On Saturday night, before a packed house at the Tropicana showroom in the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing presented an action packed eight bout card. The event, shown live on PPV, featured knockouts, upsets, and just all around great fights.
The show was headlined by David Tua defending his WBO Asian Pacific and WBO Oriental titles against long-time top rated contender Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett. Prior to the fight, Joe DeGuardia, CEO and President of Star Boxing, stated what an exciting fight it would be, and he was right on point.
Barrett, who announced prior to the fight that win lose or draw this would be his last bout, was a huge underdog coming in against the heavy-handed Tua and in the beginning it looked as though Tua’s power would simply be too much for him to handle.
Tua came out strong, landing heavy shots, and putting his notorious left hook on display in the early rounds. To Barrett’s credit he took the shots well, as he looked to circle and box from the outside.
As the rounds progressed Barrett began landing more combinations from the outside, while Tua worked his way inside looking to score with his huge hooks and over hand rights.
As the championships rounds began, the crowd seemed to sense that something special was in store.
Down on the scorecards, Barrett began sitting down on his punches in the 10th, landing some heavy right hands on the face of Tua. A huge overhand right from Barrett wobbled Tua near the end of the round.
The 11th saw Tua come back strong, as Barrett seemed to be saving himself for the final round.
In the 12th Tua came out looking for the knockout and looked to be on his way. Midway through the round Tua threw Barrett to the canvas. The foul was blatant and the referee took a point away from Tua. When the action resumed Barrett unleashed a vicious barrage of punches with his back against the ropes, that dropped Tua for the first time in his entire career. Tua beat the count, and for the final 30 seconds of the round the two went to war, bringing the crowd into a standing frenzy.
Before the scores were announced both fighters embraced at the center of the ring, as the crowd cheered them on loudly, showing their appreciation for the great fight.
One judge saw Tua ahead by a score of 115-111, but he was overturned by the two other judges who saw the fight dead even at 113-113. The 10-7 round for Barrett in the 12th, enabled him to pull out the draw.
In the co-feature bout of the evening, Star Boxing’s up and coming welterweight, Raymond “Tito” Serrano improved his record to a perfect 13-0 by winning an eight round decision over tough as nails Ayi Bruce.
In a very entertaining bout, Serrano used his superior boxing ability and piston like jab to outwork the hard charging Ghana native Bruce for the majority of the fight. Bruce began to tire in the later rounds and looked for one big shot to swing the fight in his favor, but it never came. Serrano was the much busier and more accurate of the two, and earned the well-deserved decision.
With the win Serrano improved to 13-0, 6KO’s while Bruce dropped to 15-3, 11KO’s.
In the opening TV bout of the night, two-time French Olympian, Khedafi Djelkhir scored a wild and devastating first round knockout over Jorge Cordero.
Djelkhir came out in the first and almost immediately sent Cordero to the canvas. When the fight resumed Djelkhir went right in for the kill, leaving himself wide open for a counter left hook that dropped him hard. He was able to beat the count but was on very shaky legs and it looked as though Cordero might score the upset. As the round was nearing the close, Djelkhir unleashed a huge right hand that sent Cordero down and out. Official time of the stoppage was 2:27 of the first round.
With the win, Djelkhir improves to 7-0, 6KO’s, while Cordero drops to 4-3, 2KO’s.
In a major upset Carlos Vinan stopped European lightweight champion Anthony Mezaache in the 8th and final round of their action-packed lightweight showdown.
There was good two-way action for the entire fight, as Mezaache boxed from the outside as the rugged Cordero looked to bring the fight into a brawl.
In the 8th Cordero shot out of his corner like a cannon and jumped all over Mezaache, sending him to the canvas with a barrage of punches. Mezaache was able to beat the count but was in bad shape. After a follow up barrage that had Mezaache in trouble again, his corner threw in the towel, saving their fighter from further punishment.
With the upset win, Vinan improves to 10-8-4, 2KO’s while Mezaache drops to 18-6-3, 4KO’s.
Bayan Jargal D8 James Hope
Mike Perez TKO1 Jorge Ruiz
Jason Escalera TKO3 Amador Acevedo
Sean Monaghan KO1 Dennis Penelton