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Report/gallery: Fortuna vs. Cruz

Ringside by Andreas Hale and Anthony Springer Jr.
Photos by Mary Ann Owen/Boxing in Las Vegas

In the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Javier Fortuna decimated seasoned veteran Cristobal Cruz with a brilliant short left to score a 2nd round TKO. The undefeated Fortuna was head and shoulders above journeyman Cruz in the talent department and quickly went to work with a first round knockdown. Cruz — who has gone 0-2-2 in his last four fights — was wild and resorted to roughhousing tactics in an attempt to take the Dominican super featherweight out of his game. It didn’t work though as Fortuna wrapped hooks around Cruz’ gloves and slapped hooks to the body of his 35-year-old foe.

As the second round began, Cruz (39-14-2) appeared to mentally check out as he continued to swing wildly and try to push and shove Fortuna around. Cruz made the mistake of charging in with his head up and was crushed by a perfectly timed short left hook that sent him face first to the canvas. Although he would rise, referee Robert Byrd saw no use in Cruz continuing and called a halt to the contest at the 2:22 mark. With the victory, Fortuna improves to 20-0 with his 15th knockout. — Andreas Hale

Abdusalamov pummels Byarm

In relatively one sided heavyweight action, Magomed Abdusalamov (15-0) steamrolled Maurice Byarm (13-2-1) to earn a second round TKO victory. “The Freight Train” came out trading heavy leather, but bizarrely stopped fighting near the end of the opening round. The duck and cover strategy allowed Abdusalamov to hammer away at the hapless Byarm in the corner. Several big jabs split the Philly fighter’s gloves and he was nearly on dream-street as the final bell tolled. Byarm found himself looking at the lights after a series of haymakers found their mark in the second stanza. When the action resumed, Abdusalamov continued his assault before referee Tony Weeks mercifully halted the bout at the 36 second mark. — Anthony Springer Jr

Santomauro Cruises

Las Vegas’ Rocco Santomauro remained undefeated with a relatively easy unanimous decision victory over Dewayne Wisdom in a four round featherweight bout. Wisdom (2-4) fell victim to Santomauro’s work rate despite never being remotely hurt in the bout. The Las Vegan was sharper and quicker to the draw and earned scores of 40-36 and 39-37 (twice) but still seeks his first knockout as he improves to 9-0 in his professional career. — Andreas Hale

Gavril Wallops Hapless Schmitz

In four round Super Middleweight action, Ronald Gavril made short work of Kenneth T Schmitz en route to a relatively easy 1st round TKO stoppage. Schmitz (2-3)offered no resistance as Gavril teed off on his foe from the opening bell with a bevy of power shots until referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight at the 1:53 mark. — Andreas Hale

Williams routes Otero

Mitch Williams eared a lopsided decision win over Manuel Otero (2-4) in the night’s final bout. The cruiserweights slugged it out the entire four rounds, but it was Williams who got the better of most of the exchanges. Otero landed some significant right hands when Williams slowed in the third but was unable to mount a consistent offensive. The Jackson, Michigan fighter charged back in the final frame, landing some big uppercuts that wobbled Otero. With the win, Williams improves to 6-2-1. — Anthony Springer Jr




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