Logan McGuinness had to know that his foe in the main event at the Hershey Center in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on Saturday night was 38, a little long in the tooth, and coming off a KO loss. It would've been easy to assume that Hector Avila would be easy pickings, and lose focus, and perhaps suffer a hiccup loss. But McGuiness stayed on message, and had little trouble breaking down the veteran pugilist. A wicked combo in the fourth round sent Avila to the floor, unable to beat the ten count.
The scrap, and the undercard, ran on BoxingChannel.com.
"Cotton" McGuinness (13-0 entering; from Ontario; age 23) and Avila (47-5 entering) worked in the featherweight class.
Avila was coming off a KO loss in his last outing, against Jenifel Vicente in September. At 38, his prime has come and gone, but he on paper looked like a decent little step up for McGuiness. A crackerjack right put Avila down with 15 seconds to go in the second. This came after some determined body work. In the third, Avila cried to the ref at a butt to start the round. Action continued, and McGuinness might have thought the vet was going to fold up the tent quickly. Yet he fought on. Cotton has nice hand speed, jabs to the body and head, works inside and outside adroitly...he's a solid prospect to these eyes. A right to the head, left to the head, left hook to the body had Avila unable to beat the count at 2:46 of the fourth.
Thirty six year old Junior Witter (37-3 entering; from England) fought a rust shedder against Victor Lupo (18-1 entering; a Romanian-Canadian). Witter, who wanted a crack at Amir Khan, last fought in August 2009, losing to Devon Alexander after hurting his hand. The ex junior welter champ looked OK early on, so it was pretty clear he didn't come in exceedingly overconfident. But the rust showed. His stamina wasn't up to par, and Lupo's pressure in the second half got to Witter. The judges sent word that they weren't impressed with Witter's record, or his clutch 'n grab ways, and gave the 16 to 1 underdog the nod, by scores of 95-95, 97-92, 96-94. He won the vacant WBC international silver welterweight title.
Victor really ramped up pressure after hearing from his corner, and Witter's legs looked heavier as we went into the seventh. He switched righty and lefty, and of course wasn't afraid to clutch and grab when he desired.
Witter got hurt from a right hand when caught on the ropes and the crowd hooted as they realized that a substantial upset could occur. Some blood showed up on Witter in round eight, and the underdog plowed ahead, realizing that he could boost his career immensely with the scalp of Witter in his pocket. Witter was wrestled/fell to the canvas for the third time in the eighth; his legs truly were having issues. With 15 seconds left, down he went again.
In the ninth, Witter threw, often errantly, and then held on. Lupo tried to work through clinches, telling the judges he wanted it more. Witter twice went to the mat out of fatigue. In the tenth and final round, Witter went down again, and looked like his left leg was bothering him. With two minutes remaining, down he went, again. This was simply ridiculous. We went to the cards.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV