Boxing News

Undercard Report/Photos from Chicago

By Sam Geraci
Photos: Bob Ryder

Unbeaten jr lightweight Ronny Rios (23-0, 10 KOs) hammered out a hard fought ten round unanimous decision over Andrew “Chango” Cancio (15-3-2, 11 KOs) on Monday night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. Good two-way action with Rios pulling it out by scores of 97-93, 97-93, 96-94.

In the co-feature, unbeaten featherweight phenom Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez (11-0, 6 KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over veteran Carlos Rodriguez (22-14-3, 10 KOs). Ramirez was aggressive early, then cruised to a 80-72, 79-73, 78-74 verdict.

Arambula Decisions Diaz

In his first step-up, jr welterweight, Jose “Chico” Arambula (7-0, 3 KOs) of Harvey, IL, scored a six round unanimous decision over the brawling David Diaz (4-1-1. 2 KOs) of Milwaukee, WI. Scores were 60-53, 58-55 and 58-55.

To start the first, Arambula looked to use his jab as he fought from a distance before lunging in with rights as Diaz simply plowed forward without a jab or any head movement. Toward middle of the round, Arambula caught Diaz with a left hook that sent him the canvas. Diaz managed to get to his feet but was unable to score and continued to eat Arambula left hooks.

The second was more of the same as Diaz simply plowed forward without any head movement or jabs while Arambula used his superior footwork and handspeed to time Diaz with crisp left hooks. Diaz was rocked twice with left hooks and might have been stopped if there were 15 more seconds in the round.

In the third, Arambula continued to use his superior movement to set up his shots as Diaz simply played to the crowd by smiling and sticking out his tongue after being tagged. Another big round for Arambula.

Arambula appeared to tire in the fourth and resorted to clinching after missing, but he still managed to score enough with the left hook to hurt and control Diaz. Though game, Diaz was simply too limited to connect with clean shots.

Throughout the fifth, Diaz managed to close the distance and even managed to push Arambula to the ropes on several occasions, but with the exception of a few wide body shots, he was unable to land anything of significance. For some reason, however, despite Arambula’s continued success behind his counter lefts and solid movement, Arambula began to switch to the southpaw stance. A more competitive round but Arambula should have done enough to edge Diaz.

With the fight out of reach, Diaz attempted to apply the pressure in the final round but was unable to muster enough of an attack to make the round anything more than competitive.

Arambula was a very successful Junior Olympian who boxed out of the same Harvey boxing gym that produced Cedric Agnew and Alex Martin. After turning pro, like Agnew, Arambula began training with Sam Colonna who has established himself as one of the most sought after trainers in Chicago. A Chicagoland matchup between Arambula and Joliet’s Eddie Ramirez (3-0, 3 KOs), who fights on Friday in Hammond, IN, would be a terrific matchup to decide who is Chicagoland’s next junior welterweight prospect.

Shimmell TKOs McCreary

Undefeated cruiserweight turned heavyweight for the evening, Jordan Shimmell (13-0, 11 KOs) of Hudsonville, MI, used his height and movement to outwork an out-of-shape Damon McCreary (15-2, 11KOs) of Detroit, MI, to score a second round TKO after McCreary was unable to answer the bell for the second because of an arm injury.

Martin TKOs Linenfelser

In a four round welterweight bout, 2012 Olympic alternate and one of Chicago’s top prospects in sometime, Alex “The Chi-town Heat” Martin (5-0, 5 KOs) finally made his Chicago debut by scoring a TKO at 2:14 of the second against a game but overmatched and outsized Antony Linenfelser (3-7, 3 KOs) of Rockford, IL.

In the first, Martin scored repeatedly with sharp lead lefts and crisp counter right hooks to the head and body. Somehow, however, Linenfelser managed to survive as he continued to show the tough-guy mentality that has come to define the Rockford native in his short career.

In the second, despite Linenfelser’s determination to remain upright, Martin chopped him down with a counter right followed by a straight left. After rising to his feet, Martin continued to batter Linenfelser with shots to the head and body until referee Gerald Scott wisely called a halt to the bout.

Martin was considered by many of Chicago’s boxing insiders to be the best amateur since his role model, Cedric Agnew, but failed to secure fights locally until his recent signing with Al Haymon. With Haymon now backing Martin and fellow Chicago amateur standout, Semajay Thomas, Chicago’s boxing comeback looks to continue.

Thomas TKOs Rodriguez

In the first bout of the evening, Chicago’s most read-about welterweight prospect, Semajay “Da Truth” Thomas (3-0, 1 KO), outclassed Philadelphia’s Miguel Antonio Rodriguez (1-6) to score a TKO at 52 seconds of the first. Thomas scored his first knockdown with a one-two and his second and third with overhand rights. Thomas

Gavronski Decisions Hand

In a rematch of their 2012 contest that ended in a competitive unanimous decision for Mike Gavronski (14-0-1, 10 KOs), Chicago’s Gavronski managed to muscled-out another competitive decision against Portland’s Kevin Hand (5-6-1, 5 KOs) en route to majority decision with scores of 57-57, 58-56 and 59-55.

In the first, Gavronski circled to his left while pumping his jab as Hand looked to time him with rights. As the round progressed, each began to land effectively with the lead right in a very close round that could have gone either way. Gavronski’s early work rate might have been enough to take the round.

In the second, Hand came out more aggressively and began to score more authoritatively behind his right. Despite his success, throughout the round, particularly toward the final thirty seconds, Gavronski managed to land occasional overhand right counters and counter rights to the body. Another very close round.

The third and fourth were competitive with each landing wide and thudding shots, but Gavronski volume and movement might have done enough to eek both of them out.

Despite appearing to get the edge in the third and fourth, Gavronski looked spent and beat up as the fifth began as Hand pounded him with looping rights and lefts. As the round progressed, Gavronski plowed forward while attempting to score but Hand simply muscled through his arm shots to score with thudding shots that wobbled Gavronski throughout the round. Big round for Gavronski.

Throughout the final round, the fighters landed looping lefts and rights that wobbled each other. Gavronski fell to the mat from exhaustion, but it was correctly ruled a slip. Another very close round.

Quezada TKOs Knight

Amateur standout and local fan favorite Jose Felix Quezada (2-0, 1 KO) of Alsip, IL, scored a TKO of a game but outclassed Antoine Knight (2-6, 1 KO) of Chicago, IL, at 1:29 of the fourth in a lightweight clash. At the time of the stoppage, even though Knight protested and appeared to be less hurt than he had been throughout much of the bout, referee Pete Podgorski appeared to make the stoppage out of genuine concern for Knight who had repeatedly eaten Quezada’s overhand rights throughout the bout. Quezada scored a knockdown toward the end of the first with an overhand right and wobbled Knight throughout the bout with it.

Contact Sam Geraci at or @sammygwrites

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