After months of excitement throughout the lightweight and middleweight brackets, the time has come for the finals of the Boxcino 2014 tournament on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights."
The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York will host the final pairings of lightweights Petr Petrov and Fernando Carcamo and middleweights Brandon Adams and Willie Monroe Jr. (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET). This marks the second time ESPN has televised an event of this nature, with the first edition of Boxcino coming in 1997, when future star Acelino "Popo" Freitas was crowned champion.
The Russian-born Petrov (34-4-2, 16 KOs), who fights out of Madrid, reached the lightweight finals with a six-round decision win over Fedor Papazov and a fourth-round stoppage of Chris Rudd. Meanwhile, Carcamo (17-5, 13 KOs), of Mexico, came this far by stopping Samuel Neequaye in the second round and winning a split decision over Miguel Gonzalez.
Both finalists staged exciting battles in the semifinals. Carcamo sent Gonzalez to the canvas as early as the first round, but the Cleveland native managed to recover and even out the battle, which had moments of generous exchange.
Petrov was the one who landed the harder punches against Rudd, who took punishment throughout most of the first minute of the fourth round until referee Billy Johnson stepped in to call off the bout.
When the two lightweights square off Friday, it promises to be explosive with the result uncertain. The 31-year-old Russian is faster and the 23-year-old Mexican is more experienced. However, Carcamo is taller, has been a bit more convincing in his wins, and has a big enough left hand to potentially complicate Petrov's plan.
In the middleweight final, Adams (14-0, 9 KOs), of Los Angeles, will enter the ring fresh off a victory over southpaw Raymond Gatica after previously stopping veteran Daniel Edouard in the quarterfinals.
Monroe (17-1, 6 KOs), a native of Rochester, New York, who is a member of a renowned family of boxers, defeated Donatas Bondorovas by split decision before claiming a unanimous decision over Vitalii Kopylenko in the semifinals.
The fight offers an inevitable clash of styles. Adams, a puncher with great power in his right hand, is more aggressive and will surely apply early pressure. Meanwhile Monroe, a southpaw with advantages in height and reach, is better equipped technically and will certainly look to make the most of that to control the pace from distance with his jab.