Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | 9:18 p.m.
It wasn’t anywhere close to a night of legends at the Las Vegas Hilton on Tuesday – although Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Sr. were both in the audience.
It was a Tuesday night, after all. Big fights, everybody knows, happen on Saturdays.
- July 8, 2008 -- Kelley gets win as boxing returns to Hilton
The 41-year-old former champion Kevin Kelley managed to win his 60th bout with a unanimous decision over some guy the promoter flew in from Virginia.
Those on press row –- me and one other local reporter -– felt it was probably closer than that.
Kelley did look sharp in the main event -– especially considering his age and that he seemingly walked out of the announcer’s booth and into the ring.
The former champ looked slow in the first three frames. But he rebounded as the fight wore on. By the middle rounds he was pushing the action, landing some decent combos.
It seemed hard for Kelley, a Las Vegas resident, to find a steady rhythm.
His opponent, Jamie Palma (13-12-1), continually ducked into Kelley’s chest, leaving the former champ -- now having fought professionally 70 times -- to land effective power punches.
In the sixth round Kelley was able to open a cut under Palma’s right eye.
Meanwhile, Tyson left before the main event. A mob followed him as he exited the casino. It’s amazing there’s still a fascination with Tyson. He hasn’t fought since being TKO’d in 2005 by some Irish dude named Kevin McBride.
Since then his struggles have been well documented.
As he tried to make his way through the dense crowd of picture takers it was hard not to feel a little bad for the former Baddest Man on the Planet.
Maybe he just wanted to go back to his home in Henderson.