By: Chris Davis at Ringside
In the main event of “Windy City Fight Night 16” at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, presented by promoter Dominic Pesoli of 8 Count Productions, local super middleweight Donovan “Da Bomb” George outgunned and stopped slick boxer Maxell Taylor in the eighth round. George (22-1-1, 19 KOs) pressed forward the entire contest, winging shots at his opponent’s head, body, arms, and elbows. Taylor (15-3-1, 6 KOs) from Baltimore, MD, circled throughout the fight, landing jabs and the occasional combination from the outside in an attempt to keep the heavy-handed George at bay. George’s relentless pressure paid off in the eighth when he caught Taylor in the corner, opening up with vicious lefts and rights that sent Taylor sprawling to the canvas. A game yet visibly shaken Taylor got to his feet before the count of ten, but soon after George pinned him to the ropes and let loose with a furious series of unanswered punches, forcing referee Gino Rodriguez to wave it off at 2:05 of the eighth round. George, who captured the vacant USBA super middleweight title with the win, announced his retirement from the center of the ring to a stunned audience – only to draw a huge sigh of relief from the appreciative crowd when he cracked a smile and shouted, “April Fool’s!”
In undercard action, Russian Sergey Kovalev (14-0, 12 KOs) made quick work of Julius Fogle (15-7, 10 KOs) of Cary, NC with a second round knockout in a light heavyweight contest. Early in the second round, Kovalev overwhelmed Fogle with a flurry of punches, forcing Fogle to take a knee. Kovalev quickly put him down to his knees again with another onslaught. Referee Celestino Ruiz counted out the overmatched Fogle at 1:16 of the round.
Earlier in the evening, super middleweight “Bazooka” Joe Linenfelser (9-1-1, 6 KOs) of Rockford, IL demonstrated superior boxing skills against hard-fighting but apparently under-conditioned southpaw Jeremy Marts (6-11, 4 KOs) of Ottumwa, IA in winning a unanimous decision over six rounds. Linenfelser dropped Marts twice with body shots in the final round, winning with scores of 60-52 and 58-54 (twice).
In a bombs-away slugfest in the junior welterweight division, Javier Loya (4-0, 3 KOs) of Phoenix, AZ took a unanimous four-round decision over local favorite Genaro Mendez (3-1-1, 2 KOs). Loya shocked Mendez with a straight right hand that sent the lefthander to the canvas early in the first round and landed the exact same punch seconds later to register knockdown #2. Mendez fought back hard but could not overcome the early deficit. Judges awarded Loya the decision with scores of 40-34, 39-38, and 38-37.
In his pro debut, Chicago welterweight Luis Santiago scored a first-round TKO over William Bokhart (0-5) Mishawaka, IN. Santiago put Bokhart to the canvas three times with ripping right-hands to the body before referee John O’Brien waved it off at 2:58 of the opening frame.
Jeremias Correa (2-0, 1 KO) of Hammond, IN survived an early first-round knockdown to take a hard-earned unanimous decision over Rockford’s Anthony Linenfelser (2-3, 2 KOs), the younger brother of “Bazooka” Joe. Correa, fighting out of a southpaw stance, made good adjustments and gradually took control of the action-packed super featherweight fight, with all the judges scoring it 39-37.
In the evening’s opener, local middleweight Ramon Valenzuela, Jr. (4-0, 1 KO) cruised to an easy decision victory over fellow Chicagoan William Couloute (1-3, 1 KO). All the judges scored it a shutout at 40-36.