The tournament is the great divider of good and great. The ability to focus, learn and conquer opponents consecutively in a short span of time identifies those who can perform under pressure. ESPN held its 154 pound Boxcino tournament Friday featuring a group of eight fighters from around the world.
Starting the nights action, favorite to reach the final Stanislov Skorokhod 9-0 7Ko’s from the Ukraine stopped American Michael Moore at 1 minute 57 seconds of the fourth round with a big right hand that prompted referee Mike Ortega to stop the fight. Moore had nothing to offer in terms of resistance as Skorokhod landed at will with thudding blows. Skorokhod who had an extensive amateur career in eastern Europe controlled the flow of the fight and always had his lead foot on the outside of the southpaw Moore’s for the entire contest that opened up lead left hooks.
Moore went down from a Skorokhod right hook to signal the impending knockout in the third round. Moore attempted to return fire but was out gunned by the more powerful Ukranian. In the fourth Skorokhod landed another big right hook that sent Moore to the mat hard, beating the count referee Mike Ortega did a good job keeping an eye on Moore and after another big right hand that stopped Moore in his tracks Ortega jumped in to save Moore in a showcase for Skorokhod.
Second on deck for the night Ricardo Pinell 10-2-1 6Ko’s fought late replacement with only one day’s notice John Thompson IV 15-1 5Ko’s after Cleotis Pendarvis failed to make weight. Apparently Thompson didn’t get the memo that he was a replacement fighter because he came in shape and soundly outboxed a Pinell that failed to engage, cutoff the ring, or work the body. Thompson Dominated the fight using a quick jab and effective combination punching that kept Pinell at the end of his fist all night.
Thompson definitely took advantage of the opportunity parlaying it into another fight that will gain him precious exposure. All three judges scored the fight 60-54.
In the third fight of the evening Simeon Hardy 13-1 10Ko’s of Guyana lost a unanimous decision to Journeyman Vito Gasparyan 14-3-5 8Ko’s in a fight tha Gasparyan started slow but eventually got warmed up as the taller fighter in Hardy amazingly decided to fight on the inside rather than the outside. Gasparyan landed more effective shots in a workman like performance that lacked any display of dazzling skill to eliminate the Guyanan.
Brandon “The Cannon” Adams 16-1 11Ko’s looked sensational in a fifth round destruction of a game but overmatched Alex Perez 18-2 10Ko’s in the last fight of the evening. Adams came out fast using good upper body movement and quick feet to get inside and rip left and right hooks upstairs. After being bullied the first three rounds Perez came out in the fourth with some spark and backed Adams against the ropes to land a few shots until Adams fought his way off and back to middle of the ring.
In the fifth round Perez was starting to break down a bit as Adams was firing fast right crosses and hooks that Perez couldn’t see coming. Perez was standing in the middle of the ring posing a bit when Adams fired a sledgehammer right hand that detonated on Perez’s chin dropping him. Perez looking worse for wear prompted referee Harvey Doc to halt the fight.
Adams looked impressive, along with SkoroKhod the two have set a nice storyline of two heavy fovorites that could meet up in the final of an exciting tournament.