Fres Oquendo Launches Comeback by Stopping Travis Fulton in Two Rounds
by Pavel Yakovlev: (3/4/12) - Heavyweight Fres Oquendo returned to the ring for the first time in 15 months last night, stopping Travis Fulton in two rounds in Davenport, Iowa. Oquendo floored Fulton with a left uppercut to the jaw after dominating the bout with rapid fire left jabs. Oquendo is now 33-7 (22 KO’s). Fulton drops to 15-27 (15 KO’s).
Article posted on 05.03.2012
The fight was Oquendo’s first outing since December, 2010, when he lost a controversial split-decision to Oliver McCall in the latter’s hometown of Hollywood, Florida. Earlier in 2010, Oquendo dropped another questionable verdict, this time in a Paris match against France’s Jean-Marc Mormeck. The Mormeck loss, regarded as an outrage internationally by the boxing community, was dubbed as “a candidate for robbery of the year” by ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
At the time of the Mormeck fight, Oquendo was rated WBA #10 and IBF #11, and appeared to be on the short list of contenders eligible to fight for the world championship, or partake in an elimination bout to determine a mandatory title challenger. Oquendo, as unjustly as it seems, was dropped from the WBA and IBF ratings as a result of the Mormeck fiasco. The dubious loss to McCall (this reporter observed the match from ringside, and could easily have scored between seven and nine rounds for Oquendo) set back Oquendo that much more.
Regarding the Fulton win, Oquendo remarked, “The guy was a tough cookie, but I was a little too fast and too strong. I busted him up, hurt him, and stopped him with the uppercut. He tried to hold, but my speed and power just overwhelmed him. I felt no ring rust. I came out calm, collected, and established my jab off the top. He had no chance to get going.”
Tom Tsatas, Oquendo’s manager, was pleased with his fighter’s performance. “I gotta tell you, Fres looked fast and strong,” said Tsatas. “Obviously the fans liked the fight. There was really good energy for this fight in the arena. We’re going to try to keep Fres fighting at least every month now, so hopefully by summertime, he’ll have three straight wins on his record. After that, it’s time for a big fight. By then promoter Bobby Hitz will have something coming up.”
Oquendo’s official weight was 229 lbs, but he was quick to point out, “My real weight was about 225 lbs. The 229 lbs. was inaccurate because I had my shoes and clothes on.”
The Puerto Rican born Oquendo, now 38-years-old, has lived in Chicago for most of his life. He was ranked in the worldwide top-10 by most organizations for much of the ‘00s, and fought twice for world championship belts. Most of Oquendo’s career defeats have been by controversial decisions. The 34-year-old Fulton is from Cedar Falls, Iowa, and has been fighting professionally since 1999.
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