CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
IOWA CITY, IOWA–Ruslan Provodnikov was the undefeated prospect in January but lost his zero in the first Friday night fight of the year against Maurico Herrera. Now he was facing an undefeated prospect Ivan Popoca from Chicago and now, he played the role of spoiler.
Provodnikov put the pressure on Popoca, who boxed through the first two minutes but by the end of first round, both fighters exchanged blow as Popoca decided to match fire with fire. In the second round, Popoca moved in and threw combinations, but Provodnikov punches over the first two rounds had more pop but Popoca was the more active. Provodnikov showed some adjustments as he stayed a little outside and countered as Popoca lunged forward to score with solid shots. He took advantage of Popoca’s impatience.
In the fifth round, Provodnikov caught Popoca with solid left hook with a minute and then showed no mercy as he followed Popoca to the rope while unleashing solid shots including some devastating right hands. The miracle was that Popoca stayed on his feet and survived the round.
Popoca made a minor comeback in the next round as Provodnikov looked tired form all of the work from the previous round as Popoca nailed Provodnikov with accurate combinations and he added body shots. Popoca stayed in front of the tougher Provodnikov and this allowed Provodnikov to nail his opponent with solid shots but ESPN Ted Atlas felt the fight reminded him of the Provodnikov-Herrera fight in which the lighter punching Herrera outhustled Provodnikov and asked, “Could history repeat itself?”
Provodnikov shot some vicious body shots against Popoca as Popoca stayed in front of the stronger Provodnikov. Provodnikov took advantage of his opponent spacing as a Provodnikov’s right hand sent Popoca down for an eight count. From this point, Providnikov followed his opponent into the rope as he did in the fifth round but this time he did not allow his opponent off the hook as he connected on solid combinations. The punches popped through Popoca’s defenses as Provodnikov landed some combinations that forced referee to stop the barrage.
Provodnikov made a comeback from his loss earlier this year with an impressive eight round. Popoca showed heart but he did not have the punch keep Provodnikov off him and this was the difference.
In the opening round of the initial bout for ESPN Friday night fight, Marvin Quintero and Juan Santiago pounded each other as defense proved a afterthought.
Quintero better skills showed up in the second round as he put together solid combinations and often beat Santiago to the punch and as the round wore, Santiago retreated to the rope to escape the punishment. Quintero jumped on Santiago in the opening seconds of the third round and nailed Santiago with a five punch combination. Quintero trapped Santiago on the rope and unleashed a volley of punches that went through Santiago defenses. The referee, noting the power of the punches landing, decided that Santiago had enough and combined with the punishment that Santiago received in the last thirty seconds of the previous round; it was a good stoppage.
In a bout between light heavyweights, Tyrell Hendricks and Mike Garvonski forsake defense they engaged in a no hold bar fight that saw both men go down in the first round. The second round continued the trend of the first round as both men threw bombs at each other with Hendricks holding the slight edge. Both men found that they could throw and connect with their right hand as ESPN Joe Tessitore stated accurately, “Both men unleashed their fury at each other.”
Both fighters occasionally used a job to set up their right hands but much of the fight, both fighters simply threw their right hand without much of set up. During the third round, Garvonski’s punches opened a vicious cut under Hendricks’ left eye.
In the final round, both men gave and received and this looked like one of those fights that you could easily flip a coin to determine the winner. As both men walked back to their corner battered and bruised, the judges decided to flip that proverbial coin. The bout was a majority draw and this was a well deserved decision as both men pounded each other for four rounds on equal terms while entertaining the fans.