Occasionally a fighter comes along who loses way too much to be considered a top fighter, but is, at the same time, a fighter that fans want to see engage in pitched battles with the big names.
Emmanuel Augustus, 31-24-6 (15 KOs), 144½ , Brownsville, TX, pitched a high punch volume shutout eight-round stoppage over longtime tough guy Ray Oliviera, 47-11-2 (22 KOs), 150, Bedford, Mass.
In recent years we’ve seen guys like Freddie Pendleton who emerged from near .500 status to winning an alphabet title. Now Augustus fills that void.
An action fighter from the word go, Augustus is as entertaining as any mid-level fighter in the business. His record coming in was sprinkled with top names: Leonard Dorin (L 10, Sept 28, 2001); Micky Ward (L 10, July 13, 2001); and Floyd Mayweather (KO by 9, Oct. 21, 2000), as well as a bevy of journeymen from around the country.
A fighter of obvious talent, his record suggests that over the years he has not fulfilled substantial promise.
Oliviera also stands out as a reliably tough fighter who has seen hard fights over a 15-year career. During those 15 years he beat top names such as Vivian Harris (W 10, Feb. 25, 2000) and Vince Phillips (W 12, Dec. 22, 2000).
It also appears that despite his toughness, he is on the downward side of that commendable career. In his last fight, he was stopped for the first time in 59 bouts (KO by 10, 11 Dec. 2004) by current IBF 140 pound champion Ricky Hatton (for the obscure WBU title).
He also weighed five pounds over the agreed limit and was forced to lose two of those pounds before reaching a monetary settlement with Augustus’ camp.
Augustus landed early and often against a much slower Oliviera. His awkward, though purposeful, style thoroughly confused the conventional “Sucra.” Augustus consistently threw punches from angles that kept Oliviera off balance and unable to land combinations.
Rounds one through eight were virtual repeats as both fighters delivered a high number of punches, but Augustus’ punches landed with much greater frequency.
August mixed left hooks with sharp right hands throughout.
In round eight of the scheduled ten, Oliviera oddly grabbed the right side of his head but continued on. Referee Steve Smoger temporarily stopped the action to have Oliviera checked by the ringside physician who allowed the bout to continue.
Between rounds Smoger stopped the bout, not allowing Oliviera out for the ninth round. It was clear that something was wrong with Oliviera, though what was wrong was not clear.
The Sweet Science had the bout scored 80-72 for Augustus at the time of the stoppage.
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Jason LeHoullier, 17-0 (8 KOs), 151½, Portland, Maine, remained unbeaten, taking a hard-fought eight-round decision over Jose Medina, 8-5 (3 KOs), 154, Tilton, NH. LeHoullier, a straight-ahead attacker, pressed the fight throughout, scoring a big right-hand knockdown in round four. Medina fought well in spots using quicker hands, but it just was not enough. Scoring was Michael Nolan, 76-75, James Finnegan, 77-75, Norman Champagne, 77-74, all for LeHoullier. The Sweet Science scored the match 76-75 for LeHoullier.
In a female bout, Missy Fiorentino, 12-0 (6 KOs), 125, Cranston, RI, cruised to a shutout six-round decision over Belinda Laracuente, 21-10-2 (9 KOs), 124, Bronx, NY. Fiorentino poured on the heat, launching a non-stop body attack, never allowing Laracuente into the fight. Norm Champagne, James Finnegan and Frank Wells all scored the bout 60-53… as did The Sweet Science.