It was great to be in Detroit for the first time. Detroit is a city rich with tradition. Especially when it comes to Boxing. That’s what I was there for on Saturday night: Boxing at the Masonic Temple to watch Undisputed 130 champion Alycia “The Bomb” Baumgardner defend her titles against Christina Linadartou.
The first fight on the untelevised portion was Joshua Pagan taking on Gabriel Smith. Fight didn’t last long, as Pagan made quick work of Smith within the opening minute of Round 1. Next fight was Joseph Hicks taking on Ramses Agaton. Hicks looked sharp. A bit of rough inside holding, but he fought through it and hit Agaton with hard hooks and uppercuts. Stunned him at the end of the first. Fighting got progressively rough, and a lot of hooks landed from Hicks. There was also quite a bit of taunting from both fighters. At the end of the third, Agaton intentionally laid on the ropes, daring Hicks to tag him. In the fourth, the fight was stopped momentarily to tie Hicks shoes. While getting his laces tied, Hicks winked at Agaton. Then they continued to taunt each other, even at the end of the round. Referee had to separate the two. At the beginning of the sixth and final round, Hicks tried to touch gloves and Agaton pushed his glove away. At the final bell, Hicks stuck his tongue out. Outside of all the taunting, it was a rough fight in which Hicks controlled the pace and landed all the meaningful shots. He was given a 60-54 score by all three judges, making it a wide unanimous decision.
Next fight was Cameron Pankey taking on Misael Reyes. Pankey looked sharp, he was tagging Reyes all fight especially with the left hook which he couldn’t seem to miss with. Credit Reyes for his chin because he’s been absorbing some hard shots. But in the end, he had nothing for Cameron Pankey, who took the decision by 60-54 shutout on all cards. Next fight was Jemarco Holloway vs Angelo Snow. Both Holloway and Snow started off slow in the first, then picked up the pace in the second. Holloway landed some nice uppercuts. Holloway then had some nice work in the third round. Snow was leaking from the nose. Holloway put together his punches well in the fourth, and the ref waved it off. TKO victory for Holloway
After the televised portion of the card began. It kicked off with JaRico O’Quinn taking on Carlos Mujica. Both fighters started off doing nice work in Round 1. Good exchanges between both guys. They were fighting on even terms, but Mujica was applying pressure and O’Quinn was having difficulties keeping up with the higher pace. He managed to tag Mujica and keep up with the pressure though as the fight progressed. At the end, Quinn was announced the winner by unanimous decision (100-90, 97-93, 96-94). Next fight was heavyweight Jermaine Franklin vs Isaac Munoz. Franklin was fighting in his home state (He’s from Saginaw, not too far from Detroit) and so there was quite a bit of cheering for him. Munoz’s best trait was his durability, because he was getting hit with everything but the kitchen sink. Franklin was putting the pressure on him and landing at will. Target practice for him. I was surprised Munoz was still standing after 10 rounds of getting hit with everything Franklin threw. Franklin picked up the easy UD (100-91 2x, 99-91).
Next up was the co-main: the long anticipated debut of the Cuban Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz. His debut was a ten round fight against veteran Juan Carlos Burgos, who just came off a defeat at the hands of Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis. It was going to be interesting to see how Cruz performed in comparison. Cruz did not disappoint with his performance. He showed great hand speed, footwork, combination punching, reflexes, and defensive slickness. He was able to fight on the outside and inside, tagging Burgos at all angles. Cruz even showed adversity, as he was low blowed a couple of times but was able to push through. The most impressive part was how good his stamina was. This kid has spent his whole career to dare fighting three rounders yet looked completely fresh going into the late rounds. The only thing he did not show was power. Although I expected this to be the case, as Cruz had a slapping style in the amateurs. His trainer Bozy Ennis will seek to correct that, but it will take some time going forward. Cruz did at least turn over his right hand a bit, plus Burgos is a guy who has never been stopped before. And he’s faced the likes of Mikey Garcia, Rocky Martinez, Devin Haney, and Keyshawn Davis. Therefore, I will not hold it against Andy that he did not stop Burgos. We will see in future fights if Andy has some power or not. Overall, Cruz showed his tremendous talent and won an easy UD (100-90 2x, 98-92).
Now it was time for the main event. Undisputed champion Alycia Baumgardner takes on Christina Linadartou. Linadartou was greeted with many loud boos, though it did not bother her as she danced her way to the ring. Alycia was walked out to the ring by popular Detroit rapper Sada Baby and was greeted with a loud number of cheers. Alycia started off the fight slow, being very patient and methodical. She picked her spots and tried to counter Linadartou when she came in. By the fourth round, Baumgardner started picking up the pace and landed a barrage of combinations. In the fifth round she put together a nice sequence of body work. She could have gotten a stoppage in that round if there was an extra minute. But alas, this is what we deal with when it comes to women’s boxing. I won’t beat a dead horse here though. By the seventh round, Linadartou was still putting up a valiant effort. But it was clear she was slowing down a bit. Meanwhile Baumgardner was killing her with left hooks to the head and body. Alycia continued to push the pace, and easily outclassed Christina late in the fight. The fight went the full ten, and Alycia was declared the winner, by UD (99-91, 98-92x). It was vindication for Alycia, who suffered the first and only loss of her career to Linadartou. She was excited to get her “lick back” and close that chapter. Baumgardner wants all the big fights. The names she mentioned: Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, and Chantelle Cameron. All great fights for her. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for AB next. But she capped off an incredibly fun, exciting, and lively night of boxing in Detroit. It was an event worth