By Tyson Bruce
Montreal, Quebec- It was a tale of two fights in the main event as Stevenson used his superior speed and skills to dominate Fonfara for the first eight rounds of the fight before running out of gas and being dragged into a brawl in the latter stages of the fight.
In the first round Stevenson ushered Fonfara into the big leagues by whacking him with a straight left hand that caused Fonfara to touch the canvas. Stevenson remained puzzlingly patient throughout the fight despite appearing to have Fonfara outclassed.
Stevenson, 24-1-0-(21), dropped Fonfara hard with a punishing straight left hand to the body. Fonfara showed immense heart and determination by never giving up on himself. It would pay dividends later on when Stevenson would tire. Fonfara’s golden moment nearly arrived in the ninth round when he dropped a retreating Stevenson with a flush right cross.
Stevenson to his credit showed the heart of a champion by coming back and dominating the tenth round with a withering body assault. It’s possible that Stevenson made a tactical error by moving as much as he did in the early rounds. Regardless, he gained a second win and probably shaded the eleventh and twelfth rounds.
The final scores were 115-111 and 116-110 twice all for Stevenson. Sometimes the fights that are expected to be the easiest can prove to be the most challenging. This certainly appeared to be the case tonight, as Fonfara showed a level of grit and power that few experts believed he possessed. In the post fight press conference Fonfara stated, “I had good moments and I had bad moments. I’m happy to have survived. Maybe if I’d thrown more combinations I would have knocked him out. I proved that he wasn’t Superman.”
Any left over grievances from the Charlo-Ota fight was quickly left behind when David Lemieux, 32-0-0-(30 ko’s), went past Fernando Guerrero, 26-3-0-(19 ko’s), like a hot knife through butter. As soon as Guerrero felt the power of Lemieux a look of utter terror passed across his face. This was Bruce Seldon against Mike Tyson level of fear on Guerrero’s part. Lemieux dropped Guerrero with a hail of punches in the first and second rounds. To make matters worse, Guerrero also sustained a bad cut in the second stanza. The end would come in the third round when Lemieux nearly lifted Guerrero off the canvas with a vicious right uppercut that left him sprawled out on the canvas.
It’s safe to say that the Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo–Charlie Ota fight will not be featured on ESPN classic’s anytime soon. Charlo used his massive advantage in speed and athleticism to largely outbox the passive Ota. Ota managed to catch an off-balance Charlo with a right hand that deposited him on the canvas. It would be Ota’s lone moment of success in the bout. Charlo is a pure boxer so excitement in his fights is largely dependent on his opponent coming forward. Ota was never really willing to leave his comfort zone and spent most of the night on the end of Charlo’s long jab. Scores were 115-111 and 118-109 twice.
In a beautiful and varied display of boxing Julian “J-Rock” Williams, one of the best prospects in the sport, gradually broke down the very game Michael Medina. Williams showcased the whole package as he unloaded the kitchen sink on Medina throughout the bout. Medina, 26-5-2-(19), was very brave just to have made it as far as he did.
After six rounds of pounding Williams finally stunned Medina in round six with a counter left hook followed up with a series of flush punches with both hands. Williams didn’t rush as he gradually broke Medina over the next two rounds. The end would come in the eighth round when Williams busted Medina with a short counter right, followed by an additional right cross that was really just window dressing.
Williams improved to 16-0-1-(10) and showed why many boxing insiders are hailing him as one of the future stars of boxing. When asked about the future Williams responded, “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I just train hard. I don’t want to be just some fighter; I want to be a great champion. I want to be a multimillionaire.” When ask if there was any junior middleweight he wanted to call out he responded, “No, I’m a humble guy. I’m just going to keep beating whoever they put in front of me.” Well said.
In a woefully uneventful fight the up and coming light heavyweight contender Eleider “Storm” Alvarez, 14-0-0-(8 ko’s), won a unanimous decision over late replacement Alexander “The Great” Johnson, 15-2-0-(6 ko’s). The lone highlight of the bout came in the fifth stanza when a series of Alvarez right hands caused Johnson to touch the canvas. Alvarez, however, failed to capitalize on the momentum and let the southpaw Johnson get back into the fight. Final scores were 97-92 on all cards.