By Sam Geraci at ringside
Photo by Tom Barnes/Hitz Boxing
On June 8, in the main event of Bobby Hitz Boxing’s “Fight Night at the Horseshoe” in Hammond, IN, WBA #5 rated heavyweight “Fast” Fres Oquendo (36-7, 23 KOs) of Chicago, IL, continued his quest toward another world title shot by defending his WBA Fedelatin title and by winning the NABA and WBC Silver titles in a hard-fought ten round unanimous decision over Derric “El Leon” Rossy (28-7, 14 KOs) of Medford, NY. Scores were 98-92 and 97-94 (twice).
With talks of a clash with Tomasz Adamek circulating and the pressures of being expected to look impressive at the age of 40 serving as the backdrop to Saturday’s event, Oquendo used his grit and wile to pull off the type of decision that has evaded him in his most meaningful fights against the likes of Holyfield, McCall, Ruiz and Byrd.
Unlike the bouts in which he came up short, however, against Rossy, Oquendo was the fighter who appeared to be thrown off by his opponent’s movement as well as the fighter whose more meaningful blows and pressure did enough in most of the rounds to take the decision.
For the first two rounds of the bout, Rossy’s movement and long jab were effective in keeping Oquendo off-balance and as a result were probably enough to get the nod in rounds in which not a whole lot happened. From the third until the eighth, however, although Rossy’s movement and lazy jab were still successful in keeping Oquendo off-balance, Oquendo did enough to squeak out the majority of the rounds by imposing his will, which resulted in landing infrequent counter left hooks and lead overhand rights.
By the end of the eighth round of a fight that most at ringside believed was close, Oquendo began to resemble the top contender that he has been for the last fifteen years. Oquendo dominated the final two and a half rounds by busting-up Rossy with left hooks, lead overhand rights, shoulders, grapples and accidental headbutts. Although Rossy was game throughout the bout, by the end of the tenth, with blood streaming from his nose and eyebrows, Rossy looked as though he could have been stopped had Oquendo been given another three minutes.
Although Oquendo did not look as impressive as most expected, especially throughout the early rounds, it is important to note that Oquendo’s trainer, Nate Jones, only worked with Oquendo for the final week of his camp because Jones was away in Las Vegas working in the Mayweather Gym. It will be interesting to see how Oquendo looks in his next fight, perhaps against Adamek, when prepared and matched against top opposition.
Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez TKOs Richard “The Bobo” Starnino
Chicago fan favorite Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez (11-0, 8 KOs) of Chicago, IL, scored another entertaining TKO at 1:22 of the fourth round over a very game Richard “The Bobo” Starnino (9-11-2, 4 KOs) of Providence, RI, in a super middleweight bout.
In each round, Starnino attempted to overwhelm Jimenez a la Glen Johnson in Johnson vs. Roy Jones. Unlike the great “Road Warrior,” however, Starnino lacked the punching power and skill to penetrate the guard of Jimenez. As a result, throughout the bout, Jimenez simply covered up and waited for the opportunity to counter Starnino’s wild shots with crisp left hooks, uppercuts, and right crosses. Jimenez scored three official knockdowns before the fight was stopped at 1:22 of the fourth round.
Although it is unlikely to happen anytime soon, a terrific local super middleweight matchup between “Hollywood” and Paulie Littleton is clearly a fight that Chicago fight fans want to see. Who is the top super middleweight in Chicago?
Shidaev vs. Willis
In the first bout of the evening, welterweight Sukhrab Shidaev (3-0, 3 KOs) Grozy, Russia, scored a TKO at 1:22 of the second round over Anthony Willis (1-3-1) of Battle Creek, MI
Shidaev stalked Willis throughout the bout and landed terrific lead left hooks that opened up left hooks to the body and straight right crosses as Willis backed to the ropes with his hands down. Referee Kurt Spivey wisely stepped in to call a halt to the bout when Willis was unable to return fire after three punch combination.
Determan vs. Raglin
At a catchweight of 123 pounds, Johnny “Wite Boi” Determan (7-0, 6 KOs) of Omaha, NE, scored a TKO at 1:56 of the first round over Ryan Raglin (1-6, 1 KO) of Indianapolis, IN.
Determan controlled the first half of the round by countering Raglin with left hooks and by leading with his right hand. Determan scored a knockdown with a left hook to the body. Immediately after Raglin came to his feet from the knockdown, Determan flew in with a lead right that sent Raglin crashing to the mat, which lead to the bout being stoppage.
Asberry vs. Dunn
Heavyweight Nick Asberry (2-0, 2 KO) of Waukegan, IL, scored a TKO at 1:40 of the second round over Tim “Fat Boy” Dunn (0-2) of Manitowoc, WI, when Dunn informed the doctor that he could not continue because of the bleeding from his nose.
The first round was competitive, but Asberry, a former Chicago Golden Glove Champion, controlled the action with his length and jab. In the second, Asberry opened up and busted Dunn’s face, which lead to the stoppage.
McKinney vs. Smith
Junior middleweight Ricky Smith (1-1) of Green Bay, WI, overcame the ringside jeers of Ozzy Guillen and the MMA-like attack of junior middleweight Chad McKinney (0-2) of Chicago, IL, in order to score a unanimous decision. Scores were 38-38 and 40-36 (twice).
Navarro vs. McPherson
Welterweight Roy Navarro (2-0, 1 KO) of Chicago, IL, looked to keep pace with Chicago’s top amateur turned pro, Alex Martin, by taking on Clifford “The Magician” McPherson (2-14-1, 1 KO) of Cleveland, OH, who quit after the first round with Martin because of an arm injury.
Although Navarro was only awarded a majority decision with scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 38-38, Navarro dominated nearly every second of the bout behind his jab, straight right and left hooks to the body. In fact, McPherson was on the verge of being stopped on several occasions but did just enough to stave off the TKO.
With promising prospects like Ed Brown, Alex Martin, Semajay Thomas and now Roy Navarro all hovering around the welterweight division, it will be interesting to see who emerges as the real deal.
Navarete vs. Alvarez
Coming off a disappointing draw in his pro debut, lightweight Fidel Navarete (1-0-1, 1 KO) of Chicago, IL, rebounded with a dominating TKO at :01 of the second round over outgunned Adam Alvarez (0-4) of Lansing, IL. Navarete scored four knockdowns in the first, but Alvarez somehow managed to make it to his corner where he retired on the stool.
Mendez vs. Elerson
Welterweight Genaro Mendez (6-1-1, 4 KOs) of Chicago, IL, scored a third round TKO at :01 over Antoine Elerson (1-6, 1 KO) of Milwaukee, WI. Mendez controlled every second with his pressure and hooks. Elerson retired on his stool because of a hand injury.
Fiore vs. Nash
Junior welterweight Russell “Rocky” Fiore (9-2, 7 KOs) of Chicago, IL, scored a TKO at 2:33 of the second round over Reggie “Two Gun” Nash (10-32-1, 2 KOs).
Scalise vs. Hernandez
Bridgeport native Frank “Time Bomb” Scalise (7-1, 7 KOs) scored a KO of Reymundo “The Prosecutor” Hernandez (6-14, 6 KOs) of Atchison, KS, at 2:08 of the first round.
Buettner vs. Allen
Light heavyweight Simon “The Punisher” Buettner (4-0, 3 KOs) of Carpentersville, IL, won a harder than expected unanimous decision over Cameron Allen (4-13, 2 KOs) of Battle Creek, MI. All judges scored the bout 39-37.