By: William Holmes
ESPN Friday Night Fights experienced early technical difficulties, but luckily for fight fans, they were able to fix the problems and present a night of fights for their fans live from the Edgewater Casino Hotel and Resorts. The main event featured a highly ranked Juan Carlos Burgos and the undefeated Cesar Vazquez, instead of the usual upcoming prospect or aged veteran trying to restart his career.
The first bout of the night was between Vitor Freitas-Jones (0-0) and Rocco Espinoza (3-5) in the junior lightweight division. Vitor Freitas-Jones is the nephew of Acelino “Popo” Freitas, and the name recognition likely helped him score a bout on television.
Espinoza took the bout on one day’s notice, and it was evident early on that he was brought in to serve as cannon fodder for Freitas-Jones. Espinoza was knocked out in the first round in his last bout, and he was knocked out in the first round in this bout. Freitas-Jones tagged Espinoza in the first round by the ropes, and pummeled him with combinations and hooks to the head. The referee stepped in to stop the fight as Espinoza was falling to the ground.
The next bout of the night was a scheduled eight round bout between Aron Martinez (17-1-1) and Prenice Brewer (16-2-1) in the welterweight division. Brewer was last seen losing a lopsided decision to Ronald Cruz in Bethlehem, PA.
Neither of these fighters is known for his power, and that was painfully evident in tonight’s fight. Both fought out of the orthodox stance, but the taller Brewer made the mistake of allowing Martinez to fight on the inside and rough him up. Brewer started off strong by picking off Martinez with his jab, but Martinez was able to bull rush through the punches of Brewer and punish him with short body shots and harder head shots. Aron Martinez won by a split decision with scores of 77-75 for Martinez, 77-75 for Brewer, and 77-75 for Martinez.
The main event of the night was between Juan Carlos Burgos (29-1) and Cesar Vazquez (25-0) in the junior lightweight division. Vazquez was making his US debut and had an impressive record, but he had never fought someone with the talent of Juan Carlos Burgos.
The fight started off closely contested, as Vazquez was able to land a few sold left hooks when he was able to get inside, but it was apparent that Burgos was the more technically gifted fighter, as his punches were smoother and more accurate.
Announcer Teddy Atlas compared the step up in competition for Vazquez like someone jumping into the ocean after swimming in the kiddie pool. This turned out to be a very accurate statement.
Burgos stunned Vazquez in the third round with several hard left hooks and had Vazquez hurt and struggling to defend himself from the onslaught. The referee decided to halt the punishment at 1:50 of the third round, giving Burgos the TKO victory.
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