t put those numbers together.”
For 10 rounds, Jeter got the best of Lange in an action-filled slugfest between 37-year-olds.
“It was one of the toughest fights you’ll ever see in the area,” Jeter said. “I knew I was going to press him. I knew that I was in phenomenal shape.”
Snapping Lange’s head back with a furious barrage of uppercuts and straight rights, Jeter opened cuts above and below the right eye of Lange that left him bloodied through the final three rounds.
Jeter of Stevensville smiled and mugged through the fight as he controlled the action from the start. When Jeter closed the ninth round with a relentless assault of Lange against the ropes, he threw his arms up and jubilation and retreated to his corner even though there were several seconds left before the bell. Lange gave chase, but reached Jeter just as the bell sounded. Lange shook his head, frustrated by the antics and the power of his formidable foe.
Lange’s best moment came in the second round. When he rocked Jeter and the referee insisted on a standing eight count, Jeter smiled and bobbed on the balls of his feet, anxious for the action to continue. But Jeter reacted to the knockdown badly, hitting Lange below the belt several times in the round, sustaining two subtracted points. In the following round, another point was taken from Jeter.
“He caught me,” Jeter admitted. ”
But by maintaining unrelenting pressure, Jeter overcame his disadvantage. Lange never appeared close to dropping to the canvas, but there was little doubt that he was hurt several times by Jeter (15-3-1), especially when Lange (38-5-2) was backed against the ropes, with no exit strategy.
“I don’t think it was a dirty fight as much as it was a rough fight,” Jeter said. “Everybody says Jimmy doesn’t want to step up. Everybody says I don’t step up. That was a step up everybody. No one can say we did not fight. That was the real deal from start to finish.”