SALEM, NH (October 3, 2015)- He’s back. Alexis Santos captured the vacant New England Heavyweight Championship with a third round TKO of Arthur Sarabekian in the main event of the live professional boxing card in the Sports Club at Rockingham Park Saturday.
Santos, who returned to the ring for the first time since suffering a devastating knee injury in a fight 16 months ago, celebrated his comeback on a night that also feted the 50th birthday of former WBU champion “Irish” Micky Ward. But it was no party for Sarabekian, a veteran who took the fight on short notice.
Lawrence, MA’ Santos, 26, showed very little to no ring rust, and no mercy, from the opening bell. Clearly the aggressor, he dominated Sarabekian through the first stanza of their eight round contest.
The second round was more of the same, with Santos having his opponent reeling on the ropes before being knocked down but was saved by the bell. When the action resumed in the third round and Santos unleashed a flurry of powerful punches, it took only 25 seconds before Sarabekian dropped to the mat and his corner threw in the towel for Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger to stop the fight.
“I feel great being the New England champion,” he said with his arm around Edwin Santana, the last New England champion. ““I was fighting cautious at first because I wanted to make sure the knee wouldn’t give out on me, but I felt great after the second round and figured I was going to pick up the pace and turn up the heat, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Santos, whose career is now back on the fast track to the bigger stage and brighter lights, improved to 15-1 (14 KOs) while Sarabekian, who hails from Cranston, RI, dropped to 23-8-1.
“Now I go right back to the gym on Monday and try to make this belt legitimate,” the new champ said. “The guy I fought today is a tough veteran but I need to fight guys my own age or younger. To make this belt even more legitimate,” Santos said.
In the co-feature, Greg Vendetti from Stoneham, MA needed only 1:11 of first round of the six stanza light middleweight bout to advance to 7-2-1. He unloaded a flurry of punches to the body of Brian Walsh and dropped him to the mat with a strong left hook that also dropped the Dorchester, MA fighter to 1-2 in his career.
New England Heavyweight Championship: Alexis Santos (Lawrence, MA) def. Arthur Sarabekian by TKO :25 round 3
Light Middleweight: Greg Vendetti (Stoneham, MA) def. Brian Walsh (Dorchester, MA) by KO 1:11 Round 1
Light Heavyweight: Kevin Cobbs (Burlington, VT) def. Ralph Johnson (Worcester, MA) by TKO 1:30 Round 3
Heavyweight: Dan Pasciolla (Brick, NJ) def. Donnie Palmer (Dorchester, MA) by split decision
Featherweight: Timmy Ramos (Framingham, MA) def. Brandon Garvin (Philadelphia, PA) :49 Round 1
Super Middleweight: Jay Kelly (Dorchester, MA) def. Jesus Cintron (Springfield, MA) by unanimous decision
Middleweight: Antonio Chaves Fernandez (Brockton, MA) def. Robert Hunt (Hyannis, MA) by TKO 2:41 Round 3
Heavyweight: O’Jayland Bown (Sacramento, CA) def. Bobby Favors (Cleveland, OH) by TKO 1:53 Round 1