Rice stops Vianello on a cut

Vianello Rice 2
Photo: Bob Newman

By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside

Vianello Cut
Photo: Bob Newman

In the opening bout of the ESPN telecast on Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, undefeated Italian Olympian Guido Vianello was defeated by former sparring partner Jonnie Rice via seventh round TKO in a scheduled 10 round heavyweight bout. Vianello worked behind his long, pawing jab while Rice tried to counter but didn’t match Guido’s work rate. In the fifth round, the crowd grew very vocal with their discontent at the lack of meaningful action. Suddenly, a long left jab by Rice in the sixth snapped Vianello’s head back. Then a Rice right hand opened a nasty cut on Vianello’s left eyebrow. The corner was not able to successfully stem the flow of blood, prompting referee Benjy Esteves to call in the ringside doctor early in the seventh.

After a brief inspection, the doctor recommended the fight be stopped. Initially, Esteves told all the judges to score the round, thinking that the cut was caused by a clash of heads. After a review of the video replay, the decision was reversed and it was deemed that the cut was caused by that telling punch in the sixth. Winner by technical knockout – Jonnie Rice, now 16-6-1, 11 KOs. Vianello drops his first at 10-1-1, 9 KOs. Incidentally, Vianello was ahead by scores of 59-55 twice and 58-56.

After the fight, Rice stated “I did it again… another undefeated fighter. I’m not here to call anyone out right now. I’m going to enjoy this victory and then see what’s next.”

Photos: Bob Newman


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  • What garbage. Rice landed about 5 punches all fight and one just happens to open a fresh cut. Rice is going nowhere and did not win the fight

    • Totally agree James but Guido isn’t going anywhere either, he couldn’t get inside on this trail horse.

    • I don’t get this logic of punches that cause cuts not being valid victories. If he scored a one-punch KO, you wouldn’t say he “did not win the fight”, but both KOs and cuts from punches are physical results of a blow landed.

      • You’re trying too hard to make sense of an emotional rant by a fan frustrated that his guy lost.

  • That was the only punch Rice landed the whole fight. Horrible cut but Guido was never in any trouble. I think they should have made Rice land another punch before they stopped it. He might not have.

    • I watched the fight and rice landed a lot of shots. it was supposed to be a showcase for guido, but he looked like straight garbage.

  • I know they have their rules and their guidelines to follow, but I’m glad common sense won out and they just took a look at the tape.

    But I do agree with James as well: Rice looked really bad. Threw about 9-10 hard right hands during the entire fight and landed like three of them. Luckily for him, one of them tore Vianello’s face open. What an awful cut that was!

  • There should be some better way to handle fights like this. A meaningful medical clause that lets it go to the cards. I would think this kind of result would be an obviously unfair outcome to the boxing insider as much as the casual fan.

  • Bullshit “win.” A single mediocre punch caused a serious cut…end of fight? And the ESPN team saw that as a fair “TKO?” Tyson Fury was cut far worse by an Otto Wallin punch…we all know why that fight wasn’t stopped!

  • The two HW fights were both horrible, lacking in real talent. The Italian and Rice both sucked, I’ve seen amateurs with less than 10 bouts display far superior skills. Top Rank needs to stop offering up garbage fights to ESPN.

  • Three quick points:

    1. Instant replay should be the norm in boxing.

    2. It was a right hand that opened the cut.

    3. See point 1 it will help when writing an article.

    • Article says a left jab opened the cut. Don’t know if he even threw a jab all fight, a big right opened the cut, and it was definitely a fight stopper. Neither of the four has much of a future as a headliner, imo.

  • All you idiots saying that the bad cut caused by a legal punch shouldn’t have caused a TKO should stop following boxing immediately. There have been many fights in the history of boxing lost by TKO due to cuts. You can’t change the rules because the fighter you wanted to win lost. Sheesh! Grow up!

  • I’m surprised about all the sour comments on here. None of you seem to disagree with the stoppage, so give Rice his due: he landed a very good and clean right hand. He clearly believed he could win with one shot and he was right.

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