Female welterweight Tori Nelson is a world champion once again. Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes is still searching for her first piece of hardware. Nelson (7-0-3) out-worked Lopes (10-2) Friday night at Twin River Casino to earn a 100-90, 100-90, 98-92 unanimous-decision win and capture the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) welterweight world title in the main event of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Champion Breed” card.
Seemingly a step ahead on every punch, Nelson stayed elusive the entire bout while Lopes had trouble generating any offense, even with her attempts to steal some rounds in the closing seconds with late flurries of activity. Lopes couldn’t catch up, and Nelson was the more effective counter-puncher throughout the fight.
Nelson, an Ashburn, Va., native who entered the fight after having fought to back-to-back draws against Teresa Perozzi, is now a world champion for the third time in her career; she captured the WIBA middleweight title in February of 2012 and won the World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight crown in 2011.
On a rare night when all the unbeatens kept their perfect records intact, Cranston, R.I., welterweight Nick DeLomba improved to 2-0 with a gritty win over Lancaster, Pa., native Evincii Dixon (2-2). DeLomba hit the deck in the opening round, but fought his way off the canvas and out-muscled Dixon over the final five rounds to earn a 59-55, 59-55, 58-55 unanimous-decision win.
Prior to the bout, DeLomba dedicated the fight to his friend and mentor, former world-title challenger Gary Balletto, who sustained injuries in an accident at his home in July.
In the opening bout, Springfield, Mass., welterweight Zack Ramsey (5-0) kept his perfect record intact with a 40-36, 40-36, 39-37 unanimous-decision win over the durable Antonio Fernandes (3-12-2), who agreed to the fight on short notice. Fernandes, a Brockton, Mass., native, was originally supposed to fight Jon Smith of Cranston, R.I., but Smith suffered a hand injury a week before the event. The always-ready Ramsey stepped in and out-worked Fernandes over the course of four rounds, picking his spots and wisely boxing on the perimeter of the ring. At 5-0, Ramsey will step up to face his toughest test next month at Mohegan Sun when he battled undefeated New Haven, Conn., welterweight Edwin Soto (9-0-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Looking to dethrone yet another unbeaten fighter – Friday was the fifth time in his career he had faced an opponent with an unblemished record – Providence, R.I., cruiserweight Josh Harris (9-8) struggled in his attempt to unseat Quantis Graves (9-0) of Beaumont, Tex., an alternate on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. Harris, who’s known for his tremendous knockout power (seven KOs in his nine wins), couldn’t find an opening against the tough Graves, who boxed effectively on the inside and earned a hard-fought, 58-55, 59-54, 58-54 unanimous-decision win.
In a special attraction featuring two dynamic, out-of-town fighters, unbeaten Ukrainian light welterweight prospect Ivan Redkach (14-0) of Los Angeles, Calif., clashed heads with Puerto Rican challenger Antonio Sanchez (5-1-2), resulting in a bloody mess that forced the ringside physician to stop the bout midway through the second round. Both Redkach and Sanchez sustained cuts over their right and left eyes, respectfully.