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Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver Fends Off Torres After Headbutt  

Author: Ron Samul - Ringside

Mohegan Sun Arena 

image Mohegan Sun Arena (May4, 2007) - Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver (18-0, 7KOs) headlined the “Battle Zone 3” boxing showcase at the Mohegan Sun against Vernie Torres (27-9, 15KOs). His hand speed and his head movement has kept him a threat to anyone he faces. He hails from Hartford ’s north-end and has been driven by his will to be champ and the death of his close friend in the streets of Hartford .

Vernie Torres, based out of Pensacola Florida faced Oliver with two losses behind him including a loss to Gark Stark Jr. last December. These two fighters are southpaws with quick hands action. While there was no title at stake, they both had ghosts to shake off. Mike Oliver's last fight against Gary Stark Jr. was based on a controversial stoppage.

The first few rounds, Oliver unleashed his powerful and lighting fast combinations that often pinned Torres against the ropes, but Torres managed to avoid the knock out punch, and was able to counter. At the end of round three Oliver started with a powerful right hand and swooped in for a strong finish at the end of the round.

In round four, Torres had his feet planted and wasn’t moving as well has he had in previous rounds. Oliver continued to attack, but never got Torres off balance. Torres took a more aggressive role in rounds five and six. Torres had a slow jab with a quick left upper cut that landed a few times. Oliver flurried in the last minute of round six.

In the seventh round, Oliver’s relentless beating started to catch up with Torres and after a rapid fire barrage by Oliver, the referee Dan Schiavone came in and gave Torres a standing eight count. He shook it off and survived the round.

In round eight, both fighters came out aggressive, which led to an accidental head butt that had both fighters taking a corner and getting looked at by doctors. It was called off and went to the cards. It was scored 79/72, and 78/73, all in favor of Mike Oliver.

This was Oliver’s first fight since his controversial bout with Gary Stark Jr. in January that ended in a highly contested decision in his favor. The decision resulted in Stark’s promoter, Lou Dibella, voicing his disgust, while Rich Cappiello, Oliver’s promoter, boisterously defended the decision.

Rich Cappiello wants to keep Mike Oliver busy fighting through the summer, while looking for a world title fight toward the end of the year. He admits that his fighter wasn’t at his best during the Gary Stark fight, but this fight has proven that he is back and ready to leave the controversy and the past behind and look for new opportunities.

Last October, Oliver captured the vacant USBA super bantamweight title with a unanimous twelve round decision against Adam Carrera (18-1). Oliver is trained by “Iceman” John Scully.