By Derek Bonnett from Ringside
Live boxing, always maintaining a consistent presence in New England, returned to Worcester, Massachusetts at The Palladium. The card was presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment and was highlighted by the ring return of Connecticut lightweight Matt Remillard. Also from the Constitution State, junior welterweight hopeful Mykquan Williams continued his march up the prospect ladder. The eleven-bout card, ably announced by Massachusetts’s own John Vena, featured predominantly young talent on the rise and debutants.
Fighting as a lightweight and for the first time since suffering his lone defeat to Mikey Garcia, Matt Remillard made his ring return against the durable Augustine Mauras in a scheduled eight rounder. Mauras came out the quicker of the two, but Remillard punched with more authority and purpose with the jab and uppercut to the body. Mauras went downstairs himself, but the first frame was clearly won by “Sharpshooter” Remillard. The second began with Remillard popping a stiff jab and Mauras swinging with wild intent. Each man absorbed the other’s power well. Remillard’s work to the basement remained intense. Mauras turned aggressor at the end to make the second round tight. The third round started even quicker, affirming the genuine dislike the two fighters had for one another. Both launched heavy hooks and both landed at least partially. Mauras was warned for leading with his head as Remillard was pinned against the ropes. The action remained give and take through the round. Words were exchanged at the bell between the two corners. The fourth did not show signs of either man slowing down. Mauras landed his cleanest punches of the bout up to this point and likely won the round. Remillard pressed forward after breaks from the referee to persistently ply his trade.
Remillard started the fifth stepping into his punches more as if he was ready for an early night. Mauras did not comply, but absorbed some hellacious jabs to the snout. Mauras worked Remillard’s ribs along the ropes, but Remillard seemed content to show that he could take it. The two exchanged hooks at the bell and then tried to extend the round with more bravado. Mauras looked stunned by a straight right mid-way through the sixth. Both men showed a little wear around the eyes. Remillard hot dogged to the crowd, attempting a behind the back punch while Mauras tied up his other arm. The seventh-round round was more of the same. Any time Mauras showed signs of wilting, he came back to nail Remillard to the body. For his work, Remillard fed him more punishment opening a cut inside the mouth. In the eighth and final round, both boxers finished how they started and went blow for blow. After the final bell, the three judges saw the contest 80-71, 79-72, and 78-73. Remillard upped his dossier to 24-1-0 (13). Mauras fell to 6-2-3 (3).
After the bout, Remillard was disappointed by his performance even though he had the Palladium crowd on their feet for twenty-four minutes of action.
"I felt real off until the later rounds," Remillard stated. "I felt like I needed to get him out to have an impressive performance. To make a little statement."
The eight rounds of hard work will undoubtedly serve Remillard better than a blowout after several rounds. The end point now is that Remillard is back. Back to consider future opposition and build his way back into contention. Names such a Dat Nguyen and Billy Dib have circulated only in rumor as potential interests between now and December.
Connecticut’s “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams put his undefeated record on the line against Mexico’s Israel Rojas in a 140-pound bout scheduled for four rounds. In a sensational display of body punching, Williams, 18, hurt Rojas to the body almost immediately with a left hook. The same punch landed again and again before Rojas sank to the canvas. One attempt to rise was made, but Rojas’ legs had other plans. The official time of the stoppage was 2:05. Williams raised his record to 6-0-0 (4). Rojas crashed to 10-16-0 (3).
In a scheduled six-rounder, Anthony Laureano, 2016 New England Golden Gloves Champion, took on Bryan Abraham at 140-pounds. Laureano controlled the action from the outside and demonstrated patience with his punches, offering side to side movement on the way in. Abraham started the second quickly and caught Laureano looking. The momentum did not turn, however, and Laureano punished Abraham with shots to the head along the ropes. The prolonged beating went on until Abraham walked away from his opponent, prompting the referee to intervene. The end came at 2:45 of the round. Laureano advanced his resume to 3-0-0 (2). Abraham fell to 6-25-1 (6).
In junior middleweight action, Springfield’s Derrick Whitley made his professional debut against Anthony Everett in a scheduled four rounder. Everett boxed from a wide stance while Whitely stalked him, seeking a place for his right hook in the first. Whitley settled down a bit in the second and closed the gap more effectively. Whitley rocked Everett in the third with a classic one-two to the chin. He followed it up with a clean uppercut later in the round. Whitley carried his momentum through the fourth, but Everett remained game until the final second. Whitley took home his first win by scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37. Everett fell to 1-5 (0).
Also debuting, Luis “Pancho” Santiago took on Alex Montes at 126 pounds scheduled for four rounds of action. Santiago moved well on his toes as he darted in for his offense. Montes fought back boldly and pressured Santiago onto his back foot. The tempo continued throughout the third, but many punches missed their mark in the heat of exchange. Pancho landed the cleaner blows in the fourth, but the judges were split and scored the contest 40-36 for each man with the third card reading 38-38. Santiago took home the draw while Montes record moved to 1-2-1 (0).
Adrian Sosa, 2014 new England Golden Glove Champion, met Oscar Diaz in a welterweight bout scheduled for four. The action was brief. Diaz connected on Sosa with a nice overhand right, but that was the only ray of light for him in this contest. Sosa quickly cornered Diaz and a volley of power punches ended matters at 1:34 of the round. Sosa elevated his record to 3-0-0 (2). Diaz sank to 0-11-0.
Further welterweight action pitted Brockton’s Antonio Chaves Fernandes against Andy Gonzalez of Worcester also anticipated for four rounds. Gonzalez connected well with the left hook on numerous occasions in the first. Chaves Fernandes pushed out the jab, but was often catching air. Gonzalez landed a hard shot to the body that temporarily folded Chaves Fernandes in round two. Gonzalez put in a strong third round and consistently dictated the action while his opponent moved wildly. The Worcester boxer continued landing his thunder in the fourth for his most dominant round of the bout. Gonzalez won by decision for first time in career with three counts of 39-37. Gonzalez moved to 6-1-0 (5). Chaves Fernandes fell to 7-31-4 (2).
In the super middleweight division, three-time USA Boxing Nationals Champion, Elvis Figueroa from New Haven, CT made his professional debut against Devison Ribiero of Brazil. Figueroa displayed superior boxing fundamentals in the first. Ribiero’s glove touched the canvas in the second, but it was not ruled a knockdown. Figueroa pounded Ribiero in mismatch style through the second, landing thudding blows to the body and chest. Ribiero surrendered on his stool after the round. Figueroa won his debut by stoppage at 3:00. Ribiero sank to 0-4.
In heavyweight action, Donnie Palmer and Bobby Favors tested the ring stability with their respective height and girth. Late in the first Favors was stunned by a straight shot and feel back into the corner. Dazed and confused, Favors was done a solid by the referee with the hasty intervention at 2:06. Palmer improved his record to 9-1-1 (7). Favors fell to a reported 1-5.
In other heavyweight action, Worcester’s Bryan Daniels met “Money” Mike sawyer in a four-round contest. Daniels used a significant height advantage to leverage his punches early on. In another mismatch, Daniels pummeled Sawyer to the canvas with thudding shots to the head on four occasions before the bout ended 2:54 into the first. Sawyer had fallen to the canvas on two other times after being leaned on. Daniels improved to 4-0-0 (2). Sawyer dipped to 7-8-0 (5).