Sunday, April 02, 2023  |



Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov goes 8 rounds for first time as pro

Daniyar Yeleussinov. Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing
Fighters Network

PHILADELPHIA — Daniyar Yeleussinov has a huge amateur background, comparable to Vasiliy Lomachenko. He’s seen virtually every style in the ring and faced every conceivable situation.

One thing Yeleussinov had never experienced, however, was eight rounds as a pro.

That ended Friday night when the Kazakhstan welterweight star went eight with rugged journeyman Silverio Ortiz (37-24, 18 knockouts) on the undercard of the Tevin Farmer-Jono Carroll IBF super featherweight title fight at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.

Yeleussinov (6-0, 3 KOs) won, but not without a few bumps along the way. The victory was Yeleussinov’s first under new trainer Cory Spinks.

“It was something different working on the inside and coming more forward,” Yeleussinov said afterward. “I changed trainers and Cory Spinks was working me for a month.

“I had a chance to stop him in round seven. I put pressure on him.”

At the outset, Yeleussinov patiently pecked away at the smaller veteran fighter. The rare times Ortiz was able to mount something, Yeleussinov’s gloves were there to deflect the blow. In the last seconds of the third, Yeleussinov began connecting with uppercuts and Ortiz’s head bounced back and forth as if he was a bobble head doll.

In the fourth, Yeleussinov did take a wild overhand right from Ortiz. But it had no effect. After the midway point in the round, Yeleussinov was moving well outside, using his considerable and reach advantage.

The fifth round was marred by a lot of holding. Though, as the middle of the round approached, Yeleussinov stepped back and began using his reach and distance. He nailed Ortiz with an overhand right, though, for the most part, Yeleussinov was in control.

Ortiz came out strong in the sixth, and clubbed Yeleussinov with a left hook. The 2016 Olympic welterweight gold medalist from Kazakhstan took it well.

“Daniyar showed me that he’s able to listen,” Spinks said. “He’s still a work in progress. I’ve only had a month with him. I’m trying to get him away from the amateur style and punch with more danger.

“He’s a very talented kid. I just want to see him use all of his attributes.”

For the first time as a pro, Yeleussinov was entering the seventh round. His activity rate was still solid. He actually downed Ortiz after a straight left. As Ortiz was down on one knee, Yeleussinov appeared to hit Ortiz in the back of the head with a left.

While Ortiz was down, referee Benjy Esteves Jr. ordered Yeleussinov to a neutral corner, though didn’t administer a count, nor did he take a point away from Yeleussinov. Esteves summoned the ringside doctor, who administered to Ortiz and declared him able to continue.

The sequence certainly fired up Ortiz, because he went after Yeleussinov with a vengeance. The two fighters went at each other toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring for about 30 seconds. Ortiz even landed a right to Yeleussinov’s jaw.

By the eighth, Ortiz had slowed down and Yeleussinov sailed to a unanimous decision.

“I needed to catch his punches and counter attack more, and work more on my inside defense,” Yeleussinov said.

Maciej Sulecki outlasts Gabriel Rosado

In a scheduled 10-round middleweight bout, Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (28-1, 11 KOs) had a tough time with 33-year-old Philly veteran Gabriel Rosado, before winning a unanimous decision.

 The fight was in Philadelphia, though it felt like it was being held in Warsaw, Poland, Sulecki’s home, by all of the Polish chants.

It looked like an easy night for Sulecki, who knocked down Rosado (24-12-1, 14 KOs) with a right to the jaw in the first. But Rosado, to his credit, battled back, though nothing he landed appeared to bother Sulecki. He simply walked through Rosado’s offerings like a tank being dinged by BBs pellets.

With less than a minute left in the eighth, Sulecki, 29, dropped Rosado a second time with a straight right to the chin. It was set by a left. The punch was short, sweet and impactful, because Rosado was on his butt a second time in the fight.

But things turned quickly, when Rosado landed a right to the jaw with less then :20 left in the ninth, dropping Sulecki. The Pole rose on shaky legs, when Rosado put him down again as time ran out in the ninth.

The two went out in the 10th, with neither giving an inch. Sulecki seemed to get his legs back, though in the end, it seemed a matter of time running out on Rosado.

Photo from Matchroom Boxing

Judges Dave Braslow and John McKaie both had Sulecki winning 95-91, while judge Lynne Carter had it for Sulecki, 95-93.

In the end, the crowd was regaling Sulecki with infamous “Philly boo,” while Rosado deservedly received a great ovation from the crowd when he jumped up on the ropes after the fight.

The results of the other undercard fights included featherweight Raymond Ford winning his pro debut in a four-round unanimous decision over Weusi Johnson (3-11). D’Mitrius Ballard (20-0, 13 KOs) won by fifth-round TKO over Victor Fonseca (17-10-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round super middleweight bout.

Avery Sparrow (10-1, 3 KOs) won a majority-decision over Hank Lundy (29-8-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round lightweight fight, and lightweight Luke Campbell, a former Olympic gold medalist, won by fifth-round TKO over Adrian Young (26-6-2, 20 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout. Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) had Young in trouble in the fourth, causing a cut on the corner of Young’s left eye.