The CBZ Newswire

Campillo and Dirrell Get Back on Track with TKO wins in Shelton, Washington!

by on Aug.03, 2014, under Boxing News

By Ricardo Ibarra

Photos by Mike Blair

 

Campillo cracks with the right.

Campillo cracks with the right hook.

SHELTON, WA, August 2, 2014 –┬áNever underestimate a former world champion. At one point in time former WBA title holder Gabriel Campillo had been on top of the heap in the Light Heavyweight division, but after a few disappointing losses his run as a contender in the 175 lbs. class had been seen by many as close to done. Coming into last Friday’s ESPN2 Friday Night fights main event at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Washington, he was being looked at as a stepping stone — a past-it name that would look good on undefeated prospect Thomas Williams’ record. But Campillo proved to be far from past it, schooling the young hopeful en route to a fifth round stoppage and claiming the NABO title and a spot atop the IBF rankings. The skill, determination, and experience were the difference in the fight as Campillo showed he had an edge over his opponent in all of those areas.

In the first two rounds the fight appeared to be getting away from Campillo (24-6-1, 11 KO’s, 174.8 lbs.). Williams (17-1, 12KO’s, 175 lbs.) used the ring well, moving and firing hard combinations at a very busy rate. The hand speed and energetic approach was racking up points for Williams, but Campillo remained determined and had a look of confidence as he patiently stepped forward and, as the rounds wore on, began to find his mark with short, stiff jabs.

In the third round Campillo began to make adjustments to Williams’ style. No longer was he getting peppered with three and four punch flurries. Instead he was able to block most of what was being thrown his way and counter with his own arsenal. It didn’t appear very hard or all that impressive, but by the end of the third round Campillo’s short, precise right jab had busted up Williams’ face and sapped much of his confidence. At the end of the round Williams walked back to his corner looking discouraged and bleeding from multiple spots on his face.

Campillo lands his uppercut.

Campillo lands his uppercut.

Campillo was firmly in control of the fight by the fourth round. His patient, methodical attack was paying dividends and steadily pushed him farther ahead on the cards. Williams, on the other hand, looked tired and discouraged and by the fifth he was taking punishment, cut along the eye, looking like he was done both physically and mentally.

At the start of the sixth round referee Ray Corona asked the ringside doctor to look at the cut. After a quick deliberation the referee, under the doctor’s advisement, called a halt to the bout, awarding the Spaniard Campillo the TKO victory .

The win is an important one for Campillo in many respects. It marks his second straight stoppage victory since losing a WBO title bid against Sergy Kovalev. More importantly, though, in addition to being an NABO title bout, it was also an IBF title eliminator. The victory will place him as the number two IBF light heavyweight contender and in line for a potential big money shot at current strap holder Bernard Hopkins, providing Hopkins gets past Kovalev in November.

Dirrell, at right, unloads on Biosse.

Dirrell, at right, unloads on Biosse.

The co-main event featured the return of once highly touted contender Andre Dirrell. Dirrell (22-1, 15KO’s, 172 lbs.) had been out of commission for the past year and looked to shake the rust off against Providence, Rhode Island’s Vladine Biosse (15-5-2, 7KO’s, 172 lbs.). It didn’t take long for Dirrell to find his groove and begin to look like his old self. He got off quick and often from the start, slamming his opponent with hard straight lefts and following up with quick combinations. Biosse was resilient in the early going, retaliating when he got close enough, but Dirrell did an excellent job of countering in the pocket. He easily controlled the first four rounds and in the fourth hurt Biosse with a jarring uppercut.

Dirrell lands a wicked uppercut.

Dirrell lands a wicked uppercut.

Dirrell quickly followed up in the fifth, wobbling Biosse in close with a counter uppercut. Biosse made an attempt to stay in the fight, trying to get an offensive going and fight his way out of trouble, but Dirrell was too quick and too good. He punctuated the fight with a barrage that prompted the referee to wisely step in and stop it at 2:46 of the fifth round. Dirrell adds his twenty-second win as a pro and his first win in eighteen months.

Aleem and Rojas trade blows.

Aleem and Rojas trade blows.

In a six round middleweight swing bout, undefeated prospect Immanuel Aleem (10-0, 6 KO’s, 162.6 lbs.) of East Meadows, NY, and tough Ecuadorian journeyman Juan Carlos Rojas traded heavy leather in one of the best fights of the night. In the first round it appeared as though the fight would not go very long when a counter right badly staggered Rojas and had him seemingly out on his feet. Aleem, seeing his opponent in so much trouble, tried to end the fight, swarming with a wild onslaught. He unloaded with thudding shots to the head that would have put most fighters out. Rojas, though, lived up to his reputation of being a resilient competitor and quickly pulled it together, meeting his opponent’s aggression and mounting a comeback late in the round.

In the second round Rojas cut the distance quickly and began to unload. Aleem tried to get the fight back out in the center of the ring, but Rojas kept himself right on Aleem, making the fight a phone booth slugfest, which favored him. The two engaged in a brutal back and forth to end the round.

In the corner between rounds Aleem was told to get the fight back in control and box, which he did very well in the third round. Using good movement and a hard jab, Aleem was able to control the range and counter well as his opponent would step in close. The momentum of the fight would swing back and forth with the two trading rounds in the fifth and sixth, Aleem effective when he boxed, Rojas effective when he cut the distance and pressured Aleem into a brawl.

The fight was close coming into the sixth and both men seemed to know it. They both vied for control in the early portion of the round. Aleem trying to maintain the fight at range while Rojas pressed hard to make it a brawl. It was in one of those moments when Rojas pressed forward that he left himself open. Aleem capitalized with a precise counter right as Rojas stepped in, hurting him badly. Aleem immediately opened up on the defenseless Rojas, forcing the referee to step in at 2:45 of the sixth round. A fitting end to an exciting fight.

In a four round featherweight rematch, Van Nuys, California’s Juan Funez (5-0-1, 2KO’s, 125.8 lbs.) and Auburn, Washington’s Marcello Gallardo (3-1-2, 125.8 lbs.) squared off once again. Last January the two engaged in a close four round bout in the same venue that saw Funez take a controversial unanimous decision. Things were even dicier this time as the bout was declared a majority draw. Funez was the superior boxer in the fight, but Gallardo was a tough aggressor. When Funez stuck his jab and moved he controlled the round. When Gallardo stepped in close and made it a brawl he took the round. It appeared Funez was more effective with his movement and jab in three of the four rounds, but it came down to whether you favored the slick boxing of Funez or the brawling aggression of Gallardo. In the end one judge favored the slick mover Funez with a score of 39-37, while the other two had it 38-38. We can only hope they make the rubber match as these two always put on a great show.

Undefeated David Grayton, of Washington D.C., made short work of overmatched Eddie Cordova, of Clearfield, Utah, stopping him in the second round. Grayton (9-0, 8KO’s, 147.4 lbs.) got off to a fast start, pressing the wild swinging Cordova (4-9-1, 1KO, 148 lbs.) from the sound of the first bell. He easily controlled the first round with a busy work rate. The pace intensified in the second with Grayton teeing off on the tough but wild Cordova. As the round was coming to a close a straight left caught Cordova on the chin, dropping him on the seat of his trunks. The referee wasted no time, stopping the fight at 3:09 of the second round

Shimmell, at right, outworks Mendoza.

Shimmell, at right, outworks Mendoza.

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Jordan Shimmell (16-0, 13KO’s, 198.6 lbs.) kept his undefeated record intact as he pounded out a workmanlike performance against journeyman Epifanio Mendoza (37-18-1, 33KO’s, 198 lbs.). Shimmell is a big, strong cruiserweight prospect with a come forward style, a good jab and a solid skill-level. For four rounds he worked at a steady pace, stepping forward behind his jab and firing off solid straight rights. Mendoza, for his part looked out of shape and wild. His slow, looping punches were easily countered by the quicker Shimmell. In the third round Mendoza appeared to be getting frustrated and resorted to holding and hitting, losing a point in the third and another in the fourth for the infractions. Towards the end of the fourth round, after being repeatedly warned not to hold and continuing to do so, the referee disqualified Mendoza.

The once highly regarded Nigerian prospect Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (24-1, 20KO’s, 148 lbs.), now fighting out of Los Angles, got his career back on track with an eighth round stoppage over the very tough Ecuadorean journeyman Eduardo Flores (16-14-3, 11KO’s, 148.2 lbs.). Omotoso, a cagey fighter with a diverse set of skills, had not fought since losing for the first time last year against Jessie Vargas.

In the first round he seemed to shake off any rust fairly quickly as he repeatedly rocked back the head of his opponent with hard uppercuts in close. For the first few minutes of the round it seemed like the fight would not last as Omotoso racked his opponent repeatably with blistering combinations. Flores, though, began to come on late in the round and sent a clear message that he was not going out without a fight.

For the next seven rounds Omotoso was clearly winning the fight with the more effective and cleaner punches, but Flores was in the fight the whole time, standing his ground and unloading with his own offensive. He forced Omotoso to work and adjust in order earn the victory. Omotoso had to box and and fight inside, which he did well, showing the versatility of his game.

In the seventh, a hard uppercut rocked Flores and put him in serious trouble, but Flores refused to go down, firing back as Omotoso pounced. As had been the case throughout the fight his pride, heart, and determination kept Flores in the fight, but it was getting to the point were the pace had clearly taken its toll on him.

Early in the eighth Omotoso finally put his opponent down with a one-two flush on the jaw. The referee did not bother to count, seeing that Flores had taken enough punishment for one night. The end came at 1:09 of the eighth.

Haitian born prospect Wilky Campfort (18-1, 10KO’s, 157.6 lbs.) added his eighteenth win as a pro with a fourth round TKO of Milton Nunez (27-11-1, 24KO’s, 163 lbs.). Campfort had a rough first round as the tall and rangy Nunez was able to keep him on the outside and land his long straight right. But in the second round Campfort began to close the distance and keep the fight in close, smothering the aggression of Nunez. Campfort kept a steady pace for the next couple of rounds and easily controlled the fight. In the fourth a sharp right stunned Nunez. Seeing this, Campfort quickly let his hands go, unloading with a barrage of unanswered punches. The corner of Nunez threw in the towel. Campfort claimed the win at 2:57 of the round.

Cuban prospect Leduan Barthelemy (3-0 ,3KO’s, 125.4 lbs.) needed just one round to dispatch Sunnyside, Washington’s Guadalupe Hudgins (0-2, 132.8 lbs.). Barthelemy ended matters with a well placed body shot at 1:19 of the round.

Cruz, at left, works the jab.

Cruz, at left, works the jab.

Los Angeles, California’s Joaquin Chavez (8-14-3, 2KO’s, 136 lbs.) proved to be a much better fighter than his record would suggest as he claimed a controversial eight round split decision victory over Luis Cruz (21-3, 16KO’s, 133.4 lbs.) of Philadelphia, PA. Chavez had a great start to the fight, dropping Cruz in the first round with a left hook and controlling the action with measured and effective aggression. In the second, though, Cruz began to use his jab and work from the outside. He quickly took control of the range and the tempo, landing well from the outside and moving in and out of the pocket with crisp combinations. Chavez remained aggressive, pressing forward and throwing punches, but much of what he threw appeared to be picked off by the crafty and elusive Cruz. While the rounds were close, it was the lateral movement, crisp jabs and effective combinations of Cruz that appeared to be more effective to many at ringside. One judge agreed, scoring the fight for Cruz 77-74, but the remaining two judges disagreed, preferring the come forward style of Chavez by scores of 79-73, and 78-73.

Phillip Jackson-Benson (14-1, 13KO’s, 179.6 lbs.) scored a fourth round TKO over Ashland, Kentucky’s Thomas Hanshaw (6-4, 3KO’s, 180.6 lbs.). After a slow start, Jackson-Benson, of New York, NY, stepped up his aggression in the fourth round and dropped Hanshaw three times, the last of which was the product of a well placed right hand. The referee stepped in and called it at 1:50 of the round, saving Hanshaw from any further punishment.

The twelve bout card ended with Baltimore, Maryland’s Gervonta Davis (8-0, 8KO’s, 132.9 lbs.) needing just one round to stop Yakima, Washington’s Hector Lopez (0-1, 132 lbs.). Davis has very good hand speed and quickly used it to his advantage, opening up with blistering combinations. A well placed body shot left Lopez reeling on the ropes, prompting the referee to step in and administer a count. Lopez would not make it up off his knee before the count of ten, giving Davis his eighth straight victory by way of knockout at 1:16 of the round.

The marathon card, which was promoted by Goosen Promotions, had a little bit of everything for fight fans. With six hours of boxing, it was an entirely enjoyable evening for the boxing savvy crowd.

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