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Wild Finish To FIGHTNIGHT LIVE in Foxwoods

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I was ringside doing blow by blow for FIGHTNIGHT Live and so was thisclose to the bizarro ending.

It went like this—Jimmy Williams and Issouf Kinda were clinched up. Ref Steve Smoger stepped in to break them.

During what looked like a sequence that should have seen a clean break, Kinda threw a left hand, which hit Smoger’s left eye. Williams threw a straight right that dropped Kinda. As Smoger was counting, at about four, a ring doc ran into the ring. Fight over. KO for Williams was declared.  The Kinda crew went ballistic. Wasn’t their man kayoed by an illegal shot? Not, in my view, if both men were following the direction of Smoger.

I talked to him an hour after the loony finish and he told me “I told them to punch out.”

Check it out for yourself. Hit Facebook and search for FIGHTNIGHT  Live…

Here is the release sent out by CES’ Michael Parente:

New Haven’s Williams retains WBC title in wild, controversial finish over Kinda at Foxwoods Casino

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (Aug. 26th, 2017) – Reigning World Boxing Council U.S. National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) welterweight champion Jimmy Williams retained his title Saturday in a wild finish over Issouf Kinda of the Bronx at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Williams (14-0-1, 6 KOs) scored the knockout at the 1-minute, 26-second mark of the fourth round in peculiar finish, cracking Kinda (18-5) with a right cross on the break as veteran referee Steve Smoger separated two following a brief clinch.

As Smoger yelled, “Break!” Kinda threw a quick right that momentarily clipped Smoger instead of Williams. The reigning champ landed with his right hand, sending Kinda crashing to the canvas. Smoger counted him out and Williams retained the title despite trailing on two of the three scorecards entering the fourth round.

The event, promoted by CES Boxing, aired live on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE as a precursor to Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor megabout in Nevada.

The controversial finish set off a brief melee in the ring, but cooler heads prevailed as Williams celebrated his first title defense and 10th consecutive win since fighting to a draw with Greg Jackson in 2013. Kinda has now lost two in a row since his win over Zach Ramsey in May of 2016.

Up until the knockout, Kinda led by three rounds on one of the scorecards and one round on another card while Williams led by three rounds on the third scorecard.

In a fight that turned out to be as exciting as advertised, junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (5-0) of New London, Conn., edged Springfield, Mass., vet Miguel Ortiz (2-1) by split decision, 57-56, 56-57, 57-56.

Marrero fought thrown a swollen eye and dropped Ortiz in the fifth round to seal his fifth win in as many fights, but Ortiz, as always, came to brawl and brought the fight to Marrero in the early rounds, using his come-forward style to bully Ortiz and press him into the ropes while landing short, clean punches on the inside.

Marrero found his difference down the stretch with the knockdown sealing Ortiz’s fate, even with one judge scoring the bout in favor of Ortiz. The bout was supposed to take place in June, but Ortiz was forced to withdraw due to a shoulder injury. The bout was rescheduled for Saturday and changed from four to six rounds, which ultimately worked in Marrero’s favor.

With boxing and mixed martial arts colliding in Nevada in the Mayweather-McGregor bout, CES got in on the action at Foxwoods with eight-time Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) vet Leandro Silva (0-1) of Sao Paolo, Brazil, making his professional boxing debut against unbeaten cruiserweight Richard Rivera (3-0) of Hartford, Conn.

Silva, who is 20-6 in MMA, came out with his hands held high, more reminiscent of his style inside the cage, which flustered Rivera at first. The hard-hitting cruiserweight had a hard time landing anything clean until he caught Silva flush with a right hook on the inside that sent him to the canvas for a split second.

Silva popped up quickly, unharmed by the flash knockdown, and continued to trade fearlessly with the heavily-decorated Rivera, at one point dancing along the ropes and taunting his opponent. Rivera won the fight, 40-35 on all three scorecards due to the knockdown.

Worcester, Mass., lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (5-0) kept his perfect record intact, earning a 40-36 verdict on all three scorecards against Loraine, Ohio, vet Angel Figueroa (4-5-1). Fighting for the first time since April, Ortiz’s endurance and output was too much for Figueroa, who hung tough early, but ran out of gas in the closing rounds. Ortiz returns to the ring Sept. 16th in Rhode Island, looking to improve to 6-0.

Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (12-1, 10 KOs) continued to impress on his regional tour, making his Foxwoods debut in grand fashion with a first-round knockout win over Wilmington, Del., vet Robert Dunton (11-17-1) at the 2-minute mark. Dunton tried to work the body against the taller Cusumano, but Cusumano’s superior size and strength was too much to handle; Cusumano caught Dunton along the ropes with a left and followed by cracking him with three consecutive overhand rights, sending Dunton into the ropes and forcing the referee to step in and stop the bout.

Cusumano also returns Sept. 16th in Rhode Island in a six-round bout against Californian Matt McKinney.

Boston, Mass., native and former U.S. Marine Jarel Pemberton (1-0), the son of New England icon and former world-title challenger “Sandman” Scott Pemberton, impressed in his professional debut, defeating game challenger Nate Schulte (0-3) of Woburn, Mass., by unanimous decision, 39-37 on all three scorecards.

Pemberton was the aggressor from the opening bell, but Schulte hung in for four hard rounds, unafraid to fight on the inside, and even landed a clean left hand in the third round that momentarily stunned his opponent. Pemberton ultimately regained his composure and finished strong to seal the victory, his first win as a pro.

Also on the undercard, Hartford junior middleweight Jose Rivera (4-1) won his second consecutive fight, outworking the hard-charging Corwin Farmer (1-2) of Tarboro, N.C., to earn a 39-37, 39-37, 40-36 unanimous decision victory. Farmer, entered fresh off his first professional win in January, actually did his best work on the inside, but Rivera controlled the pace by utilizing his jab to keep Farmer from gaining any momentum.

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About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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