Goodbye FNF

Photo courtesy of Thompson Boxing Promotions

Goodbye Friday Night Fights

By Luis Rivera

CORONA, CALIF.-The final broadcast of ESPN's Friday Night Fights took place on a cold California night on Friday May 22, at the Omega Products International Outdoor Arena in Corona, CA in front of a lively jam packed crowd.  Friday Night Fights has had a strong 17 year run, bringing all of us exciting fights featuring some of boxing's best talents over the past decade and a half.  It was a bitter sweet moment for long time FNF commentators Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore as they said their heartfelt goodbyes following the end of the broadcast showing their gratitude to everyone in the audience. 

This historic fight card showcased several bouts co-promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions alongside Banner Promotions.  The headliners featured the co-main event between Brandon Adams (16-2, 12 KOs) vs John Thompson (16-1, 6 KOs) in the Boxcino Junior Middleweight Championship as well as Donovan Dennis (14-3, 11 KOs) vs Andrey Fedosov (28-3, 23 KOs) in the Boxcino Heavyweight Championship 2015 in the grand finale. 

It was fireworks most of the night with KO's or stoppages in 5 out of the 7 bouts.  Power shots were raining down all night long firing up the crowd with every shot.  The first stoppage of the night came at the hands of Humberto Rubacalva (2-0, 2 KOs) knocking his opponent Richard Tallmadge (pro debut) out 1:19 into the first round in devastating fashion.  The next stoppage came at the hands of Isaac "Puma" Freeman (2-1, 2 KOs) when he landed viscous overhand rights repeatedly on Eridani Leon (2-2) leaving Leon a bloody mess and causing the ringside physician to stop the fight at the end of the 2nd round.  The following two fights featured Isaac Zarate (11-1-1, 1 KOs) and Adam Lopez (12-0, 6 KOs) both winning their bouts respectively via unanimous decisions. The under card ended in dramatic fashion as Angel Martinez (5-1-1, 2 KO) wins via TKO in a mild upset win over the previously undefeated Andres Figueroa (5-1, 3 KOs).

The co-main event featuring Brandon Adams (16-2, 12 KOs) vs John Thompson (16-1, 6 KOs) which ended in a whirlwind of action with the two contenders trading knock downs all in the first two rounds of action. Brandon Adams came out aggressive in the first round throwing heavy punches knocking Thompson down in the first two minutes of round 1.  Thompson appeared to be unaffected by the blow and continued to fight composed, finishing the round competitively.  Adams continued the pressure throwing punches hitting Thompson with everything he had until Thompson stunned Adams with a sneaky right followed by a short left hook.  Thompson was able to put deadly combinations together leaving the helpless Adams out on his feet.  The ref called a halt to the fight at 2:16 of round number 2.  John Thompson is now crowned the Boxcino Junior Middleweight Champion of 2015.

In the main event of the evening, the grand finale did not disappoint as Donovan Dennis of Cleveland, Ohio took on Andrey Fedosov from Russia for the Boxcino Heavyweight Championship.  Henry Ramirez, trainer of Chris Arreola from Riverside stated that he was attending the fight in full support of Donovan Dennis who has been sparring the heavyweight contender (Arreola), in preparation for each others upcoming fights.  Fedosov who trains at the world famous Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA was accompanied by Roach's trusted understudy, Marvin Samodio.  Both fighters came in extremely confident and willing to leave everything out on the line as they faced each other in this tournament final.

The fight started off at a measure pace with Dennis controlling the distance with his height and reach advantage.  Fedosov quickly started closing the distance landing hard power shots in the 2nd and dropping Dennis in the 3rd.  Dennis slowly recovered and fought his way out of the round.  The 4th round became a display of speed vs power as Dennis began utilizing his speed advantage while Fedosov kept applying pressure landing the harder cleaner shots throughout the round.  Dennis once again was hurt and dropped in the middle of the 6th round barely surviving and making it out of the round.  Fedosov began to find a home for the overhand right which eventually wore down the tough Donovan Dennis causing the ref to stop the fight 54 seconds into the 8th round.  Andrey Fedosov is now the Boxcino Heavyweight Champion of 2015.  A huge celebration ensued inside the ring following the victory which in a symbolic way celebrated the end of FNF and the beginning of something new for ESPN.  Farewell FNF, we will never forget the amazing memories you have left us all.