With two clashes of style in the heavyweight and junior middleweight finals, the 2015 Boxcino tournaments come to a close on Friday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at the Omega Products International in Corona, California.
What's more, the card will also mark the end of ESPN's Friday Night Fights series after 17 years. Starting July 11, ESPN will begin broadcasting monthly Premier Boxing Championship cards.
In Friday's Boxcino heavyweight final, Russian Andrey Fedosov (27-3, 22 KOs), a resident of Los Angeles, faces Donovan Dennis (12-1, 10 KOs), and in the 154-pound final, Brandon Adams (17-1, 1 KO) takes on Newark, New Jersey, native John Thompson (16-1, 5 KOs).
The difference in styles stands out most in both finals, which promise a lot of excitement but no clear favorites.
Heavyweights: Fedosov vs. Dennis
The difference in heights and styles makes predicting this fight very difficult. Fedosov is 6-foot-1, which can be considered short for this category. His extreme aggressiveness and the power in his punches, however, compensate for his physical disadvantages against bigger opponents.
His latest results confirm this. After suffering an injury in June 2012, when he had to throw in the towel against Bryant Jennings in a loss that would later require a long recovery, Fedosov seems to have gotten his groove back.
Before facing Jennings, Fedosov was riding an impressive 15-fight win streak, including 14 knockouts. During this edition of Boxcino, he has knocked out the two opponents he has faced: Nate Heaven and Lenroy Thomas. His aim now is to give Dennis a dose of the same medicine and finish as tournament champion.
But things won't be so easy for the 29-year-old Russian. At 27, Dennis is a 6-foot-4 southpaw with good technique who has a good set of legs to move around the ring. He also knows how to establish distance with his jab, and like a good stylist, knows how to use his counterattack effectively.
However, unlike other stylists, Dennis can be aggressive. If necessary, he'll trade blows, and when he connects, he always does damage. He, too, has mercilessly annihilated his two Boxcino opponents, and he seems to have recovered from his only defeat, when he was knocked out in the first round in April 2014 against Heaven -- one of Fedosov's opponent in this tournament.
Fedosov will likely be the aggressor, pressing his opponent, looking to use his power punches to end the fight early. Donovan will have to wait for him, maintain distance with his jab and look for a chance to get in with his left on his back foot, as he did against his last opponent, giant Romanian Razvan Cojanu, whom he dropped like a ton of bricks with a brutal left to the chin in the second round.
Junior middleweights: Adams vs. Thompson
Backed by good performances as the runner-up in the 2014 Boxcino middleweight tournament, Adams arrived at this year's 154-pound draw as the favorite. He dropped down in weight looking for revenge after falling to Willie Monroe Jr. one year ago in the final and will face another technical boxer this year in Thompson.
Adams enters Friday fresh off a fifth-round TKO victory against southpaw Alex Perez and a seventh-round semifinal victory against Armenian Vito Gasparyan. His overwhelming victories were expected, yet such wins were not expected of Thompson, who did away with undefeated and favored Ukranian Stanyslav Skorokhod in the semifinal, in which technique prevailed over aggressiveness.
The paradox with Thompson is that he was originally a tournament alternate. He took the place of Cleotis Pendarvis after Pendarvis failed to make weight. Thompson managed to fight in the quarterfinals on a day’s notice and defeated Ricardo Pinell by decision after six rounds.
In this final, there's no doubt about the fighters' plans of attack. Adams will be pressuring the whole time, looking for the knockout by throwing heavy combinations. Thompson, meanwhile, will again draw on his ability to move around, control the distance and punch from angles.