The main event saw Red Deer’s Cam O’Connell (14-0-1, 9 KO’s) take on Juan Bedolla Orozco (14-5-2, 11 KO’s) of Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico. O’Connell came out guns a blazing as usual with Orozco feeling out the Canadian in a defensive mode throughout the first half of the first round. During the second half of the round, the two fighters began closing in on each other and landing power punches.
This continued throughout the fight but O’Connell’s speed and technique proved to be the factor throughout the fight as he would land the harder shots, not to mention the quantity of shots. It was not easy but O’Connell was able to win a unanimous decision with the judges’ scores reading 79-73 twice and 78-74. During the post fight interview, O’Connell stated that Orozco was the best fight he has faced so far in his professional career and his sights are set on winning a Canadian title hopefully in his next fight.
In the co-main event Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford (9-0, 5 KO’s) had to settle for an uneventful unanimous decision victory over Mario Baeza (6-3, 5 KO’s according to BoxRec but Baeza has stated that he was actually 12-2 before the fight). Ford did all he could against Baeza but the fact that his opponent ran throughout the fight frustrated Ford. Ford’s power shots and activity was more than enough to win the fight. In actuality, he could have thrown only ten punches per round and it would have been more than enough to win him each round. As the final bell rang, Ford walked to his corner and showed his frustrations to his coach Howard Grant and stated that he (Ford) is a fighter and not a track runner. The judges’ scorecards read 60-53 twice and 59-54. Baeza was deducted a point in the fifth round due to excessive holding. Next up for Ford is a UBO world lightweight title fight in February.
The best action of the night came from Justin Hocko (4-0-2) and Dominic Babineau (6-1, 4 KO’s). There seemed to be a lot of tension between the two fighters, which usually makes for an exciting fight and that it was. From the opening bell, the two fighters went at each other without hesitation with Babineau landing the cleaner eye-catching shots but could not do so without receiving some in return from Hocko. It was a close fight with a lot of action but Hocko ended up the victor via split decision. The scorecards read 57-56 twice for Hocko and 57-56 for Babineau. A rematch between the two would seem like the best thing for each fighter and be a better thing for their fans.
Toronto heavyweight prospect Mladen Miljas (3-0, 3 KO’s) made it a quick night in his KO Boxing debut against former MMA fighter Tim Hague (1-2, 1 KO). Miljas took control from the opening bell and hit Hague with sharp, accurate punches and sent him down a total of three times before the bout was called at two minutes and fifty-eight seconds of the first round.
Tim Chemelli (3-1, 3 KO’s) of Cold Lake Alberta made a statement in his second fight in Edmonton (the first one being a disappointing loss to Stan Surmacz Ahumada) by stopping hometown heavyweight Brad Switzer (2-1, 1 KO). Switzer tried fighting from a distance but Chemelli was able to close that distance and land bomb after bomb on Switzer which caused the referee to stop the bout in the second round and rightfully so as Switzer appeared to not be able to keep himself stable and had to be held up by the ropes.
Vince Calio (5-0-1, 2 KO’s) of Pennsylvania showed that age is only a number as he took on and beat a fighter eight years younger than him in Anthony Lessard (10-10-2, 6 KO’s). Calio established his jab and set the pace in the first round as Lessard tried to press the action. Things would take a turn towards the end of the second round when Lessard caught Calio with a left hook that seemed to have him out on his feet. Calio took an eight count and was saved by the bell but came back stronger and more determined in the following rounds to win a split decision. The scorecards read 38-37 twice for Calio and the third judge had it 38-37 for Lessard.
Adam Braidwood (6-1, 5 KO’s) got the redemption he was seeking when he took on and stopped Lee Mein (2-3, 2 KO’s) in the first round. The two fighters first met in 2009 with Mein stopping Braidwood in the first round so for Braidwood to return the favor is what he needed. One would suspect Braidwood to come out cautious and I’m sure they planned for that but he told me, “Sometimes you just want to go in there and bang.” And that he did as he dropped Mein three times before the bout was stopped at two minutes and twenty seconds of the first round.
Eric Taylor (5-1, 3 KO’s) appeared that he was going to have an early night against Michael Gargouri (0-11-1) but that was not the case. Taylor caught Gargouri in the first round and seemed to be ready to put him out but Gargouri had other plans as he fought back and made Taylor work hard for the victory. The judge’s scorecards read 38-37 twice and 39-37 all in favor of Taylor.