by Matthew N. Becher
As the clock ticks down on the final installment of this historic series, ESPN airs its second to final edition of Friday Night Fights, live from the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT. Tonight will show some top prospects from rapper turn boxing promoter Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and SMS promotions as well as the well renowned Lou Dibella.
In the Co-Main feature, local boy and top prospect Luis Rosa of New Haven, will put his undefeated record on the line against Jonathan Perez a longtime veteran who is making his first appearance in the US. Rosa is a 24 year old undefeated fighter looking to add another notch in his belt, coming off of a big upset win last year over Orlandito Del Valle.
Luis Rosa & Jonathan Perez
The Main event will bring together the young and the old. Reynaldo Ojeda is a 26 year old undefeated Puerto Rican looking to step up his game by taking on a veteran who may be on the way out of the game. Monty Meza Clay is 34 and has been in the ring and fought some great wars. Will tonight be the coming out party for the young Ojeda, or will Meza Clay be able to prolong his career and show the youngster that he still has a few tricks up his sleeves.
Reynaldo Ojeda & Monte Meza-Clay
Luis Rosa (19-0 9KO) v. Jonathan Perez (33-10,1NC 27KO) Jr. Featherweight
Both fighters come out mixing it up. Perez uses his jab, Rosa works on the body.
In the second round Perez starts to open up with more punches and Rosa takes advantage of those openings. Rosa lands a low blow on Perez and is warned while Perez is giving a breather. Perez starts throwing his jab again, while Rosa goes back to the body. Perez lands two clean shots to the head and Rosa shakes it off, showing that Perez power does not bother him.
Both fighters are trading big shots in the third, neither using any head movement, just loading up big punches. Rosa starts using his jab to try and follow up behind it. Perez starts moving around the ring and grabbing.
Perez and Rosa are landing head shots. Little to no defense is being implemented at this point. Perez tries to counter, but Rosa looks to be landing the heavier shots. Rosa goes in with a flurry of punches ,pushes Perez down and while on the ground Rosa hits Perez. Referee Mike Ortega takes one point from Rosa. Rosa knowing that he is now down the round comes out and throws a barrage of punches for the final thirty seconds of the round.
Rosa comes out where he left off in the 4th round, just attacking with lots of punches. Perez is very tired, using the ring to hide and throwing little punches. Perez gets caught against the ropes and Rosa is able to work on the inside. Perez is shelled up, tired and Hurt. Rosa is landing punches unopposed. Referee Mike Ortega sees enough and stops the fight in the 5th.
Rosa TKO 5, 2:29
Reynaldo Ojeda (16-0 9KO) v. Monty Meza Clay (36-4 22KO) Lightweight
Meza Clay comes in low, which makes him hard to hit, especially with him already being only 5’2”. Ojeda starts out using his reach advantage to land his jab. Meza clay with lots of movement, but is very open after throwing his initial punch. Ojeda uses lateral movement and lands good shots while Meza Clay is coming in.
Meza clay has both hands down and is being hit cleanly in the second round, especially on his left side. Ojeda weathers the storm against the shorter Meza Clay, and starts picking on Meza Clays left side. Meza Clay is following Ojeda around the ring, most of his shots being blocked, while Ojeda landing shots with more snap.
The third has Meza Clay coming out firing, still coming forward. Ojeda eats some punches but is landing his own shots as well. Ojeda has to fight on the move, but is landing the cleaner, heavier shots. Ojeda starting to use more accurate punches. Meza Clay following Ojeda around the ring, not able to land many clean shots and is eating punches while doing so. Instead of cutting off the ring, Meza Clay is leaving openings for Ojeda to escape.
In the 5th the overhand right lands for Ojeda as Meza Clay still leaves his left side unguarded. Meza Clay still following Ojeda around and starting to look tired. He is throwing less and less punches as Ojeda is able to fight going backwards. Ojeda starts landing shots to clays body, sitting down on his punches.
More of the same goes on with Meza Clay coming forward but not cutting off the ring. Ojeda lands his shots and easily gets out of harms way.
In the eight a clash of heads opens a cut over Meza Clays right eye, which only adds to his frustrations.
The fight goes the distance and the judges find it an easy one to score, a unanimous decision to the undefeated prospect Ojeda.
99-91 (2x) 98-92 UD Ojeda 10
Henry Beckford (2-1) v. Ivan Golub (12-0 6KO) Middleweight (Swing-bout)
In the swing bout, 19 year old Henry Beckford takes on the undefeated Ivan Golub of the Ukraine. Beckford took this fight on one days notice.
The first round showed both fighters come out throwing a lot of punches. Beckford is in his 4th pro fight against Golub who has had over 300 amateur fights looking to make quick work of the fill in for this bout.
The second round had both fighters trading big left hands, while Golub begins adding combinations against Beckford in the corner. Golub lands heavy body shots against a man who took a fight on one days notice and might not be in the greatest possible shape. Beckford already begins to swing wildly and show signs of fatigue.
Golub starts landing a big left hand after pumping out a steady jab. Beckford is not throwing many punches at all, while Golub starts landing heavy body shots and following up with an uppercut.
Beckford does not use his length to his advantage at all, while Golub capitalizes on fighting inside.
The fifth round begins and Beckford looks very much like a fighter that took a fight on no notice. He is tired, breathing out of his mouth and goes down on a body shot about one minute into the round. Beckford has nothing left, holds on while Golub continues to land heavy body shots. The fight is stopped with :43 seconds left in the round by the ref Mike Ortega.
Golub TKO 5, 2:17