By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
In a highly skilled and very tactical fight, Junior Lightweights Abraham “Super” Nova and Adam “Blu Nose” Lopez lived up to the predictions that they might deliver the fight of the night. After three tactical rounds, things heated up in the fourth with a nice toe to toe exchange late in the round. In the fifth, a beautiful right-left-right combination deposited Lopez hard on his back. As Nova tried to cut off the ring and follow up on his advantage, he could be heard saying, “It’s my birthday…I got to get this win,” to a retreating Lopez. (It is in fact Nova’s 29th birthday). Nova was credited with another knockdown in the sixth, as Lopez tried to hold on after being raked along the ropes and stumbled to the canvas when he couldn’t keep his grip on a backpedaling Nova. Lopez managed to gather himself in the seventh and actually appeared to take the eighth, snapping Nova’s head with some beautiful combinations at the end of the round.
Nova was able to hop on his bicycle in the ninth and hold off a charging Lopez with his jab. The tenth and final round was something out of the movies. Both men teed off on each other seemingly non-Stop for easily two out of the three minutes that the round lasted. It was amazing that nobody went down, but Nova capped the round and the fight off by staggering Lopez with the final blows of the fight. Even though 2023 is only 14 days old, it will take some doing to pass this is the round of the year! The final scores were 97-91 and 98-90 twice, all for Nova who comes back with a hard fought win after his loss to Robeisy Ramirez last year, raising his record to 22-1 15 KOs. The hard luck Lopez falls to 16-4, KOs.
Photos: Bob Newman
Jr. Lightweight prospect Haven Brady, Jr. had a tougher than expected task in Colombian Ruben Cervera. While Brady looked to pick his shots, Cervera was landing a few of his own, bloodying Brady’s lower lip by the end of the second. It became a game of single shots where Brady would vocalize with each blow he threw. Seconds before the end of the fifth, Cervera nailed Brady with an overhand right that stunned him. Cervera tries to follow up and one of his blows did land after the bell, prompting a warning from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. It appeared that Brady was a bit busier each in each round and really capped it off in the eighth and final round by controlling the ring and dictating the action to the final bell. The final tally read: 78-74, 79-73 and 80-72, all for Brady, Jr. who moves to 9-0, 4 KOs. Cervera slides to 13-4, 11 KOs.
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Local darling Bryce Mills, fighting in front of hometown fans for the first time in his young career put on a solid, workman like performance over tough Margarito Hernandez. Mills displayed excellent skills, footwork and angles in systematically controlling Hernandez over the six rounds. At the end of the second, referee Charlie Fitch called in the doctor to check for bleeding from the left ear of Hernandez, which turned out to be a cut just inside the ear and not internal bleeding from the eardrum. Try as he might Mills could not stop or even drop Hernandez and he did take a few shots from the gritty Washingtonian. In the end, all three judges saw it 60-54 for Mills 11-1, 4KOs. Hernandez slips under .500 at 3-4-1.
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Rising welterweight knockout artist Brian Norman, Jr. tried to blitz Rodrigo Coria in the opening round and almost pulled off the trick. Coria appeared out on his feet seconds into the about, the bottom strand of rope in the neutral corner holding him up, but referee Mark Nelson let matters continue when Coria fought back. Norman Jr. appeared to tire and then paced himself for the rest of the round, letting Coria off the hook. The pace slowed markedly the second, then Norman picked things up a little bit more in the third, but Coria did back Norman to the ropes with some good body work. Coria controlled the fourth with good jabs and body work again along the ropes.
The fifth round saw both men doing good work, each taking a turn controlling pieces of the action. In the seventh, Coria landed some telling headshots in rapid succession, buckling Norman’s knees and having him groggy along the ropes. Norman was able to escape and survive the round but the crowd was now revved up! Seconds into the eighth and final round, Norman had Coria in a neutral corner when he himself was clipped and buckled again. He quickly recovered encountered cleanly, dropping Coria to his knees and bringing the crowd to its feet. It wasn’t over though as Coria fought back and stunned Norman again along the ropes. There would be no knockout. The scores were 79-72 and 77-74 twice, all for Norman, Jr. who moves to 23-0, 19 KOs, while the gallant Coria falls to 10-5, 2 KOs.
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In the second fight of the night, featherweight prospect Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington controlled Juan Antonio Lopez over 6 pedestrian rounds for a 60-54 sweep on all three judges’ scorecards. Lopez talked almost as much as he threw punches, trying to psych out the highly touted prospect Carrington. Neither fighter was hurt along the way. “Shu Shu” moves to 6-0, 3 KOs, while Lopez falls to 17-13-1, 7 KOs.
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In a rare battle of novice unbeatens, Dante Benjamin, Jr. took on Emmanueal Austin in a scheduled six round light heavyweight opener. After a half round of feeling each other out, Benjamin shook Austin with a combination, finally dropping him near his own corner. A follow-up barrage had Austin reeling, forcing referee Mark Nelson to stop matters at 2:50 of the opening stanza. Benjamin Jr is now 5-0, 3KOs, while Austin loses his first at 6-1, 6KO.