Boxing results from the weekend: Abraham Nova, Filip Hrgovic, Wilfredo Mendez
After last month’s sold out Murphys Boxing’s debut at Encore Boston Harbor, the brand new 2.6 billion dollar resort casino located on Boston’s waterfront, another capacity crowd watched NABA Super Featherweight Champion, Abraham Nova (16-0, 12 KOs) stop Mexico’s Luis Castillo (20-4, 15 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled 10 round title fight.
After a tentative first round that saw both fighters land combinations, with just seconds left in the opening stanza, Nova sent Castillo to the ropes with a hard jab and then dropped the Mexican fighter with a textbook jab and cross. Castillo was hurt badly and could not beat the ten count.
“It was much shorter fight than I expected but I don’t get paid for overtime so… I’m ok with it.”, laughed Nova, the flashy young contender who is now ranked #6 in the world by the WBA.
As for his thoughts on a title shot in the red hot division that includes champions like Gervonta Davis, Tevin Farmer and Andrew Cancio, ‘Super Nova’ who hails from Albany, New York was confident in his abilities to beat any of the current belt holders.
“As soon as I get the call, I’m ready. I’m not picking or calling out any of them, I just want a title shot. If I had to fight all of them at the same time to get a belt, I would. No matter which one I get, I will win a world championship next year.”
Nova’s promoter, Ken Casey is on board with his fighter’s plans for a title shot next year.
“We’re gonna have him fight in Belgium in December on the undercard of the WBA cruiserweight title fight. After that we want a title shot but if that doesn’t come at the start of the new year, we would go to Albany and do a show in his hometown. He deserves it and he has a huge fan base there. Then we should absolutely be in position to challenge for a world title.”
In the co-main event, Murphys Boxing’s Carlos Gongora (17-0, 13 KOs) stopped the usually durable Alan Zavala (15-4, 13 KOs) in the first round of a middleweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds. All it took was a 4 punch head shot combination that landed flush and the Mexican who fights out of San Diego hit the canvas and was unable to beat the count. Gongora, a former Olympian from Ecuador, entered the world rankings at #15 in the WBA last month and after the surprisingly quick knockout is looking to stay on the fast track and return to the ring again this fall.
In other action on the card…
New York welterweight prospect, Brian Ceballo (10-0, 5 KOs) kept his undefeated streak intact against Luis Edward Flores (24-14, 20 KOs) by landing a brutal body shot in the fourth round of a scheduled 8 round bout that left the veteran fighter withering in pain on the canvas.
Popular local prospect Khiry Todd (9-1, 7 KOs) dropped and stopped Alex Duarte (14-8-1, 11 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled 6 round welterweight bout. Todd, who hails from nearby Lynn, Massachusetts, is one of the best fighters out of the exciting New England welterweight picture. Locally the division is home to the likes of promising young fighters like James Perella, Anthony Velazquez, Mike Ohan Jr., Joe Farina, Derrick Whitley Jr., Brandon Higgins and more who together would make for an amazing regional tournament in 2020.
One of those previously mentioned welterweights, and the busiest of the bunch, former amateur standout, James Perella (5-0, 4 KOs) stopped Jose Aubel (8-6, 7 KOs) in the fourth round of a scheduled 4 round welterweight bout. It was Perella’s 5th victory in just 5 months as a professional. Up against a bizarre height disadvantage, the game fighter from Argentina tried hard but could not get inside Perella’s massive height and reach advantage. Aubel’s corner complained vehemently to officials after the stoppage, rightly claiming it was a behind the head blow that caused the final knockdown but that didn’t take away the fact Perella dominated every second of the fight. The lanky southpaw from nearby Mansfield continues to build a following of supportive fans and has shown considerable improvement in each of his five fights.
The night was rounded out by 5 different fighters making their pro debuts, 4 of them against each other, in fan friendly battles that proved Boston is knee deep in a boxing resurgence that has seen fighters enter the pro ranks on virtually every card held in the city this year.
Medford, Massachusetts’ Greg Bono (0-1) brought out a massive crowd to see the Fu Manchu mustached brawler lose an incredibly close 4 round unanimous decision to Brian Urday (1-0) who hails from Brockton, Massachusetts. The junior middleweight slugfest had the crowd on it’s feet for the entire fight and most in attendance felt it was a clear draw.
Decorated amateur, Jonathan Depina (1-0, 1 KO), who hails from Boston, stopped Michigan’s Robbie Thomas (0-2) in the 4th round of a scheduled 4 round bout in the lightweight division. Thomas proved to be a tough opponent for a debut fighter to face but Depina’s superior speed ultimately proved the difference and he forced the referee to step in to stop the fight after throwing a barrage of punches that a tiredThomas had no answer for.
In the opening attraction, Boston’s Aaron Trecell Smith (0-0-1) and Stoneham, Massachusetts’ James Perkins (0-0-1) fought to a majority draw in an crowd pleasing back and forth 4 round cruiserweight slug fest that left both fighters exhausted but all smiles after the fight.
On the ever important musical note, in a night that saw ring walk tunes range from self help spoken word to 80s hair metal to Brazilian techno to a live rapper, special kudos to Smith who came out to “Iko, Iko” by the late Dr. John. Smith, who originally hails from Louisiana, wanted to pay tribute to the musical legend who recently passed away.
It was a classy soundtrack to kick off another amazing night of Murphys Boxing at Encore Boston Harbor, easily the best new venue for boxing in the entire country and Murphys Boxing founder, Ken Casey is already in talks for another event at the resort casino later this year.
“Encore is just an incredible venue and the fans love coming here. We’ve already had two incredible shows here in the past month. We’re gonna come back at the end of the year, in late November or early December, for a massive card that we will be announcing soon.”
CLASSY HRGOVIĆ KNOCKS OUT HEREDIA IN THREE ROUNDS
‘El Animal’ Filip Hrgović (9-0, 7 KOs) brutally dismantled Mario Heredia (16-7-1, 13 KOs) earning a third round TKO victory at the Cum Hermosillo in Mexico, to defend his WBC International heavyweight title.
Twelve thousand Mexican fight fans got to witness ‘El Animal’ in action as the highly ranked Croatian sensation took just three rounds to dismantle the experienced Heredia, with a thudding right hand knocking Heredia onto the canvas before the referee waved off proceedings.
“The crowd was absolutely fantastic, it was an honour to fight for the Mexican fans tonight,” said the undefeated Hrgović. “Step by step I’m climbing to the top. I was asked what I think about fighting on the Anthony Joshua card in Saudi Arabia. I’m grateful for the opportunities and I’ll fight anyone. I’m expecting a big name so I can show the world who I am.”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland was delighted with his fighter’s performance and echoed Hrgović’s big fight aspirations.
“Filip Hrgović is the most exciting heavyweight of the new-era,” said Sauerland. “It won’t be long before he gets his opportunity to put his name in the history books.”
“Filip has taken another stop on his road to success and people are now sitting up and taking notice,” said Sauerland. “Filip is the future of the heavyweight division, and it’s just a matter of time until he gets his shot.”
WILFREDO “BIMBITO” MÉNDEZ IS THE NEW WBO CHAMPION AT 105 POUNDS
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO- Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez became the new WBO champion at 105 pounds and ended the world monarch drought on the Island by beating the Filipino Vic Salute by unanimous decision at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in another edition of the series “Casino Metro Boxing Nights”, presented by PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP) in association with Spartan Boxing.
Bimbito Méndez (14-1, 5 kos), is also the third Puerto Rican to be crowned at 105 pounds worldwide (the others were Alex “El Nene” Sánchez and Iván “Iron Boy” Calderón) by the WBO.
The Puerto Rican used a good boxing for the 12 rounds to frustrate an aggressive Salute (19-4, 10 kos), who made his second title defense. The oriental knocked down Mendez with a left hook, but without serious consequences in round five. After the 12 rounds, the judges handed out cards of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 for Méndez.
“This is a dream come true; after all this we work and now I am a world champion, the only one that has Puerto Rico in men’s right now,” said Méndez, 22, after his victory. “We follow all the time the fight plan we worked on and we were able to take the victory against a good opponent like Saludar.”
In other results, Jean Carlos “Lobo” Torres (17-0, 12 kos) scored his sixth straight win by KO by finishing off Mexican Miguel Zamudio (43-14-1, 27 kos) in the third round. Torres, #6 ranked of the WBO at 140 pounds, sent Zamudio to the canvas once in the first round, another in the second and another in the third before the end by TKO at 2:52.
Meanwhile, Nestor Bravo (17-0, 12 kos) defeated Argentina’s Cristian Miño (19-4, 17 kos) by KO at 1:59 of the second round when he knocked him down for the final count. In addition, Luis Midyael Sánchez (8-0, 7 kos) beat Carlos García (15-21-1, 12 kos) by unanimous decision when the judges voted 59-54, 57-56 and 57-56; Pedro Márquez (11-1, 7 kos) defeated Mexican Angel Monrreal (12-12-2, 4 kos) by TKO at: 55 of the second round after sending him to the canvas and the referee stopped the fight.
Meanwhile, Angel Aponte (5-0, 2 kos) won by TKO in the second round against Luis Enrique Rivera (2-7, 2 kos) after knocking him down twice in the first round and the fight ended at: 01 of round two; Frebyan González (1-0, 1 kos) won by KO over Merchisede Rivera (0-4) after sending him to the canvas twice, finishing the action at 1:02 of the first round.
Saul Sanchez Suffers First Defeat in Split Decision Loss on Friday Night
In the night’s lone upset, Puerto Rico’s Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-1, 5 KOs) narrowly defeated previously unbeaten Saul Sanchez (12-1, 7 KOs) by split decision on Friday night from the outdoor venue of Omega Products International in Corona, Calif.
The 10-round fight, which featured numerous rounds that were tough to score, produced a lot of action between the bantamweight sluggers. In the fifth, both engaged in a spirited back and forth that produced many tense moments.
“It was a terrific fight,” remarked Hall of Fame broadcaster Rich Marotta, the TB Presents livestream color commentator. “The fans got their money’s worth tonight [Friday].”
In an odd scoring sequence, all three judges produced identical scores of 96-94, with two of the judges seeing the bout for Rodriguez and one having it for Sanchez.
“I feel like I did enough to get the win,” said Sanchez after the fight. “I’ll regroup from this and come back stronger.”
In the entertaining co-feature, Luis Lopez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Demarcus Layton (7-1-1, 4 KOs) fought to a majority draw after both failed to create the necessary distance to earn the win. Lopez and Layton both were aggressive and each showed moments throughout the six-round fight.
Lopez was effective fighting in the pocket, while Layton preferred to land and set up shots off his long jab. One judge scored the bout for Layton at 58-56, while the remaining two had it even at 57-57.
Talented heavyweight Oscar Torrez (7-0, 4 KOs) dropped Miguel Cubos (13-21-1, 10 KOs) twice in route to a fifth round stoppage victory. A left-right combination in the fifth sent Cubos to one knee. Torrez had a distinct size advantage and used his jab to set-up the power attack that eventually ended Cubos’ night. The official stoppage came at the 1:49 mark.
Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Gabriel Hernandez’s (10-0, 9 KOs) knockout win streak ended at nine after his unanimous decision win over Daniel Najera (9-4-1, 4 KOs) on Friday night. Scores 60-54 and 59-55, twice.
Junior lightweight prospect Sebastian Salinas (2-0, 1 KOs) of Arlington, Tex. went the distance for the first time as a professional when he outpointed Michael Gaxiola (4-17) 40-36 across all scorecards in the “New Blood” show opener. Salinas, while wild and lacking precision in his punches, did land the stronger shots throughout the four-round fight.
“New Blood” was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Everlast.
Connor Coyle, Santiago Dominguez & Brandon Valdes all remain undefeated
All three undefeated fighters showcased last Saturday night on another installment of RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS® — Irish middleweight
Connor “The Kid Coyle, Mexican super welterweight Santiago “Somer” Dominguez and Colombian super bantamweight Brandon Valdes – each won in relatively easy fashion, fighting outdoors at Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, California.
The 29-year-old Coyle (11-0, 4 KOs) dropped Ramirez (21-5-2, 4 KOs) in the opening round, but the Irishman was penalized a point for pushing his opponent to the canvas. Coyle overwhelmed Ramirez when he came out of his corner for the second round forcing the pressure and he never let up. The relentless Coyle unleashed a barrage of unanswered punches, dropping Ramirez once again, when suddenly a white towel came flying out of Ramirez’ corner, signifying his cornermen had seen enough.
Coyle, fighting out of Derry, Northern Ireland, improved to 11-0 overall as a pro, winning all nine of his fights in the United States, and 2-0 fighting under of the RJJ Boxing banner.
Ramirez, who was a longtime sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather, Jr., fought for the first time since last November. He entered the ring riding a six-fight win streak, coming out on top in 10 of his last 11 fights.
Dominguez (17-0, 13 KOs), now living in Ft. Worth, TX, ripped two vicious left hooks to the body of Fabian Lyimo (23-10-2, 15 KOs), of Tanzania, who took a knee and failed to beat the 10-count in the second round of the co-featured event.
In the UFC FIGHT PASS opener, Colombian super bantamweight Valdes, fighting out of Los Angeles, pitched a “shutout” by winning all eight rounds on the three judges’ scorecard, in addition to dropping his opponent twice, for impressive unanimous decision victory (80-70 X 3) over his fellow countryman, Jesus Martinez (26-9, 13 KOs), the former South American super flyweight champion, who has the same head trainer as world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, Manny Robles..
SHAKHRAM GIYASOV IMPROVES TO 9-0 WITH STUNNING FIRST ROUND KNOCKOUT
Hermosillo, Mexico (August 25, 2019) Undefeated Uzbek Super Lightweight Shakhram ‘Wonder Boy’ Giyasov improved to 9-0 with a stunning first-round knockout (0:41) of former world champion Darleys Perez, (34-5-2, 22 KOs), of San Pedro de Uraba, Colombia on Saturday night at the Centro de Usos Multiples in Hermosillo, Mexico. The knockout, Giyasov’s seventh as a professional, came from a tremendous left hook to Perez’s jaw which dropped the Colombian hard to the canvas where he was unable to beat the count to continue. The victory was telecast on DAZN in the United States and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
“I felt great coming into the fight, we had a fantastic training camp and I saw the opening and went for it,” said Giyasov, who defended his WBA International Super Lightweight Title. “I’m ready to fight again soon and want to face the toughest competition possible. Thanks very much to my promotional teams, World of Boxing and Matchroom Boxing.”
Said trainer Joel Diaz, “Shakhram has worked very hard over the last few months since his decision over Emanuel Taylor. We wanted him to be more relaxed and work more on his technique and that clearly helped him achieve this knockout. I’m obviously thrilled with his performance.” Giyasov trains in Coachella, CA under the renowned Diaz.
“Shakhram was an outstanding amateur and has adjusted well to the professional ranks,“ said manager Vadim Kornilov. “With this performance we look forward to bigger fights in the near future for him.”
Prior to turning professional in March 2018, Giyasov had an extraordinary amateur career culminating with a Silver Medal representing Uzbekistan at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.