By Cliff Rold
21-year old Cruiserweight Murat Gassiev (21-0, 15 KO), of Vladikavkaz, Russia, scored his sixth-straight stoppage, sing a high volume attack to break down and stop 35-year old Felix Cora Jr. (25-7-2, 14 KO) of Galveston, Texas, on Friday night at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Cora, largely inactive since 2011, was riding a three-fight winning streak.
Both men weighed in under the 200 lb. limit, Gassiev at 197 and Cora at 198.
The fight looked like standard safe building block stuff for Gassiev early on. He was winning rounds and appeared ready to stop Cora by round five. Battering Cora to the head and even more to the body, the Russian was in firm control. Then it started to get tougher.
Cora made some brave stands. In the sixth, he battled off the ropes and landed some big shots. He had an even better outburst in the seventh, driving Gassiev across the ring and into the ropes to buy some time and hope. Gassiev resumed control but Cora was still fighting back.
That stopped in the eighth, Cora finding little offense as the beating resumed and grew towards its completion. In the ninth, an assault on the ropes drew a look from the ref. A couple more big shots was enough as referee Johnny Callas saved Cora from further punishment at 1:10 of round nine.
In the televised opener, 29-year old Welterweight Ray Robinson (20-2, 10 KO), 145, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, rode a fourth-round knockdown to a one-sided ten round unanimous decision over 32-year old Sherzodbek Alimjanov (22-3, 13 KO), 146, of Andijan, Uzbekistan. It was Robinson’s ninth-straight win since a points loss to eventual 147 lb. titlist Shawn Porter in 2010. Alimjanov takes his second defeat in four fights. Scores came in wide at 98-91, 98-90 and a shutout 100-89.
The card was televised in the US on FoxSports1, promoted by Roc Nation Sports.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]