Nick Brinson made the most of his second chance to win a championship belt.
Lourenzo Davis lost a non-title fight, but left the ring feeling like a winner.
It was that kind of evening at the Burt Flickinger Center, which hosted the Fight Night boxing card Saturday night.
Brinson, a native of Geneva, captured the New York State middleweight championship with an eight-round majority decision over Michael Walchuk of Kitchener, Ont.
It was a satisfying victory for Brinson, who suffered a loss to unbeaten Lennox Allen last November in the New York State super middleweight title bout.
Brinson made sure that wouldn't be a repeat as he held off the aggressive Walchuk in front of an estimated crowd of 400.
It was a close fight, though one judge gave Brinson every round with an 80-72 score. A second judge had it 78-74 for Brinson. The third judge scored the fight even at 76-76.
"This means everything to me," said Brinson, who improved to 8-1-1. "It was close between me and Lennox. I had him beat, but ran out of gas. I figured I'd pace myself this time around so I wouldn't have any problems."
Brinson assumed control from the first round as he peppered Walchuk with combinations to the head and body. Walchuk pressed the action throughout, but often ate leather from Brinson's counter shots.
When Brinson was caught, he was able to back up Walchuk with a series of hard shots.
"I noticed when [Walchuk] threw his punches they were looping punches," Brinson said. "Sometimes he caught me with the body. He's tough and very durable. I saw on a video that when you throw combinations he covered up, so I was able to take advantage of that."
Davis lost his professional debut, dropping a four-round split decision to previously winless Taffo Asongwed of Montreal. But it was a minor setback compared to what Davis has gone through.
The Niagara Falls heavyweight was making his long-awaited debut after three years of recovering from eye surgery.
After a solid amateur career, which included a novice Golden Gloves title as a 14-year-old, Davis tried turning pro three years ago. But he failed the pre-fight physical in California after doctors discovered a hole in his retina. It turns out he fought blind throughout his time in the amateur ranks, where pre-fight testing is not as stringent as the pros.
He eventually had two surgeries on each eye. His sight was repaired, he's looking forward to what he hopes will be a long career.
"It's a miracle that I'm back in the ring," he said. "I'm just so thankful just to be able to fight again after being told I wouldn't be able to do this again. Thanks to technology I have 20-20 vision now. I wanted to win, but I'm just happy to be back in the ring."
Davis admitted the long layoff hurt him as Asongwed (1-7-7) beat him to the punch several times. But Davis promises a better result the next time he steps in the ring.
"I thought it was a close fight," said Davis, whose older brother, Johnnie, fought Asongwed to a draw last year. "I definitely had some rust. But I'm back in the gym and I'll get in better shape and be a lot sharper."
Also on the undercard, Geneva's Tony Brinson suffered his first loss in three ring appearances as Julius Bunda of Kitchener, Ont., pulled out a close decision. Lightweight Jamel Tyson of Rochester stopped Scott Paul of Niagara Falls, Ont., in the fourth round. In a cruiserweight bout, Steve Franjic of Orangeville, Ont., won by decision over Rayshawn Myers of Cleveland.
There were three amateur fights. In the light heavyweight division, Nick Bayer of Casal's Boxing of Niagara Falls decisioned previously unbeaten sub-novice state Golden Gloves champion Lamar Pace of Buffalo.
Light heavyweight Kingsley Alexander of Waterloo, Ont., beat Rochester's Karlen Minasyn by decision and Lawrence King of Rochester decisioned Dana Hassan of Hamilton, Ont.