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Menard Blitzes Bernardo/Potapov Gets Help

pic Rosie Cohe/Showtime
pic Rosie Cohe/Showtime

By JR. Jowett reporting from ringside: Brooklyn promoter Dmitriy Salita brought a card to Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY, 4/15/16. In a scheduled 8, Mason Menard, 135, Rayne, LA, 31-1 (23), destroyed Eudy Bernardo, 135 ½, Santo Domingo, DR, 21-1 (15), in the third of a scheduled 8.




In a scheduled 8, Mason Menard, 135, Rayne, LA, 31-1 (23), destroyed Eudy Bernardo, 135 ½, Santo Domingo, DR, 21-1 (15), in the third. What seemed an even match on paper proved anything but, as the cool, poised Louisianan walked down the tall, lanky Dominican. Bernardo could never get his offense going as the stalking Menard moved smartly inside Eudy’s long reach. In the second, standing up straight along the ropes, Bernardo had his neck snapped by a ripping right uppercut, sending him reeling along the strands. An overhand right sent him to the canvas in distress, but he survived the round. Not for long! In round three, Eudy was turned partially sideways along the ropes, left arm dangling, when Mason came over the top with a screaming right hand that poleaxed Bernardo to the floor, stiff as a board before he touched down. Referee Benjy Esteves had no need to count, KO at 2:11. Bernardo had to be removed on a stretcher. Thankfully, Eudy has been reported in good condition.


In the main event 10, Nikolay Potapov, 117, Podolsk, Russia, 14-0-1 (6), was lucky to get a majority draw against Stephon Young, 116 ½, St. Louis, 14-0-3 (6). The bout was not a barn burner, but held the crowd’s interest with a close contest throughout. Both had similar styles, compact, medium-range mixing, with Young a southpaw. Potapov set the early pace, but when Young rocked him with a southpaw straight left late in the third, the pace changed. Stephon became the aggressor with the Russian boxing a rear guard action, the rounds still close. Young closed the show in the sixth when a right hook sent Nikolay reeling and brought up the crowd. Potapov scored one jolting right in the seventh and then began to turn the action in the eighth. Nikolay became the aggressor, Stephon boxing in retreat. Round nine saw the action escalate, Potapov hanging tough early but Young getting on a roll that brought up the crowd to the bell. That round seemed enough to insure the win despite a comeback by Nikolay in a close final round. But while Don Trella awarded the contest to Potapov, 96-94, John McKaie and Glen Feldman made it an official draw, 95-95. Charlie Fitch refereed.


In a terrible contest, Constantin Bejenaru, 198, Ungheni, Moldova, via Brooklyn, 11-0 (3), got the unanimous verdict over Alexey Zubov, 198, Magnitogorsk, Russia, via Detroit, 10-1 (6), eight. While the two looked menacing, they kept their distance and threw little but range finders that couldn’t find the range. Bejenaru landed little, but Zubov landed less, despite a fluke knockdown when he pushed the stumbling Bejenaru over with a right hand in round seven and referee Dick Pakozdi ruled it a punch. The southpaw Moldovan couldn’t keep his feet under him and at least three other times went to the canvas after wild misses. Still, he was the only one doing anything and clearly deserved the unanimous verdict. Feldman scored 77-74, Trella and McKaie 78-73.


Popular Nick Brinson, 164 ½, Rochester, 18-4-2 (8), needed a breather to get his career back on track, and he got it from Demetrius Walker, 164, KC, MO, 8-12-2 (4), in a scheduled six. Brinson walked purposefully in and banged hooks to head and body with bad intentions, bringing up his fans for the brief skirmish. Walker never got untracked under the intensity, covering up and letting Brinson bang away at will, until Esteves was forced to stop it at 2:05 of the opening round. Walker shook his head in mock contrition. Nick’s fans cheered.


It was a terrible contest in terms of execution but didn’t lack for drama, as Benjamin Whitaker, 145 ½, San Antonio, 11-2 (2), upset popular Tre’Sean Wiggins, 147, Newburgh, NY, 7-2 (6), by split decision, six. It didn’t promise much at the start, as the southpaw favorite won three tame rounds behind the right jab, even scoring a flash knockdown in the third when Whitaker lunged wildly off balance. But the visitor trudged steadily forward, throwing nothing but lead rights and gaining momentum. In the fourth, as Wiggins attempted to clinch, Whitaker evened the weird knockdowns with a cuffing right to the side of the head and doubled to the ribs. Wiggins went to a knee as if he had nowhere else to go, and Pakozdi gave a count. Ben upped the pressure in the fifth, reaching Tre’Sean with a series of right leads until he collapsed to the canvas and was barely able to get out of the round. With the fight on the line in the sixth, neither showed much initiative, and Wiggins managed a mild comeback. Don Ackerman gave Tre’Sean the verdict, 57-54, but Feldman and Tom Schreck both had Whitaker, 57-56. Wiggins stalked away in disgust, but it was a fair call.


He didn’t get the decision but he won the crowd as relentless spoiler Jesus Lule, 132, Ft. Myers, 8-17-1 (1), made a foil out of touted Dimash Niyazov, 134 ¼, Kazakhstan via Bensonhurst, Bklyn, 10-0-3 (4), in a good six. Lacking power, the underdog nonetheless attacked vigorously throughout. Slick counters dropped Lule twice, a right counter to a left hook to the body in round one and a sharp right uppercut as Jesus tried to duck inside in the second. But by the third, Jesus was giving Dimash all he wanted, and in the fifth had Niyazov hurt and yielding ground. The favorite rallied some in a close final round to steal the majority verdict, 57-55 from McKaie and Trella, while Wynn Kintz had it 56-56. Not a bad call, but the crowd booed and the short-ender played it up

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