Slick-boxing Antowyan Aikenshas found a second home at Twin River Casino. The Atlantic City, N.J., won in Rhode Island for the second time this year, upending hometown favorite Rich Gingras (15-6-1) on Friday in Gingras’ first fight since 2015.
The Aikens-Gingras bout headlined a nine-fight card promoted by CES Boxing. Fresh off his win over Providence’s Vladine Biossein February, Aikens again out-boxed and out-worked his opponent, thistime dethroning Gingras in a 57-56, 58-55, 58-55 unanimous decision win.
Gingras’ ring rust showed as he tried to stalk down Aikens, but simply couldn’t catch him enough or cut off the ring and work on the inside the way he wanted to. Instead, Aikens kept his distance, utilizing his reach and his jab in the latter rounds to earn the win on the cards despite losing a point late in the fight for excessive holding.
With his 12-fight win streak on the line, Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (15-1, 13 KOs) rallied for his most electrifying win to date, knockout out dangerous southpaw challenger Bernardo Marquez(8-4-1) at the 2:02 mark of the fourth round.
Facing a southpaw for the first time in his professional career, Cusumano struggled mightily for the first three rounds. With Marquez fighting effectively on the inside, scoring big to the body and upstairs and not allowing his opponent to utilize his long reach, Cusumano trailed on two of the three judges’ scorecards entering the fourth.
The tide turned when Cusumano finally found his distance and cracked Marquez with an overhand right square on the chin, putting Marquez flat on his back and ending what might’ve been a close shave for Cusumano had the bout gone to the scorecards.
Cusumano has now won 13 in a row, including the last nine by knockout. Friday was the first time he has been past the second round since October of 2014.
Anthony Marsella Jr.(9-0) of Providence stole the show on the undercard in by far his toughest test to date, narrowly defeating Washington native Ricardo Maldonado(8-8-1) via split decision courtesy of a critical fifth-round knockdown that swung the bout in his favor.
This fight was all action from the opening bell. Neither fighter tried to run or circle the ring, instead fighting front and center, toe-to-toe, for six hard rounds. With the decision hanging in the balance, Marsella opened the fifth with a clean right cross upstairs, sending Maldonado to the canvas. The action immediately picked up after that with Marsella, bleeding profusely from the left eye, unleashing a flurry of lefts and rights in his most decisive round of the fight.
Judge Don Trella scored it 58-55 in favor of Maldonado despite the knockdown while Martha Tremblay and Eddie Scunzio favored Marsella by scores of 58-55 and 57-56, respectively.
Continuing his impressive stretch of dominance in the lightweight division, Worcester, Mass., prospect Jamaine Ortiz (9-0, 6 KOs) made quick work of New Jersey’s Tyrone Luckey (9-9-3) in the third round via technical knockout for his ninth win in as many fights.
Ortiz worked the body brilliantly in the early rounds, which left Luckey open for a huge overhand left in the third that left Luckey stunned with his right slowly beginning to close. Clearly distracted by the eye, Luckey retreated as Ortiz continued to apply the pressure and dropped to one knee courtesy of an overhand right late, effectively ending the night for the hard-hitting New Jersey native with 6 seconds to go in the round.
Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates(4-2, 2 KOs), coming off a big win in February, earned the biggest victory of his career Friday, making a statement with a knockout win over Holyoke, Mass., native Mohamad Allam (3-3).
Allam came out strong in the opening round, landing a few clean rights toward the end, but Bates came on strong in the second, fighting effectively on the inside, and landed the finishing blow late in the third with a huge overhand right, sending Allam crashing to the canvas. Allam made it back to his feet, but his corner threw in the towel, ending the fight at the 1:58 mark and sealing Bates’ second consecutive win.
Facing his toughest test to date, Providence featherweight Ricky Delossantos (5-0) put together another complete performance, dominating James Early (3-3) from Washington, D.C., to earn a unanimous 40-36 decision across the board to remain undefeated.
Early entered the bout fresh off a big win over previously unbeaten Joshua Draughterin Florida, but couldn’t rekindle the magic against the slick, elusive Delossantos, who wasted no time establishing the pace and stuck with it for all four rounds.
Making his CES Boxing and Twin River Casino debut, Springfield, Mass., welterweight Derrick Whitley II (4-0) looked sharp in a unanimous decision win over Woburn, Mass., vet Carlos Galindo (0-4), dropping Galindo with an uppercut in the fourth and final round to punctuate a 40-35 verdict across the board.
The son of former Holyoke light heavyweight Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley, who amassed 52 fights in his pro career, Whitley established a solid pace from the beginning, but Galindo continued to fight in the center of the ring, unafraid to trade punches with his undefeated opponent. That strategy backfired in the final round when Galindo walked into a hard right uppercut and dropped to both knees. Whitley is now 4-0 since making his professional debut in April of 2017.
In the cruiserweight division, Jake Paradise (0-2) of Worcester and Leandro Da Silva (1-1, 1 KO) of Woburn, by way of Sao Paolo, Brazil, faced one another in search of their first career victory with Da Silva, an eight-time UFC vet, pulling off the upset with the technical knockout win 1:24 into the third round. The first two rounds were close with both fighters feeling one another out, but Da Silva turned the tide with a huge uppercut early in the third that stopped Paradise in his tracks. Paradise retreated to the corner, where Da Silva continued to unload, landing clean lefts and rights against his defenseless opponent until referee Johnny Callas stopped the bout.
Da Silva, who has 21 wins in mixed martial arts, now owns the unique distinction of winning his first professional boxing match 10 years after making his MMA debut.
Also searching for his first win in boxing following a long career in mixed martial arts, Bridgewater, Mass., native Andy Aiello(1-1) evened his record with a 39-37 unanimous decision win on all three scorecards against previously unbeaten junior welterweight Nicky DeQuattro (3-1) of Providence. Aiello simply outworked DeQuattro and landed the cleaner blows in a wildly entertaining fight as both sides had their moments. Aiello also boasts a 3-3 record in professional MMA.