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ESPN Thursday Night Fights: A Ringside Report

On May 1, Hialeah Park and Casino hosted ESPN Thursday Night Fights. Those in attendance included both current and former world champions such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, Riddick Bowe, Joel Casamayor, and Sergio Martinez.


The fighter who left the biggest impression in the opening bouts was Ahmed Elbiale, fighting out of Miami, FL by way of Cairo Egypt. He faced Steven Chadwick Jr. in a light heavyweight bout scheduled for four rounds. Neither the judges nor the ring card girls would be needed in this short, brutal bout.

The Egyptian stalked Chadwick around the ring, landing sharp thunderous blows. Chadwick went down early but bounced back to his feet almost immediately. Moments later, still in the first round, Elbiale landed a flurry of power punches. The referee stepped between the fighters, intelligently stopping a fight that resulted in a first round TKO.

As the referee stopped the bout, Chadwick fell to the canvas. He did not get up. Two minutes later, ringside physicians had a breathing mask on Chadwick’s face. Ten minutes later, Hialeah Fire Rescue would remove Chadwick from the ring on a stretcher. Elbiale, still undefeated, climbed to 4-0. Chadwick fell to 2-6, leaving a general consensus amongst fighters and ringside observers alike that Chadwick would be best to consider a new career. The boxing community wishes him a speedy recovery.


In the co-main event, undefeated Puerto Rican fighter Jonathan Gonzalez squared off against Mexican pugilist Rogelio Medina. After a very close first round, Jonathan Gonzalez pulled ahead, getting the best of Medina in the bulk of the remaining rounds.

Just as he told East Side Boxing he would, Gonzalez landed the harder, cleaner punches. He attacked Medina’s body, then moved upstairs a bit more in the later rounds. Medina fought bravely and competitively, but lost by split decision.

Matchmakers at Warriors Boxing did an excellent job matching a heavy-handed but flat-footed Roberto Garcia against an apparently quicker Victor Cayo in the main event. For the first two rounds, Garcia backed Cayo up and delivered cleaner, harder punches. In round three, Cayo appeared to wake up a bit and put some more power behind his punches. He used his jab more and began using his feet to move sharply and laterally as opposed to just moving backward as he had in the first two rounds. Cayo’s hands were quicker, Garcia’s hands were heavier. Garcia stalked. Cayo moved.

However, Cayo’s quick feet and hands were not enough to save him from the constant pressure and punching power of Roberto Garcia. Two minutes and thirty-eight seconds into the sixth round, the referee Telis Assimenios had seen enough. Amidst a bustle of power punches delivered by Garcia, Assimenios stepped in between the fighters, waved his hands in the air, and declared a TKO victory for Roberto Garcia.

Saturday May 10, 2014, ESPN boxing will return when Chris Arreola faces Bermane Stiverne for the WBC title, recently vacated by Vitali Klitchko. Both fighters will be looking to make history: Stiverne aims to become the first-ever Haitian heavyweight champion while Arreola seeks to become the first-ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion. The fight will air on ESPN2 at 10:00PM.

Bill Barner is a former certified “USA Boxing” Judge, Referee, and Trainer. He is a former sparring partner for several amateur and professional fighters and currently practices law in South Florida for BarnerRossen PA. He is a regular contributor to East Side Boxing.