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Jose Luis Castillo grinds one out against Ivan Popoca

By Matthew Paras


For the first two rounds, it seemed like the Jose Luis Castillo of old. For the next seven rounds, he wasn’t so bad either.

 

In the co-main event of ESPN 2’s Friday Night Fights, former lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo, 64-11-1 (55), dismantled Ivan Popoca, 15-2-1, over eight rounds before Referee Pete Podgroski stopped the fight due to cuts above Popoca’s eyes.


Castillo, 147, started off strong by landing his signature left hook to stun Popoca against the ropes. Popoca, who hadn’t fought in a year and a half, remained defenseless as Castillo earned a 10-8 round without a knockdown.

“El Telimbe” carried the momentum into the next round with landing another crisp left hook that sent Popoca to the floor.  Popoca arose and recovered towards the end of the round.

The two fighters came to a clash of heads in round three that caused a gash over Popoca’s left eye.    Popoca’s face became even worse when a cut, caused by a punch, opened up a deeper cut over the fighter’s right eye. Despite this, Popoca continued to plunge forward delivering great action to the Chicago crowd.

The fight took an even more interesting turn in round six after Castillo seemingly hurt his left hand after landing it. For the next two rounds, Castillo boxed with only his right hand with mixed results.

Still, with Popoca’s face decorated in his own blood, referee Pete Podgroski stopped the fight in between rounds eight and nine. It was an unpopular decision as the Chicago crowd booed, but the referee defends it.

“I talked to the corner two rounds before this to show me something,” Podgroski told Maxboxing.  “One cut was from a headbutt, one was from a punch, that’s why it was a TKO instead of going to the cards.”

“The next round if he didn’t show me something, I was going to stop it. He didn’t.”


More Undercard Results

Vilier Quinonez vs Dorian Hatcher

Villier Quinonez, 4-0 (3), notched the first win of the evening under strange circumstances as an overhand left on the break put down Dorian Hatcher,1-6, in the second round. Instead of ruling the punch a foul, Celestino Ruiz proceeded to count Hatcher out. The official time of the stoppage was :44 seconds. 

Juan Bustamante vs Micah Branch

Local Lightweight Juan Bustamante, 4-0 (2), continued his undefeated career with a win over Micah Branch, 0-2. Bustamante started off strong with landing a crisp left hook that sent Branch down. However, Branch bounced back strong in the following rounds. Branch’s shoulder roll defense caused Bustamante some problems, but it was Bustamante’s activity that gave him the majority of the rounds. Scores were 40-34, 39-36, and 38-37 all for Bustamante.

Junior wright vs Covon Graham

In the third fight of the evening, prospect Junior Wright, 4-0 (4), landed a clean body shot that sent Covon Graham down at 2:58 in the first round. Referee Pete Prodgroski counted him out.

Jimmy Herrera vs Tyrone Chatman

Jimmy Herrera, 8-2 (4) , earned a majority decision over Tyrone Chatman by scores of 57-57 and 58-56 twice. It was Herrera’s first fight back since his loss to Adrian Granados.

Paul Littleton vs Ramiro Bueno

Former Chicago Golden Glove Winner Paul Littleton advanced his career with a win over Ramiro Bueno, 2-3.  Littleton, 4-0, stopped Ramiro Bueno in the second round with a hard left.

Elijah McCall vs Jasson Massie

Heavyweight Elijah McCall, 10-1-1,  knocked out Jason Massie, 7-3, at 36 seconds into the fifth round.



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