Fight fans across the country could not have asked for a better ending to the month of October. With several great boxings cards, already in the books, a pair of Friday night shows in Western Canada featuring some of the country’s very best prospects helped to make the month one of the most exciting in recent ring history.
The city of Calgary saw promoters Lee De Guzman and Lee Baxter joining forces this past Friday night with the main event featuring the return of Orangeville, Ontario’s undefeated Logan “Cotton” McGuinness in a scheduled 8-round super-lightweight bout against Mexico’s tough and willing Noel Mejia Rincon, who came to town looking to score a major upset against McGuinness, returning to the ring for the first time in over 17 months.
“Cotton” picked right up where he’d left off in his last fight on May 23 of last year and scored an impressive win, ending matters early in round 3 to move his record to 24 wins (11 KO’s) and a draw. Recently signed by Lee Baxter Promotions, McGuinness could very well move into the world rankings with a few more wins.
Montreal-based Ahmad Cheikho returned to action for the first time since Dec. 2014 and didn’t waste any time showing that he was back. Facing 51-fight Mexican veteran, Rogelio Castaneda Jr., Cheikho scored his 6th stoppage win out of his last seven fights, ending matters at the 2:41 mark of round 2 in the battle of hard-hitting welterweights.
Born in Lebanon, Cheikho turned pro back in 2005 and became a fan favourite fighting in Canada. The stoppage victory over Castaneda marked the 12th kayo victory in Cheikho’s 17 wins. Great to see him back in action.
Other winners on the Calgary card were Devon Reti, who scored the 5th win of his undefeated career, earning a 4-round decision over Achilles Estramadura in a middleweight bout.
Mississauga, Ontario’s Mladen Miljas made it two knockouts in a row, ending Adrian Garcia’s night at the end of round one. The heavyweight boxer is now 2-0.
Super-middleweight Dustin Sutley suffered a KO at the 2:56 mark of round 2, making Jesus Olivares the winner. The loss drops the Calgary fighter’s record to 5-2. (All of his 5 wins have ended in KO’s.)
Cruiserweight John Dubois of Vancouver, B.C. lost for the 4th time in as many bouts, when Dan Cannon of Calgary sent him home after the 1:33 mark of round 3 in a scheduled 4-rounder. Dubois’ record drops to 0-4, with 3 KO defeats.
Local Roxie Lam dropped a hard-fought 6-round split decision to the 13-3-1 Oscar Barajas of Mexico in an exciting lightweight bout. The popular Lam saw his record drop to 7-2 (4 KO’s) with the loss to the 26-year old Barajas.
A great night at the fights put on by the pair of Baxter and De Guzman!
Friday night also saw fireworks going off in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Promoter John Vernaus of King John Boxing put together another great night at the fights featuring 5 undefeated fighters all looking to impress the fans on hand.
The evening’s main event, scheduled for 10 rounds in the heavyweight division saw Toronto-based, Ukraine-born 24-year old knockout sensation Oleksandr Teslenko go to win number 8 with his 7th knockout, ending the night for the 15-6 (10 KO’s) Vincente Sandez in round 2.
Teslenko looks better each time he fights and appears unstoppable. NB fight fans saw him in action this year when he put Zoltan Csala to sleep in round 2 on May 14 on a card held in Fredericton. He’s proving to be a breath of fresh air in the heavyweight division with his hard-hitting, two-handed KO power.
Lightweight Cam O’Connell of Red Deer, Alberta again showed knockout power as he ended his 8-rounder against Abraham Gomez of Mexico in round number 4.
Gomez had come to town with a record of 25 wins (12 KO’s), 12 losses and a draw, but the hard-punching super-featherweight Mexican was given a rude welcome by O’Connell who scored the 9th KO win in his 13 victories. He also has a draw on his record. O’Connell should soon be ready for a Canadian championship fight.
Welterweight Jessie Wilcox of Hamilton, Ont. moved to a perfect 6-0 (4 KO’s) with a second-round KO of Mexico’s Alejandro Herrera, who entered the ring for their 6-rounder with a record of 14-4-2 (5 KO’s).
Fans better keep a close eye on the hard-hitting 25-year old Wilcox. This guy is for real!
Edmonton’s Justin Hocko is scheduled to fight the biggest fight of his pro career on Dec. 2 but first he had some other business to take care of. The 23- year old super-featherweight scored a 6-round decision over Arturo Garcia Lujano of Lalisco, Mexico, to move his record to 3 wins and 2 draws.
Hocko is scheduled to meet N.B.’s Dominic Babineau on Dec. 2 in a battle between two of Canada’s most promising young fighters. Babineau is riding a perfect record of 6-0, with 4 KO’s, and the exciting 24-year old will be looking to add the solid-chinned Hocko to his impressive resume, as he continues his advance toward a Canadian pro title. Known as the “Dominator,” Babineau has built a huge fan following since joining the punch-for-pay ranks in 2014.
The Hocko-Babineau fight could find itself in the ranking for Canada’s 2016 fight of the year.
Algerian-born Devin Tomko scored win number 2, to stay undefeated, beating Ken Huber of Kamloops, B.C. on a 3rd-round technical decision in a 4-round cruiserweight bout while light-heavyweight Ryan Walkoski of Winnipeg battled to a 4-round draw against cross-town rival Kelly Page, making his pro debut.
Canadian fight fans will want to hold onto their seats during the month of November.
Cold Lake, Alberta will see pro boxing being held there on Nov. 12 with Canadian cruiserweight champion Rob Nichols meeting the rough and tough Michael Walchuk in a non-title bout.
Others seeing action on what promises to be an action-filled night of fighting are Taylor Bell, Brian Samuel, Kurtis Higgins and Tim Chemelli.
Saturday, Nov. 19 will see the next instalment of world-class pro boxing taking place at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ont, as Tyler Buxton and United Promotions present another great night of all-out, hard-hitting action.
Undefeated super-featherweight Josh O’Reilly will be out to prove why he is considered one of Canada’s best prospects when he faces Angel Sarinana in a scheduled 8-rounder.
The 6-0 O’Reilly is going to be a big name in the fight game in the future.
Others seeing action on the Nov. 19 card will be Ryan Young (10-0), Brock Arthur (3-1-1), and Simon Keon (6-0).
Fans are also looking forward to the pro debut of Jerome Gabriel of Oshawa, Ont., who will be taking on Jesus Ortega in a 4-round super-middleweight bout. All that can be said about the card is wow!
*This article was authored by Paul Doiron and posted by Nick DeLong*