Ugas dominates Barrionuevo; Kownacki edges Martin

By John DiSanto and Arvin Nundloll at ringside
Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

You’d think that a potential crack at the winner of Garcia-Porter would be enough to motivate at least one of the combatants in the 12-round welterweight title eliminator between Vegas-based Cuban Yordenis Ugas and Cesar Barrionuevo of Argentina. Yet neither that big opportunity or the recurring choruses of boos from the restless Brooklyn crowd managed to inspire either boxer to pick up the pace and fight with the slightest bit of urgency.
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So for 12 rounds, the pair did their best to back into a title shot. Barrionuevo bounced the night away, throwing a right jab from his southpaw stance while Ugas stepped forward – but in no way aggressively – and pecked away with his own jab. In round eight, something almost happened when Ugas tossed one flurry with intent. He trapped Barrionuevo near a corner and landed well. As far as action goes, that was about it. Throughout the bout, Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) clearly did more and banked one boring round after another, while Barrionuevo (34-4-2, 24 KOs) fought only to survive (despite never really being threatened). After 12 long rounds, all three judges had Ugas up by landslide scores of 119-109 and 120-108 twice.

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Adam Kownacki went toe to toe with Charles Martin for 10 rounds in their heavyweight bout, delighting the crowd in attendance with a fight that showcased both their power and passion in a grueling bout on Saturday night at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. After 10 rounds of boxing, the judges scored the fight 96-94 all in favor to Kownacki. Martin had this fight firmly in his grasp but ultimately falls to 25-2-1, 23 KOs while Kownacki remains undefeated and moves to 18-0, 14 KOs.

Both fighters swung big in the first round, Martin with his inside uppercuts while Kownacki used his lunging right hooks to fire back against Martin. Aggressive leaning in the 3rd round by Martin slowed down Kownacki as he began to drop his punch output. The 4th round saw Kownacki deliver hid best round of the night, nearly dropping Martin with a series of vicious right hooks that had Martin hanging on to see out the round. Martins went to the body in the 5th round, working the uppercuts while trying to slow down Kownacki in an attempt to finish strong in the later rounds.

A strong 9th round performance from Martin saw brutal uppercuts towards Kownacki’s chin, taking advantage of a now jaded Kownacki. To his credit, Kownacki countered Martin with some flush right hooks to the head but seemed to lack the power to put his man down.

An explosive 10th round saw both fighters have their near-knockout moments, Martin with a series of unanswered blows to both body and head while Kownacki sustained the damage and countered back with punches that had Martin clinging to the ropes to buy time.

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Amanda Serrano and Yamila Esther Reynoso battled it out for the vacant WBO Junior Welterweight belt. Serrano fought a smart and calculated fight, backing Reynoso up and controlling the pace of the fight. A fiery 4th round saw Reynoso unleash overhand right hooks that stumbled Serrano temporarily, but Serrano composed herself well and saw out the remainder of the fight. At the end of 10 rounds, the judges scored the fight 99-91 all round to the new WBO champion, Serrano. Reynoso dropped to 11-5-3, 8 KOs while Serrano picks up another win and belt to 35-1-1, 26 KOs.

Chris Colbert stuck to his gameplan and saw off a rigid contender in Fatiou Fassinou, taking him the distance for a full 8 rounds and cleaning up on the scorecards in their super featherweight bout. Fassinou circled the ring well but barely troubled Colbert throughout the fight, constantly taking heavy shots from Colbert but surviving Colbert cruised through all of the rounds and towards the end gave the crowd some showboating, arguably the most excitement they experienced during the fight. After 8 rounds, the judges scored the fight 80-72 all round. Colbert jumps to 9-0, 3 KOs while Fassinou drops to 28-11-3, 15 KOs.

Richardson Hitchins went the distance in defeating Cesar Valenzuela over 6 rounds in their Super Lightweight bout.The referee ruled that Hitchins knocked down Valenzuela in towards the end of round 1. Hitchins controlled the pace for the rest of the fight, frequently backing Valenzuela before unloading his right cross hooks. Towards the middle rounds Hitchins fought inside in an effort to unload to the body and slow Valenzuela down. After 6 rounds in their super lightweight bout, the judges awarded the fight to Hitchins with scores of 60-53, 60-53 and 60-52. Hitchins moves to 5-0, 3 KOs while Valenzuela moves to 7-3, 2 KOs.

In a 6-round junior bantamweight fight, Dylan Price, Sicklerville, NJ (7-0, 5 KOs), took a one-sided unanimous decision over Rwandan Mulapi Enjani (3-6-2, 1 KO). The scores were 59-55 and 60-54 twice.

Marsellos Wilder made light work of Ryan Williams in their scheduled 4 round cruiserweight bout. Wilder applied the damage via body combinations to slow down Williams and forced the referee to stop the fight 2:34 in round 1. Williams drops to 0-2 while Wilder flips that to 2-0.

Branden Quarles, Alexandria, VA (20-4-1, 10 KOs) won an 8-round split decision over Marcus Willis of Ft. Myers (18-6-2, 5 KOs) in their middleweight bout. The scores were 77-75 and 78-74 for Quarles. One judge favored Willis, 78-74.

In an 8-round featherweight contest, Ricky Lopez of Colorado Springs (20-4, 6 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Ramsey Luna of Corpus Christi (14-6, 6 KOs).

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