Charles scores KO victory
By Dave Spencer
In a bout that was quickly sucking the air out of behemoth concrete structure that is the Claude Robillard Centre in Montreal, Ali Nestor Charles (13-5-2 5KO) managed to bring fans to their feet with a somewhat surprising knockout victory over Martin Avila (13-9 6KO) at the end of the eighth round of a scheduled ten in UGC 29 Saturday night. Boxing dominated on this night in a series that mixes various forms of fighting but on this night saw seven of eight fights dedicated to the sweet science.
The bout was largely an awkward hug-fest that lacked any sustained action or intensity. Charles normally a middleweight scaled down to 154 pounds because of some unheard of title that was at stake. The weight drop seemed to drain the fighter who eight years ago had to withdraw from a fight he was winning at 160 pounds because he was severely dehydrated. Sluggish action prevailed throughout as single volleys would transcend into clenches and then into bouts of inactivity. When Charles landed a single left with a bit of leverage on it midway through the seventh round, it brought cheers from a crowd desperate for something to hang their hat on.
They would soon have something to cheer a round later.
A knockdown would end the 7th on a borderline low blow had Avila hitting the canvas awkwardly. Confusion seemed to reign for the moment on whether or not it was a legit knockdown with referee Steve St Germain only picking up the count at six. If the reaction of Avila was to be believed, the blow was definitely low. The Mexican who lasted all of four minutes with David Lemieux three years ago was not interested in sitting down between rounds and tried to walk off the effects of the blow, pacing back and forth, bending over and doing whatever he could to recover in the one minute that was allotted to him.
Avila seemed back up to speed in the eighth as the fight devolved back into its familiar pattern of miss and hug. It was on a break from such a hug that Charles finally capitalized. With Avila doing his best to hang on to his opponent around the waist, Charles moved to his side and managed to land a clean right hand and left uppercut to put his opponent down to the canvas. Avila managed to wobble himself upright somewhere between the count of nine and ten but the bout was called at that point.
As Charles was carried around the ring in celebration by his corner afterwards, he appeared spent with nothing left in the tank, not even for celebrating.
The victory extends Charles undefeated streak to nine fights and over five years. Expect Charles back in June at UGC 30.
Luis bangs body
Recent appointed WBC Goodwill Ambassador Tony Luis had little trouble with Hungary's Ferenc Szabo (14-27-2 7KO), dropping the over-matched fighter in round two and three more times in the next round to earn the TKO victory at 1:07 of the third. It was an all out body assault by Luis (14-0 6KO) who focused his attack downstairs after establishing his jab early in the fight. Szabo simply could handle what Luis was serving up and crumpled down to his knees for momentary respite in the second. “He had his elbows up high and he presented a few opportunities,” said Luis after the fight. With the groundwork set, Luis continued the brutal body attack in the third. Two quick digging lefts put Szabo down again and he was all but down for. Quickly afterwards it was two powerful rights putting Szabo down and then a single touch from Luis right securing the TKO victory and his third consecutive stoppage.
Rood welcoming for Martinez
Quebec southpaw Roody Pierre-Paul was able to drop Carlos Martinez in the opening round of their 6 round lightweight bout but the Laval lightweight was unable to finish off his Mexican counterpart, settling for a unanimous decision victory. Paul landed a left uppercut to produce the knockdown but the crafty Martinez hung in tough, fighting to the end. Each of the judges saw the bout the same, 60-53 in favor of Pierre-Paul who improves to 5-0 (3KOs). Martinez, for his troubles, drops his 6th straight bout, falling to 5-12 (3KOs).
Short night for Lavallée
Undefeated Montreal super featherweight Kevin Lavallée put Ivan Paszti to the canvas 3 times, ending matters at 2:17 of the first round of their four round contest. Paszti, fighting out of Hungary, jumped around the ring like a ping pong ball in a bingo hall but Lavallee had little trouble find him, scoring his first knockdown with a single jab. The rest was merely academic with a couple of lefts to the body producing knockdown number 2 and a right hand falling Paszti (2-5) for the third and final time. Lavallée (8-0-1, 7KOs) had such an easy time that he had to ask his corner whether this was seriously his scheduled opponent after the second knockdown. Lavallée could return back as early as April 28, based on this performance, he should be plenty fresh.
Hitman delivers shots
Frank “The Hitman” Cotroni improved his pro ledger to 3-0 (3KOs) with an easy opening round KO over Emanuel Guzman (0-5) of Montreal in a super middleweight matchup. Cotroni was able to hammer away with the right hand that had a rather portly Guzman dancing and twisting down into the canvas and the eventual winner cavorting into a neutral corner. Cotroni kept on with the right hand and had the still winless Guzman wobbling around the ring before finally taking a knee. Guzman managed to drag himself up and beat the count but as Cotroni continued to land referee Marlon Wright jumped in and halted matters. Time of the stoppage was 2:27. Guzman who was 0-3 as a welterweight 8 years ago has now been stopped twice at much higher weights in what can only be described as an ill-fated comeback.
Zayani wins debut
In a battle of debuting lightweights, Jaber Zayani captured a 4 round unanimous decision over Dimitri Waardenburg. Scores of the bout were identical, 39-37 in favor of Zayani. Waardenburg was more economical with his punches early on but the taller Zayani finally started landing with authority in round three, his best round of the fight.
Miville forced to scorecards
Light heavyweight Francois Miville dropped Ahmad Selemani twice in the 4th and final round but couldn’t finish off the Quebec City fighter, settling for the 39-36 (thrice) decision victory. A right hand followed by a left uppercut put Selemani (0-6) down hard, face first on the canvas. Selemani made it to his feet (barely) and was downed again by a series of lefts. Milville (3-1) simply ran out of time trying to finish Selemani off and the fight went to the scorecards.