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Wach Dominates McBride

Ringside Report by
Daniel Mercurio
Photography By Emily Harney

This past Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT undefeated Polish heavyweight prospect Mariusz Wach (25-0, 13 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact and captured the vacant WBC International Title by knocking out former Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin McBride (35-10-1, 29 KOs) with an amazing right hook at 2:25 of round four. That right hook not only dropped him to the floor, but also sent him out of the arena on a stretcher.

The ten bout fight card was promoted by Classic Entertainment and Sports in association with Global Boxing Promotions.

Though McBride isn’t the same fighter that ended Mike Tyson’s career back in 2005—his record stands at (2-6) since then—his 296 pound body hung with 246 pound Wach longer than expected. “I’m not really happy with my second round. I was very slow,” said Wach after the fight, “I have to work harder.”

For three rounds McBride’s agonizing grunts with every punch seemed effective on Wach, until the fatal fourth round. McBride, in an apparent attempt to rest, was bounced on and off the ropes like a toy, until the third time when Wach landed the right hook on the rebounding McBride.

The sound of McBride’s 296 pound body hitting the ground sent the primarily Polish crowd into an uproar. “I am really impressed with amount of Polish people that came,” said Wach after the fight, who showed his appreciation to the crowd as he jumped around the ring.

“I believe that I’m going to be a really dangerous fighter,” he said.  Wach takes home the WBC International belt while McBride, who still clings to ending Mike Tyson’s career, may have had his career ended tonight.


Ayala Decisions Findley

Thirty year old former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (24-5-1, 11 KOs) added to his record another victory, this time over Derrick Findley (18-6, 11 KOs) in a tight match and controversial decision (96-94, 96-94, 97-93). Findley immediately brought the crowd to its feet, knocking down Ayala just ten seconds into the fight.  Ayala later questioned the call by referee Benjy Esteves saying “that first knockdown- they ruled it a knockdown- it definitely wasn’t no knockdown.”

Vying for the WBC USNBC Belt, Findley continued his assault during the first three rounds, landing three solid rights and attacking the body of Ayala. A loud exchange 1:34 into the fourth round fired up the crowd once again, who favored the New Haven native Ayala.

After the bell ended the fifth round, Findley took an aggressive step towards Ayala, who responded by laughing and smirking at the crowd. Findley then responded and dominated the sixth, landing erratic but effective shots, which led to another vicious exchange.

By the eighth round the fighters felt time running thin and picked up the pace, while Findley spent his time barking at the referee. Ayala made an intense tenth round run with several body shots, a left hook, and an uppercut that sealed the defeat of Findley.

Rivera Decisions Mpendo

Worcester, MA’s own three time world champion, Jose Antonio Rivera (40-6-1) steadily and patiently wore his opponent Paul Mpendo (7-8-4) down with cunning counter punches, dominated by finesse and an exchange jabs. It was a Rivera–style match, and it lasted the full eight rounds as he put it, “[Mpendo] was tailor-made for the type of work we were looking for, he was exactly what we needed.”

In the sixth round Rivera landed a clean uppercut, and in the seventh he began to impose his will. A series of jabs and right hooks from Rivera led to an explosive eighth round exchange between the fighters.  Rivera said, holding up his red fist after the fight, “My hands hurt from hitting him too much in the head.”

The decision favored Rivera unanimously (79-73, 80-72, 80-72) in this his second fight back after a two year layoff.  His previous fight was an eight round unanimous decision victory back in May over Luis Maysonnet.

In Other Action:

It seemed half the crowd reigned from Poland, as a roar greeted Polish fighter Artur Szpilka (7-0, 5 KOs). Szpilka leveled Philadelphian fighter David Williams (6-5-1, 2 KOs) with a powerful right hook at 1:30 into the first round, and landed another at 1:53 that sent him to the canvas for good.  The crowd chanted “Polska” in celebration of Szpilka’s swift fifth career knockout.

Thomas Falowo (4-0, 4 KOs) was not ready to relinquish his undefeated record, as he was all over opponent Russ Niggenmeyer (2-3, 2 KOs), ending his night early in the second round. The CVS pharmacy technician Falowo dazzled Niggenmeyer with tight footwork and aggressive swings, hammering him continuously throughout the first. Just forty seconds into the second round, Niggenmeyer went to the ground from a Falowo right hook, which caused him to stumble to his feet as he then quickly fell again, this time for good. Falowo, who before the game called boxing “the perfect fit” for him, continues to fit the game perfectly with his perfect record.

Keith Kozlin (6-2-1, 4 KO’s) and Reynaldo Rodriguez (5-2-1) mirrored each other in a battle of finesse, which fittingly ended in a majority draw. The silence broke in the fourth, as fists flew in a ten second explosion, and Rodriguez ended with a few strong right hooks. Despite the draw (30-46, 38, 38, 38-38), Kozlin said “I thought I had him…I could go six more rounds.”

Ralph Johnson’s (0-2) uncanny style matched his uncanny appearance, as he gawkily floated around crowd favorite Greg McCoy (3-3, 1 KO) in an even first round battle of power against length. In the second a defenseless Johnson was pounded to the ground by McCoy, surprisingly not putting him out for the night. That would take two more rounds, where McCoy landed some strong right hooks en route to the unanimous decision victory (38-37, 38-36, 38-36).

The hometown roared for New Haven welterweight Edwin Soto (7-0-1, 2 KO’s) as he exchanged blows with Michael Denby (3-11-4, 2 KO’s), who kept the fight close for two rounds, but couldn’t survive the third.  Soto shoved Denby to the ground with an elbow in the third, however referee Danny Schivonne called it a clean knockdown. Soto then landed three thunderous rights dropping the defenseless Denby to the ground which caused referee Schivonne to call a halt to the action at 2:26 of round three.

Agustine Mauras (1-0) entered the second fight hopping up and down, landing quick but effect strikes, dominating his opponent Jonathan Vazquez (4-0) in the third round. Vazquez answered with a brutal uppercut to Mauras’ jaw in the fourth, as his patience began to pay off. The two remained in close combat during the latter rounds, and though Mauras “thought [he] won the fight,” it ended in a majority draw, to the crowd’s dismay.

The first fight of the night began with a bang as Josh Harris (8-5) got up from a first round knockdown to stop Jose Torres (0-1) in the fourth round, who made his professional debut. In the fourth and final round referee Danny Schivonne stopped the bout as Harris dropped Torres with a strong right hook- giving Harris his sixth knockout and eighth win of his career.

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