Boxing Results: Rumble at Rebel Recap – Fantauzzi vs Loniewski
By Jeff Carroll: On a sweltering Thursday night in Toronto, Canada, the air-conditioned Rebel Entertainment Complex (more commonly known as Rebel Night Club) was alive and thriving with an action-packed card that delivered upsets, knockouts, and plenty of drama.
Lee Baxter Promotions presented Fantauzzi vs. Loniewski, an WBC NABF light heavyweight title fight that headlined an all star card featuring the debut of James “Bad News” Hughes, the return of heavy-handed Josh Lupia, rising female star Amanda Galle, and local legend Steve Rolls.
In the opening bout, James Hughes proved he had what it took in the pro ranks as he won a shutout unanimous decision in his professional debut against a very game Mikhail Miller. The fight wasn’t an easy one, but Hughes was polished enough to make it look that way.
DiBella Ent. rising star Amanda Galle entered the squared circle next for what should have been a routine eight-rounder. The boxing gods had other plans, as Galle broke her right hand in the first minute of the first round. She rarely threw it for the remainder of the fight, utilizing only her jab and power left hooks. Despite the injury, Galle stuck and moved well for the entire match and seemed to do enough to win, but judges saw a different bout. She ended with a split draw, 77-75, an outlandish 73-79, and 76-76. A gutsy performance overall that brought with it the promise of bigger and better things on the horizon.
Following Galle was the much-heralded return of Josh Lupia. After a two and half year absence, Lupia was looking to continue right where he left off, having started his career with five wins and five straight knockouts. History repeated itself once again as Lupia easily dispatched the overmatched Luis Granados with a KO3. Lupia’s knockout power seems to be the real deal, and his career looks to be an exciting one.
Following Lupia was the local legend, Steve Rolls, who was up against undefeated Shady Gamhour for the IBF North American Middleweight Title. Rebounding from a close decision loss to Edgar Berlanga, “Mr. Rolls” was in fine form in an exciting bout where both men traded willingly and seemed to hurt the other at different times. Gamhour held his own with the veteran but was ultimately outboxed and lost a unanimous decision, 97-93, 97-93, 96-94. The belt opens up new opportunities for Rolls, who seems to age like a fine wine.
The final bout of the night was the headlining fight, where local brawler Nick Fantauzzi was taking on Polish fighter Michael Loniewski for the WBC NABF light heavyweight title. The title clash was a long time coming for Fantauzzi, who was undefeated coming into the bout. Controversy began before the opening bell; however, when Lonieswki was introduced as a late replacement after Fantauzzi’s original opponent, Greg Weeks went missing days before the fight. Boxing is a fickle sport, and the age-old tale of late replacements causing problems for seasoned pros was to be told once more as Fantauzzi struggled to get comfortable against his unknown opponent. Although he was boxing well, Fantauzzi was troubled by Loniewski’s looping overhand rights, and eventually, one of them found a home. Fantauzzi was wobbled in the 4th and then knocked down. When he struggled to maintain his balance, the referee decided he had had enough. Loniewski, a +650 underdog, was awarded the TKO4 and the WBC NABF title. Fantauzzi will be looking for a bounce-back fight and hopefully one more shot at the championship level.
Lee Baxter Promotions is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Canadian boxing world after yet another successful event. Speaking with Baxter during the night, he emphasized that there were much bigger things on the horizon, including a rumored television deal with a major network, and looks to bring bigger fights to Toronto in the near future. In a city with a rich and wacky boxing history (George Foreman once fought five men at Maple Leaf Gardens), the boxing scene was all but dead only a few years ago. Yesterday, on a hot Thursday night in the summer, a packed club show didn’t seem out of the ordinary, and it looks like the sky’s the limit for boxing in Toronto.
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