Adams, Gatica, Kopylenko and Monroe Jr. advance in Boxcino tourney


Brandon Adams, Raymond Gatica, Vitaliy Kopylenko and Willie Monroe Jr. won their quarterfinal bouts of the Boxcino middleweight tournament that was aired on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights from the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.

Adams (13-0, 9 knockouts), a 24-year-old boxer-puncher from the Watts area of Los Angeles, stopped former fringe contender Daniel Edouard after the fourth round of their scheduled six rounder. Adams, the younger man with the resher legs, took advantage of Edouard's inactivity (three years out of the ring) and set up the 32-year-old veteran for hard counter punches with an in-and-out attack.

Adams drove Edouard (23-5-2, 12 KOs) into the ropes with a body attack in the final minute of the second round, setting the tone for the rest of the bout. Edouard, a native of Haiti living in West Palms Beach, Fla., couldn't keep up with Adams, who struck in the fourth round. Adam landed a hook mid-round that dropped Edouard on his side. Edouard, who is known for his fighting heart, got up and finished the round but he elected to stay on his stool before the start of the fifth round.

In the second bout of the night, Gatica, an aggressive 29-year-old southpaw from Austin, Texas, proved too battle hardened for undefeated but untested Sena Agbeko, overwhelming the raw 21-year-old puncher from Ghana in the fourth round. After a brisk first two rounds, Gaticia (14-2, 9 KOs) stunned, cornered and worked Agbeko (51-1, 15 KOs) over in the third. Gatica continued to punish the gassed out Tennessee resident along the ropes in the fourth until referee Bill Paige waved the bout off at 1:06 of the round.

The thrid bout of the tournament turned out to be a mismatch as undefeated Ukrainian technician Kopylenko (23-0, 13 KOs) stopped overmatched Cerresso Fort in the second round. After being repeatedly stunned in the first round, Fort (17-3-1, 11 KOs), a game-but-raw 27 year old from St. Paul, Minn., walked into a hook that floored him in the opening seconds of the second. He got up but was soon dropped by a right hand. Though he made it to his feet again but referee Kurt Spivey opted to wave the fight off 43 seconds into the round.

The fourth bout was the most competitive as Monroe (16-1, 6 KOs) outmaneuvered and outjabbed Donadas Bondas to a six-round unanimous decision. Monroe, the great nephew of Willie "The Worm" Monroe, a 1970s contender who fought Marvin Halger (going 1-3 vs. the hall of famer), won by scores of 59-55 (twice) and 58-56.

Bonadas (18-5-1, 6 KOs), a 34-year-old pressure fighter form Chicago by way of Lithuania, was game but unable to cut the ring off on Monroe, who exhibited smooth lateral movement.

Monroe will face Kopylenko and Adams will fight Gatica in the Boxcino semifinals on April 18 at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y.