By Joe Harrison
Light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara (18-2, 9 KOs) scored a massive sixth-round knockout over Anthony Russell (16-3-1, 5 KOs) in the main event of Windy City Fight Night 17 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. With the victory, Fonfara won the vacant WBO NABO title in front of a large crowd of Polish fans including former heavyweight contender Andrew Golota.
Both boxers tried to establish their jabs in the opening round. As they began to trade punches, Russell landed a good right hand, but then received a trio of jabs to his face. Fonfara continued to move forward and controlled the action.
During the second round, Russell attacked Fonfara’s body. Then a left hook dropped Russell. After Russell beat the count, Fonfara went on the attack, pushing Russell against the ropes as he covered up. Russell was able to clinch and momentarily escaped. Fonfara continued to move forward and landed a good combination before Russell clinched again.
Through the third and fourth rounds, Fonfara stalked his opponent as Russell docked and dodged his punches. At times, Russell would throw and occasionally land, but Fonfara would answer back with a flurry of punches, forcing Russell to clinch again.
In round five, Russell was more aggressive and found ways to connect with his punches. Then Fonfara stepped forward, landed his jabs, and was back in pursuit for the remainder of the round.
In the sixth round, Russell was looking to counter Fonfara’s jab, but was forced back against the ropes. Russell was blocking Fonfara’s punches and then they began to trade. They both connected upstairs before Fonfara started swinging violently and landed a left hook flush to the right side of Russell’s face. While out on his feet, Russell took a straight right and another deadly left hook while sliding downward against the ropes and to the canvas.
Referee Geno Rodriguez immediately declared the knockout as the paramedics rushed toward Russell. The end came at 2:46.
In the co-main event, welterweight Jimmy Herrera (6-1, 4 KOs) stopped Eric Draper (4-5, 1 KO) in the third of their scheduled six-round contest. Shortly after the sound of the opening bell, Herrera threw a right hand which knocked Draper down. When the bout resumed, Draper circled the ring and clinched whenever Herrera closed the distance.
In round two, Draper circled the ring while throwing out his jab. Herrera applied pressure, but found himself in the clinch again. Draper began to move forward, but received a couple punches to his face.
During the third round, Draper was moving forward when Herrera landed a quick combo and dropped him. Draper got back up, but referee Celestino Ruiz had seen enough and called off the bout. Time of stoppage was 1:03.
Also, junior welterweight Johnny Garcia (7-0, 6 KOs) earned a fourth-round TKO over Chris Coverson (3-2, 2 KOs). Both fighters had their moments during the first two rounds although Garcia appeared to have better control of the action.
In round three, Coverson was on the move as Garcia chased him and struck him repeatedly. Just before the bell ended the round, Garcia stunned Coverson with a punch to the body. In between rounds, Coverson revealed that he could not continue due to a rib injury. The official time of stoppage was 0:01 of round four.
In other results, middleweight Josh Crouch (7-1, 7 KOs) stopped Keon Johnson (8-5, 2 KOs) in round four. Johnson was down from a right uppercut and rose to his feet, but referee David Smith stopped the contest at the time of 0:51.
In his pro debut, lightweight Juan Bustamante (1-0) won by a unanimous decision over Jose Rivera (0-3). The scores were 40-36 and 39-37 twice.
Middleweight Ninos Abraham (7-0, 2 KOs) won by a split decision over Cesar Martinez (1-4). One score was 40-36 for Martinez while the other two were 39-37 for Abraham.
Welterweight Luis Santiago (2-0) defeated Chris Holloman (0-2) by a unanimous decision. Two scores were 40-36 and the third was 39-37.