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Fonfara Holds Off a Determined Doudou Ngumbu, and Tomoki Kameda Defeats Challenger Alejandro Hernandez in Main Event of the SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition at the UIC Pavilion

by on Nov.02, 2014, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Tomoki Kameda (L) and Alejandro Hernandez mix it up in their title fight

Tomoki Kameda (L) and Alejandro Hernandez mix it up in their title fight

Report by Kerstin Broockmann
Photo by Scott Dray

Full Undercard Report and More Photos to Come

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, November 1, 2014 – In the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition at the UIC Pavilion, Saturday, November 1, Andrzej Fonfara found a tougher than anticipated test in Doudou Ngumbu. Tomoki Kameda held off challenger Alejandro Hernandez to hang onto his WBO Bantamweight World Championship title, though the aggressive Hernandez was seen by some to have done enough to take the belt. In the final televised bout, Super Featherweight Javier Fortuna scored a knockout in the fifth round after a foul-filled clash with Abner Cotto.

In the main event, “The Polish Prince” Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KO’s) of Chicago had a lot of work to keep Doudou Ngumbu at bay during their ten-round Light Heavyweight bout. In the first round, Ngumbu moved constantly, presenting a difficult to hit target and tagging Fonfara up the center with jabs. Though Ngumbu most likely won the first round with his attacks to the body and straight head shots, Fonfara managed to avoid too much damage by holding whenever Ngumbu approached.

In the second round, Ngumbu again started strong, keeping up his attack for much of the round. Fonfara began using his reach mid-round and turned the tide with some powerful hooks and jabs to the body and head. Fonfara started strong in the third, but again relied too much on clinching, rather than keeping Ngumbu at the end of his reach. After referee Celestino Ruiz broke the two fighters several times, Fonfara again went back to his jab, taking the middle round. Ngumbu recovered and came back strong, making for a close round.

Ngumbu started the fourth round on the attack. Several left-right combinations seemed to rock Fonfara. Fonfara for his part continued to use his jab effectively, following up with thudding body shots. Ngumbu began holding to counter Fonfara. Ngumbu landed more and more effectively, but Fonfara was hitting his stride. In the fifth, both fighters began by relying on their boxing skills, and Fonfara’s advantages became more clear. A left hook from Fonfara, followed by a right had Ngumbu out on his feet. Ngumbu held onto Fonfara for dear life and recovered, but Fonfara was able to retain control of the round, despite a solid combination from Ngumbu that signaled he had recovered, but which Fonfara returned moments later.

Round six began with Fonfara stalking Ngumbu, keeping him moving around the perimeter of the ring. Ngumbu realized the peril of his position and returned to the center of the ring. Both fighters settled in and started looking for openings. It was hard to tell who found more, though it seemed to be Fonfara, though Ngumbu landed a damaging right near the end of the round. In round seven, Ngumbu was the more active fighter and landed some solid hooks to Fonfara’s head. Fonfara in turn countered with hooks of his own, both to the head and punishing hooks to the body. Ngumbu took the round with a more focused and consistent attack. Both fighters paid for their tendencies to swing wide in the eighth round, though Fonfara’s more active offense allowed him to land more and win the round. In the ninth round, Ngumbu returned to moving around the ring, and would step in and fire hooks and uppercuts, which kept Fonfara from returning to his range. Ngumbu took the round with his hit and run tactics. In the final round, Fonfara again used his jab to keep Ngumbu at the end of his punches. Though Ngumbu got inside, it was often just to minimize damage rather than to cause any. Both fighters managed to control parts of the middle of the round, though Fonfara took the final stanza, giving him the last round. The final scorecards, which read 97-93 twice and 98-92 once, all for Fonfara, did not reflect the effectiveness of Ngumbu’s challenge to the favored Fonfara.

The co-Main Event featured a 12-round WBO Bantamweight World Championship fight between Alejandro Hernandez (28-11-2, 15 KO’s, 116 lbs.) and Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19 KO’s, 117 lbs.), which featured non-stop action between two evenly matched boxers. It was hard to pick a favorite in the first round, with both fighters feeling each other out and putting together quick combinations, though Hernandez got off more punches when he let his hands go inside, and probably out-landed Kameda in doing so. In the second, Kameda was intent on returning some of the shots he had taken in the first, backing Hernandez onto the ropes early in the round and pinning him there briefly with quick but powerful combinations to the head and body. Hernandez stayed calm under the pressure and returned fire, getting in some thudding shots to head and body of his own. The final half of the round seesawed between the two boxers, though Kameda’s early assault probably won him this round. In the third, the action again went back and forth. Kameda came out strong, but Hernandez kept his head and landed some powerful combinations in the middle of the round. Though Kameda took the final minute, Hernandez landed some solid counters. It looked like Hernandez was starting to drop his guard, to his detriment, and the round went to Kameda, who capitalized on this opportunity. At the top of the forth, Kameda dominated Hernandez, who relied too much on offense and left himself open for Kameda’s hooks to the head and body. Though Kameda was throwing fast, he did not let up on his power, and Hernandez allowed too many shots to get in, though he was still able to effectively move and cover. Near the end of the round, Hernandez found a home for several sharp uppercuts that, though too late to change the outcome, turned the tide. Though Kameda came back with a flurry, it bounced off Hernandez’s gloves, which were once again in front of his face. Kameda closed the distance in the fifth, working hooks to the body and uppercuts while stifling Hernandez’s attack. Kameda never let up and Hernandez, for the first time, could not put together an attack of his own. In the sixth round, it took longer for Kameda to get started on his assault. Hernandez was able to keep him at bay by moving, staying covered and finding openings for his hooks to the body and head when Kameda tried to pressure him. Even when Kameda eventually forced him to the ropes, where he inflicted enough punishment to take the round, in the form of hooks to the body and uppercuts, Hernandez still managed to get in some powerful shots of his own.

In the seventh, both fighters exchanged punches in the center of the ring, both landing telling shots. Hernandez knocked Kameda back with a straight to the body. Kameda returned and slammed left hook into Hernandez’s temple. Kameda looked like he might be able to punch Hernandez to the ropes again near the end of the round, but a powerful right hook from Hernandez stopped that plan just before the bell. Hernandez took the eighth round by pressing forward against Kameda, who could not figure out how to keep him at bay. Hernandez easily slipped Kameda’s flicking jab and came in with body shots followed by uppercuts. In the ninth round, Hernandez continued his attack, occasionally switching leads and opening a cut above Kameda’s left eye, which soon swelled. Hernandez was firing shots up the center, leading with jabs or uppercuts and following up with powerful rights that kept aggravating Kameda’s eye. Kameda came out stronger again in the tenth round, but Hernandez continued to press forward and throw the more effective punches overall. Kameda tried to find the speed that won him the earlier rounds at the top of the eleventh round. Hernandez seemed to be content to take some shots from Kameda to stay at his range. Though Kameda landed some powerful hooks, Hernandez landed more power shots. Kameda tried to stem the attack by holding more, but Hernandez continued to press forward. It was close, but Hernandez’s aggression took the round. The two boxers went to war at the top of the final round. It was Hernandez who managed to keep up the assault in the final two-thirds of the round. Hernandez continued to walk down Kameda, raking his body with hooks and snapping his head back with uppercuts. Kameda did manage to land some powerful single punches, including a cross that pushed Hernandez back, but most of his offense consisted of quick flurries that temporarily kept Hernandez at bay but did no damage. The final cards reflected the close match, with two judges scoring the fight 115-113 for Kameda and one calling it 115-113 for Hernandez.

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