Chicago 06/18/2016- The immensely popular Polish light heavyweight, Adrezej Fonfara strode into an arena in Chicago where he had only known success. He looked like royalty with a bright Red, flowing robe. The only thing missing was the crown, but that was supplied later by a guy named Joe. Fonfara (28-3-16K) who put some quit in Julio Chavez Jr. in their bout, was a huge favorite over this guy named Joe. New York’s Joe Smith (21-1-17K), with massive arms from all his union work wasn’t even considered any kind of threat to Fonfara. As I scrolled down through Boxrec, there were about two hundred Joe Smiths and DAMN if Fonfara didn’t pick the WRONG one.
The upstart Smith rushed at Fonfara with no respect for him OR his robe. He landed a few nice shots but was jarred by a left hook from Fonfara and stopped in his tracks. Andrezej was just starting to feel good as he nailed Smitty with a hard left but left it out there too long. A massive overhand right by Mr. Muscles messed up Fonfara’s cha-cha, dropping him hard on his back. Suffice it to say, the Polish faithful was shocked but there was more to come. After gamely arising, the normally durable Fonfara was immediately put under duress as the hard punching New Yorker landed a series of hard shots capped by another right that had Fonfara down again and all but out. Again, he got up but was in such bad shape the ref had no choice but to rescue him. The time of the ko was 2:32 and I doubt if Fonfara knows even now, what or who hit him. Smith is now the WBA International light heavyweight champ and has no doubt, separated himself from the other two hundred guys named Joe Smith. The light heavyweights are now officially on notice and I’m sure Smith’s supervisor will be getting his two week notice as well.
Rau’shee Warren (21-1-4K) v. Juan carlos Payano (17-0-8K)
In a rematch of two world class bantamweights without much in the power department, three time Olympian Warren, had me thinking I was watching, Mayweather, Whitaker and Guillermo all rolled into one, oh and toss in a little Emanuel Burton for good measure. I wish I had a dollar for every punch he made the plodding champion, Payano miss. And he missed by a lot. Warren contributed just enough offense to keep the crowd interested but for the most part, was waterbugging about the ring, pretty much having things his way. There wasn’t a lot to get excited about in this one and I’m surprised one of the judges saw this as a draw. It was a majority win by the little man from Cincinnati and he avenged an earlier loss to Payano and won the WBA/IBO strap in the process.
In other action, promising young super welter weight, Erickson (the Hammer) Lubin (14-0-10K) gave ‘ol vet, Daniel (Galeno) Sandoval (38-3-34K) an ass whippin’ he won’t soon forget. Before the fight, Sandoval said “I could beat the guys he fought with one hand”. Yeah, right and I’d like to see some of the people HE fought in Mexico. Sandoval could’ve been an octopus and he still would’ve had his ass delivered to him. Lubin repeatedly pinned the woeful Sandoval on the ropes and did his best Errol Spence Jr imitation with a devastating two handed body attack. I’m not sure what ‘Galeno’ means in Spanish but my guess is, it’s some type of heavy bag. Mr. heavy bag didn’t land more than two meaningful shots all night and was probably just in Chicago on vacation, anyway. Lubin was very impressive, even given what he had in front of him.
Now, this is the type of crap that drives a trainer up a wall. Oxnard’s undefeated Hugo (the Boss) Centeno Jr. (24-0-12K) had the chance of a lifetime to make a name for himself on national tv and to say he pissed it away would be being nice. He was facing another unbeaten prospect, Maciej Sulecki (22-0-7K) and the man from Oxnard crapped the bed. He should say he’s from Pt. Mugu, not Oxnard. I know his trainer Eric Brown well and I’m surprised he didn’t threaten to stop this one sided fight. Round after round he would just go through the motions, never threatening Sulecki. He would throw a harmless punch and quickly duck to avoid a counter and never put anything together. Sulecki was even looking bored as if he thought he’d be in a real fight. The best shot Hugo landed all night was when, they were tied up and the ref yelled “break” and Hugo dropped a nice right on the ref, who ate it and just looked at him. That’s when a guy knows he’s in trouble. I will say, ‘The Boss’ was dramatic, waiting until the tenth round to get blasted with a hard right hand and dropping to the mat. Hell, he should’ve done that earlier, given his effort.