Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


Tevin Farmer shines in second defense, beats Fonseca by wide decision

Tevin Farmer (left) vs. Francisco Fonseca. Photo courtesy of DAZN.

NEW YORK — These lights, this platform, seemed to suit him. It’s a spotlight and a stage Tevin Farmer has waited to walk on his whole career. The IBF junior lightweight champ had taken the long route to a title, the one filled with potholes and doubt, and little faith or backing.

That changed in August when Farmer won his long awaited — and long elusive — title. And now his reign continues after 28-year-old Philadelphia southpaw thoroughly dominated Costa Rican Francisco Fonseca in his second title defense with a unanimous decision on the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding undercard Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

“It was a good performance. He was really, really tough. And after a few rounds, we saw that and we started working on things. It’s all a road to improve. I say it was a C+, B- performance.

“Nowadays, I really have a lot of anger built up, good anger though, and I just want to hurt everybody when I’m in the ring. I don’t have no sympathy. I’ve been on the road this whole year … I wanted to just let everybody know that I’ll be home in Philadelphia in March, I’m bringing everything back home baby.

“Who wants to fight me? That’s the question.”

As to a potential fight vs. Gervonta Davis? “Is that the fight that I want?” Farmer asked. “We’ve moved past him. Does he want to fight me? Like I said, we active, we getting paid. It’s time for him to fight and stay active and then he can come see me.”

Farmer (28-4-1, 6 knockouts) and Fonseca did a lot of feinting and poking in the first round; the proverbial “feeling out round” was indeed that, though neither fighter landed anything substantial. Farmer was slightly more active and did connect with a right to the body and a left to the face, but with little damage done.

In the second, Fonseca (22-2-1, 16 KOs) dropped a right on Farmer’s waistline, and in the last 10 seconds of the round, Farmer threw a flurry of punches at Fonseca, again with no significant damage.

In between the second and third rounds, Farmer was voicing his opinion to trainer Chino Rivas, and came out in the third more aggressive. Through two rounds, Farmer had landed 34 shots, with most of his work going to the body. Farmer kept up his activity rate in the third, landing a combination, mixed in with an occasional single shot.

Through three, it seemed Farmer was in control.

In the fourth, Farmer leaned into Fonseca with his right shoulder, pressing up against the taller fighter and connecting with looping shots. Fonseca, for his trouble, kept missing, even though Farmer was right in front of him, twisting and moving.

Fonseca started the fifth well, being far more accurate, however, Farmer connected with a straight left in the chin with 1:16 left in the round. In the last 30 seconds, Fonseca backed Farmer against the ropes, and did manage, this time, to tap the Philly fighter a few more times.

After five, Farmer had a solid punch-stat lead, landing 47 punches to the head and 37 to the body, for a total of 84, to Fonseca’s 40 head shots and 15 body shots, which equaled 55.

Sensing the fight may be slipping from him, Fonseca again came out strong in the opening 15 seconds of the sixth round, pressing up against Farmer and hitting him with a few body shots. But Fonseca’s right eye was getting red from Farmer’s lead lefts.

In the seventh, Farmer leaned into Fonseca and tried outmuscling him. By the seventh, Fonseca’s right eye was in poor shape, swelling considerably to where the ringside doctor had to take a look between the seventh and eighth. Fonseca was deemed okay to continue, which Farmer was more than happy to oblige.

If Fonseca had a hard time hitting Farmer with two good eyes, how was he going to hit with one?

Farmer crowded Fonseca in the eighth, negating the Costa Rican’s reach advantage and went back to work tapping away, though did connect on a left uppercut with :11 left in the round, bouncing Fonseca’s head back.

Neither fighter did anything eventful in the ninth, but Farmer did rough up Fonseca with a nice dose of straight lefts to the face and chin.

The 10th marked more of the same as the previous rounds, with Farmer stepping into the phone booth and landing looping shots. With around 1:20 left, Farmer, stepping back, winged Fonseca with some of his more punishing shots, including a left uppercut to the jaw. Fonseca couldn’t answer. His attempts to hit Farmer resulted in nothing but air.

By the 11th, Fonseca, either on bad advice or no advice at all, didn’t press the action, though it was hard to imagine he was up on the scorecards. The times Fonseca seemingly had Farmer there to hit, he came up short, not finding the range.

Farmer came out for the 12th with some bounce in his step. Up on his toes, Farmer believed he had the fight. In the last 15 seconds of the round, Fonseca did try to make it interesting, but Farmer again spun out of harm’s way.

“It was only a matter of seconds,” Fonseca said. “The time felt like water in my hands. I felt like every round, I was seconds away from getting the KO. He’s an awkward fighter, and I had trouble adjusting. Overall, I’m happy with what I did in there.”

In the end, it was academic. Judges Julie Lederman, Waleska Roldan and Don Trella all had it 117-111 for Farmer.


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