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Undercard Results from Las Vegas: Helenius-Kownacki and More

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  • Undercard Results from Las Vegas: Helenius-Kownacki and More

    Click image for larger version  Name:	kownacki.PNG Views:	4 Size:	358.9 KB ID:	20176

    By Arne K. Lang

    LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum proclaimed that the undercard for Fury-Wilder III was the strongest in the history of pay-per-view. That’s arguable, but it was certainly the beefiest. The contestants in the three primary supporting bouts had a combined weight of 1461 pounds. Frank Sanchez was the pipsqueak. At yesterday’s weigh-in, he clocked in at 237.


    The co-feature was one of those rare fights between two rising contenders, both undefeated. It pit 27-year-old Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs heading in against 29-year-old Frank Sanchez (18-0, 13 KOs).

    Unfortunately, the fight did not live up to its expectations. The crowd booed intermittently and both were reluctant to let their hands go. Sanchez knocked Ajagba down in the seventh round with an overhand and hit him again with a left just as his rump hit the canvas. At the conclusion, the judges unanimously favored Sanchez: 97-92 and 98-91 twice.

    The rematch between Robert Helenius and Adam Kownacki was a fan-friendly brawl for as long as it lasted. Referee Celestino Ruiz waived it off at the 2:38 mark of round six, giving the fight to the “Nordic Nightmare.” The ref didn’t like the way Kownacki looked – both of his eyes were starting to close shut – and wasn’t happy with Kownacki’s penchant for the low blows. It goes into the books as a win by DQ for Helenius,

    In the first encounter, on March 7 of 2020 in Brooklyn, Kownacki was winning the bout with his non-stop aggression and higher workrate when Helenius, fighting off the ropes, buzzed him with a sneaky right counter punch in the opening minute of the fourth round. That was the beginning of the end for the Polish Brooklynite who was on his feet when the fight was stopped.

    Helenius, who has been around the block a few times, improved to 31-3 with his 20th win inside the distance. Kownacki falls to 20-2. The fight was billed as a WBA title eliminator which supposedly bumps the Nordic man into a match with Oleksandr Usyk.

    Hot heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson scored his 10th knockout in as many starts at the expense of Russian southpaw Vladimir Tereshkin who brought a 22-0-1 record that was full of sludge. In Tereshkin’s last two fights in Kingston, Jamaica, he fought a blown-up Venezuelan cruiserweight that he out-weighed by 46 pounds and a beefy 36-year-old Dominican whose former opponents had 248 losses and only 26 wins between them.

    The official time of the stoppage was 2:51 of round two.

    Other Bouts

    Argentina’s Marcelo Coceres showed that Edgar Berlanga wasn’t quite the beast that many thought that he was. Coceres didn’t win – he fought only in spurts, spending most of the fight backpedaling around the ring – but he produced the most memorable moment when he knocked Berlanga on the seat of his pants with a counter right hook in the closing seconds of round nine of a 10-roud super middleweight contest.

    Berlanga improved to 17-1, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 96-93 across the board. He has fought more rounds in his last two fights than in his first 16 pro fights combined. Coceres, a former world title challenger, declined to 30-3-1.

    Unheralded Vladimir Hernandez, from Durango, Mexico, scored the upset of the night when he won a split decision over former unified super welterweight champion Julian “J Rock” Williams. Two of the judges favored him (97-93, 96-94) with the dissenter scoring it 96-94 for Williams.

    Hernandez was 12-4 going in. J-Rock was making his first start since losing his title to Jeison Rosario 21 months ago and was plainly rusty.

    In an uninteresting 10-round featherweight bout, Cuban import Robeisy Ramirez scored a unanimous decision over Puerto Rico’s previously undefeated Orlando Gonzalez (17-1). It was the eighth straight win for Ramirez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who shockingly lost his pro debut to an unknown fighter from Denver. Like so many former Cuban amateur stars, Ramirez doesn’t fight with pizzazz. The arena, however, was not more than 5 percent full at this stage in the evening.

    Brooklyn featherweight Bruce Carrington made a successful pro debut with a 4-round decision over game but out-gunned Cesar Cantu (3-2). All three judges had it 40-36.

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  • #2
    Credit to those judges who penalized J/Rock for losing.

    Congrats to that journeyman Hernandez, he bled for it.


    • #3
      Sanchez is a cutie who reminds me of Jimmy Young. His ring generalship should be used as a training video. As for Ajagba, he is too nice a guy for this business,


      • #4
        Hernandez showed some real hart in that fight, I thought JRock was looking for a stepping stone and was surprised that the judges were looking at the fight bc the guy was as agressive as a fighter can be, very nice. I saw a few fights over the weekend of the big fight that were good to watch. FS1 gave me two of them. Now Berlanga is injured with a bicepts injury due to having too many first round KOs for 16 fights.? I bet the Nordic never thought he would still be making decent paydays at this date of his life. Glad that Kow-Kow got exposed las time and this one as proof the first was not a bad night.