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21 OCTOBER 2018

 

Vasquez Jr. Finishes Freeman in 5, Improves to 12-0


By Derek Gionta:

 

Sammy "The Who Can Mexican" Vasquez Jr., 12-0, 8 KO’s, returned to the ring on another Team Vasquez self-promoted show on Saturday night (2/1) at the Courttime Sports Complex in Elizabeth, PA. The rising welterweight prospect scored a fifth round TKO over North Carolina fighter Jamar Freeman, 10-3-2, 6 KO’s.

 

Vasquez, of Monessen, PA, entered his second scheduled eight round fight but not without its uncertainties.

 

Weeks before the fight went off, it was speculated that Vasquez would face fellow undefeated Cleveland prospect Mike Moore, a 5’10" southpaw. Upon various conversations, it was deemed that Moore never signed a contract to face Vasquez. Next came the scramble to find another opponent. Jamar Freeman’s name popped up to a member of the Vasquez team and the search was over.

 

Now Vasquez was slated to face a 6’1" orthodox fighter in Freeman.

 

Both fighters came out from the opening bell feeling one another out. Freeman showed a fast jab and good reflexes to Vasquez’ southpaw stance. Late in the round Vasquez twisted his ankle as he stepped back from what looked to be a right hand that grazed him but referee RIck Steigerwald looked to commissioner Greg Sirb, who gave Vasquez some time to recover. A few corner men for Vasquez taped his ankle after the ringside doctor eyed the injury. The round ended shortly after action resumed.

 

The second round was close as Vasquez landed a couple straight left hands down the pipe to Freeman’s forehead. Freeman put his combinations together using a steady work rate.

 

Vasquez jabbed, picked his shots, and began dictating the pace throughout the third and fourth rounds.

 

In the fifth, Vasquez scored two knockdowns in the same neutral corner and flurried again shortly after prompting referee Rick Steigerwald’s stoppage. Some felt the stoppage was a bit questionable, but the result was inevitable as Vasquez showed his mettle fighting through some adversity.

 

Shortly after the fight, the ring announcer mentioned that Vasquez would be fighting February 22nd at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on a card promoted by "Iron" Mike Tyson. Vasquez has begun talks with the former heavyweight champ on a potential promotional deal.

 

Heavyweight Sean Conway, 1-1, of Pittsburgh, scored a spirited four round split decision victory over Justin Novaria, 4-15, 2 KO’s, of Zanesville, OH in the evening’s co-feature. Conway, at roughly 5’4", was dwarfed by the 6’ Novaria.

 

Conway came out immediately landing the first big punch of the round, while Novaria came right back with a few combinations of his own. The crowd took immediate interest in this one.

 

The same continued in the second as Novaria had a busier work rate, landing his left hook to the body on multiple occasions.

 

Novaria showed signs of fatigue in the third as Conway continued to pressure and outwork him for the round’s entirety.

 

Conway consistently landed the bigger punches in the fourth. Novaria put up a good fight until the end but Conway came away with the decision by scores of 39-37 x 2 for Conway and 40-36 for Novaria.

 

Secondsout saw the fight 39-37 for Conway.

 

In the first professional bout of the evening, local McKeesport, PA middleweight Eric Harris, 1-0, won his debut by a fourth round split decision over James Robinson, 1-1-2, of York, PA.

 

Harris, a southpaw, had a clear height advantage over Robinson, an orthodox fighter.

 

Harris came out in the opening round more active than Robinson, while landing a clean left hand to the head that sealed the round. Robinson looked to land his right hand and grab Harris before any counter from the slick fighter.

 

Robinson had success in round two, managing to land some right hands, which he doubled near the round’s mid-point. Harris let his hands go when given the space to use his reach. A quiet crowd told the story that the tactical battle between these two was well in progress.

 

Robinson was the aggressor in round three, throwing a few sweeping punches that grazed the head of his taller foe. While Harris showed no signs of pain in this stanza, Robinson’s tactical plan of fighting in close and landing one or two punches prior to clinching should have been enough to steal this round.

 

As the fourth approached, both fighters were well aware that this was a must-win round to move into the win column. Similar strategies in the previous three rounds ensued while Harris threw more combinations to Robinson’s similar execution of fighting in close.

 

The see-saw battle, which drew little reaction from the fans, was scored 39-37 x 2 for Harris and 39-37 for Robinson.

 

The evening opened with a number of amateur fights, most notably local amateur Matt Conway, who slugged his way to a decision victory over Elliott Brown. Heavyweight Mike Manna scored a brutal first round knockout of Mike Shook with an overhand right that saw Shook sprawl into the ropes.

 

Team Vasquez has promoted a number of shows in Pittsburgh’s Monongahela Valley, and plans to continue going forward as they look to further groom Sammy Vasquez Jr. With talks of larger promoters showing interest, such as Mike Tyson’s new promotional entity, Vasquez will probably be fighting again in the area sooner than later.

 

February 3, 2014




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