ESPN Friday Night Fights at Turning Stone (Feb 20, 2015 - Jeff Monaski, WIBX)

Boxcino Tournament Returns at Turning Stone

The Boxcino Tournament returned to Turning Stone Casino this past Friday night for the quarterfinals of the Heavyweight tournament. Regarded as the most prestigious boxing tournament in the country, the tournament was televised live on ESPN2.

The Boxcino Tournament kicked off at 9pm on ESPN2 with the first bout featuring Jason "Big Six" Estrada (20-5, 6 KO's) against Lenroy "TNT" Thomas (18-3, 9 KO's).  This fight ended up going all six rounds and was extremely close to call.  The judges thought so too, awarding a seventh and final round after it was scheduled to only go six.  Thomas took advantage of this opportunity,  landing several combinations and controlling the entire round.  The judges awarded the decision to Thomas, who advances to the semifinals of the Boxcino Tournament and improved his record to (19-3, 9 KO's).  Thomas said after the fight "My hard work paid off.  In the extra round I dug deep and showed off my boxing skills".

The second fight of the tournament featured two Goliath's as undefeated Ed "Hawaiian Stallion" Fountain (10-0, 4 KO's) battled Razvan Cojanu (12-1, 7 KO's).  Cojanu landed some thunderous shots in the first couple of rounds, mostly to the body and Fountain wasn't able to do much damage wise or slow Cajanu down.  Despite taking repeated heavy shots throughout the fight, Fountain showed alot of heart and made the fight exciting, landing some good punches of his own.  Cajanu, who seemed to dominate the fight, apparently didnt show the same to the judges, who ruled that the fight go to an extra and final seventh round.  The seventh round proved to be the most exciting as both fighters went all out, landing punch after punch and giving the fans everything they wanted.  All judges scored the final round the same, giving the majority decision to Cajanu.  Cajanu advances to the semifinals of the Boxcino Tournament and improves his record to (13-1, 7 KO's).  Cajanu, trained by Buddy McGirt and promoted by James Toney, said after the fight he "could only see out of one eye and was told by McGirt to just keep jabbing".  Fountain suffered his first loss of his career and dropped his record to (10-1, 4 KO's).  Fountain said after the fight  he "fought hard, the ref didnt help me and I will see Raz again after this tournament".

The third fight of the tournament featured Nate Heaven (9-1, 7 KO's) against Andrey Fedosov (23-3, 20 KO's).  Heaven, making his return to Turning Stone since last knocking out Donovan Dennis, couldnt make it out of the first round as Fedosov knocked him down twice, the second of which the referee caused the referee to stop the fight.  Fedosov advanced to the semifinals of the tournament and improves his record to (24-3, 21 KO's).  Fedosov said after the fight "Everything went to plan.  I shortened my distance, used my power and that's what happened".

The final fight of the evening featured Donovan Dennis (12-2, 9 KO's) against undefeated Steve Vukosa (10-0, 4 KO's. The fight didn't have much action in the first two rounds but in the third round Dennis showed off his speed against the slower Vukosa knocking him down and almost having the referee stop the fight. This continued into the next round as Dennis caught Vukosa with a heavy combination, buckling him and causing Vukosa corner to stop the fight, earning Dennis the TKO victory. Dennis advances to the semifinals and improves his record to (13-2, 9 KO's). The semifinals for the Boxcino Tournament for the heavyweights is scheduled for April 10th at a location to be determined.

Prior to the tournament starting, the first fight of the night kicked off with Bryan Abraham (6-20-2, 6 KO’s) against undefeated Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (12-0, 9 KO’s) in a fight scheduled for 8 rounds. Abraham started the fight off strong, landing good combinations and being the more aggressive fighter. However, this seemed short lived in the second round as Rodriguez knocked Abraham down twice with a series of body punches. Abraham seemed to have exhausted himself after the first round because Rodriguez continued to dominate the slower Abraham during the next two rounds, ultimately forcing the referee to stop the fight during the fourth round. Rodriguez improved his undefeated record to (13-0, 10 KO’s).

The second bout of the evening saw Guillermo Sanchez (14-14-1, 5 KO’s) take on Pable Batres (6-11-1, 2 KO’s). This fight took all of about :30 as Sanchez made quick work, landing combinations and knocking Batres out early in the first round. Sanchez improved his record to (15-14-1, 6 KO’s).

The final fight before the tournament started was between Paulo Souza (0-5-0, 0 KO) and Greg Jackson (4-1-1, 2 KO’s). Souza, looking to get this first boxing win, would not accomplish that feat tonight. Jackson battered Souza the entire fight, knocking him down three times, ultimately leading to the unanimous decision victory, improving his record to (5-1-1, 2 KO’s).

(Fight recaps by Ray Rich)