The opening bout of the evening featured heavyweights, George Arias (10-0, 6 KOs) and Juan Goode (8-8, 6 KOs) in a fight that was scheduled for six rounds. Goode, who weighed in almost 20 pounds heavier than Arias, appeared soft in the abdomen and arguably out of shape for this contest. The first round of this bout was slow and uneventful with few punches thrown by the fighters. In the second round, Arias connected with a left hook that sent Goode to one knee. Goode, who was unable to recover from the punch, was counted out at 2:19 of the second round. Arias won his fourth straight bout by knockout, while Goode's record now stands at .500.
Hurshidbek Normatov (5-0, 2 KOs) fought Nicklaus Flaz (5-1, 4 KOs) in a six round welterweight bout. Both fighters stepped into the ring looking to preserve their undefeated records. This was evident in the first round when both men exchanged hard punches in the neutral corner of the ring. In the second round, Flaz landed a big right hook that backed his taller opponent up into the blue corner. Normatov, who displayed good defense throughout the bout, wisely covered up to prevent further damage. Flaz landed big hooks throughout the bout and "smiled off" some of Normatov's big shot in the second and third rounds. Flaz, who had previously been warned about low blows, was deducted a point in the fourth round. Normatov, who was clearly frustrated by the frequency of these cheap shots, connected on a big shot to the body after the bell marking the end of the fourth round rang. Flaz landed a big upper cut in the fifth round that forced his opponent to cover up again. Unfortunately for the Puerto Rican fighter, he did not learn his lesson about low blows earlier in the bout. Flaz was again deducted a point in the fifth round, after a low blow sent Normatov collapsing to the canvas. Both fighters appeared exhausted in the final round, but mustered up enough strength to throw a series of sloppy punches to end the match. The judges scored the bout 59-53, 58-54, and 57-55 all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Hurshidbek Normatov.
Montenegrin superstar, Dejan Zlaticanin (23-1, 16 KOs) began his trip on the comeback trail last night in New York City. The former WBC World Lightweight Champion, who suffered his first loss last January to Mikey Garcia, fought Colombia's Hevinson Herrera (22-14-1, 16 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout that was scheduled for eight rounds. In the first round, Zlaticanin cornered Herrera and finished him off with a brutal series of straight left hands that sent Herrera to the ground for the ten count. The stoppage came at the 1:57 mark of the first round. Zlaticanin celebrated his knockout victory with former world champ and trainer, James "Buddy" McGirt.
The fourth bout of the evening featured, welterweights Larry Fryers (aka Lawrence Gleeson) (6-0, 2 KOs) and Charles Natal (9-1-2, 3 KOs) in a six round battle of undefeated prospects, and "fight of the night" candidate. From the outset, the two men seemed evenly matched, and fought a crowd pleasing bout. The two fighters felt each other out in the first round, with Fryers effectively using his jab. The action picked up in the second round when Fryers answered the bell on the offensive. He backed his opponent into the ropes with body shots. Later in the round, Natal made a statement by landing a hard left hand to the Fryers' head. Fryers controlled the third and fourth rounds by landing the cleaner shots. Swelling under Natal's left eye appeared to give him problems in the second half of the contest. The two men brawled in the sixth round, which was highlighted by a Fryers' big right hook to Natal's body that pushed the Puerto Rican into the ropes. Fryers later landed a big overhand right to the head that reminded Natal that the fight was not over yet. The judges scored the bout 60-54 twice, and 59-55 all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Larry Fryers.
The women's middleweight bout that was scheduled between Alicia Napoleon (8-1, 5 KOs) and Sydney LeBlanc (4-5-1) was cancelled due to LeBlanc failing a pre-fight physical. Promoter, Lou DiBella told the crowd that LeBlanc's failed physical was the result of her efforts to cut weight too close to the contest. Napoleon, who is signed to DiBella Entertainment, promised the crowd that she would be in action again after the New Year. DiBella and Napoleon also hinted at ongoing negotiations to schedule the Lindenhurst, NY native in a women's title fight.
The original main event between WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight Champion, Patrick Day (14-2-1, 6 KOs) and Wesley Tucker (14-1, 8 KOs) was cancelled due to Tucker's recent arrest for an undisclosed reason in the days leading up to this card.
The main event of the evening featured undefeated lightweights, Will Madera (11-0-1, 5 KOs) and Wesley Ferrer (12-0-1, 7 KOs). Ferrer, a Brooklyn native, was the overwhelming crowd favorite over the course of the eight round bout. The fighters spent much of the first round feeling each other out. In the second round, the two fighters exchanged punches in what would end up being a closely scored bout. A lightning fast Ferrer left hook in the fifth round appeared to hurt his opponent. By the end of the sixth round, it was evident that neither man would running away with this bout on the judges' scorecards. Ferrer landed hard left and right hooks to Madera's head in the seventh round, but the tough Albany native fought back. A brutal exchange in the center of the ring, in which Madera threw a series of big overhand rights, got the crowd on their feet in the seventh round. A hard fought eight and final round led to the judges scoring the bout, 77-75 for Ferrer, 77-75 for Madera, and 76-76 a draw. The fight ended in a split decision draw, with both men preserving their unbeaten streaks.
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