- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Penn State graduate Tor Hamer traveled to England to compete in the Prizefighter international heavyweight tournament, held Wednesday at York Hall, in Bethel Green, London. He was not the favorite to take the top prize, in a field consisting of Maurice Harris, Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski, Tom Little, Tom Dallas, Noureddine Meddoune and Marcelo Luiz Nascimento. But Hamer dispatched three foes, including former title challenger Johnson in the finale, to exit with the crown and a serious pop in buzz.
"Tor Hamer proved that he belongs among the best young heavyweights campaigning in the world today," said Hamer's N.Y.-based promoter, Lou DiBella. "He may not have the size, but he makes up for it with tenacious effort and he has also shown that he is capable of landing a knockout punch. I am very proud of Tor and grateful that he was able to participate and prevail in the Prizefighter tournament." Hamer isn't undersized, at 6-foot-2, 227 pounds, but no, he's not Klitschko-sized. His smarts, his tenacity and his humility in post-fight interviews, however, have made an impression on fight fans beyond the initial impression a fab physique imparts.
Hamer downed the Brazilian Nascimento, then kayoed England's Dallas before scoring a 30-27, 30-28, 29-27 victory over the tourney favorite Johnson (now 28-2-1). With three victories under his belt in one day, Hamer improved his record to 18-1 (11 KOs), and suddenly DiBella can with some legitimacy bang the drums for his guy to enter into close-to-title-shot territory.