ESPN Friday Night Fights – Boxcino At Turning Stone April 2014
ESPN Friday Night Fights at Turning Stone Casino Recap
ESPN Friday Night Fights returned to the Turning Stone Casino tonight for the semi-finals of their Boxcino Championship Tournament. The Boxcino Tournament was announced by ESPN earlier this year and features some of the young, up and coming fighters in the Middleweight division. There were originally 8 Middleweight contenders at the start of the tournament and the fights were scheduled at a random draw. The remaining fighters in the Tournament that were on the card tonight were Raymond Gatica (14-2, 8 KO’s) vs Brandon Adams (13-0, 9 KO’s) and Vitali Kopylenko (23-0, 13 KO’s) vs Willie Monroe, Jr (16-1, 6 KO’s).
McCalla vs Fernandes
The first fight of the evening was Antonio Fernandes (4-16-2, 0 KO’s) vs Cecil McCalla (17-0, 6 KO’s). Fernandes showed that he was overmatched against the better McCalla as McCalla continuously caught Fernandes with clean, flush punches throughout the fight. McCalla won every round on his way to a unanimous decision victory, improving his record to an undefeated (18-0, 6 KO’s).
Hardy vs. Yusubov
The second fight of the evening probably never should of happened as Rahman Yusubov (9-14, 7 KO’s) tried to take on undefeated Simeon “Candyman” Hardy (11-0, 9 KO’s). Hardy didn’t waste anytime as soon the fight started, knocking Yusubov twice in the first 1:30. Yusubov did get up but not for long as Hardy caught him with a left hook sending him back down to the canvas and that was enough for the referee to stop the fight. Hardy, barely breaking a sweat, improved his undefeated record to 12-0, with 10 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Hall vs. Luna
In a matchup featuring local talent Marcus “Golden Beast” Hall (6-6, 2 KO’s) who is out of Rochester, NY squared up against Rafael Luna (3-7-3, 1 KO) who is out of Albany. Hall dominated the first round against a seemingly defenseless Luna, mixing it up well with a combination of shots to the head and the body. Luna was able to bounce back in the following rounds making it more of a competitive fight landing some good punches on Hall. Hall was able to land some powerful shots on Luna during the fourth and final round, proving to be the deciding factor as Hall won unanimously improving his record to (7-6, 2 KO’s).
Heaven vs. Dennis
The first fight of the night televised on ESPN was a matchup of two heavyweights between Nat Heaven (8-0-1, 6 KO’s) and Donovan Dennis (11-1, 9 KO’s). This was the most exciting one round of boxing you could watch as both of these mountains slugged it out until about 3 seconds left when Nat Heaven landed a thunderous right cross that dropped Dennis like a ton of bricks just as the bell rang. However, the bell couldn’t save Dennis and he managed to get up after a 7 count but could barely stand and the referee stopped the fight. Heaven collapsed on the canvas in jubilation and improved his undefeated record to (9-0-1, with 7 KO’s).
Gatica vs. Adams
The first semi-final fight of the Boxcino Tournament featured welterweights Raymond Gatica (14-2, 8 KO’s) vs Brandon Adams (13-0, 9 KO’s) for a scheduled 8 round bout. Both of these fighters came into the fight in amazing shape and spent the majority of the first round sizing each other up, with only a couple punches landed each. The fight got intense starting in the third round as both fighters got comfortable and landed a barrage of punches on each other. In the following rounds, Gatica was the one pressing the action and throwing more punches but Adams was more fundamentally sound, moving very well, avoiding the majority of Gatica’s punches and hitting him with bone crushing punches when he threw them. The judges also agreed and gave Adams the split decision victory improving his record to an undefeated (14-0, 9 KO’s) and sending him to the finals of the Boxcino Championship Tournament.
Kopylenko vs. Monroe Jr.
The second semi-final fight of the Boxcino Tournament was the most anticipated fight of the evening as welterweights Vitali Kopylenko took his undefeated record of (23-0, 13 KO’s) against Rochester native Willie Monroe, Jr (16-1, 6 KO’s), with the winner moving on the the finals of the Boxcino Tournament to face Brandon Adams. However, the fight didnt live up to the hype and how I dont want to describe the fight as boring but it lacked any action. If one person had to be the winner it should of been Willie Monroe, Jr. who landed the better punches when any were landed. The judges also agreed and gave the unanimous decision to Monroe, Jr. improving his record to (17-1, 6 KO’s) and setting up the Boxcino Championship Tournament finals matchup between him and Brandon Adams. The Boxcino Championship Tournament Finals for both the middleweight and lightweight divisions will be held at Turning Stone Casino on May 23rd as ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will be broadcasting there again. The lightweight finals will feature Petr Petrov (34-4-2, 15 KO’s0 against Fernando Carcamo (17-5, 13 KO’s). More information including the fight card and ticket prices will be releases soon so stay tuned for updates.