The CBZ Newswire

Windy City Fight Night 20 Serves Up a Fast-Paced Night of Action

by on Dec.17, 2011, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Knockouts the Theme of the Evening; Middleweight War Thrills Fans

Viktor Polyakov (L) breaks down Foster Nkodo's guard

Viktor Polyakov (L) breaks down Foster Nkodo's guard

Report by Kerstin Broockmann

Photos by Scott Dray

CHICAGO, IL, December 16, 2011 — In the final card of the year, 8 Count Productions continued its tradition of introducing promising fighters to Chicago fight fans, featuring a number of prospects and the pro debut of 2011 Chicago Golden Gloves Champion Paul Littleton. The event was packed with explosive action, with the young boxers seeming to vie for who could achieve the quickest knockout. Andrzej Fonfara gave his fans what they were shouting for, and middleweights Viktor Polyakov and Foster Nkodo showed the grit that brought them to a showdown of undefeated prospects.

Curtis Tate (L) tries to avoid a charge from Edward Gauch

Curtis Tate (L) tries to avoid a charge from Edward Gauch

The first fight of the evening featured Oakland, Tennessee’s Curtis Lee Tate (252 lbs.,3-3, 3 KO’s) against Hannibal, Missouri’s Lance Edward Gauch (280 lbs., 3-4, 3KO’s) in a four-round heavyweight bout that promised not to go the distance, given the knockout records of the participants. The first round started slow, with Tate finding his range with a jab. When Gauch started countering with uppercuts, the fighters switched to some inside fighting. Tate seemed to have the sharper punches at the outset, but Gauch began looking for and finding targets, especially for his heavy right hand. Near the end of the round, Gauch’s punches began to take their toll, though Tate rallied at the end.

Curtis Tate (L) goes on the attack

Curtis Tate (L) goes on the attack

The second round featured Gauch stalking Tate, methodically breaking him down. Tate took a more defensive posture, which may have been due to a broken hand incurred in the first round, according to coach Cheryl Schlitt. Both fighters looked a bit tired, but Tate was taking a beating, with Gauch forcing him repeatedly against the ropes with body shots and then launching rights and uppercuts, many of which Tate avoided. However, the damage was being done and Gauch finished with a hard right at the bell.

Gauch (R) throws a final hook as Curtis goes down

Gauch (R) throws a final hook as Curtis goes down

In what would be the final round, the action started slowly in the third round and then Gauch continued his dissection of Tate. Finding his opening, he forced Tate into the corner, where he unleashed an uppercut and right cross which buckled Tate’s knees, finishing with a left hook as Tate crumpled at 1:28 of the round and Gauch added another TKO to his record.

Cesar Martinez (R) swarms Mike Gavronski

Cesar Martinez (R) swarms Mike Gavronski

The second bout featured middleweight Mike Gavronski (162 lbs.) of Melrose Park, Illinois, against the durable Cesar Martinez (162 lbs.) of South Bend, Indiana, via  Michoacan, Mexico. Gavronski established his dominance in the first round, coming on fast behind a sharp jab. Martinez was not to be underestimated. He repeatedly found his way inside, using a short cross effectively as well as finding a number of openings for a powerful left hook. Gavronski set the pace, keeping Martinez backing up, though Martinez stayed mobile and competitive throughout the round, making it difficult for Gavronski to use his superior reach.

Gavronski (L) lands an uppercut on Martinez

Gavronski (L) lands an uppercut on Martinez

In the second round, Gavronski came out quickly behind his jab, peppering Martinez with straight shots from the outside. Martinez initially was effective in countering speed with speed, landing the cross and using his hook whenever Gavoronski was in range. He also covered well, until Gavoronski followed the advice of his corner and started coming up underneath. At just after the start of the final minute of the round, Gavronski landed a right uppercut flush on the chin of Martinez, who fell towards the ropes. Gavronski followed up with a left hook to the body that caused Martinez to take a knee. Martinez could not beat the count and Gavronski kept his record intact, moving to 6-0-1, 5 KO’s. Martinez again put up an admirable fight, but once more went home empty-handed, his record dropping to 1-4-1.

Dimar Ortuz (R) overwhelms Joseph Hancock

Dimar Ortuz (R) overwhelms Joseph Hancock

Tipton, Missouri’s Joseph P.Hancock (194 lbs.) did not seem ready for Chicago’s own Dimar “The Strongman” Ortuz (199 lbs.) in a Cruiserweight bout. Ortuz came out punching at the bell, and, while it lasted, Hancock did his best to survive, holding when he got the chance but also demonstrating a dangerous tendency to turn his head away from punches. Nevertheless, Ortuz found opportunities to land telling blows. A left cross from southpaw Ortuz found Hancock’s chin just after a minute, sending Hancock to the canvas. He got up, with Ortuz in pursuit and, after a few more blows, referee Pete Podgorski stepped in to save the overmatched Hancock at 1:49 of the first round, giving Ortuz his second professional win and technical knockout, while Hancock stays winless at 0-2.

Daniel Sotelo (R) moves to finish against Dunaski

Daniel Sotelo (R) moves to finish against Dunaski

Daniel Sotelo (138 lbs.) of Highwood, IL, came out looking sharp against St. Paul, Minnesota’s Anthony Michael Dunaski (133 lbs.). Dunaski never got a chance to launch an offense against Sotelo, who unleashed his repertoire of punches to head and body from the opening bell. Dunaski spent most of his time in the ring trying to keep his legs under him as he fled the barrage. At the beginning of the second minute, a right cross from Sotelo drove Dunaski to the ropes and to the canvas. Another right cross shortly thereafter had the same effect, with Dunaski clearly frustrated. A final right cross followed by a punishing left hook to the body had Dunaski sinking to the ground. He did not even try to recover as Referee Gerald Scott waved off the bout by TKO at 1:37, giving Sotelo his second professional victory and KO, while Dunaski suffered his second defeat in as many fights.

Luis Santiago (R) drives David Laque back

Luis Santiago (R) drives David Laque back

San Antonio, Texas’s David “The Sunshine Kid” Laque (2-9-1, 2KO’s, 147 lbs.) squared off against Chicago’s Luis Angel Santiago (4-0, 1 KO, 148 lbs.) in a four-round welterweight bout. Santiago clearly outworked Laque in the first round, doing some damage with body shots and straight rights to the chin. He kept the pressure on throughout, though too often found himself unable to work at his range while Laque came inside. Despite this, Santiago clearly made his mark by the end of the round, with Laque unable to land any significant blows of his own.

Laque (L) makes it difficult for Santiago

Laque (L) makes it difficult for Santiago

Santiago picked up the pace a little in the second, hurting Laque with right and left uppercuts. Laque put up little fight, frequently finding himself on his heels, unable to put his weight behind his punches. A few well-placed rights from Santiago looked like they might finish the fight, and they did draw blood, but Laque lasted the round. The third round was cut from a similar cloth, with Santiago coming close to finishing the fight, but Laque weathering the onslaught.

Santiago (R) keeps the pressure on Laque

Santiago (R) keeps the pressure on Laque

In the fourth, Santiago came out looking for the finish, setting up hard rights with blows to the body. Laque looked like he was going down from the first punch and began an awkward backpedalling which seemed to confound Santiago enough to give Laque time to recover from punches that landed. Laque even launched more of an offense than he had in the previous round. Santiago earned an unsurprising shutout on the scorecards, though props go to David Laque for never giving in to Santiago’s constant pressure.

Andrzej Fonfara (L) tries to keep Phil Williams at range

Andrzej Fonfara (L) tries to keep Phil Williams at range

The main event followed, with Light Heavyweight Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fonfara (173.5 lbs., 20-2-0, 11 KO’s), fighting out of Chicago via Poland, facing Minnneapolis, Minnesota’s Phillip “The Drill” Williams (172 lbs., 11-5-1, 10 KO’s). Fonfara started strong behind a jab, which Williams mostly eluded while looking a for a way to get past Fonfara’s reach. Fonfara soon began landing combinations, though Williams seemed unfazed. Williams began crowding Fonfara, locking him up whenever Fonfara got too close. While not finding ways to launch a sustained attack, Fonfara was doing an excellent job of finding openings in the tight defense of his opponent, and landing some punishing shots to the midsection between and behind elbows.

Phil Williams (L) avoids a hook from Fonfara

Phil Williams (L) avoids a hook from Fonfara

Williams tried to move into his own range early in the second round, working his way in behind punches and deflecting many blows with his left shoulder. Fonfara’s shots to the body sometimes drifted low and Williams’ holding threatened to turn the bout into a wrestling match, causing referee Gerald Scott to call a brief conference between the fighters in the ring. The final third of the round saw both fighters trying to figure out how to effectively box their opponent, with Fonfara again getting the better of the exchanges, though Williams was finding ways to score as well.

Williams goes down for the count

Williams goes down for the count

Fonfara opened the third round with a pair of overhand rights that landed but caused Williams to retreat behind his left shoulder. He kept Williams on the move, backing him up with his jab. A jab from Fonfara set up an overhand right that landed on the back of William’s head and hurt him. As Williams gestured that the punch had landed illegally, Fonfara threw a devastating left hook that felled Williams. Referee Scott counted Williams out for the knockout at 1:25 of the round.

Paul Littleton (R) pummels Laguer

Paul Littleton (R) pummels Laguer

Chicago’s Paul Littleton (165 lbs.) made his professional super middleweight boxing debut against Lakeland, Florida’s Jose Laguer (168 lbs., 0-3-0). Laguer landed the first telling punches, driving Littleton back with several hard haymakers. Once Littleton settled down, he began finding openings and countering effectively against the wild-swinging Floridian. Using a jab to body and head, Littleton would follow with combinations of hooks to body and head and had Laguer bleeding from the nose by round’s end. Laguer opted not to return for the second round, giving Littleton his first professional win and TKO at :01 of the second round.

Foster Nkodo (R) stays out of Viktor Polyakov's reach

Foster Nkodo (R) stays out of Viktor Polyakov's reach

In the most competitive of the evening’s match-ups, undefeated middleweights Victor Polyakov (159 lbs.) of the Ukraine and Foster Nkodo (157.5 lbs.) of Camaroon, both fighting out of Chicago, stepped through the ropes in a battle to keep their 0′s. Polyakov came out hard and fast against the southpaw Nkodo, mixing uppecuts and straight punches to attack Nkodo’s guard. Nkodo played it safer, throwing occasional hard shots, but spending too much time looking for opportunities. As the round progressed, Nkodo got busier, but Polyakov still outworked him, focusing on the body. 

Foster Nkodo (L) and Viktor Polyakov look for openings

Foster Nkodo (L) and Viktor Polyakov look for openings

The second round saw both boxers struggling to work out a gameplan against each other, working at a more measured pace. Polyakov continued to land thudding body shots, but both fighters had trouble finding a home for combinations.

Polyakov (R) traps Nkodo on the ropes

Polyakov (R) traps Nkodo on the ropes

In the third round, both boxers closed on each other, exchanging hooks to the head (most of which found only leather), with Polyakov still landing the more meaningful punches on the inside. A perfectly placed right cross from Polyakov drove Nkodo into the ropes, where he covered, waiting for a moment to retaliate. It looked as though Polyakov was ready to finish the fight, but Nkodo slipped a short right into the mix, which caused Polyakov to back away just enough for Nkodo to land a left cross that nearly drove Polyakov to the opposite side of the ring and opened a cut over his right eye. Nkodo pounced, and both boxers finished the round in an all-out war, which neither was willing to end. By the time the bell rang, Polyakov’s face was covered in blood.

Polyakov (L) strafes Nkodo

Polyakov (L) strafes Nkodo

In the fourth round, the pace slowed, while Nkodo and Polyakov looked for openings for power shots that could stop the carnage. They moved in and out, attacking in short bursts. Both seemed determined to hurt the other and both seemed to do so.

Viktor Polyakov lands a body shot on Nkodo

Viktor Polyakov lands a body shot on Nkodo

The fifth started tentatively, with Polyakov launching in to land hard hooks to head from both hands and straights to the body. He once again got Nkodo on the ropes, but again Nkodo covered well, escaping serious harm, though he was not able to capitalize on his escape as before. In the second half of the round, Nkodo picked up the pace, landing some significant hooks of his own, though it was Polyakov who once again drove his opponent to the ropes near the end of the round. Though both boxers looked to be tired and hurting, neither was backing down.

Nkodo (L) takes his turn in the final round

Nkodo (L) takes his turn in the final round

In the final round, Polyakov again set the pace, but Nkodo took any opportunity he found to launch attacks of his own. The battle raged back and forth, with a final slugfest occurring when Polyakov drove Nkodo into the ropes, where the two blasted each other with shots until the bell. The scores read 60-54 once and 59-55 for the winner Viktor Polyakov, who moves to 10-0, 7 KO’s, in a hard-fought unanimous decision over the now 6-1, 1 KO Nkodo, who gave Polyakov a hard night in the ring, despite the wide margins on the scorecards.

Polyakov (C) celebrates his victory with Referee Gerald Scott (L) and trainer Sam Colonna

Polyakov (C) celebrates his victory with Referee Gerald Scott (L) and trainer Sam Colonna

Though there were some painful mismatches, Windy City Fight Night 20 was an entertaining evening for local fight fans, with the young local prospects taking the opportunities presented to them, Andrzej Fonfara continuing his impressive winning streak over wily Phil Williams, and an all-out battle of wits and brawn between middleweights Viktor Polyakov and Foster Nkodo. For those tired of the seasonal barrage of good cheer, the night offered a different barrage for the senses.

Andrzej Fonfara enjoys his win

Andrzej Fonfara enjoys his win

Referee Pete Podgorski (L) makes Paul Littleton's TKO win in his pro debut official

Referee Pete Podgorski (L) makes Paul Littleton's TKO win in his pro debut official

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