Tyrone Spong stays on course for the Oleksandr Usyk sweepstakes
Heavyweight Tyrone Spong did what he had to do to remain a frontrunner to face Oleksandr Usyk on Oct. 12.
The unbeaten fighter dropped Jeyson Minda twice en route to a second-round knockout victory Saturday night at the Gimnasio Polifuncional in Merida, Mexico.
With the victory, Spong, who is originally from Suriname and now resides in Miami, Florida, improves to 14-0, with 13 knockouts.
The 33-year-old Spong, a former kick boxer and MMA fighter who’s promoted by Armor Box Promotions, has emerged among a handful of fighters over the last several days that would like to land a fight against Usyk, who will be making his heavyweight debut. Among the other heavyweights in line to face Usyk were Carlos Takam and Andrey Fedosov.
Usyk was originally scheduled to face Takam on May 25 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, but had to withdraw from the fight after suffering a torn bicep during training camp.
During the opening round, the physically-bigger and taller Spong threw and landed combinations against the game Minda, who was fighting for the second time as a heavyweight after mostly fighting middleweight and light heavyweight.
About a minute into the second round, a shot to the body dropped Minda in a corner. After beating the count, Minda attempted to fight back against an aggressive Spong. Moments later, a right hand to the head dropped Minda in a corner. Referee Miguel Angel Canul counted Minda out at 1:42 of the second.
“He’s a good boxer,” said Spong after the fight. “I just thought I was too strong for him.”
Now that Spong has cleared the hurdle that was Minda, word is an announcement on Usyk facing Spong in Chicago will be made in the next week or so.
The 26-year-old Minda, who resides in Quito, Ecuador, drops to 14-2-1, 8 KOs.
Local junior bantamweight Jose Alberto Lopez stopped overmatched Jose Perez (2-12, 1 KO) at 2:39 of the fourth round to improve to 11-2, 5 KOs. Lopez has now won six of his last seven.
On the undercard, welterweight Eduardo Canales of Cancun defeated hometown fighter Oscar Arjona (13-8, 5 KOs) by split-decision over eight rounds. Canales improves to 6-10, 2 KOs and has now won three of his last four.
Middleweight Josue Escalante (6-4, 2 KOs) of Merida defeated Ramon Delgado (0-5) by unanimous decision over four rounds.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing