ATLANTIC CITY - Antowyan Aikens responded well to his biggest boxing test.
Fighting his first six-round bout at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, the Atlantic City super-middleweight remained undefeated with a unanimous decision over gritty Steve Tyner, of Akron, Ohio, on Friday night.
Judges Pierre Benoist, George Hill and John McKaie all gave Aikens (6-0, 1 KO) a 59-55 advantage. The Press had Aikens in front 58-56.
"I didn't find out I was fighting a six-rounder until the weigh-in on Thursday night," Aikens said. "I was a little nervous about it because I've never gone six before. I tried to open up as much as I could without getting gassed in the process. I was a little off tonight, but I got through it and that was the important part."
Aikens, a 23-year-old graduate of Atlantic City High School, had trouble establishing a rhythm for most of the fight.
The verdict visibly upset Tyner (3-7-2).
The fight was the first time Aikens had veteran Pleasantville trainer Mike Hall in his corner, along with longtime assistant trainer Pat Doran and manager Butch Mitchell.
"Antowyan has a jab like a lightning bolt, but he didn't use it enough tonight," Hall said. "But I'm sure he'll improve. He's going to just keep getting better."
Aikens-Tyner was one of just four bouts on Vineland promoter Diane Fischer Cristiano's card after several projected fights fell through.
The biggest change happened when the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, the state's governing body for combative sports, canceled the women's boxing feature attraction between professional poker player Christina Kwan (0-1), of Las Vegas, and Kendra Lucas (0-1), of Wilson, N.C., because the weight discrepancy was too big.
Kwan, a former national and amateur champion, weighed in at the minimum-weight limit of 99 pounds on Thursday evening. Lucas topped out at just 90.
Control Board commissioner Aaron Davis explained Friday that the fighters needed to be within 3 pounds of each other. Because fighters are not permitted to gain or lose more than 1 percent of their body weight after the initial weigh-in, the bout was scratched.
"I thought we were going to be fine because Kendra told us she weighed 95 during the week," Cristiano said. "We were shocked when she came in at only 90.
In the thrilling main event, Virginia Beach, Va,. lightweight Dorin Spivey (42-6, 30 KOs) kept his NABA title with a 10-round, majority decision over Rod Salka (16-2, 3 KOs), of Bunola, Pa.
In other bouts, Norfolk, Va., Dorsett Barnwell (8-0, 4 KOs) was awarded a fourth-round TKO win over Shun Lewis (5-4-1, 2 KOs), also of Norfolk, when Lewis injured his left elbow.
Norfolk, Va., super-middleweight Frankie Filippone (10-2-1, 2 KOs) earned a six-round, unanimous decision over Reggie La Crete (4-2-2, 3 KOs), of New York.
A thrilling main event saw Virginia Beach, Va., lightweight Dorin Spivey (42-6, 30 KOs) keep his NABA title with a 10-round, majority decision over Rod Salka (16-2, 3 KOs), of Bunola, Pa.
Punchlines: Tickets are on sale for a Nov. 17 fight between WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) and former super-bantamweight champ Adrien Broder (24-0, 20 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall. Seats, which are priced from $25 to $200, are available through pressofatlanticcity.com/tickets.
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