Mark E. Ortega

First round of Boxcino tournament delivers excitement

LAUGHLIN, Nev.–Friday night at the Edgewater Casino, ESPN2 kicked off their eight-man single elimination tournament, Boxcino. Though no big names are involved, the tournament produced four entertaining first round bouts, getting things off to a pretty good start.

The first fight fed right into what makes a tournament so special, that win or go home mentality. Chris Rudd and Yakubu Amidu went six back and forth rounds, with the fight ending in a draw. 

Because it is a tournament, that resulted in an additional round being fought, and it was Rudd (13-1, 8 KOs) who emerged victorious after out working Amidu (19-5-2, 17 KOs) . The scores were officially 59-55 for Amidu, 57-57 twice. Rudd won the seventh on all three scorecards.

In the second quarterfinal, Spain's Petr Petrov utilized his superior experience and finesse to box unbeaten Fedor Papazov to a unanimous decision. 

Papazov (14-1, 9 KOs) flashed good power early on but worked with no jab. Petrov (33-4-2, 14 KOs) showed good footwork in setting up Papazov for combinations, and though there were moments of danger, there weren't enough to swing the fight to Papazov. The scores were 58-56 thrice for Petrov.

Cleveland's Miguel Gonzalez entered the tournament the most experienced fighter with previous appearances on ESPN2, but little known Mexican Miguel Angel Mendoza gave him all he could handle.

Gonzalez (23-3, 16 KOs) showed his amateur pedigree in his vastly superior ring intelligence, but Mendoza (21-3-2, 21 KOs) was always moving forward and occasionally catching Gonzalez with wide swinging hooks. Gonzalez was the classier of the two and the judges favored that, scoring it 58-56 twice in his favor. One judge favored Mendoza by 58-56, making it a split decision for Gonzalez.

Mexican gatekeeper Fernando Carcamo proved both his and opponent Samuel Neequaye's records were deceiving, when he stopped the unbeaten Ghanaian in the second round after a sustained assault.

Carcamo (16-5, 13 KOs) has five losses, but has also scored upsets of Vicente Escobedo and Fidel Maldonado Jr. Neequaye (21-1, 15 KOs) was unblemished but had no notable wins. Carcamo scored a flash knockdown with a body shot in the opening round, and then just pounded Neequaye with flush shots to the head until referee Jay Nady waved it off at 1:58.

The Boxcino tournament got off to an entertaining fight with a couple of minor upsets taking place. For a tournament devoid of big names, you can't really ask for more than that.

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