In the main event, undefeated Richard “Popeye the Sailor Man” Rivera made a successful debut in the cruiserweight division with a dominating, eight-round unanimous decision over “Mighty” Joe Jones, 80-72 on all three judges’ scorecards.
“New England Explosion” was co-promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Hartford Boxing Promotions from the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The last three fights were televised live on NESN, a first for the network, and streamed worldwide (excluding New England) on FITE.TV.
Photo: Star Boxing
Rivera upped his record to 16-0, 12 KOs. This was his seventh fight of the year, which is an extremely active fighting schedule nowadays. He will be back in the ring in February. Jones dropped to 11-2, 8 KOs. He had his two bout winning streak stopped.
Rivera looked pretty impressive as he dictated the action. He aggressively chased Jones round the ring throughout the fight and landed pretty much whatever he wanted throughout this one-sided bout. Rivera demonstrated effective multiple-punch combinations to Jones’ body and head, as he punished him, yet he did not come close to dropping him. He landed the harder shots, especially jabs and hooks. Jones spent most of the fight in a defensive shell, as he did not throw many punches.
“I’m strong to the finish because I eat my spinach….toot, toot! My coach kept telling me to relax but, honestly, I was putting on a show,” Rivera told reporters after the fight. “He was tough. My team said to box. The plan was not to go for a knockout. I threw some big shots just to let him know.”
In the co-main event, super lightweights, undefeated “Action” Anthony Laureano and Angel “Aztec Warrior” Hernandez put on a competitive, action-packed, thrilling bout in which Laureano prevailed via a unanimous decision (79-74, 79-74, and 77-76). Both fighters refused to back down, as they went toe-to-toe, and traded non stop power shots with one another over eight exciting rounds. Laureano connected on the harder shots and was the more active fighter. He also landed the more effective combinations, in particular left hooks and uppercuts, especially over the last three rounds as Hernandez appeared to tire a bit. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion improved to 13-0, 4 KOs. Hernandez dropped to 17-15-2, 11 KOs. He had his two bout winning streak stopped.
Omar “The Beast” Bordoy obtained an eight-round unanimous decision, 80-72 on all three judges’ scorecards over late replacement Dieumerci “Elephant” Nzau. Bordoy was the more active fighter, as he outworked and out landed Nzau. He displayed great jab combinations throughout the super lightweight bout and connected on the more powerful shots. Bordoy upped his record to 10-1, 3 KOs, in his first eight-round bout. He has won three in a row following his controversial split decision loss to Romin Tomas. Nzau fell to 11-11, 8 KOs.
Derrick “Bad Boy” Whitley II (6-1-1) and Jermaine “Real Steel” Corley (3-8, 1 KO) fought two action-packed, competitive rounds, after which the welterweight bout was stopped by the ringside doctor before the start of the third-round, and by rule, it was a no decision. The ringside doctor halted the fight due to a cut over Whitley’s right eye, which was formed from an accidental headbutt midway through the second-round. It appeared from ringside that the cut was not severe nor was it bleeding heavily, although Whitley received seven stitches after the fight. At the time of the stoppage, two of the judges had it one round a piece, while the third judge gave the first two rounds to Corley. Whitley is unbeaten in his last three bouts.
Undefeated welterweight, Jeffrey “Real Steel” Torres dominated journeyman Antonio Chavez Fernandez en route to a six-round unanimous decision, 60-54, on all three judges’ scorecards. Torres came extremely close on several occasions, especially in the last two rounds, to knocking down Fernandez, who somehow did not go down, despite absorbing a great deal of punishment. Torres opened up a cut over Fernandez’s right eye in the sixth-round, which bled throughout the round. Torres improved to 6-0, 4 KOs, in his first fight in over a year. Fernandez dropped to 9-40-4, 3 KOs.
Leandro “Buscape” Silva scored a fourth-round technical knockout over Angel “The Black Rican” Vazquez with two minutes in the round. Silva trapped Vazquez on the ropes and landed several unanswered combinations which promoted the referee to give Vazquez a standing eight-count, and when it appeared that Vazquez did not want to continue, the bout was stopped. The first three rounds were competitive, as both light heavyweights landed hard combinations on the other. Silva upped his record to 2-3, 2 KOs. Vazquez fell to 0-2.