Former Contender star too much to handle
By Sean Wippert ringside in Las Vegas: The co-main event of the evening showcased talented junior middleweight Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith as he took on the ever-dangerous Ayi Bruce. Smith showed early on why he was once one ofLas Vegas’ bigger talents as he opened the fight with several sizzling combos. The shots landed with ferocity, causing Bruce to launch into an immediate defensive stance. Smith pounced on him, firing and moving all over the ring inside the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
This trend continued through the next few rounds. Bruce fired off a few wild shots in retaliation but never seemed to get much rhythm going. By the end of the third it was clear that the damage done by Smith was starting to show. In the fourth Smith continued his attack. In the middle part of the round he landed a hard overhand right that seemed to stun Bruce. He followed it up with a flurry of body shots that ended Bruce’s night. Referee Kenny Bayless stopped the bout at the 2:10 mark of the fourth, allowing Smith to improve to 23-5 with 11 knockouts.
With the punishing loss,Albanynative Bruce dips to 21-7 with 13 knockouts.
“This is the best I have ever felt in a fight,” a jubilant Smith said immediately following his triumph. “I wish I could fight more people like (Bruce). He has more defense than I expected to have to go through. I knew I had to work my jab and that everything else would come together.”
Former women’s lightweight world champion Jessica Rakoczy reminded everyone in attendance why she carries that title. In the opening bout of the evening theLas Vegaslocal pummeled her opponent,Denver’s own Brittany Cruz, with a litany of shots. She continued her attack through the early rounds, punishing her opponent with a pressing style of offense. Rakoczy closed out the night in the fourth after getting a pair of knockdowns early. The TKO stoppage happened at the 1:47 mark as referee Vic Drakulich had seen enough. Rakoczy adds to her already impressive record and moves up to 32-3 with 12KOs. The battered Cruz falls to 8-6-1 (1).
Orlando,Florida’s Daquan Arnett made fairly short work of Jose Martell. The heavy-handed middleweight came out firing crushing blows to the body, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the opening round. Arnett continued his assault, triggering his opponent’s corner to stop the fight. Drakulich called a halt to the bout at the corner’s request at the 2:41 mark of the first round. Arnett remains undefeated, improving to 3-0 with his third pro KO. Martell, fromPhoenix, falls to an even 2-2 (1).
Puerto Rican lightweight Jeffrey Fontanez made quick work of Las Vegan Rocco Espinoza, sending him to the canvas three times in the first round. Referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight at the 1:58 mark of the first. With the knockout victory Fontanez improves to 6-0 (6) and drops Espinoza to 3-5.
You can contact Sean Wippert at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 4, 2012