Story and Photos by Jose Cuevas
Verona, N.Y. – The Turning Stone has a long history putting on boxing fights. It has showcased fights like Lucas Matthysse vs. Ruslan Provodnikov and David Lemiuex vs. Curtis Stevens. This Saturday Sadam Ali took on last minute replacement Jaime Munguia. Munguia stepped in after Liam Smith had to pull out due to a last minute illness.
There was a myriad of local boys also putting on a great showing representing Syracuse and Central New York. With two Syracuse Locals taking a victory. The HBO televised card also had a great co-main event that surprised everyone in more ways than one.
Rey Vargas vs Azat Hovhannisyan faced off for the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship. In the 1st round Rey Vargas started strong landing punches that wobbled Hovhannisyan. Hovhannisyan came back with Authority.
The pressure fighting from both fighters led to Hovhannisyan developing a mouse on this left eye into the fifth round. However It was all Hovhannisyan from there on out which led to Vargas getting visibly frustrated. Vargas span Hovhannisyan and hit him behind the head during the break in the 7th round. But we could begin to see the damage that his opponent caused with his vicious pressure fighting.
Hovhannisyan massive left hook in the 7th and begins toying with him, smirking and walking casually around the ring. The cut on Vargas only got worse and worse heading into the championship rounds.
Many believed the fight was Hovannisyan’s to take. He was pressuring effectively and even wobbled Vargas on multiple occasions. However, to the suprise of many, including Hovannisyan’s supporters Vargas was awarded the victory via unanimous decision.
Ali vs. Munguia was supposed to be a fairly easy fight for Ali. But Munguia came in with a mindset to shock the world and capture his first world title.
That mindset materialized in a brutal encounter that saw Ali visit the canvas multiple times. Ali was overwhelmed by the Mexican phenom’s power…which was quite frankly incredibly scary to hear and watch from press row.
Munguia was able to knock down Ali twice in the first round. Ali was shell-shocked, he had no response to the pummeling blows he was receiving.
Ali looked dazed and confused by the opponent who many said did not belong in the ring with him. However, he seemed to gain his footing back in the second round landing some good combinations and pushing Munguia back.
However in the fourth round it was over after a masterful left hook called it a night for Ali and a moment to remember for Munguia who ran to his corner in ecstasy.
After the fight Munguia said he is ready for everyone and will not shy away from any challenge. He also thanked NSAC for revoking his opportunity to fight GGG because now he’s world champion. Who do you want Munguia to fight next?