Sunday, July 1, 2018

Results from ringside @MoheganSun #SlugfestAtTheSun #boxing

Joe Smith Jr and promoter Joe Deguardia after Smith's TKO win
Joe Smith Jr crumples Melvin Russell in ring return;
Kali Reis dominates Paty Ramirez; Anthony Laureano moves to 8-0; more results from Mohegan Sun Arena
By Alex Pierpaoli
Photos by Vinny Bugge'
Twitter Recap

Long Island light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. returned to the prize ring last night with a first round TKO win over Melvin Russell of Portsmouth, OH, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Smith was fighting for the first time since he suffered a broken jaw in a decision loss to Cuba's Sullivan Barrera last July 15th. Other regional fighters saw action in the ring last night, including top-ranked female Kali Reis, boxing as a welterweight, in her first bout since appearing on HBO in May in what was the cable outlet's first broadcast of a female fight. Though defeated that historic night against the best female welterweight world, Cecilia Braekhus, last night, Reis returned to her winning ways with a unanimous decision, shut-out victory of Paty Ramirez.

William Foster (L) slips a shot from Tyrome Jones
Bout number one ended at 2:27 of round 2 when William Foster, 131.75lbs of New HavenCT and Tyrome Jones, 131lbs, of South BendIN, bonked heads resulting in a bad cut to the brow of Jones. Ringside doctor Anthony Alessi jammed a gauze pad into the wound and shook his head to the referee. Round one had gotten off to a cautious start with Foster the busier fighter while in round 2, Jones connected with two hard straight lefts before the collision of heads ended matters.

Both fighters' records remain unchanged, Foster at 8-0 (6) and Jones at 4-3-1 (1).

Heavyweight Cassius Chaney, 246lbs, of New LondonCT stopped Elder Hernandez, 250lbs, of Morelia, Mexico, at 2:47 of round number one. Within the first minute Chaney put Hernandez down with a right hand and Ref. Steve Willis allowed him to continue. Sensing the knockout, Chaney applied pressure and Hernandez went down again from a brushing shot. Chaney stood over Hernandez for a moment, urging him to get up and fight but Hernandez had done all the fighting he wanted to do on this night. In the moments we saw, Chaney was aggressive and willing to get small, crouch and go to Hernandez' midsection with a lunging right. Several body shots seemed to do what plain old intimidation had gotten started and it was pretty obvious why Hernandez made no effort to rise.
Cassius Chaney (L)  shoots a jab at the body

Chaney raises his record to 13-0 (7) Hernandez falls to 5-3 (3).

Joe Farina, 150lbs, of South BostonMA defeated Steve Moore, 149lbs, of OrangeNJ by 4 round split decision. Joe Farina charged right out and walked into a chopping right that put him flat on his back. Mostly a balance knockdown, Farina wasn't hurt but knew he was in lots of trouble
mathematically in a four rounder. Farina surged in the second, pounding away at Moore, and he kept the pressure on through the final six minutes. At the end of four the judges saw it 38-37 for Moore overruled by two scores of the same score but for Farina (38-37 x2).

Joe Farina raised his record to 3-0 (2) while Moore's fell to 1-4 (1).

Larry Fryers, 146.25lbs, of New YorkNY via Ireland, defeated Anthony Woods, 150lbs, of Philadelphia, PA by six round unanimous decision. Woods and Fryers roared out in round number one, landing solid shots with both hands for the first two-thirds of the opening round. The pace let up over the final minute with Fryers doing most of the leading and Woods most of the countering. In the second Fryers scored a knockdown off what looked like hard but grazing shot to the chin. Woods
Fryers (L) squares-up against Woods
rallied a bit in the second and third but did more making Fryers miss then he did making him pay for it. Fryers was the consistent puncher and the busier puncher throughout. In the sixth Woods lost a point for an intentional head butt. When the decision was read it was unanimous, by scorecards of 60-52 and 59-53 x 2 all in favor of Larry Fryers.

Fryers improved to 7-1 (2) while Woods fell to 1-7-1.

Wendy Toussaint, 151.5lbs, of HuntingtonNY stopped Andy Gonzalez, 150.75lbs, of WorcesterMA at 1:25 of round number three. Wendy Toussaint got right to work at the opening bell, slamming Gonzalez repeatedly with a looping overhand right. Gonzalez fought back but was clearly outgunned and in trouble. Toussaint kept the pressure on in the second, driving Gonzalez back and punishing for any attempts at anything resembling an offense. In the third, Toussaint caught Gonzalez with a wild right and sent him back into the ropes near a neutral corner. Toussaint opened up with both hands, sneaking a left hook past Gonzalez' guard and blasting him with looping rights. Referee Steve Willis had seen enough and stepped in to halt the fight at 1:25 of round 3.

Toussaint raised his record to 8-0 (3) while Gonzalez' dropped to 6-2 (5)
Reis (R) slams Ramirez with an uppercut

Female welterweight, Kali Reis, 144lbs, of Providence, RI defeated Paty Ramirez, 146.5 lbs of Aguascalientes, Mexico by lopsided, eight round decision. Reis started fast with a busy jab and a pressuring offense. Ramirez was game and fought back but Reis was always in control and landing more frequently. This Kali Reis looked very different than the one who thumped Tiffany Woodard in this same ring back in November. Now campaigning as a welter, K.O. Mequinonoag was a speedier and leaner-looking, fourteen and a quarter pounds lighter last night against Ramirez than she was against Woodard. Last night there was little in-fighting and few clinches and perhaps that's why there was far less body-punching than she did against Woodard. She chose mobility and straight punches to the head to dominate last night. To be critical of Reis would only be to reiterate what she herself as stated in the past, she has a tendency to hold back and counter rather than take initiative in her fights and this happened in rare instances last night. At the end of eight three judges' scorecards were 80-72 in favor of Reis.  

Kali Reis raises her record to 14-7-1 (4) while Ramirez drops to 11-6 (5).

Anthony Laureano, 138.25lbs, of East Hartford, defeated Juan De la Cruz-Rodriguez, 139.5lbs, of Haymarket, VA, in what was surely the crowd favorite of the evening. Laureano brought out the vocal fans and they showed him lots of love from the start. Rodriguez fired right back at the 8-10-1 (6).
Laureano (R) blasts Rodriguez with a jab
aggressive Laureano and these two had moments when they stood toe-to-toe in exchanges reminiscent of the junior welterweight classic Ward-Gatti, fought in this same ring back in twenty-oh-two. Laureano controlled Rodriguez throughout the fight, forcing him back and hitting him harder and more often, but lordy there were some exchanges. Very gritty effort from De La Cruz-Rodriguez and I'd say there should be a rematch but it would only be gratuitous, this wasn't a close fight, just a really fun one. Laureano dominated and the scorecards showed it, 60-54 and 59-55 x 2 all in favor of Anthony Laureano, who improves to 8-0 (3). Juan De La Cruz-Rodriguez falls to

Joe Smith Jr., 179lbs, of Long IslandNY, stopped Melvin Russell, 179lbs, of PosrtsmouthOH, at 1:45 of the opening round. Melvin Russell had been stopped only once, back in July of twenty-seventeen he went out in 2 against Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez, a super-middle with hands like bricks. Well, when it comes to punching power, Joe Smith Jr.'s thumping jolts are made of an even heavier metal than Russell had already proved vulnerable to; this wouldn't last long. And it didn't. Smith stuck a jab in the face of Russell and to his credit the Ohioan fired back but was quickly overwhelmed by short chopping blasts from the Long Islander and just plain old anxiety. Smith drove Russell back into his own corner and smacked his mouthpiece with a wild-shot. Ref. Steve Willis reached down and picked it up and waved the fighters to resume boxing only to pause, recognizing his error and moving to the corner of Russell to clean and replace the mouthpiece. The fight resumed and Smith was on Russell again. Russell tried to dip and bend out of the way of danger but Smith ripped him with a right uppercut that put him down for the second time. Ref Steve Willis saw there was no need for a count and stopped the action at 1:145 of round one.
Smith and promoter Joe DeGuardia speak to media
Smith improves to 24-2 (20) while Russell falls to 11-5-2 (7).

Afterwards, Smith and his promoter Joe DeGuardia said they hoped for an autumn fight with Sergey Kovalev. "We're looking to go to the top. The whole goal is to get the championship of the world," DeGuardia said.
"I would have liked to get a little bit more rust off," Smith said about his quick victory. "But I'm still happy with the way I closed it out. I can't be mad at that."
Light heavyweight is one of the more talent-loaded divisions in boxing today but Smith has his thoughts about who's tops.
"I believe Kovalev is the best one out there right now(at 175). I see him working hard everyday and it motivates me to get in the gym and train harder just so I can get a shot at him."
            That's a pretty great-looking match-up and hopefully fight-fans will get to see Sergey Kovalev vs. Joe Smith Jr. before year's end.

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