Back to the future in Fargo

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 9, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — It looked like a Hall of Fame night in Fargo, North Dakota as Aaron Pryor Sr brought his son into a do or die battle opposite former 1976 Gold medalist Howard Davis son, Dyah Davis.

Buddy McGirt was in the corner for his son, James McGirt. There were not only future stars in the ring but outside the ring, great fighters sat in the corner.

In 1976, Pryor lost a shot at the Olympics to Davis and for Pryor Sr. this would be a satisfying win if his son could beat Davis‘ kid. Aaron Pryor fought like a windmill, throwing punches from all angles and often with devastating effects but his son is nearly a foot taller and fights as a Super Middleweight.

With a lanky 6-foot- 4 frame, the former basketball player turned boxer fights a style the complete opposite of his dad as he uses his 80-inch reach to keep opponents off.

Dyah Davis is a bigger fighter than his father and while he depends upon boxing skills, he appeared to have little more pop in his punch than his father. At 6-feet- 1, Davis often is the taller fighter but on this night, he was the smaller fighter.

And this showed up almost immediately as Aaron Pryor Jr. jabbed to keep distance. In the middle of the round, Davis unleashed a overhand right over a Pryor left jab and Pryor knee buckled but Davis could not take advantage of the punch.

In the last minute, Pryor’s jab took control and he took a half step back to nail Davis with a solid right of his own right. From the second round on, Pryor’s jab was the decisive punch for it allowed him to control the real estate between him and his opponent.

Davis could not effectively move into range to be able to deliver any combination with any consistency. As he moved forward, he simply moved right into a buzz saw of right hands.

Pryor was able to use his jab to set up a nasty right hand that often found its target. By the middle of the fight, Davis’ left eye swelled and by the end of the fight, he was bleeding from that eye and his mouth.

Davis’ father even came into the corner to give his son encouragement before being asked to go his seat by officials. Davis looked perplexed and simply threw his right with the idea of finding the right punch to stop Pryor, but his boxing skills proved too much for Davis.

As the fight ended, it was obvious from Davis’ blooding face that he was the loser and the scores reflected the one side aspect of the fight as Pryor took seven rounds out of eight on two judges’ card and the third judge gave Pryor six rounds.

Both fighters came to the boxing game late so time is slipping away in both of their career as they are still in the prospect stage of their career. For Pryor, being a prospect at the age of 32 shows the perilous nature of his career as one loss will end his shot into contender status.


In the opening bout, Marcus Johnson wanted to make a statement. With fellow prospect Edwin Rodriquez fighting in the main event, Johnson goal was to knock Kevin Engel out.

From the opening bout, Johnson used his hand speed and flashing combination to turn Engel into his personal punching bag. Engel, who survived six rounds against Edwin Rodriquez in a previous bout, found himself on the defensive.

He found himself covering up for every punch he threw, Johnson countered with two or three shots. Johnson unleashed the perfect right that sent Engel on his butt in the opening minute of the third round and from that point, it was survival time for Engel.

He retreated throughout the round as Johnson attacked.

While Engel survived to go back to his corner, Johnson rocked him repeatedly and in between rounds, the referee stopped the fight. Johnson sent his message to all in the Super Middleweight that he may be a force to be reckoned with.

In the night cap, Edwin Rodriquez pounded slick boxing James McGirt, Jr. from the opening bout through when the fight was eventually stopped in the ninth round. As the fight wore on, McGirt wilted as the pressure took away his legs and power.

He showed courage, but his inability to hurt Rodriquez early in the bout allowed Rodriquez walk through early barrages. The best round for McGirt was the third but after that, it was a matter of time.

After the eighth round, Buddy McGirt told his son that he was not allow him to take a beating and the referee stopped the fight after a nasty Rodriquez combination against McGirt sent a message that further resistance was futile.

Both Marcus Johnson and Edwin Rodriquez showed that they could become factor in one of boxing deepest division whereas neither Davis nor Pryor showed the skills of their famous fathers but they did show heart.