LAS VEGAS-Marcus Oliveira started slowly against the rock tough Ryan Coyne but after some steady battering was able to stop the light heavyweight from Missouri and win the number one spot in the rankings and Cuban sensation Angelo Santana was upset by Baha Mamadjonov in a lightweight clash in Las Vegas on Friday night.
Both were pretty good firefights.
“Coyne came to fight,” said Oliveira.
Behind some steady work Coyne wouldn’t allow Oliveira to get in his work before more than 500 at Treasure Island Casino, on a Don King show. But it was evident early that the Kansas prizefighter had the firepower once he let loose. When the avalanche came it was thunderous.
Oliveira was very conservative early in the fight and though he didn’t get hit much it was Coyne carrying the action early on. Behind a steady right jab and some left hands, Coyne kept Oliveira occupied and in a defensive posture. It wasn’t until round five when Oliveira stunned Coyne that things began to change.
“I figured him out in the sixth round,” said Oliveira (25-0-1, 20 Kos), “when I realized I could stand right in front of him and saw I was the only one that could inflict damage.”
In rounds seven and eight Coyne seemed to fire himself up and stepped up the tempo. Oliveira wasn’t hit much but allowed the “Irish Outlaw” to dictate the pace. During the final seconds of each round the Kansas prizefighter opened up, but not enough to win the rounds.
Oliveira increased his own tempo in rounds nine and 10. With a busier output he was able to take advantage of the different angles of his blows. Several landed and Coyne was dazed more than a few times. The momentum was now in Oliveira’s favor and he seemed energized by the change.
“I made sure to work up and down. When I went to the body I noticed he dropped his right hand,” said Oliveira. “So I dropped a left on him.”
Round 11 saw Oliveira immediately open up with combinations and hit Coyne with a combination that slowly dropped Coyne to the floor. He lay on his back as if drained of energy but jumped up to beat referee Jay Nady’s count of 10. The fight resumed and Oliveira bolted after Coyne with right leads and left hands from weird angles. It proved too much for Coyne (21-1, 9 Kos) who took a knee. Referee Jay Nady called the fight over at 1:15 of round 11.
“Two right hands and a left hook is what dropped him the first time,” Oliveira said. “The same combination ended the fight on the other side of the ring.”
Oliveira is now the number one contender for the light heavyweight world title.
Santana (taking a shot from Mama, left, in Tom Casino-Showtime photo, above) looked and seemed the stronger fighter especially when he floored Mamadjonov with a right jab in the second round. But after that, Santana seemed frustrated by the constant movement and suddenly the stronger fighter seemed vulnerable.
Mamadjonov jumped in and out with quick combinations as Santana seemed intent on blasting out the late replacement.
Body shots turned the fight around as Mamadjonov seemed rejuvenated by the look on Santana’s face, that seemed to be drained of energy.
“When I went to the body I knew it was matter of time,” said Mamadjonov. “I could see he was getting tired and that gave me confidence.”
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