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Friday, April 11, 2014

Bone Stops Figueroa In U.S. Debut

By: Michael Gerard Seiler

DiBella Entertainment held another one of its exhilarating shows last night at the famed BB King Blues Club and Grill in New York City. Headlining the card was a fearless, hard-punching junior welterweight prospect whose ability will not go unnoticed for much longer.

25-year-old Erick Bone (14-1, 8 KO's) of Manabi, Ecuador burst onto the boxing scene in his first bout in the United States, stopping crafty southpaw Francisco Figueroa (20-7-1, 13 KO's) in just five rounds.  

Bone, a tall and rangy boxer, used his outstanding physical abilities and decisive edge in power to overwhelm Figueroa, 35, from the opening bell. Figueroa's acquired ring intelligence was no match for Bone's youth.

In round two, Bone connected with a thunderous left hook to the body in the opening minute. Figueroa recovered later in the round, using his adept lateral movement to survive.

Bone sent Figueroa staggering into the ropes during round three, breaking Figueroa's defensive guard with a sharp right-hand shot. Moments later, Figueroa landed a short left cross to Bone's face. But, Bone walked through Figueroa's shots easily, unleashing furious combinations at will.

By the fourth round, Figueroa displayed signs of fatigue from Bone's accurate volume punching.

Lacking the power necessary to keep Bone from inflicting further damage, the fight was correctly halted at 2:40 of the fifth round.

The bout marked Figueroa's fourth consecutive loss. Bone's lone blemish on his professional record resulted from a twelve-round split-decision loss at the hands of undefeated Panamanian Alberto Mosquera in the Coliseo Ruminahui in Quito, Ecuador.

Bone exhibited tremendous raw potential, and could be the best fighter to come out of Ecuador since former middleweight contender Segundo Mercado, who battled Bernard Hopkins twice in the mid 1990's.

Entering the bout, Bone was ranked 15th by both the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association in its junior welterweight rankings.

Other Action

Junior lightweight Bryant Cruz improved his record in the co-main event (10-0, 6 KO's) stopping Willshaun Boxley (6-11-1, 4 KO's) in :34 of round three with a blistering combination to the head. 

Rising lightweight sensation Louis Cruz (7-0, 4 KO's) from the Bronx, New York thoroughly outclassed Tony Walker (5-5-1, 3 KO's) of Cincinnati, Ohio in a six-round bout. All three ringside judges scored the fight 60-54 in favor of Cruz.

Cruz dominated behind a rock-solid right hand, a steady jab and superior lateral movement. Both fighters exchanged heated flurries in the final round. 

Brooklyn's Junior Younan (4-0, 4 KO's) knocked down Dustin Parrish (1-3, 1 KO) twice en route to a first-round stoppage at just :28 of a super middleweight contest. Younan floored Parrish with a quick right-hand shot. Shortly thereafter, Parrish found himself swiftly on the canvas once more following a lightning-quick left hook from Younan.

Lightweight Shemuel Pagan (5-0, 2 KO's), a five-time New York State Golden Gloves champion, disposed of James Gooding (1-6-1, 1 KO) in a mismatch at 1:50 of round two with a right hook-straight left combination.

Ryan Picou (1-2) won his first professional fight, unanimously outpointing and upsetting Ryan Gamache (2-1, 1 KO) via scores of 39-36, 38-36 and 38-37 in welterweight match-up.

Gamache controlled the fight early on, peppering Picou with many shots in round one. 

In round two, Gamache pressed forward carelessly and got drilled with a flush, well-timed right cross-left hook combination. Moments later, Picou scored a knockdown when his right cross forced Gamache's right glove to touch the canvas.

From that point, Gamache got reckless and Picou made him pay the price. Picou cracked him in the jaw with an overhand right in round three. Gamache was also deducted one point for dropping his mouthpiece a third time in the fight. 

In a fast-paced final fourth round, Picou still found a home for his right hand repeatedly.

Middleweight Ievgen Khytrov (4-0, 4 KO's) maintained his perfect record, scoring a TKO victory at 2:07 of round two against Jas Phipps (4-3, 1 KO). 

Khytrov floored Phipps with a right to the body, followed by a left hook to the head in the first round.

Khytrov stalked Phipps in round two, as he patiently sought openings in Phipps defense. Khytrov found his target with a series of head shots in succession causing the bout to be stopped  immediately.

In a battle of counter-punchers, featherweights Kiun Evans (7-0-1, 5 KO's) and Pedro Toledo (2-1-2) fought to a six-round majority draw. Official scores were 58-56 in favor of Evans, and 57-57 twice.

Toledo beat Evans to the punch in the beginning rounds, especially behind a stinging right cross. However, Evans closed the distance in the middle rounds when he picked up his left hand, tightening his defense. As Evans pressed the action, Toledo's punch output slightly faded. Yet, some ringside observers felt Toledo did enough to win a razor-thin decision.

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