By: William Holmes
In a possible sign of things to come, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights telecast was broadcast tonight on ESPN instead of their usual flagship channel of ESPN 2. ESPN has been heavily hyping their Boxcino tournament, and tonight was the semifinals of the lightweight tournament. Banner Promotions chose the Four Bears Casino in New Town, North Dakota as the host site for tonight’s telecast. Each bout tonight was scheduled for eight rounds.
The first fight of the night was between “Silky Smooth” Miguel Gonzalez (23-3) and Fernando Carcamo (16-5). Despite the fact Carcamo had the worst record of the tournament contestants many insiders felt Carcamo was a favorite to win the tournament. He was also riding a six fight knockout streak. Gonzalez also had some impressive amateur victories over some name opponents, including Victor Ortiz, and was also a US Olympic alternate.
Carcamo was four inches taller and five years younger than the southpaw Gonzalez. Gonzalez came out aggressively and landed looping hooks early on in the opening fram. However, Carcamo was able to blast Gonzalez with a left hook that sent his head snapping back and forced him to sit on the ropes. The referee ruled it a knockdown and Carcamo ran to the corner to prematurely celebrate. It appeared that Gonzalez was momentarily out from the left hook, but he was able to recover, get back to his feet, and survive the round.
Gonzalez adjusted his style in the second and third rounds and decided to fight Gonzalez in tight. Carcamo was able to dig some hooks into the body of Gonzalez, but Gonzalez outworked and out landed Carcamo.
Carcamo turned the tide back into his favor in the fourth round by keeping a good distance and avoiding keeping his punches from being smothered. His highlight of the fourth round was a combination that started at the body and finished upstairs that forced Gonzalez to keep away and move backwards. Carcamo’s efforts to attack the body began to pay off in the fifth round when Gonzalez started to slow down and did not appear to want o fight Carcamo inside.
In the later rounds Gonzalez outworked and out landed Carcamo, but it was Carcamo who was landing the heavier punches. Gonzalez needed a knockout in the final round to win the bout, but he unwisely chose to not go for the kill.
Carcamo defeated Gonzalez with scores of 76-76, 78-74, and 77-75.
The next bout of the night was between Chris Rudd (13-1) and Petr Petrov (33-4-2), and it was by far the most entertaining bout of this tournament.
Petrov started the bout off strong by landing a rising left hook/straight right hand combination and was easily avoiding the jabs of Rudd. Petrov was aiming for the lead left hook, and he was willing to take a punch in order to give a punch.
Rudd had a beter second round and was connecting with his jab while tying up with Petrov whenever he got in close. Petrov was still landing the harder punches, and ended the round strong, but Rudd may have done enough work to win the round.
In the third round the referee warned Ward to stop holding, and the tone of the bout immediately changed. Rudd unleashed a vicious salvo on Rudd when his back was against the corner. Every punch connected with ferocity and would have knocked most men down. Rudd, to his cred, was willing to exchange and landed some heavy shots of his own, but his power paled in comparison to ever charging Petrov.
Somehow Rudd was able to survive the round. Petrov opened up the fourth round by landing a thundering right hand and pounded Rudd from corner to corner until another multi punch combination on a fading Rudd forced the referee to waive off the fight.
Petrov advances to the finals with a TKO at 0:41 of the fourth round.