Oceanside pro boxer Shane ‘Shotgun” Andreesen marked his return to the ring south of the border Sat., June 4 with a devastating fifth-round knockout and upset win over Gonte ‘Rock Steady’ Willis.
“It was the biggest win of his career — he knocked the guy through the ropes,” longtime local trainer Richard LeStage said on the ferry ride home that night when The News checked in.
“Gonte was out cold; the waist down was in the ring, and his waist up was lying on the judges table.”
Andreesen and Willis were the fourth fight on the six bout Battle Of The Boat 82 held at Emerald Queen Casino. Promoters of the Emerald Queen know the Oceanside boxing club well, and have been using LeStage’s fighters going back to 2001.
Last Saturday marked Andreesen’s first fight in 30 months.
“Two-and-a-half years can you believe that,” said LeStage, pointing out that time away from the ring has made him that much more hungry.
Because of the long layoff, LeStage said “Gonte totally thought Shane was just a stepping stone. His camp was looking past Shane, they were booking their next fight.”
Andreesen’s Saturday night knockout — the eighth of his pro career — came 2:04 into the fifth of the scheduled eight-round Heavyweight bout.
Gonte and Andreesen are both 27. Gonte is 6’, 215 pounds; Shotgun is 6’5”, 226 pounds.
Gonte started boxing when he was a kid; Andreesen was around 18.
Willis, out of Seattle, was the U.S. National Golden Gloves champion as an amateur and was undefeated in his first eight pro fights at 7-0-1 with three knockouts heading into his meeting with Shotgun.
“Gonte was seen as a legitimate prospect because of his successful amateur career, and up until Saturday night a successful pro career, and Shane knocked him out cold,” said LeStage, adding they had eight weeks to prepare for the fight.
“This return for Shotgun was fantastic, faaaan-tastic,” said LeStage, adding, “he’s back and he’s better than ever. You don’t usually like a layoff this long, but in Shane’s case it’s worked out for the best …”
Andreesen had hoped to make his return to the ring earlier but he had two opponents back out prior to the Gonte fight.
The win ups Andreesen’s pro record to 11-3 with eight KOs.
“Man it felt great — a long time coming, lots of hard work, but yeah, it feels good to be back,” Shotgun said Thursday, adding, “I’ve been wanting to come back for a while, but I had some hard times to go through and I think it was for the better. I’m back now, though, and ready to take another run at it.
“We have couple little kinks to work out,” he said, “but I felt great. I was more focused for that fight than I think I’ve ever been before — the whole mental preparation was better than ever.
“It’s a great opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it.”
Shotgun’s pro stalemate, Super Middleweight Aubrey ‘BamBam’ Morrow, 22, who fights pretty much the same style as Gonte, played a big part in Andreesen’s training as the two spent hours sparring.
BamBam, by the way, is currently 5-1 with four knockouts, but has been sidelined with an injury.
Shotgun is booked to bang July 9 at Little Creek Casino in Olympia, Washington against an opponent to be named.