By: John Robbins – Billy C Boxing
Photo Credit: Photo’s by Alex – www.PhotosByAlex.ca
Three Lions Promotions proved yet again on Saturday night, in Hamilton, Ontario, that they truly are one of the premier boxing promotions in Canada. On an extremely fan friendly action-packed card, that included Irish dancers, several knock-outs and an all-out slugfest that ended in a split decision. It’s no wonder that the Hamilton Convention Centre didn’t have an empty seat in the entire venue. The St. Patrick’s Day Showdown, also brought out some of the very best up and coming local talent, with two of Hamilton’s Wilcox brothers, Bradley and Jessie, climbing between the ropes in front of their hometown, and what a display they put on for the local fight fans!
In Main Event of the evening, Jessie “The Roc” Wilcox impressively dominated Kristof Kovacs, and obliterated his opposition with devastating body shots in the very first round! Wilcox set up the action with a sharp swift jab, and as he dipped to hit Kovacs’ body, he repeatedly dropped his opponent to the canvas, until finally the referee mercifully halted the welterweight contest, as Kovacs was clearly unable to continue. The Knockout victory improves Jessie Wilcox’s undefeated record to 12-0-2, while Kovacs slips to 8-2-1.
The Co-Main Event was the only bout on the card to reach the final bell…And what a war of attrition this contest proved to be. Kevin Higson from Hamilton’s Steeltown Boxing club, took on the top ranked welterweight in Jamaica, Richard Holmes. The fight opened with Holmes coming out of the gate strong and swinging, and even though Higson found himself under fire early, he was able to turn the tide towards the end of the opening stanza. In the second round, the action amped up even more, as the two young fighters went tit-for-tat both landing big shots. It was Holmes who turned the heat up yet another notch in the 3rd round, but Higson was definitely game, and an all-out war broke out between the two combatants. The fight changed though in the 4th round as Holmes began to wear down behind the pressure Higson was applying, and a game of cat and mouse began, with Higson cutting off a back-peddling Holmes, while setting up a solid right cross that began to land with some serious consistency. Higson stuck to the game plan that was working, and began digging to the body in the 5th and 6th rounds, slowing down the tiring Holmes. Higson dominated the 7th round behind punches in bunches and clever foot positioning, with Higson proving to be too much for his Jamaican counterpart right down to the final bell. The official result in the super-welterweight sloberknocker ended up in a split decision, with all three judges scoring the fight 77-75. With the win, Higson’s record now sits at 16-2-0, while Holmes drops to 18-10.
Headlining the undercard, Ryan Rozicki gave the boxing fans and his opponent Laszlo Penzes a straight-out boxing lesson! In the cruiserweight match-up, Rozicki wasted no time in imposing his will on his opponent, digging in hard to the body early. Rozicki would pound Penzes down to the canvas with body shots three times in the bout, before finishing him off with a brutal left hook, right cross to the head that finished the job at two minutes and thirty-one seconds, of the second round. The finish was phenomenal as Rozicki let his opponent tee off on his head with a few free shots, while Ryan Rozicki purposely left his guard down. Rozicki then came back with a combination, landing the clean two punches that put an end to the action, while putting an exclamation mark on the end of the fight! Ryan Rozicki’s record at Cruiserweight is now 9-0, while Penzes is now 10-4.
The second of the two Wilcox boxing brothers fighting on this card, and the third member of the Steeltown Boxing Club, under the tutelage of head trainer Robert Wilcox…Bradley Wilcox, wasted no time in dismantling fellow undefeated lightweight prospect Jozsef Kontimer. Bradley opened the fight out-boxing Kontimer behind a slick jab, while patiently closing the distance. Wilcox would open up the flood gates in the second round, still wisely working behind his jab, but Bradley started to let his hands go, and quickly found a home for his right cross, right on Kontimer’s chin. A bombing right hand from Wilcox would bring a halt to the contest at two minutes and fifteen seconds into the third round. Bradley Wilcox’s record currently stands still undefeated at 6-0 after the fan friendly finish, while Jozsef Kontimer’s undefeated record got snapped, and he is now 7-1.
The opening fight on the fast action, high energy, St. Paddy’s Day card, pitted Paul Ispas against Patrick Pap in a four rounder at lightweight. The contest only needed a minute and fourty-six seconds for Paul Ispas to pick up the TKO stoppage. Ispas improved to 4-0 while Pap’s record in now 3-2.
All in all, with entertaining fights all night, fantastic Irish dancers and a plethora of Canadian Boxing history on hand to watch all the action from ringside, including Canadian Boxing Legend George Chuvalo… Three Lions Promotions once again outdid themselves, in bringing world class boxing back to Hamilton, with yet another outstanding card! Their next big attraction will be in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 18th, with Steeltown Boxing Club’s Jessie Wilcox, Bradley Wilcox, and Kevin Higson all returning to the ring. Ryan Rozicki (9-0) will be headlining that event with his WBA-NABA Canadian Cruiserweight Title on the line, versus Shawn Miller (19-4-1), a native of Sydney Forks, Nova Scotia. This undoubtedly will be another show you won’t want to miss!
This past week-end in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, the 2018 installment of the Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame Inductions took place, and the festivities were a complete Knock-Out. The Ontario Boxing HOF which was founded in 2002, and is run by Dameon Okposio of DO Promotions, who is also the creator and publisher of Below the Belt Boxing Magazine, shifted its annual ceremony outside of the Greater Toronto Area for the first time to the small town of Woodstock. And the local reception of the event, which included an appearance by the town’s mayor Trevor Birtch, in addition to the Canadian Boxing contingency that made the trip to support the event, and this year’s edition, the best one yet…
The 2018 Inductees included:
Johnny Kalbhen, a former Olympic Boxer and Canadian Lightweight Champion in the 80’s, who remains a Boxing Trainer in Toronto, at the famed Cabbagetown Boxing Club.
Willie Featherstone, the former Canadian and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion also in the 80’s, who actually defeated a future World Champion in Murray Sutherland, in his professional debut.
Sammy Luftspring, who reached the semi-finals of the 1932 Olympics, and later went on to win the Canadian Welterweight Title as a professional.
Johnny Coulon, who held the World Bantamweight Championship from 1910 to 1914, and though his professional record is uncertain, Coulon had participated in anywhere from 91 to 300 bouts in his illustrious pro career.
Gary Summerhays, of the famed fighting Summerhays family, who was both a Canadian and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion in the 1970’s.
Frankie Genovese, of Toronto, who won the Canadian Welterweight Title in 1930’s by defeating Gordon Wallace for the belt, and proceeded to hold on to the title at the end of their trilogy of fights in 1937.
“Little” Arthur King, a staple of Boxing at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in the 1940’s, who held both the Canadian Lightweight and British Commonwealth Titles at Lightweight.
Mathew Hilton, of the well accomplished Hilton family of fighters, most notably in Quebec. Mathew was actually born is Mississauga, Ontario and went 106-0 as an Amateur. As a professional, Mathew Hilton defeated Boxing Legends that included Vito Antuofermo and Wilfred Benitiez on route to becoming an IBF Super Welterweight World Champion
Travis Sugden the trail blazing Boxing Trainer who is known for bringing up Canadian Boxing Icons Eddie Melo, and Nicky Furlano, originally at Sully’s Boxing Gym, in the 70’s and 80’s.
Eddie “The Hurricane” Melo, the renowned Middleweight who took both his hometown of Toronto, and Montreal’s Boxing scenes by storm in the 80’s. Melo defeated many of Canada’s very best fighters in Gerald Bouchard, Jean Claude-LeClair and Fernand Marcotte as he tore through his opposition after turning pro at 18 years old. The Eddie Melo story, of what Travis Sugden and Melo’s management did in breaking new ground, bringing the fan favourite fighter through both Canadian Boxing Meca’s Toronto and Montreal, is one still talked about today. How the young Toronto Kid would put on the most amazing fights against seemingly insurmountable odds, and as his legend grew, so did the sport of Boxing in Canada…If Eddie Melo was on the card, anywhere, the place was always a completely packed!
Billy “The Kid” Irwin, and his devastating, picture perfect, text book left hook, especially to the body also were inducted this year. The former Canadian Boxing Superstar and ’92 Olympian won the Canadian Lightweight Title. The Niagara Falls native was also a Commonwealth Lightweight Champion and IBO World Lightweight Champion as well. Irwin’s legacy in the sport of Boxing in Canada continues to grow as he develops the next generation of Boxing talent, as a trainer in Niagara Falls, Canada.
Also during the ceremonial inductions, a special presentation was made to “Canada’s Rocky” Nicky Furlano. Already a member of the Hall of Fame, Furlano who has won more Canadian Professional Boxing Titles across the largest number of divisions in the history of Boxing in Canada, was presented with a Canadian Title Belt. In addition, Sherry Boone was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award for her ongoing phenomenal work within the sport of Boxing in Canada. A Fighter, a Trainer, former President of the Ontario Boxing Association as well as a current Director for the World Boxing Council Canada, Sherry Boone has done it all inside the sport of Boxing in Canada, and a Lifetime Achievement Award has never been so well deserved.
Wednesday night, at Toronto’s famed Royal York Hotel, the annual Shaw Festival Boxing Fundraiser hosted 3 exciting match-ups, put together by Canada’s best matchmaker Jim Gentle alongside Richard Lewis, showcasing two of the area’s biggest up and coming local talents inside the ring. In the Main Event of the evening, Steve Rolls rolled right through his Argentinean opponent Damian Ezequiel Bonelli (now 23-3 with 20 KO’s) without hardly even being contested the entire 8 round fight. Right out of the gate in the opening round of the Middleweight tilt, it was clear that Steve Rolls was the faster, slicker and more fleet footed fighter in the showcase bout on the gala evening’s card. And as the contest moved on, not much changed…aside from Bonelli, who took less and less chances to trade punches with the Toronto native Rolls. There really wasn’t much of a point in even scoring a fight like that, which on paper had the making of an epic battle between a boxer (Rolls) and a puncher (Bonelli). The reality revealed inside the ring Wednesday night though, is that Steve Rolls looked like a Rolls Royce competitor, while Bonelli was more like a family van just trying get through another tough day on the road, while avoiding all the stops and traffic lights he could. In the end, Steve Rolls under the watchful eye of his trainer Ryan Grant cruised to a unanimous decision, improving his undefeated professional record to 18 wins with 10 Knockouts to his credit.
In the Co-Main Event of the evening, Hamilton, Ontario native Jessie “Roc” Wilcox (9-0-1 coming into the fight) walked into battle to face a tough Mexican in Gabriel Jordan Valenzuela, who was 10-2, coming off 4 straight KO victories entering the contest. The 8 round Fight opened up with both boxers feeling out distance and range early on. Not taking too many chances in the opening round. But in Rounds 2 and 3 it was Jessie Wilcox who was landing the majority of the punches, he was executing a solid jab, and Wilcox definitely picked up a lead on the cards in the first three rounds. Round 4 everything changed. Valenzuela clearly knowing he was behind on the scorecards began leaning in hard when getting in close to Wilcox, inevitably causing a number of serious head clashes. The referee did warn Valenzuela for the head butt infractions, however the damage already done, was clear all over Wilcox’s face. Then right after a head butt, Wilcox falls back awkwardly as the two boxers collide for what looked like a slip, but the referee called that exchange a knockdown against Jessie Wilcox. “Roc” then gets up and goes right back to battle with Valenzuela, and gets caught… This time it’s a clear knockdown, Wilcox is having his metal tested the entire fourth round. Credit to Jessie Wilcox as Round 5 he didn’t just bounce back, Wilcox went right back to his superior boxing skills and took the fight right back to Valenzuela, landing the stronger, cleaner punches and a lot more of them than his Mexican counterpart. Wilcox maintained control of the pace, as he had done earlier in the fight in the 6th round as well. The last two rounds were definitely tight to score, as Valenzuela wasn’t going down without a fight, and Wilcox still had more spurts where he landed solid punches, while Valenzuela’s punches looked like they didn’t quite have the same power they did early on, and even early on Wilcox’s punches were clearly doing the most damage. Surprisingly though, one official scorecard had Valenzuela winning 77-73, while the other two official scorecards read: 75-75. The official decision presented by Ring Announcer Darren Dutchyshen was a Majority Draw.
In the night’s opening fight, local Toronto boxer Mponda Kalunga (now 2-1, 1KO) who fights out of Grants MMA and Boxing under the tutelage of Ryan Grant, notched his first Win by Knockout when he obliterated the previously undefeated French Polynesian boxer Nuiata Ebb (now 3-1) in their Super Middleweight contest.
Hamilton native, undefeated professional boxer, Jessie “Roc” Wilcox, will be the main event of the night, for both occasions. He will be competing in an ten-round WBA welterweight championship title bout on the Shaw Boxing Fundraiser event April 16th, promoted by the Shaw Festival Theatre at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Exactly two months later, he will be fighting another ten-round title bout, on a boxing card being promoted by Three Lions Promotions at Hamilton’s Ancaster Fair Grounds on June 16th.
With nearly 200 amateur fights to his name and an undefeated pro career of 9-0, 5 coming by way of knock out, Jessie is one of Canadas top prospects in the welterweight division. He will be looking to add two more wins to his unblemished pro career. Jessie says. “I am beyond excited to be the main event on both occasions and for the later to be in front of my home city is a dream come true. I have told my promoters and coaches that to be the best you have to beat the best, so bring it on”.
Jessies opponents for either bouts have yet to be announced.
Shaw Boxing’s prestigious and elegant boxing event serves as a major fundraiser for the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara on the Lake and has been held annually since 1986 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, raising over $10,000,000.00 in the 33 years.
According to Wilcox’s promoter and Three Lions Promotions Manager Director, Daniel Otter “Jessie is the main event on the two most prestigious shows in Ontario, he must be ecstatic.”
“Shaw boxing has always produced the most competitive boxing matches whilst fundraising for charities and we at three lions have used this business model, over the last year we have raised more then $30,000.00 for charities and held some of the countries best fights and we will continue to do this for every show we do.” Otter added.
The guest lists for both shows include Politicians, CEOs and senior executives from the ranks of their city’s leading companies including law, audit, tax and advisory, investment, private equity, and real estate.
In addition to the professional boxing fights on the cards, celebrity athletes in attendance for both the Toronto and Hamilton shows in the past have included, George Chuvalo, Dwayne De Rosario, Darnell Nurse, Fitz Vanderpool and Leon Spinks
Photos by: James Gougeon, Billy C Boxing
Global Legacy Boxing’s return to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, was an action packed knock-out night of professional boxing! In the rock ‘em sock ‘em Main Event, in front of the watchful eyes of Canadian Heavyweight Boxing Legend, George Chuvalo, a New Canadian Heavyweight King was crowned. As Mladen “Monster Mel” Miljas (8-0, 8KO’s) knocked the defending Champion, Dillon “Big Country” Carman (now 12-3, 11KO’s) clean out of the contest in just the second round! The fight started off as a bit of a chess match, much like an important world title fight would, and considering the Canadian Heavyweight strap was on the line, understandably so.
It was Carman who actually was able to land his jab and the occasional right hand behind it, with solid power, early in the opening round. But “Monster Mel” was not interested in letting that back him up at all, and he himself looked to also be the aggressor in the contest. Which made for one of the rarest things in all of Boxing, (something I had never previously actually seen live inside a boxing ring before) a clean double knockdown! As both big men moved forward looking to land with power, they both launched huge left hook bombs at each other simultaneously. Both shots landed, right on the button, at exactly the same time, and both giants came crashing down to the canvas together. Referee Mark Simmons immediately began the double count, and it was Dillon Carman who got back up to his feet first. As he shook off the cobwebs Big Country laughed and smiled at the challenger and his former sparring partner Miljas, who in turn nodded back at the Champ as he himself rose to beat the count. Carman moved in as soon as the referee cleared the way for the contest to continue, but was unable to finish off the Monster.
In the second round, Mladen Miljas turned up the heat, and continued to aggressively move forward on Carman, which paid off when the Monster landed a massive left hook, stunning the Champion. Monster Mel followed up with a straight right hand that dropped Carman to the canvas again. Once more, the Madoc, Ontario native beat the count, rising to his feet to continue the contest. But the Mississauga, Ontario contender Miljas was relentless, and pressed forward, stalking Dillon Carman, and landed another text book left hook (that hurt Carman) straight right hand (that crumbled Carman back down to the canvas). Referee Mark Simmons, a former Canadian Olympic Heavyweight Boxer himself, immediately waved the fight off, with Carman clearly concussed so no need for a count. The official time was 1:21 into round 2.
With the victory, Mladen Miljas stays undefeated, with every professional bout finishing by K.O. and “Monster Mel” has staked his claim as the top Heavyweight in Canada. Notably, Billy Martin, Miljas’ head trainer, and Chris Johnson, Carman’s head trainer, have previously worked with both boxers. And Miljas’ second in his corner was “The Canadian Kid” Steve Molitor who had left Chris Johnson during his pro career, to work with Billy Martin. So in essence, this fight was fueled by a grudge match, not just between the two former sparring partners and stable mates of sorts. But it was also a grudge match between the Canadian coaches in the corners as well, with Billy Martin and Steve Molitor getting the one up over former Canadian Olympian Chris Johnson in the process in this fight as well…
In the Co-Main event, which opened like an Albanian rock star had just entered the building, as the crowd completely erupted during his ring entrance…Kristian Prenga improved to 6 wins, 1 loss, with 6 KO’s as he had no trouble at all walking right through Mexico’s, Alfredo Trevino (now 9-4). In the opening round the Albanian native Prenga floored Trevino with a wicked body shot, which clearly took the steam right out of the tough Mexican. And in just 46 seconds into the second round, Prenga moved in and finished the job, rocking and dropping Trevino again for the knock-out victory.
On the Undercard, Niagara Falls, Ontario native Josh Lupia, made his pro debut in successful fashion as he stopped Alexis Dominguez (now 1-2-1) of Mexico in the third round. This fight was a complete mugging, as the home town Boxer Lupia went on the attack right out of the gate, and never looked back. Dominguez hit the deck several times in the first couple rounds, as the taller and slicker Lupia controlled the action behind the reach of his jab, and solid quick combinations.
Marko Szalai of Niagara Falls, Ontario also impressed his hometown fans with his absolute destruction victory over Aaron Lazcano of Mexico City, Mexico. Szalai came into the bout with Lazcano looking for an old fashioned Mexican war in the trenches right at the opening bell. And the two did just that and went to war, with Szalai eventually getting the edge on his opponent in the first round. The second round was completely different…with Marko Szalai kicking it up to a whole other level. His faster hands, pin point precision, and overwhelming aggression, put Lazcano down twice in the second round, forcing Lazcano`s corner to throw in the towel before any serious damage was done! With the K.O. Win, Marko Szalai improves his record to 4 wins, 1 loss with 3 K.O`s.
Global Legacy Boxing, being a joint venture between Port Credit, Ontario, Canada`s Les Woods and former British born Canadian Olympian, and former World Champion, Lennox Lewis, would figure to have some British talent…and Ryan Robinson on Friday night in Niagara Falls, Canada, was definitely that talent! Robinson made his professional debut versus previously undefeated Mexican Saulo Morales (who was 1-0 going into the bout) and Ryan looked a lot more like “Sugar Ray” Robinson with his superior hand speed, footwork, agility and angles of attack! In the opening round, on foreign soil, Robinson controlled virtually every aspect of the fight, somewhat cautiously at first, but Robinson began to open up his offense as the first round wore on. Ryan Robinson wasted little time after winning his first professional round, and let his hands fly early in the second round, flooring Morales for the knock-out victory, just 28 seconds into the round!
In the opening fight of an action packed night of boxing at The Falls in Niagara, Hamilton, Ontario’s Bradley Wilcox improved to 4 wins and no losses with his majority decision victory over Gerson Escobar of Mexico, who had picked up a draw with another Hamilton Boxer, Dylan Rushton just over a month pervious, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The official scores of this contest were, 40-36, 39-37 and 38-38. However, rounds 1 and 4 easily went Wilcox’s way. And though rounds 2 and 3 were closer, Escobar did more showing off than he did actual boxing. The tough Mexican made a show of taking Wilcox’s punches and smiling like they didn’t hurt him at all, and would the return the favour with flurries of his own. But not many of those punches Escobar threw would actually land on target. Overall, a solid outing for the youngest of the 3 currently active professional Wilcox’s brothers from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada… I scored the contest 40-36 in favour of Bradley Wilcox.
In an action packed card of professional boxing, GLB VII: Thunder at The Falls, hosted by Les Woods’ and Lennox Lewis’ Global Legacy Boxing, at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, in Niagara Falls, Canada; Only one bout went the distance!
In the Main Event, for the Canadian Heavyweight Championship, after an unbelievably rare, clean, double knockdown, Mladen “Monster Mel” Miljas became the new Champ after stopping Dillon “Big Country” Carman in the second round!
Kristian Prenga was victorious over Alfredo Trevino by knockout
Josh Lupia stopped Alexis Dominguez in 3 rounds
Marko Szalai obliterated Aaron Lazcano by T.K.O.
Ryan Robinson impressively finished off Saulo Morales early in the 2nd round
And in the opening bout, the only fight to make it to the scorecards, Bradley Wilcox defeated Gerson Escobar by majority decision.
More boxing news on this card to follow…
On Saturday night, in Hamilton Ontario, Canada, Three Lions Promotions brought Professional Boxing back to the steel city, for a third time now, on what turned out to be an action packed card dubbed “Hamilton Fright Night”…and did the fans ever get a pre-Halloween treat! In the Main Event, Hamilton native Kevin Higson outlasted Whitby, Ontario’s, Phil “The Assassin” Rose in an all out slugfest! The showcase bout started off with the bigger and harder hitting Rose coming out of the gate swinging away, looking to land something big on the durable and savvy Higson in the opening round. Kevin Higson though, adjusted quickly, and began to show his boxing prowess in round 2, evading “The Assassin’s” bombs, and setting up his own combinations. Rose had no intentions of letting Higson breathe at all early, as he started to pour on even more pressure midway through the third round. And Rose carried on with that same intensity, launching howitzers at the home town fighter, through-out the entire 4th round as well. Kevin Higson was definitely willing to battle it out in the trench war that had ensued though, and even caught Rose with a late shot just as round 4 came to a close! Now, clearly down on the score cards early, Higson had weathered the storm, and began to dictate the pace of the combat in the 5th round. The more experienced professional Phil Rose tried to rally in the last moments of round 5, looking to steal one from the defending Champion Higson, and then Rose returned the favour from the previous round, and caught Kevin Higson with a late shot of his own just after the bell sounded. The tit-for-tat tilt started to slide in favour of the hometown boxer Higson down the stretch though. As Kevin Higson began to dig deeper into his own bag of tricks, he became extremely elusive to the fading Phil Rose, and Higson began working in body-head combinations that included some punishing left hooks to the body, that Rose took fairly well, but definitely drained the remaining fuel right out of “The Assassins” gas tank. You could literally see the work that Higson had put in with his trainers Billy “The Kid’ Irwin (well known for his own left hook to the body) and Bob Wilcox, as Higson dug into the body of Rose over, and over. Full credit to Phil Rose however, as he kept giving himself a chance to win, and even landed some huge shots of his own towards the end of the bout, especially in the 9th round when he put Higson back on his heels a couple of times. But after the final bell tolled, it was Kevin Higson who had clearly defended his WBA-NABA Canadian Super Welterweight Title with a unanimous decision victory, improving his record to 13 wins and only 1 loss. The official scores were 99-90, 98-92 and 97-93.
In the Co-Main Event, current WBA-NABA Super Lightweight Champ, Steven “The Piranha” Wilcox locked horns with Cristian “El Rudo” Arrazola, for about two rounds, until the bout turned into a track meet. Wilcox was taller, longer, leaner, faster, and clearly the better talent inside the ropes on Saturday Night. And apparently Arrazola realized he was about to be devoured by “The Piranha” in about the third round, as that’s when the match went from a boxing contest, to Wilcox pretty much just chasing the fleeing Arrazola around the ring. Until Arrazola would get cornered or backed up to the ropes; That’s when Arrazola would lunge in with a wild winging bolo punch, and then bull charge in, and hold on to Wilcox for dear life. Steven Wilcox would go on to drop Arrazola in the 6th round with a powerful body shot. Wilcox’s relentless aggression would also be rewarded on the cards again in the 8th and final round. As after Arrazola used every tactic he could to survive, including running behind the referee after the ref. would break the boxers up (because Arrazola wouldn’t stop holding). With Arrazola’s corner literally yelling out a countdown till the end of the fight, the Mexican combatant got called for taking a knee, giving Steven Wilcox his second 2 point round of the bout, and inevitably the undisputed decision. Officially Steven Wilcox improved to 18-2-1 with the unanimous decision, 80-70, and 78-91 twice on the scorecards.
On the undercard, Etobicoke, Ontario’s Kane Heron looked extremely impressive in dismantling Juan Manuel Mares of Mexico in 6 rounds. Heron controlled the action right from the opening bell, and his timing, ring generalship, and raw speed was clearly way too much for Mares to deal with. Heron absolutely haunted Mares with pressure, behind powerful combinations, and simply wore down his Mexican counterpart before dropping him to the canvas once and for all in the 5th round. Kane Heron is now 9-0 as a professional with 5 KO’s, and is already penciled in to compete again in December. Heron is definitely another young Canadian prospect to keep an eye on as he moves his way up the professional rankings!
Future Canadian boxing talent continued through-out the undercard, and Jessie “Roc” Wilcox undoubtedly was looking to get in on the action. The second of the three local Hamilton based Wilcox brothers to fight on this card, also impressed the packed crowd on hand in dominating fashion! Jessie Wilcox started off the bout versus Uriel Hernandez (13-3 going into this fight), looking slicker, sharper and quicker, right into the second round. When Hernandez pulled out a trick of his own and Wilcox got caught with a shot, while already off balance, and stumbled to the canvas briefly. Hernandez then pressed the action, to try and hold on to the 2 point round, and gave Jessie everything he had to offer right into the 3rd round. “Roc” still looked rock solid though, and by the 4th round it was once again Jessie Wilcox upping the ante, throwing and landing more punches, and scoring the much bigger blows. Wilcox would go on to dominate the majority of the rest of this bout, working strong both inside with outstanding body shots, and outside working wisely off his jab, while pounding Hernandez with his follow-up right hand! Credit to Hernandez for getting his wind, and launching a few attacks of his own in spurts down the stretch, but it was “Roc” who rolled right through the durable Mexican. Officially 78-73 unanimously on the scorecards, improving Jessie Wilcox’s record to 9-0-1 with 5 wins by knockouts to date.
In just her second professional bout, Jessica Camara who resides in Montreal, Quebec faced off against undefeated Mexican Erika Hernandez (6-0-1). Right from the opening bell, Camara took control of the fight applying relentless pressure to her opponent, who looked tentative to let her hands go, and potentially leave herself open. Camara continued to outclass and outwork Hernandez right up until the fourth and final round. Where Hernandez gave everything she had to try and get back into the fight. But it was too little, too late as Camara would improve to 2-0 with the unanimous decision, 39-37 twice and 40-36 on the official scorecards.
Hamilton’s Dylan Rushton in his third contest as a pro, found himself on the short end of a decision that apparently many in attendance didn’t agree with, when he got a draw against Mexico’s Gerson Escobar. (Judging from the amount of boos that flooded the Hamilton Convention Centre as the official scores of 39-37 and 38-38 twice were read). In fairness, both the opening and final rounds were close, with Dylan Rushton landing huge hooks in the second and third round that snapped Escobar’s head back from the impact. Neither boxer had the power to finish the other within 4 rounds though. And this tilt ended with the both Rushton and Escobar literally swinging away at each other, full throttle. This was definitely an exciting fight, regardless of the outcome.
The second fight of the night pitted local Hamilton lightweight, Paul Ispas in his pro debut, against Ricardo Burgos of Mexico. Ispas was the much slicker fighter throughout the bout, and definitely consistently landed the cleaner punches, as both boxers attempted to trade hooks for most of the contest. Ispas turned out to be much too much for Burgos, and after the dust settled, the official scores were 40-36 twice, and 38-38 giving Paul Ispas the majority decision.
In a perfect way to kick start a great night of boxing and entertainment, Hamilton’s own, Bradley Wilcox, the youngest of the three brothers fighting on the card. Who was undefeated at 2-0 going into the bout, took on a much more experienced Mexican opponent in Aurelio Hernandez (6-2 before this fight). And Wilcox from the get-go, proved to be the class inside the ring. Bradley Wilcox opened the first round landing a lot of straight shots that clearly packed a lot more power than what Hernandez had to offer in return. Wilcox quickly caught up to Hernandez, outmatched his style, and landed a flurry of punches in bunches that dropped Hernandez in round 2. Bradley Wilcox would continue to control the pace down the stretch, landing the much cleaner and more powerful punches, picking him up the unanimous victory. Official scores were 40-35 twice and 39-36.