By Victor Salazar
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ - Literally 10 minutes away from his hometown of Passaic, Glen Tapia (23-2, 15 KO’s) got what he always wanted, to headline a television fight in front of his hometown fans. That’s what he got when he took on Michel Soro (26-1-1, 15 KO’s) of France at the Prudential Center. Unfortunately it wasn’t the decision he was looking for as he was stopped in the 4th round by the French boxer.
“Jersey Boy” as he is known, came out strong in the 1st round digging to the body and getting combinations from to bottom. It was almost like Soro wasn’t throwing and there was a reason why.
Soro came out from the get go with two uppercuts that sent a message to Tapia. Tapia and acknowledged what happened and said, “bring it on.” Soro obliged and brought it throughout the 3rd and the 4th rounds.
While Tapia was coming forward and landing shots on the body, it almost seemed like they were arm shots. Soro meanwhile was landing the crisper, cleaner punches. Tapia was getting peppered and it almost seemed like he wasn’t getting anything behind his punches.
Then it came in the 4th round, it was a big right hand that sent Tapia stumbling as it seemed like his glove touched the floor. The referee didn’t call the knockdown but Soro jumped on Tapia with combinations that were landed even as Tapia was trying to hold on to make it out of the round. But to no avail as the ref stopped the contest as Tapia was falling backwards, and giving the hometown fighter his second defeat as Soro banks an upset victory on U.S. soil.
Sporting an Irish Hoodie and a New York Rangers hat Seanie Monaghan (24-0, 15 KOs) came to the ring to chants on “Seanie, Seanie”, Monaghan didn’t want to disappoint those who made the trip from Long Island to Newark. He didn’t as he defeated Cleiton Conceicao (19-7-2, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision. The scores were 98-92 twice and 99-91
However, he was going to be tested throughout 10 rounds.
In the beginning of the fight, it seemed to be a Monaghan fight as he was applying pressure landing over hand rights and digging to the body. It looked early on that we might be in for an early night as Monaghan body shots caused Conceiaco to clinch as if he was hurt. But Conceicao was game even as Monaghan landed a big left to the body and left hook to end round 3.
Would the chin and legs of the Brazilian hold on for 10 rounds?
The answer would lie in the second half of the fight where Conceicao showed life after landing a big left hook in the 5th round as if to tell Monaghan that he wasn’t going away. They traded blows in the 6th and 7th rounds. Conceicao would land left hooks and Monaghan would answer with his own hooks while mixing up the exchange upstairs and downstairs.
Monaghan had a swelled up right eye that would almost close as the fight wore on
As they moved to the later rounds, Conceicao made his move landing an uppercut to the ribs of Monaghan that may have been his best punch of the fight in the 8th round. In the 9th Conceicao landed a right a right hook and a straight left that seemed to hurt Monaghan but he recovered well to make it out of the 9th.
As they went to the 10th, both guys seemingly tired, Monaghan tried to apply pressure but Conceicao still had some legs left in him. They made it to the final bell with Monaghan keeping his undefeated record intact.
Esquiva Falcao (9-0, 6KOs) of Brazil defeated Paul Harness (5-5-1, 4 KOs) of Missouri by 4th round TKO. Falcao used his right jab to find range while getting inside to land body shots. His straight left hand was almost landing whenever he threw it. Harness was game but got caught by shooting right jabs followed by straight lefts that started to bloody his nose in the second round.
Falcao kept the pressure on landing the same one two followed by more body punching forcing Harness to take a knee in the 3rd round. Referee Benji Esteves was looking for a reason to stop the fight but Harness fought on taking more punishment. Finally after the 3rd bell rang, Esteves went to the corner and waived it off before the round could begin.
Much like the theme of the night, it was another knockout for a prospect trying to go rounds with the opponents not being able to supply it. Falcao gets his 9th win and 6th stoppage victory.
Local prospect Julian “Hammerhands” Rodriguez (10-0, 9 KOs) defeated Peter Olouch (14-9-2, 8 KOs) of Miami by 1st round TKO. Rodriguez hit Olouch with a left hook that made him stumble. Rodriguez punched on his opponent forcing the referee to call the halt to the action. Rodriguez from nearby Hasbrouck Heights had a crowd here to see him. According to some of the Top Rank officials, Rodriguez sold 600 tickets.
In a scheduled 4 round contest in the Super Middleweight division, New Jersey’s own Darren Goodall (2-0, 2KO’s) defeated North Carolina’s Alex Asbury (0-2, 0 KOs) by 1st round TKO. Goodall dropped Asbury with a vicious left hook that had Asbury on weak legs. The two traded blows with Goodall getting the better of the two. Asbury hit the canvas again causing Benji Esteves to halt the contest at 2:47 of the opening round.
Maryland’s Mike Reed (14-0, 8 KOs) defeated Puerto Rico’s Osenohad Vazquez (8-4-1, 3 KOs) by a second round TKO in a Jr. Welterweight contest. Stalking with the double jam and straight left to the body. Reed hurt Vazquez with a right hook that had Vazquez on the ropes early. Reed continued the assault throwing combinations throughout the round forcing Harvey Dock to tell the corner if Vazquez didn’t thrown in the second it would be over. Vazquez lasted two minutes in the second round before suffering a barrage of hooks and a straight left that knocked his head back forcing Harvey dock to stop the contest a 2:00 of the second round.