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21 APRIL 2018

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O'Connell Victorious On Pro Debut


By Stephen Tobey: WINDHAM, N.H. – With Tommy O’Connell’s hometown of Haverhill, Mass. just over the state line from the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center, a significant percentage of the crowd on hand for Saturday’s Boston Boxing promotions was there to see him make his pro debut.

 

The 25-year-old southpaw didn’t let his fans down, winning a four-round unanimous decision against Bryan Abraham in a welterweight bout.

 

Martha Tremblay and Leo Gerstel scored the fight 40-36. Mike Nolin scored it 39-37. Abraham, of Schenectady, N.Y., dropped to 6-27.

 

Both fighters stayed at a distance and fought cautiously in the first two rounds. The pace picked up in the third and fourth. O’Connell came forward and was more aggressive, while Abraham landed some good counter right hands.

 

“I picked it up in the third and fourth rounds,” O’Connell said. “He hit me with a few good shots, but I kept coming.”

 

O’Connell, a former high school and college basketball player (Roger Williams University) and veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, had 25 amateur fights. He was a New England finalist in the Golden Gloves and the Police Athletic League tournament.

 

“Turning pro was a goal I set for myself,” he said.

 

Junior welterweight Brandon Berry of West Forks, Maine was the scheduled headliner, but he sustained a cut in training two weeks prior to the show, leaving the show without an official main event.

 

O’Connell was one of three fighters making their pro debuts and all three were successful.

 

In another four-round welterweight contest, Anthony Velasquez of Springfield, Mass. debuted with a first-round stoppage of Andre Belcarris of Bennington, Vt. Velasquez dropped Belcarris twice, once with an overhand right and once with a left hook before referee Mike Ryan stopped the fight at 1 minute and 10 seconds. Belcarris dropped to 0-3.

 

Julio Perez Campusano of Boston, a former top-ranked amateur in the United States, debuted with a first-round stopped of Rene Nazare of Woburn, Mass. in a four-round super middleweight bout. After Campusano dropped Nazare with a left hook to the body, Nazare’s corner signaled to Gerstel, the referee, to stop the fight at 1:28. Nazare dropped to 0-3.

 

In the evening’s lone scheduled 10-rounder, heavyweight Jeremiah Karpency of Adah, Pa. stopped Rubin Williams of Detroit in the first round. Karpency (15-1-1, 6 K Os) dropped Williams three times before Gerstel stopped the fight at 1:36. Williams left the ring at 30-30-1.

 

In a welterweight bout, Tolan Tascoe of Newark, N.J. outpointed Jon Webster of Portland, Maine over four rounds. The scores were 39-37 on all three cards. Tascoe is 43 years old and improved to 3-7-1. Webster, 49, dropped to 9-8-1. He turned pro in 1992.

 

Ilya Blinnikov, a native of Russia now living in Los Angeles, stopped Theo Desjardin of Providence, R.I. in the first round of a scheduled four at lightweight. Blinnikov (6-0, 2 Kos) knocked down Desjardins with a left jab to the body. Ryan reached the count of 10 at 1:37. It was Blinnikov’s first fight in the United States. Desjardin dropped to 0-8.

 

Heavyweights Cristiano Pedro of Lewiston, Maine and Tracey Johnson of Boston fought to a four-round split draw. Tremblay scored it 39-37 for Johnson. Nolin scored it 40-36 for Pedro and Gerstel scored it 38-38. Pedro left the ring at 2-1-1 (1); Johnson’s record went to 4-5-5.




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