By Sam Geraci at ringside
Photos by Tom Barnes / tomba-images.com
In the main event of Chicago Fight Club Promotions “Fight Night IV,” Angel Hernandez (15-11-1, 12 KOs) of Gary, IN, scored an electrifying stoppage of Ahmad Cheikho (11-5-2, 6 KOs) at 2:59 of the third round.
The drama for the main event of “Fight Night IV” was staged at the weigh-in when Hernandez and Cheikho traded insults, including a boast by Cheikho that Hernandez must be dreaming if he thinks he can win and that he’d give his entire purse to Hernandez if Hernandez pulled-off the upset.
For most of the short bout, it appeared that Cheikho’s superior hand speed, movement and counterpunching would keep him and his purse safe. In the first round, Hernandez came out wildly and dove-in recklessly as Cheikho countered beautifully with left hooks. As the round progressed, Cheikho established his jab and maintained a distance from which Hernandez was unable to attack. With about fifteen seconds remaining in the round, Cheikho countered a wild hook by Hernandez with a crisp left hook that sent Hernandez crashing to the mat. Somehow, perhaps with the help of his children’s pleas, Hernandez rose to his feet with a smile despite being hurt.
In the second, Cheikho continued to look for the counter left hook but also began to mix in well-timed lead rights as Hernandez dove-in. Aside from a few insignificant jabs and a lot of taunts, Hernandez was completely ineffective in the second.
For the first half of the third, Cheikho continued to batter Hernandez with crisp counters and appeared to be on his way to stopping Hernandez, who hadn’t won a fight since 2009. With his children pleading for him and his wife screaming for him to fight back, Hernandez landed a dynamic left hook that sent Cheikho crashing into the mat face-first. Although Cheikho managed to rise to his feet, Referee Gerald Scott wisely called a halt to the bout at 2:59.
After the bout, Hernandez screamed, “It’s not a dream” while being embraced by his family.
“You know, it feels good because I never get to train. Since 2009, I’ve been forced to take fights for the money with only a week notice. I knocked him out at 149. Wait till I get down to 140,” said Hernandez after the bout.
Whether or not Hernandez will continue to win once he gets down to 140 isn’t what was special about last night. What was special was watching a man continue to fight after being belittled at a weigh-in, outboxed and then knocked down only to rise to his feet to score an upset stoppage as his wife and children looked on.
“I wanted to show my little boys that their daddy can fight if he has time. You know, I’m ready to be brought in as another opponent and do it again,” said Hernandez.
Adama vs. Carasquillo
In the co-main event, former world title challenger Osumanu Adama (22-3, 16 KOs) of Joliet, IL, was awarded a seventh round TKO when Doel Carasquillo (17-25-1, 14 KOs) of Lancaster, PA, failed to answer the bell.
Adama outclassed Carasquillo throughout the bout with his jab, superior movement and defense. Toward the end of the fifth and throughout the sixth, Adama began to open up and score with hooks and crosses. Carasquillo had no answer and retired on his stool after the sixth.
El-Mousaoui vs. Titsworth
Junior middleweight Ahmed El-Mousaoui (17-1-1, 5 KOs) of Paris, France outclassed Trent Titsworth (6-17-2, 2 KOs) of Omaha, NE, to score a second round TKO when Titsworth retired in the corner because of a reported hand injury. Although Mousaoui lacks one-punch knockout power, he is a good-looking kid with a solid jab and terrific movement. It will be interesting to see how he performs when matched against better opposition.
Coverson vs. Diaz
Lightweights Greg Coverson Jr. (3-6-1, 2 KOs) of Detroit, MI, and David Diaz (2-0-1, 1 KO) of Milwaukee, WI, fought to a majority draw with one score of 39-37 for Coverson and two scores of 38-38. Fightnews scored the bout 38-38.
Coverson controlled the first with his awkward movement and counters while alternating between conventional and southpaw stances. Diaz, on the other hand, simply plowed forward leading with his head while throwing wide shots.
For the first two minutes of the second, Diaz continued to plow forward without cutting off the ring but was much more effective than Coverson who simply covered up to absorb Diaz’ body shots. In the final minute of the round, with his back to the ropes, Coverson did manage to score several counter lead rights and lefts. Overall, Diaz controlled the second.
In the third, Diaz outworked Coverson by pushing him to the ropes and pounding him to the body. Coverson appeared spent by the end of the round. Good round for Diaz.
In the fourth, with the fight on the line, Diaz came out looking to continue roughing up Coverson as Coverson looked to avoid punishment. After the first minute, however, Coverson began to fight back with his back against the ropes. Toward the middle of the round, there was great give and take but Coverson appeared to get the better of Diaz by countering his wide body shots with quick lead right and left counters. Diaz came on strong in the final twenty seconds, which probably did enough to steal the round, but the final round could have gone either way.
Martin vs. Kato
Welterweight Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin (2-0, 2 KOs), who is Chicago’s top prospect, scored another first round TKO against an overmatched Andrew Kato (0-6) of Milwaukee, WI, at 1:14. Martin scored his first knockdown with a barrage of shots after he backed Kato into the neutral corner with his footwork and sharp jab. Shortly after getting to his feet, Kato was countered with a beautiful right hook that sent him crashing to the mat. Referee Pete Podgorski wisely called a halt to the bout.
After the bout, Martin expressed that it’s time for him to start taking on real fighters.
“I’m looking to get in the ring right away against some good fighters. I think once I get some more wins against some better fighters more people will start taking notice,” said Martin.
Brown vs. Fuentez
Chicago’s other top welterweight prospect, Ed “Bad Boy” Brown (3-0, 3 KOs) of Chicago, IL, also scored a crowd-pleasing first round stoppage against an overmatched Ronnie Fuentez (0-4) of Milwaukee, WI, after referee Lou Hall called a halt to the bout at 1:40. Brown was on the offensive throughout and scored his first knockdown within thirty seconds of the round with a left hook to the body followed by a chopping right. Brown scored his second knockdown with a left uppercut to the solar plexus before ending the bout with another knockdown scored by a left hook to the body.