By: William Holmes
ESPN Friday Night Fights was broadcast from the UIC in Chicago, Illinois. The broadcast was delayed for thirty minutes due to the NIT tournament, but the arena remained packed, and it was much more crowded than other previous Friday Night shows from Las Vegas.
The first fight of the night was between Hairon Socarras (6-0-1) and Sergio Montes De Oca (7-1-1) in the featherweight division. Socarras is a Cuban boxer but he wore United States themed trunks inside the ring. He scored an early first round knockdown with a left hook that caused Montes De Oca’s glove to touch the canvas. Socarras was a little bit quicker and a little bit longer, and he was able to control the action from the outside by landing crisp jabs and two punch combinations. He effectively mixed up punches to the body and head and hurt a game Monte De Oca several times in this four round bout. The final scores were 40-35, 40-35, and 40-35.
The co-main event was between Kermit Cintron (33-5-1) and Adrian Granados (9-1-1) in the welterweight division. Cintron has recently dropped back down to the welterweight division after unsuccessfully campaigning in the junior middleweight division.
This was only Granados’ second fight in the welterweight division but he was fighting in front of his hometown crowd and he looked very hungry inside the ring. Cintron wore a luche libre mask during his walkout but he was not fighting a walkover.
Granados was very game and got the crowd on its feet multiple times throughout the fight. He was full of energy and was bouncing around the ring, but he bounced in and out and caught the slower Cintron with surprising left hooks and crisp combinations. It was obvious that Cintron was in a dog fight and he did not expect Granados to be this tough.
Cintron’s best round of the night was in the fourth round. He bloodied the nose of Granados and he began to sit on his punches and found his range. Granados however also adjusted and never stopped coming forward. The crowd cheered Granados on in the sixth round and he even stunned Cintron with another left hook. Cintron was just too slow and too old, and the younger and more active Granados did very well in keeping up the pace and pop shotting Cintron from the outside. Granados closed out the fight strong by landing crisp and accurate straight right hands in the last round.
However, the judges must have been watching a different fight as it was ruled a draw with scores of 96-94 Granados, 97-93 for Cintron, and 95-95.
The main event was between Don George (24-3-1) and David Lopez (41-13) in the middleweight division. Lopez was a southpaw and a little bit taller than George who was making his debut in the middleweight division.
Lopez, much like Granados, was a much tougher opponent for George than expected. He remained active and threw a large volume of punches and connected often. George’s punches however had more snap behind them and visibly affected Lopez when they landed. George hurt Lopez in the third round with another straight right hand and it made Lopez a little wobbly. Lopez however showed his toughness and fought back. Lopez’s best round was in the fifth round. His bruised up George’s left eye and rocked George near the end of the round with a hard left hook.
At the end of the night Lopez out landed George, but George landed the harder punches. It became a matter of what type of style you liked the best and the judges scored the fight 97-94 Lopez, 96-94 George, and 95-95 making it a split draw.
However, it was a much closer fight than the Cintron fight.