Jose Felix Jr. squeaks by Ricky Sismundo
BURBANK – Ricky Sismundo had nothing to lose against contender Jose Felix Jr. on Saturday night.
That mentality almost paid off as Sismundo almost pulled off the proverbial upset over the lightweight contender.
Felix held off a late rally from the Filipino fighter, winning a close, 10-round, split decision at the Marriott Convention Center. Scores were 95-94 and 96-93 for Felix, while the third judge had Sismundo winning 95-94.
With the win, Felix goes to 33-1-1 (25 knockouts); Sismundo drops to 30-9-2 (13 KOs).
Going into the fight, Felix had won five straight bouts since a decision loss to Bryan Vasquez almost two years ago. Sismundo, who was unbeaten in his previous five bouts, was brought in as a tune-up for Felix, who was mentioned as a possible opponent for Felix Verdejo later this year or in early 2017.
Felix settled into a pace during the first two rounds, circling Sismundo and looking to establish a jab. Sismundo came on aggressive in the third round, something he stuck to for most of the fight, as he was able to connect repeatedly to Felix’s head.
Both fighters had their moments in the middle rounds, with Sismundo landing a hard right hand to end the fifth round and Felix landing his own rights.
Any momentum Sismundo had ending the sixth round was momentarily thwarted when referee Zac Young deducted a point from the Filipino fighter for landing a punch after the bell sounded.
Felix seemed to get the better of the exchanges over the next two rounds but Sismundo rallied over the final two rounds. Sismundo came on aggressively, scoring with left hooks to the head. Felix countered well when he held his ground but was hit often anytime he backed up against the ropes.
Felix survived the final round but his face showed the scars of a tough battle. It will be interesting to see if Felix ultimately faces Verdejo in his next fight or takes another tune-up bout.
Barboza overwhelms Cannon
In the opening bout of the “Solo Boxeo” telecast, welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr. stopped veteran Robbie Cannon at the end of the first round.
Barboza improves to 10-0 (4 KOs), while Cannon drops to 15-12-2 (7 KOs).
It was all Barboza from the opening bell, as he repeatedly nailed Cannon with left and right hands to the head. The Los Angeles-area fighter put Cannon on the defensive, not allowing to mount an offensive.
The amount of punches Barboza landed produced a steady stream of blood from Cannon’s nose. There were times when Cannon’s legs shook from the repeated right hands he absorbed.
Toward the end of the round, a right hand by Barboza shook Cannon against the ropes, prompting referee Eddie Hernandez to stop the bout at 2:59.
Altamirano decisions Alvarado
In a swing bout, lightweight Eric Altamirano survived a first round knockdown to win decision Rony Alvarado over four action-filled rounds.
With the win, Altamirano goes to 7-0 (5 KOs), while Alvarado falls to 9-7 (5 KOs).
Alvarado dropped Altamirano with a right hand to the head in the opening round. Both fighters had their moments over the next two rounds before Altamirano turned the tables in round four, dropping Alvarado with a right hand of his own.
All three judges scored the bout 38-36 in favor of Altamirano.
In preliminary action:
– Light heavyweight and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Egor Mekhontsev dropped Felipe Romero (19-11-1, 13 KOs) twice en route to a one-sided, eight-round decision win. All three judges scored the bout 80-70 in favor of Mekhontsev (11-0, 7 KOs).
– Middleweight Danny Valdivia (10-0, 8 KOs) stopped Kenneth Council (10-2-1, 8 KOs) at 2:30 of the first round. Valdivia recently signed a contract with Top Rank Promotions.
– In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, junior featherweight Miguel Alcantara knocked out Julio Iwami Rodriguez (0-2) at 2:26 of the first round. Alcantara was making his professional debut.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.