Just prior to Logan Cotton McGuinness successfully defending his NABA Lightweight title against Hector Julio Avila, more than 5000 fight fans Saturday night at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, were treated to an undercard laced with huge KO’s, bloody battles, and shocking upsets.
After ten sensational rounds of grueling, bruising action between Samuel Vargas and Tebor Brosch for the vacant NABA Canadian Welterweight title, one thing was clear; that these two warriors had just waged the Canadian Fight of the Year so far in 2011.
Both men poured everything into the fight from the opening bell, with Vargas (7-0-1, 1 KO) controlling the space with busy and effective jabs, stinging rights, and accurate left hook, and Brosch (6-3-5, 2 KO’s) pressing the pace with his trademark will, and effective rights.
What was clearly confusing to those in attendance, however, was why after seemingly dominating most of the early and middle rounds, before convincingly winning the tenth, did Vargas have to settle for a disputed majority decision draw?
“This was a great fight, no doubt,” said promoter Adam Harris, of Hennessy Sports Canada.
“Both guys fought their hearts out. I thought Sammy did enough to win, and he showed he’s in a different league than Tebor. But Sammy took some rounds off, and gave a super tough fighter like Brosch a chance to hustle his way back into the fight.”
“Regardless of who you thought won, there’s no doubt that you would want to see them do it again,” added Harris. “It was that good.”
In a stunning upset, Romanian-born Torontonian Victor Lupo (19-1-2, 9 KO’s) out hustled former WBC Junior Welterweight world champion Junior Witter (37-4-2, 22 KO’s) in Witter’s welterweight debut, coming away from their ten round encounter with a career altering 95-94, 97-91, 96-93 unanimous decision win.
The pair spent the majority of the fight trying to deal with the awkward physical styles that each employ. What ensued was no thing of beauty, as both fighters were unable and/or unwilling to create enough space to do anything other than maul and grab. But it was Lupo’s aggression and stamina that carried the day against Witter, who began to tire noticeably down the stretch.
“For a guy like Victor, this is a huge win,” said Harris.
“This was his shot to really show people that he can compete on the world stage. It might not have been the prettiest fight, but it really couldn’t have turned out any better for Victor.”
Whitby, Ontario super middleweight Phil Rose suffered the first setback of his professional career, falling prey to the uppercuts of Kitchener’s Julius Bunda enroute to a first round TKO loss.
Rose (2-1, 2 KO’s) was caught and dropped by Bunda (3-1, 2 KO’s) along the ropes midway through the first, before rising on unsteady legs. Seconds later, a follow-up Bunda barrage, punctuated by another crashing uppercut put Rose down for the second time. Again, Rose managed to beat the count, but was clearly in no shape to continue as referee John Wiley rightly halted the action at 1:59 of the first round.
Oshawa, Ontario’s Brandon Cook (1-0) made the first punch of his professional career count, flooring Montreal’s Francis Lafreniere (0-2-1) early in round one, and providing the margin of victory in what turned out to be a thrilling four round junior middleweight war.
After controlling the first round, Lafreniere battled back hard in rounds two and three, scoring well repeatedly to Cook’s body and head. But in the fourth round, with the fight up for grabs, Cook dug-in, rocking Lafreniere repeatedly to earn the 39-38, 38-37, 37-38 split decision.
And in the evening’s first fight, debuting Toronto lightweight Ibrahim Kamal (1-0, 1 KO) blasted out Barbados’ Matthew Robinson (3-3, 1 KO) in the second round.
“There’s not much more you can ask for in a fight card,” said Harris.
“Every guy dug deep, and gave the performance of their lives. It was a great night.”