Ringside Report: Ouma-Candelo/Freitas-Grigorian

03.01.04 - By: Don Deane, Photo (c) Tom Casino/Showtime: Art Pelullo and Banner Promotions brought a wonderfully matched card to Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut . The card was headlined by Artur Grigorian’s defense of the WBO Lightweight belt against Acelino Freitas, who was moving up a class in weight. The chief support was an entertaining bout between Kassim Ouma and J.C. Candelo to decide Winky Wright’s next IBF challenger at 154.

Artur Grigorian vs Acelino Freitas—12 Round WBO Lightweight Title Fight

This was an interesting fight just because of Freitas moving up a division. Also, many people got their first look at Grigorian, who has been a champion for a long time. But if you live somewhere other than his backyard, you probably didn’t know that. Grigorian managed to do what most other undefeated European champions do when they face world class competition. He lost, lopsidedly.

In round one Freitas landed a solid right hand to the exposed chin of the southpaw Grigorian which set the stage for things to come. Grigorian failed to protect his chin against the right handed Freitas leaving himself open to plenty of right hands through out the fight. Round two contained a lot of defensive posturing and feeling out. Round three saw Grigorian drop a nice left hand counter. It turned out that this round was the last competitive one of the fight. In round 4 Freitas was able to drop Grigorian with a right hand. Grigorian went down three more times in the fight, all of them questionable. In round six Grigorian was ruled down when it looked like he slipped. Round seven’s knockdown was kind of a behind the head, off balance push and Round eight’s trip to the canvas was caused by more of a Gracie Jiu Jitsu move as opposed to a boxing one. The only blemish to Freitas’ night was a point deduction for a low blow in round number ten. Freitas cruised to an easy 116-107, 116-107, 115-108 decision. Eastside scored it 116-107. Freitas improves to 35-0 with the win, while Grigorian drops to 36-1.

(In a side note, I would like to apologize for the brevity of this fight recap. Due to lack of space in the Fox Theatre, Foxwoods has to place some press in the stands with the raucous fight crowd. Due to the largely Brazilian crowd going crazy over their countryman Freitas, my vision was impaired quite often during the contest. It is unfortunate that Foxwoods chooses to live outside of their means and bring in fights that draw more media and fan attention than they can accommodate.)

Kassim Ouma vs J.C. Candelo—12 Round IBF #1 Eliminator

This was a nice fight stylistically and it showed as the two scouted out their game plans in round one. Round two started off with a nice 1-2 combo from Ouma. The majority of the round was played out with Ouma’s straight, light punches outscoring the heavy handed wide shots thrown by Candelo. The taller Candelo knew he had to forego his height and get inside to outmuscle the quicker, slicker Ouma. Candelo started bringing it inside in round four and was able to control the action with some hard right hands. Ouma seemed to become feather fisted on the inside and wasn’t able to gain that foot he needed to extend his punches and use some boxing skills. Round five and six had more Candelo inside work and he was able to put the muscle behind his short punches that Ouma couldn’t. Ouma was hurt in round six and Candelo cost himself a big opportunity by loading up on those right hands. Ouma was finally able to establish some working room in round seven and extended some punches and used slickness around the ring. It culminated in neutral corner flurry to end the round. Ouma kept a superior work rate going in rounds eight and nine. He was able to drop Candelo with a counter right hand in round nine. The end of the bout came in round ten as Ouma extended a big right hand and unloaded on Candelo to get the knockout win. With the win, Ouma improves to 19-1-1-1(ND) with his lucky number 13th stoppage. Candelo falls to 26-6-3.

Undercard Results

To open up the show, Terrance Cauthen defended his NABA and NABF belts at 140 against late sub Jermaine Marks. Marks was a game fighter, but was too inexperienced and underskilled for the former Olympian Cauthen. Cauthen won by scores of 118-110, 119-108, 117-111. Eastside had the bout 119-108 for Cauthen who improves to 25-1. Marks drops to 9-2-2.

The WBA Fedelatin Light Heavyweight belt was up for grabs in a match between Brazil’s Laudelino Barros and New York’s Danny Batchelder. In a possible hometown decision, Batchelder took a close split decision by scores of 116-112, 116-112 for Batchelder and 115-113 for Barros. Eastside agreed with the 115-113 for Barros. An Irish-American is now considered Latin champion at 175 by the WBA. Only in boxing.

In a nice bout between 140 pound talents, an unusual ending was witnessed. Juliano Ramos, who was doing quite well, was knocked out on his feet by Antonio Ramirez in the sixth round. The ref failed to stop the contest and Ramirez continued to batter Ramos around the ring. When the ref finally jumped in and grabbed Ramirez from behind, Ramirez kept punching and decked Ramos. Ramos was then awarded a disqualification win, which he had to accept while being helped off the canvas. Ramos improves to 13-0 while Ramirez drops to 20-8-6.

The final undercard bout featured featherweights Rogers Mtagwa and Valdemir Pereira. Pereira had an easy time in this one and battered Mtagwa to an eighth round stoppage. Pereira improves to 16-0 with his 13th KO. Mtagwa drops to 16-8-2.

Article posted on 04.01.2004

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