PBC on NBC Chicago Post Fight Review
By Zo Crooks @Zomanystylez, Real Combat Media Chicago Boxing Correspondent-Ringside
Chicago, IL (June 19th, 2016)– #Andthenew!!!!….that seemed to be the theme all night as Premiere Boxing Champions put on a show at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL Saturday night. In the squared circle, anything can happen! The main event was a true example of that.
Hometown hero Andrjez Fonfara surprisingly didn’t survive the first round of his light heavyweight matchup with Joe Smith Jr. “The Polish Prince” had no time to settle in as Smith Jr. just came out and dropped Fonfara with a vicious right cross to score the first of two knockdowns in the fight. The referee stopped the bout at 2;32 of the first round. Prior to the fight there have been talks about this being a tuneup fight for Fonfara (28-4, 16 KOs), who was looking to avenge his loss to Adonis Stevenson after his fight with Smith. Well that’s not happening now thanks to Smith Jr. (22-1. 18 KO).
The day of the weigh in Smith Jr. and myself sat beside each other and we conversed about his upcoming bout and he looked me in my eye and said, “I’m going to knock him out!” I spoke with Smith Jr. after the fight and we both recalled the talk that we had the day before and Smith said “Fonfara gets hit a lot in his fights so I knew I would be able to catch him with something”. Well he caught with something alright…lol.
“He is a heavy puncher,” Fonfara said. “He hit me with a great punch. It happens. I threw some good punches, but I got too comfortable. I didn’t see the punch coming. That made it a great punch.”
In the opening bout of the night Rau’shee Warren (15-1, 4 KOs) became the #NEW WBA Bantamweight Champion as he avenged his only by defeating the undefeated Juan Carlos Payana (17-1 (8 KOs) by majority decision in a hard fought battle.
Warren came out letting his hands go early, catching Payano with some shots in the earlier rounds. Warren came in looking sharp but by the middle rounds Payano began to time him and catch Warren with some great shots of his own.
Warren had the whole Cincinnati crew in his corner that included Adrien Broner, Robert Easter Jr., and the whole band camp. He even had TMT’s Nate Jones in his corner. They we all yelling the same thing…”Nuke..come in behind the jab”! Once Warren got the jab going he began landing more shots in the later rounds. In the 11th round Warren staggered Payano with a series of blows. Somehow Payano survived the attack and the round.
The biggest drama of the fight was the reading of the judges score cards. The crowd was shocked when the first score of 114-114 was read. The other two scorecards were the same at 115-113 (I had Warren by 3 rounds) giving Warren the WBA title. And when they announced “#Andthenew”….Warren along with trainer Mike Stafford hit the mat in joy!
#Andthenew! Rau’shee Warren
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