By Matt Casavant/Dave Spencer at ringside
Number one ranked (WBC) super-lightweight Dierry Jean (24-0 16KO) made short work of Juan Jesus Rivera (25-10 16KO), stopping his Mexican opponent at 2:54 of the second round on Saturday night at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Rivera who came in seven pounds heavy for the NABF super-lightweight contest was clearly the bigger man in the ring, but Jean proved he was the much faster man as the Mexican had no answer for the rapid fire shots coming his way. A right hand and counter left hook had Rivera touching down a glove to end the first and Jean landed a howitzer right to put Rivera down for a second time as second was drawing to a close. Rivera managed to pull himself up but referee Michael Griffin called the bout moments later as the fighter continued to eat leather and not respond.
In a lackluster affair, welterweight Ahmad Cheikho now (9-4-2, 5KOs) won an 8 round unanimous decision over Giuseppe Lauri (53-11, 31KOs), scores were 79-71 twice and 78-72. Cheikho usually known for his offensive style elected to move and box the 36 year old Lauri. The fight was often marred by clinches and both fighters saw themselves get taken a point away by referee Steve St-Germain. The Italian Lauri, lost a point in the 5thround for hitting Cheikho behind the head. The 30 year old Cheikho was strip of a point in the 8th round for shoving his opponent to the ground. Ultimately, Lauri did not throw nearly enough punches to challenge Cheikho and the Montreal resident who occasionally switched to southpaw was content in pot-shotting his way to victory. Boos were heard at the conclusion of the contest.
A gutsy and determined eight round effort by light-heavyweight Andy Gardiner (7-0 3KO) who went eight rounds for the first time and walked away with 80-72, 78-74, 77-75 decision over Konsatantin Piternov (13-3 4KO) of Russia. The Winnipeg fighter who now calls Ottawa home was forced to fight most of the contest with cuts over both eyes but was the aggressor throughout the contest, pushing the action forward, doing his work as Piternov lay pinned on the ropes, and getting out and reloading. Piternov did more running and was trying to time the local fighter over the course of the final two rounds but Gardiner remained strong, with what was a mature effort, not over committing and needlessly making it a war. Gardiner looked as if he was going to end things early as he laid the leather on heavy but an opportune spitting of the mouthpiece by the Russian ensured the bout.
Local product Pascal Villeneuve surely made his pro debut in front of his hometown crowd a memorable one, as he obliterated his opponent Nuno Lagarto (4-10,2KOs), scoring 3 knockdowns en route to a 1st round TKO win. The light-heavyweight Villeneuve went straight after Lagarto, landing a jab, straight right hand combination alongside the ropes that rocked Lagarto and sent him down to the ground for the 1st time. The second knockdown came shortly after, as Villeneuve threw a flurry of punches ending with a right to the body that dropped Lagarto. Villeneuve clearly sensing his opponent ready for the taking, unloaded a crushing right hand that dropped Lagarto face first bringing the fight to an end due to the 3 knockdown rule in effect, much to the delight of the boisterous crowd. Official time of the stoppage was at 1:22 of the 1st round.
Super-middleweight Schiller Hyppolite (6-1, 3KO) rebounded nicely from his only career defeat with a TKO victory at 2:51 of the third round over Hassene Azouz Neffati (8-5-1 5KO). A counter left hook from Hyppolite started the damage in the second round that his French opponent stunned and eventually going down to his knees from the ensuing onslaught. Hyppolite managed to further the pressure in the third and as Neffati went down a second time his corner stopped the fight.
Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook improves to (9-0, 5KOs) with a 3rd TKO win over Raul Saiz (8-8-1,7KOs) after Saiz refused to answer the bell for the 4th rd. From the outset Cook came out with a sustained attack to the body of Saiz, who had not fought in close to 3 years. Numerous left hooks to the body of the southpaw Saiz, clearly took its toll as the Spaniard was unable to counter Cook’s volume punching attack and quit on his stool at the end of 3rd.
Francis Lafreniere (3-3,2, 2KOs) scored a highlight reel knockout in the 1st round over previously undefeated Polish fighter Pawel Seliga (4-1, 1KOs). Seliga, an Adrian Diaconu look alike, was very aggressive from the opening bell and applied steady pressure to Lafreniere who elected to fight Seliga in close quarters. After a heavy dose of punches from Seliga, the Coteau-Du-Lac product Lafreniere countered with a nice left hook to the body followed by a devastating left hook to the head that sent Seliga to the canvas. Referee Mike Griffin stopped the bout at 2:05 of the 1st round as Seliga was noticeably wobble trying to make it back to his feet.
Welterweight Mian Hussain (4-0 3KO) went to the scorecards for the first time and scored an easy 40-36 decision over Sylwester Walczak (3-4-1) of Poland. Hussain came out strong to start the fight and was landing solidly and putting his punches together but action slowed as this one went on. The taller Pole who was wobbled by a right hook to end the second was able to back-pedal just enough and had the earmuffs on to force this one to the scorecards where the Montreal fighter won easily.
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