8 Count Productions put on a strong night of boxing at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago Friday Night.
Chicago-based contender Andrzej Fonfara (21-2, 12KOs) stopped former world Champion Byron Mitchell (29-10-1 22KOs) in the third round to claim the USBO Light Heavyweight title. Fonfara came out in bombastic fashion. He drilled combinations through Mitchell’s guard. Everything was set-up by a Golota-esc jab and punctuated with crunching-hooks to the body. Mitchell was badly-hurt in the first thirty seconds of the opening-round and never recovered. Fonfara floored Mitchell late in the round. Mitchell beat the count and Fonfara went in for the kill. Many at ringside urged referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the bout. Ruiz likely could not hear them through the enormous and raucous Polish-American crowd. The audience did not take their seats until well into the break between rounds. Mitchell survived the second on shaky legs then was floored in the third. Corner man George Hernandez snatched the towel from another Second and furiously threw it into the ring. It sailed across the entire ring and into the ringside seats. Referee Ruiz didn’t see it so Hernandez climbed up on the apron and got into the ring before Ruiz realized the bout was over.
24-year-old Fonfara is stampeding forward in his career after some early bumps in the road. He was stopped by Derrek Findley on ESPN in 2008. Light Heavyweights hit their prime when they’re about thirty years old and Fonfara is set to be a 30 or even 40 win fighter by the time he reaches that age. It’s hard to say exactly who’s guiding this young Pole’s career but whoever it is, they have a ton of boxing wisdom.
In the co-main event Viktor Polyakov (11-0, 6KOs) defeated Derrek Findley (18-8, 11KOs ) of Indiana by unanimous decision for the USBO Middleweight Title. Polyakov is one of several foreign fighters out of Sam Colonna’s deep stable at Chicago Boxing Club. The Ukranian is a very busy boxer with good power in both hands and it showed in his steady victory over Findley. The once power-punching terror Findley has in recent fights resigned himself to a more quiet and steady boxing-pace. This seems to go against his natural-aggressiveness and the raw-physicality he possesses. It was a thunderous over-hand right that stopped Fonfara in ‘08, the punch is undeniably one of Findley’s world-class attributes. Yet, Findley did not throw the baseball-punch until desperation set in, in the final round. He caught Polyakov with the over-hand several times and hurt the Ukranian twice but it was too little too late. Scores were 99-91 twice and 96-94.
Super Middleweight Paul Littleton (3-0 3KOs) stopped Guy Packer (4-36-2, 1KO) of Michigan in the second round of their four round contest. It was the second TKO victory in under a month for Littleton who was a standout amateur in Chicago and won the Midwestern Trials in 2008 and the Chicago Golden Gloves several times. It’s vital for a young-prospect to stay busy and Littleton hopes to have eight to ten fights under his belt by this time next year. He’s definitely on pace to do that.
Featherweight Raeese Aleem (2-0, 1KO) of Michigan defeated spoiler DeWayne Wisdom (2-3, 1KO) of Indiana by unanimous decision in their four round contest. Coming off Wisdom’s upset victory over Russle Fiore many at ringside hoped he could pull off another surprise. Aleem wasn’t having it and established himself as the harder-puncher in the early rounds. In the fourth, Wisdom did find some magic and landed several potent hooks with his back to the ropes. It wasn’t enough to sway the judges but Wisdom took the bout on two day’s notice and should walk away with a moral victory under those circumstances.
Chicagoan Adan Ortiz knocked out Ricky Lacefield (0-3) of Nebraska in the first round of their Super Flyweight bout. Though it was his debut, Ortiz was dominant early. Late in the round a sneaky-left found Lacefield’s solar-plexus. Lacefield wasn’t able to beat the count.
Debut Welterweight Chad McKinney of Illinois defeated Cleveland-based Clifford McPherson (2-8-2 1KO) by unanimous decision.