Friday, February 13, 2015

Boxcino Tournament Opens In Rousing Fashion

The 2015 edition of ESPNs Boxcino Tournament started off with a bang on Friday Night Fights as Stanyslav Skorokhod of the Ukraine absolutely destroyed Michael Moore of Cleveland. Although Moore may have felt the referee stopped the bout too soon in the fourth, it was clear by that point that the fight was all but over. For Skorokhod, who goes by the name of the Nuclear Ghost (he's originally from outside of Chernobyl) was taking target practice on Moore's head. Bottom line - it was a sound call from the official.

In the following bout, New Jersey's John Thompson sprang back from a crushing knockout loss last year at the hands (or, rather, the gloves) of Frank Galarza to surprise Ricardo Pinell by handing the California native a unanimous decision defeat. Thompson, who was a last minute replacement after Cleotis Pendarvis didn't make weight, made the absolute most of his opportunity, boxing strategically, with backward movement and a crisp, solid jab.

The third match of the evening featured Vito Gasparyan and the undefeated Simeon Hardy. It was a seesaw affair, with the Guyanese fighter Hardy winning the first portion of the bout while the Armenian Gasparyan asserted control of the second. It was also one of those situations where heart carried the day...for Gasparyan carried away a unanimous decision win.

The final bout of the card at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Casino pitted New Jersey native Alex Perez against Boxcino 2014 veteran Brandon Adams. Both men threw hard, to the point that, in round three, the fight looked like little more than a test of wills. Adams' work on the ropes, however, was able to give him an edge...and a savage fifth round KO victory.

Although no one was able to top Skorokhod's extremely impressive performance (though Adams came close), Thompson, Garsparyan and Adams were all able to climb Boxino's junior middleweight ladder on Friday, as well. The next time these four men enter the ring, Skorokhod will face Thomspon and Gasparyan will throw down with Adams. The winner of those two matches will then meet for Boxcino 2015's junior middleweight crown.

Each man will have time to rest, however, as Boxcino will feature heavyweights on next week's Friday Night Fights. Here's hoping this year's Tournament will end up as entertaining as 2014's was.

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