By Craig Wick
A five-bout card was on tap in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village Friday night, as Hitz Boxing rolled into the Belvedere Event Center and drew a SRO crowd for their 2018 kick-off. While it’s a well-known fact that Chicago is home to a large Polish population, who the hell knew it was also an enclave for a sizeable Bulgarian contingent? Apparently promoter Bobby Hitz did, telling Fightnews.com® that Bulgarians “scooped up tickets like the Beatles were in town,” all on account of Sofia native, and former amateur standout, Tervel Pulev, who steamrolled in the main event.
The aforementioned Pulev (8-0, 8 KOs) Bulgaria, made his stateside debut an emphatic success by blasting out Scott Futrell (1-4) St. Louis, MS, at 1:41 of round one. Pulev, who garnered heavyweight bronze in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, had no cause for concern tonight, dropping Futrell twice in the opener, the final time from a beauty of a left hook to the body that tenderized Futrell’s St. Louis ribs (I couldn’t help myself). It will be interesting to see how far Tervel, younger brother of top ten heavyweight, Kubrat, will go in the sport considering he just turned 35. Wherever he goes, however, you can certainly count on a large, boisterous delegation cheering him on.
In the co-feature, Chicagoan Tommy “White Lightning” Hughes (6-0, 3 KOs) took a lackluster decision over late addition, Antoine Elerson. More hits than misses in this one, as Hughes stalked Elerson throughout but was unable to land anything that had the Milwaukee journeyman in trouble. Elerson, whose forte is making young upstarts look bad, performed well in that capacity, however with an anemic offensive output, he wasn’t going to get any favors from local judges. Scoring was 59-55, and 59-54 twice, all for Hughes.
High octane Chicago super middleweight, Gorjan Slaveski (4-0, 2 KOs) had a tussle on his hands with Jarvis OJ Ervin (0-2) St. Joseph, MO, for two plus rounds until he uncorked a perfect, highlight reel right hook to end the fight. While not pretty, this one had ringside curb appeal, with both fighters finding themselves on the canvas, Ervin late in round one courtesy of a left to the chin and Slaveski in round two from a chopping Ervin right. Midway through the 3rd, however, a Slaveski right hook caught Ervin flush, dropping the Missouri fighter and immediately ending matters at 1:44. Tense moments in the aftermath as Ervin was tended to on the canvas by ringside physicians. Thankfully, he was able to get back up and returned to his dressing room without further assistance.
In a super middleweight contest, Chicago’s Oscar Ortiz notched the win in his professional debut, defeating tough New Yorker Erik Plumeri after four. Ortiz was the busier fighter here, wacking Plumeri around for most of the bout, making the judges scoring academic, 40-36 across. Plumeri’s glove seemingly hit the canvas in round three after taking a flush right to the chin, however referee Dr. David Smith didn’t see it that way and the fight continued uninterrupted.
In the cruiserweight opener scheduled for four, Gulf War veteran Matt Cameron, Niles, IL, took out Nicholas Lavin (5-8, 4 KOs) Derby, CT, at 2:54 of the 1st. Lavin was hurt late in the round and Cameron’s follow-up flurry ended the contest. With the win, “Big Cam” moves to 2-1-1, 1 KO.