NORTH ANSON — Fighting in front of a crowd of approximately 1,000 fans — most of them on his side — Brandon Berry improved his professional boxing record to 5-0.
Berry, a West Forks native, defeated Josh Parker of Skowhegan in a four-round, unanimous decision at Carrabec High School on Saturday night. The three judges scored the fight 39-34, 39-35 and 39-36, all in Berry’s favor.
It was the first professional boxing match for Parker, an experienced mixed martial arts fighter.
“I felt like I had control the whole time. I knew it was close. (Parker) came out and surprised me with his boxing ability,” Berry said. “I didn’t expect him to be as polished as he was. I figured he’d lose concentration and get into wild stuff.”
Berry controlled the fight most of the way, and while he never knocked Parker down, he came close with a strong right counter to the head midway through the second round.
“I think my power was getting to him whether he wanted to show it or not. I think I was slowing him down, especially when I was attacking the body. When I stayed busy, he didn’t,” Berry said.
The fight did not begin as Berry expected. Berry thought he would come out aggressively, but instead, the first half of the opening round was a feeling out process for both fighters.
“I’m going to get hell for this, I told everybody I wasn’t going to feel him out. I was going to go out and take care of business,” Berry said. “I was going to hurt him early. That wasn’t the case. He came out slow and calm and it threw me off. Normally guys like him aren’t relaxed.”
While Parker landed a few blows, Berry attacked in bunches throughout the fight, often landing combinations and working Parker into the ropes or corner. While he earned the unanimous win, Berry felt it wasn’t his best fight. He said he’ll work towards improving before his next one, which will be on June 14 in Portland.
“I got the win, but we’ve got some work to do,” Berry said.
The Berry-Parker bout was the third of three professional fights. In the first, Portland’s Jorge Abiague won a unanimous decision over Shane Tenney, formerly of Skowhegan who now fights out of Arcadia, Florida. In the second fight, Brandon Brewer, the Canadian Professional Boxing Council Light Middleweight champion, defeated Noel Garcia, of Springfield, Mass., with a third round TKO.