ESPN’s “Boxcino” tournament has been a critical success so far. One of the men behind the scenes responsible for identifying much of the talent that has been on display is Banner Promotions matchmaker Eric Bottjer. Bottjer has been one of the most distinguished boxing matchmakers for the better part of two decades, signing and developing many world champions. For “Boxcino,” Bottjer lined eight lightweights and eight middleweights to compete in a single elimination event, which resumes Friday night at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge in New Town, North Dakota, when the lightweight semifinals take place with 8-round bouts featuring Petr Petrov (33-4-2, 15 KOs) fighting Chris Rudd (13-1, 8 KOs) and Fernando Carcamo (16-5, 13 KOs) taking on Miguel Gonzalez (23-3, 16 KOs).
Bottjer gives his overview of the quarterfinals and he breaks down what to look for in the semifinals.
“Petrov and Rudd were both big surprises because most people picked their opponents (Fedor Papazov and Yakubu Amidu respectively) to win in the opening fights,” said Bottjer.
“Both guys now face opponents with completely different styles than what they faced in their opening matches, so the key to their fight is who can make the adjustment. They both capitalized on fighting very aggressive fighters. Now they are each fighting more accomplished boxers.”
“Carcamo is the biggest puncher of the whole group of lightweights in the tournament and Gonzalez is the best boxer. It is no secret on how each of them is going to fight.”
“The fights in the first round were very good. The semifinals will be at that level if not better. The guy who wins this tournament would have defeated three good fighters on national television over a three-month period. Whoever wins the tournament will establish himself as a world-class fighter and title contender,” finished Bottjer.