Report/photos by Boxing Bob Newman
Three months after it began, the Boxcino tournament reached its climax on Friday night in Verona, New York at the Turning Stone Casino. The finals of the lightweight and middleweight categories were won in contrasting styles as Petr Petrov rocked Fernando Carcamo from pillar to post to snag the lightweight belt, while Willie Monroe, Jr. outslicked Brandon Adams to clinch the middleweight bauble.
Opening the broadcast was the middleweight final featuring the two least likely contestants in least experienced Brandon Adams (Los Angeles, CA) going in against Willie Monroe, Jr. (Rochester, NY).
Adams entered the tourny a relative unknown at 12-0, 8 KOs, but crushed Daniel Edouard via TKO4 and dominated Raymond Gatica in a easier-than-the-scores-showed split decision win over eight rounds five weeks ago. Monroe scored distance wins over the more experienced Donatas Bondarovas and tourny favorite Vitalii Kopylenko to secure his spot in the finals.
As expected, Monroe, Jr. utilized his speed and reach right from the get go, working off the jab at every opportunity. The shorter Adams was relegated to lunging and one shot at a time in an effort catch the slick Monroe, Jr. In the sixth, it appeared Adams may have had a moment as a right hand seemed to stagger “El Mongoose” into a neutral corner, but perhaps sensing his foe wasn’t hurt, Adams didn’t try to capitalize. Monroe, Jr. later admitted the punch actually caught his glove and he tripped over his own feet while trying to back pedal away, thus stumbling into the corner post. Adams did manage to legitimately sting Monroe, Jr. on a couple occasions, and the two stood toe-to-toe, a strategy which favored Adams and elicited cheers from the crowd. But the smarter Monroe, Jr. knew that distance and speed would win the day and maneuvered out of harm’s way each time. Adam’s corner plead for their fighter to press the issue as the later rounds approached, but his efforts weren’t enough as the ring-wise mongoose worked his plan to near perfection. In the end, all three judges Tom Schreck, Don Ackerman and Don Trella agreed at 99-91 for Monroe, Jr., now the Boxcino, NABO and NABA middleweight champion. With the win, Monroe, Jr. moves to 18-1, 6 KOs, while Adams tastes defeat for the first time at 14-1, 9 KOs. Incidentally, Monroe, Jr. said in the post fight press conference that he is headed back to 154 lbs. and ceded the middleweight division to his friend Brandon Adams. It remains to be seen if the middleweight dollars will dictate otherwise.
In the highly anticipated lightweight finals, the oldest participant in the tourny, Petr Petrov (Madrid, Spain by way of Russia) forced his will upon lanky Fernando Carcamo (Ciudad, Obregon, Mexico) over eight one-sided rounds, scheduled for ten. While Carcamo looked on paper to be the bigger puncher with thirteen of his seventeen wins coming via stoppage, it was Petrov who’s punches seemed to do all the damage. Petrov had no problem negating Carcamo’s massive height and reach advantage in landing whatever he wanted, especially his lead overhand right. It didn’t take long for most keen observers at ringside to opine that Petrov’s punches would have some major impact, perhaps sending Carcamo down and even out. Carcamo would have brief spurts of energy, deciding to move forward and throw punches, but those punches seemed to have no effect as they did on earlier Boxcino foe Samuel Kotey Neequaye (TKO2). Besides his punches not serving him well, neither did his legs in moving him out or harm’s way. In the seventh, Petrov landed some blistering combos and upper cuts on the taller man that snapped Carcamo’s head back. It seemed referee Dick Pakozdi might stop it, but as Carcamo reeled across the ring, the bell saved the day, or rather prolonged the inevitable. While in the corner, Carcamo’s trainer Joel Diaz seemed to decide matters were over, first telling his charge so, then waving to Pakozdi that the fight was finished. Then inexplicably, Diaz did an about face, and gave Carcamo one more round. Pakozdi called in the ringside physician who took a good look at the beaten fighter. He advised Pakozdi to end matters if any more serious punches were landed. At :40 of the eighth, the ref did just that, saving Carcamo from any further punishment. The completely depleted Carcamo almost seemed relieved, making no protests over the stoppage. Petrov also picked up the NABO and NABA belts along with the Boxcino lightweight belt. He now moves to 35-4-2, 17 KOs, while Carcamo slides to 17-6, 13 KOs.
Opening up the night were super lightweights Jeremy Graves (Niagara Falls, NY) and Sam Teah (Philly, PA). Teah handled everything the aggressive Graves tried and employed his skill and will over four rounds to post a unanimous 40-36 win. Teah moves to 4-0, 1 KO while Graves drops to 0-3.
In a big upset, crafty but unsung Marcus Hall (Rochester, NY) squeaked out a huge win over previously undefeated Cesar Vila (Brooklyn, NY) over four rounds. The slippery southpaw Hall moved, used awkward counters and avoided just enough punishment to befuddle the ever-forward-moving Vila. Wynn Kintz saw it even at 38-38, while Don Trella tabbed it 40-36 and Don Ackerman had it 39-37 for the majority decision winner Hall, now 8-6-1, 2 KOs. Vila drops his first at 6-1, 2 KOs.
In a reverse “somebody’s ‘0′ has got to go” bout, winless heavyweights Eric George (Niagara Falls, NY) and Raymond Santiago (Albany, NY) looked to erase the “0” from their respective win columns. It was a fan friendly bout, with both combatants slugging away from bell to bell. Santiago’s nose bled from round one onward as his defense was non-existent, but his heart was nearly as big as his 232 lb. body. The smaller (202 lb.) George had a bit more speed and endurance, which led to his 40-36 across the board win. George enters the win column at 1-6, while Santiago loses his first at 0-2-1.
Being chosen in your pro debut as the opponent for a young Brazilian K.O. artist who is trained by one of Brazil’s greatest K.O. artists- Acelino “Popó ” Freitas, is probably as scary as it gets. But Buffalo, New York’s Jr. Lightweight Michael Jackson hoped he’d have the moves of his namesake to pull off a “Thriller” of an upset. It was not to be as Brazil’s Vitor Jones de Oliveira stalked, bloodied, and knocked down Jackson over the four round distance. Though unable to finish his fleeing foe, de Oliveira did what he had to in notching a comprehensive 40-35 shutout to move to 3-0, 2 KOs. Jackson starts out at 0-1.
In a walkout bout featuring two undefeated welterweights, Oscar Torres (Anaheim, CA) imposed his will over Cornelius Whitlock for four rounds. Torres scored a knockdown in the opening frame, but couldn’t seal the deal as the cagey Whitlock tried to keep his own unblemished record intact. Torres would have none of it though, stalking Whitlock, landing more punches and overall impressing the judges. Scores were 40-35 straight across the board as Torres improves to 3-0, 1 KO, while Whitlock drops his first to slink to 3-1-2, 2 KOs.