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.