By Francisco Salazar
Maureen Shea does not want anything easy in life, and that includes the boxing ring. With a last-minute opponent with an awkward style in front of her, Shea was up to and answered the challenge.
Shea fought a disciplined fight and won a 10 round unanimous decision over Nohime Dennisson before an almost-sellout crowd at the Performing Arts Center in Oxnard, CA on Saturday night.
The bout headlined a six-bout "Ice versus Fire II" card, presented by Top Players Promotions. Their inaugural event took place on July 12th.
Shea was originally scheduled to fight Dayana Cordero of Colombia, but Dennisson came on as a last-minute replacement when Cordero was unable to secure a visa.
It was Shea who stayed disciplined throughout the fight, countering and timing the aggressive Dennisson to the head. Shea landed almost at will with the right to the head, but mixed in her attack by landing to the body as well.
Dennisson was able to utilize her awkwardness by landing lead right hands to the head during the middle rounds. Those rallies by Dennisson were short-lived as Shea beat her to the punch and forced her to fight defensively.
Shea seemed to be more and more accurate as the fight progressed. She landed more right hands at will to Dennisson's head and body in the last two rounds.
All three judges scored the bout 99-91 in favor of Shea. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 98-92 for Shea.
"I could tell she was awkward, but I stuck to my game plan," said Shea, who has won her last 10 bouts in a row. "I didn't go for the knockout. I fought this bout the right way. I'm ready to fight on a bigger stage."
Shea, who is originally from the Bronx, NY and now resides in Oxnard, CA, improves to 23-2, 11 KOs. Dennisson, from Albuquerque, NM, drops to 5-3-2.
Super middleweight contender Maxim Vlasov won a one-sided eight round unanimous decision over late-sub Derrick Findley.
Vlasov has now won his last 10 bouts in a row.
Findley was a late-replacement for Henry Buchanan, who reportedly was injured during training last week.
The taller Vlasov worked from the outside, raining down straight right hands to the head behind a peppering jab.
Findley tried to get on the inside and at times was able to do so. He would try and land a left hook, but the punch would get blocked or had little effect as he was not able to sit down on the punch.
He did have a better fifth round, when he attacked Vlasov's body with more regularly. The rally was short-lived as Vlasov controlled the action, landing strong right crosses to the head.
Findley tried to rally in the last round and did gave some success, but anytime he went forward, Vlasov continued to rain down hard punches.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Vlasov, 79-73, 79-73, and 80-72.
Ranked in the top five in two of the sanctioning bodies, the Russian-born Vlasov, who resides in nearby Camarillo, improves to 29-1, 14 KOs. Findley, from Gary, IN, drops to 20-13-1, 13 KOs.
In a minor upset, unknown Adrian Rodriguez Garza stopped local fighter Irving Garcia in the second round of a schedules six round bout. After an even first round, Garza (8-2, 6KOs) was more aggressive in the second round. A right hand by Garza hurt Garcia (10-2, 6KOs) about a minute into the round. Garza followed up with a barrage of punches that sent Garcia face first to the canvas. Garcia got up on wobbly legs and tried to fight back, but absorbed more right hands to the head. Referee Jack Reiss saw enough and waved the fight over at 1:29.
Super featherweight Daniel Franco stopped Victor Serrano in the third round of a scheduled six round bout. The larger Franco (7-0-2, 4KOs) landed at will with left hooks or right hands to Serrano's head. Serrano (3-4, 1KO) fought back, landing the occasional hook, but his punches had little effect on Franco. In the third round, Franco hurt Serrano with a left hook to the head. Franco followed and landed a barrage of punches onto Serrano, prompting referee Dr. Lou Moret to step in and stop the bout at 2:10.
Bantamweight Indian Banuelos of nearby Santa Paula won a four round majority decision over Alan Garcia. Banuelos (2-1) was effective from the outside, effectively countering Garcia. Banuelos landed repeatedly with left hooks to the head throughout the fight, but tired in the final round. Garcia (0-1-1) pressed the action in the fourth round, but was unable to hurt or drop Banuelos. One judge scored the bout 38-38, while the other two judges scored the bout 40-36 and 39-37 for Banuelos. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 39-37 for Banuelos.
In the opening bout of the Top Players Promotions card, junior middleweight Abraham Lopez stops Robert Hill in the third round of a scheduled four round bout. Lopez (5-1, 2KOs) landed the more telling and effective punches, although Hill was able to have a better second round. Lopez came on aggressively in the third round and his persistence paid off as he stunned Hill a number of times. After a series of punches backed Hill up in a corner, referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:57.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing