By: William Holmes
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights was broadcast from the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York and featured a junior welterweight main event between Chris Algieri and Emmanuel Taylor.
After some technical difficulty at the start of the broadcast, Anthony Gangemi (4-1) and Wendy Toussaint (3-0) met in the opening bout of the night in the welterweight division. Gangemi gave up a few inches in height to Toussaint and that disadvantage proved to be a difference in the bout. Toussaint was effective in attacking the body and head of Gangemi and staying on the outside. Gangemi slipped to the mat in the first and early on in the second rounds and they were not ruled a knockdown.
Toussaint was a little quicker to the punch and stayed just outside of Gangemi’s range. Gangemi had a few good moments in the third round, but it was not enough to win the bout. Toussaint won with scores of 38-38, 39-37, and 39-37.
The next bout of the night was between Issouf Kinda (16-1) and Jeremy Bryan (16-3) in the junior welterweight division. Jeremy Bryan was once a promising prospect but has gone 3-3 in his last six fights and all of his losses were by knockout. Kinda had a successful amateur career but was not known for his knockout power.
The results? A kinda boring fight.
To sum it up both fighters showed ineffective aggression and an absurd amount of clinching. The referee, Gary Rosado was constantly forced to separate the fighters in every single round. Neither boxer dominated a single round, but Kinda must have been aware of the questions surrounding Bryan’s chin because he was overly aggressive and was often caught by Bryan falling in. Kinda did have a bruise under his right eye and Bryan had a small cut over his left eye.
The main event of the evening was between Chris Algieri (18-0) and Emmanuel Taylor (17-1) in the junior welterweight division. Algieri had the height and reach advantage on Taylor as well as the home field advantage. Tonight was Algieri’s eighth consecutive fight at the Paramount.
Algieri’s jab was sharp early on and he looked to be the bigger fighter inside the ring. Taylor was coming off of an 11 month layoff and it showed early on in the bout. Algieri was winning the early rounds with more activity and crisper combinations, especially when he opened up his combos with body shots and finished them up upstairs.
Algieri’s body head combinations continued to excite his hometown crowd, but Taylor looked like he was beginning to warm up in the fourth round. Taylor controlled the opening moments of the fifth round with his jab but Algieri turned the tide of the round in his favor with some solid left uppercuts and body shots.
The only clear Taylor rounds were the sixth and maybe the seventh rounds. Algieri may have taken these rounds off and Taylor was very active with his jab. However, Algieri began to use his body/head combinations in the eighth and ninth rounds effectively again and it looked like he was cruising to a decision victory at the start of the last round. Taylor went out full bore in the tenth round, but Algieri slowed him down with his crisp and accurate left hand.
The final scores were 98-92, 97-93, and 97-93 for Chris Algieri.