This past Thursday, Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba showcased the main event of Dibella’s Broadway boxing card at BB King’s in New York City. The former Olympic champion won gold in 2000 and 2004 before defecting to the United States to pursue his professional boxing career.
Rigondeaux won an easy eight round unanimous decision over Super Bantamweight opponent Lante Addy of Accra, Ghana. Addy, who surprisingly came to fight and was in shape, was a late sub for Rafael Tirado.
Addy was game, and decided to take the fight to southpaw Rigondeaux immediately at the opening bell. However, Addy was not prepared for the incredible hand speed of Rigondeaux, who immediately threw a lightning fast straight right hand to the chin that put Addy on the seat of his pants early in round one.
The bout looked like it was almost over, but Addy got back up right away and decided to change his approach. Instead of waging an aggressive toe-to-toe war in center ring with Rigondeaux, Addy raised his gloves to the side of his head and covering his face in a tight defense, displayed good footwork as a counter puncher, hoping Rigondeaux would make mistakes.
In round two, Addy landed a counter right while Rigondeaux’ guard was done, proving Rigondeaux could be hit. Frustrated, Rigondeaux treated the remainder of the bout as a cautious workout. As Addy offered no head target, Rigondeaux simply landed body shots whenever he could find an opening.
Rigondeaux proved, in the least, that he could go eight rounds without tiring, and he got television exposure doing it (the five bout card was taping for airing later). Rigondeaux won every round easily, though Addy at least proved it was possible to go the distance with him and not get hurt.
Both fighters appeared in top condition, and neither fighter was hurt. The Freddie Roach camp posed for pictures after the bout in center ring, an activity which appeared of greater interest than the bout itself. Roach, usually very verbal, was silent at ringside for this affair, and the Rigondeaux corner never used a stool between rounds.
Rigondeaux is now 4-0 (3) while Addy is 6-5-1 (4). Addy, whose last four opponents have a combined record of 28-0-1, is the same Lante Addy who drew with Teon Kennedy this past September in Atlantic City.
WBO-NABO light welterweight champion Paulie ‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi addressed the crowd from center ring before the main event, and called out for Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley to fight him in the near future.
In other bouts, New York City heavyweight Tor Hamer ‘hammered’ last minute substitute Mazur Ali, normally a cruiserweight, into submission. Mazur Ali did not even try running and went down from a left hook to the body. When Mazur arose in a corner, he indicated he did not want to continue, gaining loud boos from the crowd, and verbal criticism at ringside from the promoter, Lou DiBella, for his lackluster effort.
Buzz at ringside was that Mazur Ali didn’t speak English, and couldn’t understand the taunts in English being hurled at him after the bouts quick conclusion. Hamer improves to 9-0 (7) while Ali drops to 6-5 (3) losing his last four bouts.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the bout occurred in the ring before the bout started, when Hamer stared across the ring in morbid curiosity at his opponent and his puzzled expression seemed to say “What’s this? What’s that? Him?”
In a junior lightweight bout which was a brief but interesting affair, Luis Orlando Del Valle of Bayamon, Puerto Rico scored a second round stoppage of Noe Lopez of Nogales, Mexico who retired in his corner with an injured hand.
The fighters looked in shape, and the bout promised to be a war. Southpaw Del Valle used a mix of jabs and body shots to win the first round. Lopez was forced to change tactics in round two, and both fighters waged war on the inside in center ring.
Lopez injured his left hand in round two, and was unfortunately unable to continue. Del Valle is now 8-0 (6), while Lopez is now 5-5 (4).
Officials at ringside who declined to be identified stated the original opponent, Dominic Jenkins, failed the preflight physical with a fractured orbital lobe two days earlier. It wasn’t known if Jenkins, an experienced heavyweight, was aware of his injury.
I feel that the New York State Boxing Commission and New York State Athletic Commission should be praised and have amongst the best and most physical testing in the world before athletic events. They and promoter Lou DiBella have kept the best interest and safety of participants at heart. Two other bouts originally scheduled on this card were scratched, reasons unstated.
In a welterweight bout, Christian Martinez of New York City scored a first round stoppage of Gabriel Morris of Toledo, Ohio. Three quick knockdowns in the first forced at technical stoppage at 0:58.
After the first knockdown, Morris got up and shook his head at his corner, indicating disinterest in continuing the bout. The referee appeared to give Morris every chance to make a go of it, but his heart was just not in the bout. Martinez is now 2-0 (2), while Morris fell to 5-1.
In a lively welterweight contest, Gabriel ‘Tito’ Bracero of Sunset Park, New York, improved to 8-0 with a unanimous six round decision over knockout artist Carl McNickles of Gulfport, Mississippi. Bracero, a technical fighter with no knockouts, and McNickles 6-2 (6) has knockouts in all his victories, featured a contrast in styles.
Bracero wanted this fight “a little bit more” and proved it, using left and right hooks, a lot of straight right hands, and landing a lot of power shots to secure this win. McNickles was in world class condition, and fought with serious, hungry eyes. Trouble was he stood too flat-footed against Bracero, offering a stand in front target.
Bracero lacks a knockout punch, but scored frequently on his freestanding target. McNickles went down in the third, but got up and later in the round scored a cut above Bracero’s left eyebrow with either a punch or an accidental head butt (not clear which one). The cut proved a non-factor as Bracero’s corner did an excellent job with it.
Bracero’s strengths are an excellent right jab and moving well; he is an excellent technical fighter who lands a lot of power shots as well. With guidance, he should continue to improve as his career rises.
In a ringside interview exclusive to Saddoboxing, promoter Lou DiBella reiterated his split from promoting Jermain Taylor in the big six Super Middleweight tournament and repeated his desire to see Taylor retire.
DiBella explained, “I love Jermain Taylor. He’s a warrior. This is a very unfortunate game. Anyone who stays too long gets hurt. Taylor has a lot of money. A guy’s gotta get out before he takes too many shots.”
DiBella continued, “Taylor will fight on in the super six tournament and he may win, but it’s a shot he’ll take in a winning bout that will damage him. Your goal is to see a fighter realize their potential. That’s how I felt when I signed him.”