By Jake Donovan
By Jake Donovan
Michael Farenas scored the biggest win of his career, battering Mark Davis into submission Wednesday evening at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
With the win, Farenas is now in the running for the winner of next week's title fight rematch between Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy.
The result was not only an upset, but a one-sided rout as Davis was seemingly unaware of what he was walking into. The unbeaten super featherweight never seemed to recover from a rough opening round, suffering a cut that was ruled to have been caused by a punch.
From there, Farenas forced a dog fight, which was precisely the best chance the visiting Filipino stood to win. Davis tried to turn things around, enjoying pockets of success in round three and doing his best to dictate the pace in round four.
The strategy miserably backfired, however, as Farenas let it rip in a dominant 5th round that could have easily been scored 10-8 even without the presence of an official knockdown. Davis was battered throughout the round and took enough additional punishment in round six to prompt an extended visit from the ringside physician.
After carefully observing the unbeaten Ohioan and further discussing with referee Steve Smoger, it was decided by the doctor that the fighter could go out for one more round but with the threat of pulling the plug should he continue to serve as a punching bag.
Davis didn't turn things around, but enjoyed the next best thing - an uneventful round seven. If he had anything left in the tank, it could have spawned a turnaround. Instead, it merely granted him a stay of execution.
Farenas went to town in round eight, pouncing on Davis and unloading with power shots until Smoger had no choice but to stop the contest.
The official time was 0:58 of round eight.
Farenas advances to 39-4-4 (32KO), having now won five straight. The 30-year old, who is promoted by Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions, is now the #2 contender to the sanctioning body who recognizes Mendez as its 130 lb. titlist. If Farenas doesn't get immediate dibs at the winner of next week's title fight rematch, it will only be due to his having to fight a final eliminator to earn that right.
Davis was being groomed for a title shot, but instead gives promoter/rapper Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson a birthday to forget. The loss is his first as a pro, as he falls to 18-1 (5KO).
The special edition of Friday Night Fights aired on Wednesday due to Friday serving as a national holiday in the United States. 50 Cent celebrates his birthday on Saturday, and for the second year in a row decided to host a major fight card at Foxwoods to commemorate the personal milestone. Rather than receive the gift of watching one of his clients advance to the contender level, he once again rewards an opposing fighter.
The latest setback for the rapper-turned-promoter comes just four days after watching Yuriorkis Gamboa suffer a knockout loss to Terence Crawford in their sensational lightweight title fight last Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.
As for Farenas, the world is his for the taking. The southpaw is a proven commodity at the contender level, boasting a narrow win over Fernando Beltran, a hard-fought loss to Gamboa and unfinished business with unbeaten 130 lb. titlist Takashi Uchiyama. The two fought to a technical draw in an aborted three-round affair in Aug. '12.
Five wins later, he proved to Mark Davis who is ready to move in a stacked super featherweight division.
Former featherweight titlist Billy Dib scored a much-needed win, outpointing retread Alberto Garza in their 10-round televised co-feature.
Scores were 96-93 (twice) and 98-91 in favor of Dib, who will now campaign in the 130 lb. division.
It was a rough night at the office for Dib and also referee Allan Huggins, whose presence was required throughout the contest. Dib was cut outside of his right eye in the opening round due to an accidental headbutt, but managed to fight through the wound.
Garza's intent was to make the fight as ugly as possible, and it was mission accomplished for the most part. The battle-tested veteran had his bright spots, but his best round of the night - a solid effort in round six - was neutralized by a point deduction due to excessive low blows.
Dib improves to 37-3 (21KO), picking up a win in his first fight back since a one-sided stoppage loss to Evgeny Gradovich in their title fight rematch last November in Macau. The sequel came nearly nine months after their ESPN2-televised thriller last April, in which Dib saw a 21-month title reign come to an end in dropping a decision in what was perceived at the time as an upset.
Garza suffers his second straight loss as he falls to 26-8-1 (21KO). The Mexican slugger has pulled off the occasional upset, including wins over Justin Savi and Nery Saguilan. Both were immediately followed by knockout losses, falling short to the likes of Robinson Castellanos and unbeaten Nicholas Walters, the latter serving as his lone title shot in an 11-year career.
Earlier tonight, two of the brightest young stars on the DiBella Entertainment roster, Junior "Sugar Boy" Younan and Louis "Cruise Control" Cruz, stayed unbeaten, winning dominant unanimous decisions in separate bouts to open up 50 Cent's SMS Promotions card at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
The 18-year-old phenom Younan was taken the distance for the first time in his young career, scoring a shutout over tough-as-nails Azamat Umarzoda. The super middleweight Younan got in some much-needed rounds, having previously scored four consecutive first-round knockouts in two minutes or less.
The "boxing prodigy", as Younan was referred to in a NY Times article written on him when he was just 10 years old, showed the total package, displaying lightning quick hands and combination punching to both the body and head, as well as amazing footwork and defensive movement. It was an impressive showing for the Brooklyn-native, who improved to a perfect 5-0, 4KO's, with the four-round unanimous decision. Younan will be back in action on an upcoming DiBella Entertainment Broadway Boxing card this summer in NYC.
The Bronx-native Cruz lived up to his nickname cruising to a six-round unanimous decision over Ryan Picou in their super lightweight matchup. Cruz displayed a piston-like jab that kept Picou off balance for much of the fight. Cruz pressed the action throughout and was the much busier of the two, as Picou was content to stay on the outside, looking to score with single shots. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in Cruz's favor, with scorecards of 59-55 twice, and 58-56. With the win, Cruz improved to a perfect 8-0, 4KO's, and, like Younan, will be featured on an upcoming DiBella Entertainment Broadway Boxing card this summer in NYC.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox