Michal Gazdik wiped out in two by Malik Zinad. Simon Euan Smith reports from York Hall
Former European super welterweight champion Sergey Rabchenko made a successful return to the ring on Saturday and then promptly targeted world-rated Tim Tszyu, son of the legendary Kostya Tszyu. Rabchenko (30-5, 22KOs) won a comfortable points decision over journeyman Aliaksandr Dzemka (6-11, 2 KOs) over six rounds in Minsk, Belarus and is no stranger to the Land Down Under. In 2014 he lost a very contentious split decision to Anthony Mundine, in a fight many thought he did enough to get his hand raised.
“I feel I have unfinished business in Australia. It is a beautiful place, with great people, but I want to knock out one of their up and coming talents in Tim Tszyu,” said Rabchenko. “I look at Tim Tszyu and think he is talented, not as good as his father obviously, but it is someone I can beat and take his place in the world ratings,” he continued. Currently, the man nicknamed “Tszyu2” is rated 8th by the IBF and 12th by the WBO.
“Sergey boxed well on the weekend, the idea was to get rounds in and shake off any rust since his last fight in June,” said his manager Philippe Fondu. “As a team we have set our sights on Tim Tszyu. The Australian boxing public is familiar with Sergey after his great fight there with Mundine, so we believe it’s probably a fight that can be made quite easily,” Fondu continued.
“I see Tszyu has a fight against another Australian scheduled. If he wants a real challenge after that, all he has to do is get in contact with my team,” stated Rabchenko. “My record is now 30 wins and 5 losses and I plan on making Tszyu win number 31”.
By John Unland
Calkins Sports Productions and Alien Boi Boxing teamed up once again to present a nine bout card from the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday night. As always the show featured a lot of local talent and even featured an appearance by Michael Nunn. Nunn received a nice ovation from the crowd and everyone in attendance was happy to have him back. An exciting main event featuring the up and coming Shawn West against local veteran Lance Williams, the professional debuts of some popular area amateurs, some early knockouts and the return of some fan favorites made this another successful and well-attended show.
The opening bout of the evening saw Cruse Stewart of Cedar Rapids put an early end to the night of Tyrone Beauford. This one started off a little slow with both fighters trying to work behind their jab and find their range, but it was evident early on that Cruse was too strong and too skilled for Beauford. Beauford got caught in the corner and Stewart dropped him to a knee with what must have been a wicked body shot. Beauford could not beat the count and was officially counted out at 1:16 of the first round. Stewart continues his impressive start as he improves to 5-0 with 5KOs. Beauford, who made the trip from Benton Harbor, MI drops to 0-2.
Next up was a lightweight bout between Hugo Gutierrez of Davenport and Lupe Jimenez of East Moline. Both fighters were looking for their first pro win and both were working hard to get it from the opening bell. Jimenez was the more aggressive had Gutierrez backing up for most of the round, and while Gutierrez was willing to exchange, he wasn’t having much success in landing or slowing Jimenez down. Gutierrez was deducted a point for a headbutt, but it wouldn’t matter as Jimenez caught him flat-footed with a left-right combination that put him down for the count. “Lighting Hands” picks up his first win as a professional and is now 1-3-1 (1KO). Gutierrez slides to 0-3.
‘Stunning’ Stephen Edwards and Gustavo Rodriguez were up next in a four round middleweight bout. This was an interesting matchup as Rodriguez had been out of the ring for over 3 years and Edwards was looking to rebound from his first career loss back in February. Rodriguez was grateful for the opportunity and did his best to upset the popular hometown fighter. This was an all-action bout as Rodriguez pressed the action and tried to set the pace, but Edwards was able to walk through most of his punches and counter with combinations that would back Rodriguez up. Edwards was able to land the cleaner harder shots and had Rodriguez in trouble a few times, but was never able to put him down. In the end, the judges saw it 40-36 twice and 39-37 all for Edwards, whose record now stands at 11-1-1. The fans appreciated the effort of both fighters, but the rugged Rodriguez out of Machesney Park, Illinois earned a lot of respect and will hopefully be back.
Roberto Negrete and Jason Phillips were up next and both fighters were looking to impress in their professional debuts. Both were successful amateurs and both young men looked like they had something prove. Negrete was the slicker puncher and held a speed advantage that allowed him to counter the aggressive but wild swinging Phillips. Phillips was looking for one big shot to end it, while Negrete was content to sit back and counter while throwing punches from almost any angle. This was an exciting fight, and while neither fighter was ever really in any danger of being stopped, Negerete appeared to do a little more damage than Phillips. Both fighters had a high work rate, but Negrete was the more accurate puncher and while Phillips was able to avoid most of the power shots Negrete was throwing, he could not land enough of his own punches to make up the difference on the scorecards. In the end, all three judges saw it 40-36 for Negrete, who fights out of West Liberty and begins his career 1-0. The hometown Phillips did a lot of things right in his debut, but starts 0-1.
Eduardo Ramos, another local amateur star, was making his debut against Earnest Walls of Chicago. Walls may have been brought in as an opponent, but Ramos had to work hard for this one. Ramos was clearly the more skilled fighter, but Walls was tough and refused to back down. Walls was willing to mix it up but couldn’t match the speed and power of Ramos, who picked up the decision by scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37. Ramos is now 1-0 after his successful debut, while Walls drops to a very deceiving 0-4.
Up next was a highly anticipated female bout featuring two Davenport fighters. Kristine Ion-Rood who was coming off an impressive debut in February was matched up against the debuting Daisha Duran. Ion-Rood has quickly become a fan favorite and everyone who saw her last fight was expecting another quick knockout. Duran played the first round safe and made it a boxing match instead of the brawl that Ion-Rood prefers. Duran would throw some jabs and back out before Ion-Rood could throw any power shots, but Kristine showed she can box too, and was able to land jabs of her own. Ion-Rood won the round with her aggressiveness and persistent stalking of Duran. Duran came out in the second and obliged Ion-Rood with the brawl she was looking for. Both fighters stood toe-to-toe and exchanged haymakers , but Ion-Rood was landing at a higher rate, and Duran, who could not withstand the power, crumpled to the canvas. She was able to beat the count, but was up on unsteady legs and the referee wisely waved off the bout 37 seconds into the round. Ion-Rood has single handedly put women’s boxing on the map in the area and as impressive as she has looked so far it is hard to imagine her being beat at this level. Hopefully she will get a chance to step up in class soon. She is now 2-0 with both of her wins coming by impressive knockouts. Duran showed a lot of heart but she starts off 0-1 with the loss.
Waterloo lightweight Rodrigo Rubio made his return to the ring over two years after making his debut as he took on Cedar Rapids veteran Jeff Farmer. Rubio is a very smooth, technical fighter and Farmer is a guy who likes to throw a lot of punches, so this made for an exciting matchup. Rubio was able to walk through Farmer’s punches and land huge shots of his own that had Farmer staggered on multiple occasions. Rubio tried to use his speed and power to trap Farmer in the corners or on the ropes, but Farmer used his experience to keep the fight in the center of the ring. There were a lot of punches thrown and landed by both guys in this one, but Rubio was clearly landing the better punches. The fans were waiting for the knockout and almost got it in the fourth round. At the 10 second warning both fighters stood in the center of the ring and went for the knockout. The knockout was Farmer’s only chance to win the fight so he went for broke, but Rubio landed a nice 4 punch combination to his jaw that put him face down on the canvas. Farmer beat the count and the referee let it continue but Farmer was saved by the bell a second later. Rubio picked up the decision by scores of 40-35, 40-35 and 39-36 to move to 2-0. If Rubio stays active he could be a legitimate prospect and there are a lot of solid lightweights on the local scene to really make some good fights. Farmer who was coming back after a year layoff drops to 4-18.
The co-main event of the evening saw Eddie Hamilton of Rock Island, Il take on Andre Espeut of Cedar Rapids. This was another exciting, all action bout that had the fans on their feet. Hamilton had been out of the ring for about a year dealing with some injuries and Espeut was coming off a KO win in his last fight at Rhythm City, so both were looking to make a big statement. It was all Hamilton in this one but Espeut made him work for it. Espeut is a durable fighter and while he couldn’t match Eddie’s power he was able to keep moving and when he did get caught exchanging with Hamilton he was usually able to get out of trouble without taking too much damage. Hamilton took the decision 40-36 on all 3 cards, but it was a good fight and Hamilton who moved to 5-0 looks ready to step up in competition after passing this test. Espeut falls to 5-9, but proved once again he is a tough out and always shows up to fight.
The main event was an eventful, knockdown filled 4-rounder between up and coming mma convert Shawn West and highly respected veteran Lance Williams. West, coming off his first career loss in July on the Gervonta Davis undercard, was eager to prove he made the right decision by switching to boxing, and Williams was looking to get back in the win column. Williams, a ten year veteran, from nearby Muscatine has been in the ring with some good opposition, and definitely held the edge in experience, but he hadn’t fought in over 18 months. This one got off to a hot start with both guys getting right to it. West got the upper hand early and backed Williams in to a corner where a flurry of body shots brought him to a knee. Williams beat the count but West came sprinting out of the neutral corner and threw a huge right hand that immediately put Williams down again. Williams not only beat the count again, but somehow survived the round under constant pressure from West. The second round started off at a fast pace and West went down early, from what was ruled a slip by the referee, but when action resumed it was Williams who went down again. Williams beat the count for the third time and came up swinging knowing his only chance to win was the knockout. The rest of the round was fought at a steady pace and while Williams was in trouble a few times he was able to survive the round. The third round started off at a good pace with both fighters throwing and landing a lot of shots, but Williams went down along the ropes from an unintentional low blow. A lot of guys would have stayed down, but Williams took a couple minutes to walk it off and the fight resumed. They picked up right where they left off and finished the round strong. The fourth round was fought at a furious pace and both fighters were looking to end it. Williams went for broke and landed some good shots, but West was able to land some big shots of his own and it made for the most exciting round of the night. In the end, the knockdowns were to much overcome and Williams dropped the decision 40-32, 40-33, 39-34 to fall to 7-12. West is now 4-1, but gained some good experience and proved he belongs in the ring.
By Sam DiTusaa at ringside
One fight that failed to be televised on the Matchroom Promotions card at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena on Saturday night was the walkout crosstown ten round super featherweight battle between Giovanni Mioletti (18-0, 7 KOs) and Josh Hernandez (9-3, 7 KOs).
Mioletti-Hernandez Often on these big cards a local fight is buried off TV and most of the patrons are long gone when these fighters enter the ring. On this evening, 1,500 customers remained to watch this battle between two of the Windy City’s finest.
The action was back and forth the entire affair. Neither fighter was down or badly hurt, though the punch stat machine couldn’t keep up with the action. The non-stop back and forth action was intense and only each fighter’s intestinal fortitude and home town pride kept them wailing away at each other. At the fight’s conclusion, the mutual respect each corner had for the other was evident. The final tallies were 96-94 for Hernandez, while two judges scored for Mioletti 96-94 and 97-93.
In his heavyweight debut, formerly undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) late sub Chazz Witherspoon (38-4, 29 KOs) on Saturday night at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Usyk started slow, but the he heated up as the bout progressed. Witherspoon looked close to being stopped in round six. The game but gassed Witherspoon took more big shots in round seven and the bout was stopped after the round.
Photos: Rosita Gutiérrez/Zanfer
In a clash of unbeaten super lightweights, Omar “Pollo” Aguilar (15-0, 14 KOs) impressively destroyed Francisco “Franky” Cuadrado (12-1, 9 KOs) in the first round to become the WBC 14olb Youth champion on Saturday night at the Estadio Zonkeys in Tijuana, BCN, Mexico.
Aguilar dropped Cuadrado with a left to the jaw. Cuadrado managed to regain his feet, but was ruled in no condition to continue. Time was 2:58.
“Thank God we have the first of which we hope will be many belts to win,” said Aguilar, who may become the next big thing in Mexican boxing with performances like this.
In the co-feature, featherweight Carlos “Chinito” Ornelas (24-2, 14 KOs) scored a third round TKO over Juan Ramón “Negrito” Bernal (10-6, 5 KOs).
Dubiel Sánchez TKO1 Jonathan Hernández
René Miranda UD6 Daniel Edgar Ahumada
Albert Ramírez KO1 Juan Carlos Parra
Arthif Daniel UD6 Hugo Montoya
Endry Saavedra KO1 Jorge Zavala
José Lozano TKO1 Leonardo Valdez
Roxana Reyes UD4 Sarahí Rodríguez