ESPN Friday Night Fights Results: Willie Monroe Jr. Makes Coasts Past Vera, Adams Stops Byfield
By: William Holmes
The Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York was the host site for this year’s inaugural 2015 Friday Night Fights broadcast.
“Hammerin” Hank Lundy was scheduled to face Boxcino lightweight tournament winner Petr Petrov in the co-main event of the night, but missed weight by four pounds and the bout was cancelled. Lundy recently competed against Thomas Dulorme in the junior welterweight division in Brooklyn, New York on December 6th, 2014.
The first bout of the night was a welterweight fight between Greg Jackson (3-1-1) and Cornelius Whitlock (3-1-2).
Jackson was the taller and naturally bigger boxer, but Whitlock had the edge in amateur experience. Jackson was using his height well in the first round and was moving Whitlock with his combinations and short left uppercuts. Jackson switched to southpaw near the end of the first round and had the round won.
Jackson came out for the second round back in an orthodox stance and was coming forward again. Whitlock however was able to catch Jackson clean with a straight counter right hand and had him on wobbly legs before he fell to the mat. Jackson looked hurt when he got back to his feet but somehow was able to get on his bike and survive the round.
Whitlock came out aggressive in the beginning of the third round, but Jackson was able to re-establish control and move Whitlock around the ring with his jab and accurate combinations. Jackson connected with two short left hooks and had Whitlock trapped in the corner where he unloaded several unanswered combinations before the referee jumped in to stop the bout.
Greg Jackson wins by TKO at 1:27 of the third round.
The next bout of the night was between Brandon Adams (14-1) and Lekan Byfield (6-6-2) in the middleweight division. Adams made it to the finals of the Boxcino tournament last year and plans to enter the tournament this year in the junior middleweight division.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Byfield looked to be a lot taller than Adams.
Adams was able to duck an weave in order to land power shots when in tight and rocked the head of Byfield with several power shots. Adams was able to land a punishing straight right hand near the end of the round that caused Byfield to fall to the mat face first. He was able to get back to his feet and survive the round, but it was evident that he was still hurt from that knockdown.
Adams continued to show his power in the second round by dropping Byfield with a lunging right hook. Byfield got up again on wobbly legs, but Adams was able to land another short right hand that dropped Byfield again. Byfield got up at the count of nine but looked woozy and the referee rightly waved off the bout.
Brandon Adams wins by TKO at 1:58 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between the middleweight Boxcino tournament winner Willie Monroe (18-1) Jr. and the rugged veteran Bryan Vera (23-8).
Willie Monroe was five years younger than Vera and looked to be in very good shape for the toughest test of his career. Vera was coming off of three straight losses, including a knockout loss to Gabriel Rosado in a modified rules boxing match.
Monroe was able to land straight left hands in the first round while Vera tried to rough up Monroe whenever they got near the ropes. Monroe, however, was landing his punches cleanly in the second round while Vera focused his attack on the body. Monroe closed out the second round with three straight left hands.
Vera continued to invest to the body in the third round, but Monroe showed he could fight with his back against the ropes or when he’s stuck in the corner. Vera picked up his activity and volume in the fourth round and had one of his better rounds of the night.
Willie Monroe scored a knockdown in the fifth round when he connected with a short left hand that forced Vera’s glove to touch the mat. Monroe had Vera hurt again the fifth round with straight left hands and took control of the fight from this round on.
Vera looked frustrated with the right jabs and straight right hands of Monroe in the sixth round and had his head snapped backward violently from a straight left hand by Monroe in the seventh round. The final three rounds featured Monroe showcasing his slick boxing skills while avoiding taking any unnecessary damage from Vera.
The judges scored the bout 98-91, 97-92, and 99-90 for Willie Monroe Jr.