The Boxcino middleweight tournament rolls on this week with the semifinals of the eight-man tournament on “Friday Night Fights” (ESPN2, 9 ET).
Vitalii Kopylenko (23-0, 13 KOs) of Ukraine takes on Willie Monroe Jr. (16-1, 6 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y., in one half of the bracket and Brandon Adams (13-0, 9 KOs) faces Raymond Gatica (14-2, 9 KOs) in the other half at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y. Each fight is scheduled for eight rounds and the winners will meet in the final on May 23, also at Turning Stone, but in a 10-round fight.
Gatica, 29, of Austin, Texas, was largely unknown before the tournament started but he looked good knocking out previously undefeated Sena Agbeko in the fourth round in the Feb. 28 quarterfinals.
Gatica is hoping to carry the success over into the semifinals against Adams, 24, of Los Angeles, who advanced with his own fourth-round knockout of Daniel Edouard.
"I felt I was a little sloppy (against Agbeko) but it came down to who would throw the harder punches," Gatica said. “My training for this fight is going well and I am getting in shape. I will be in better condition and we are working on my technique. Brandon is a good fight for me. He is worthy with good skills. He is strong and in good shape. I am glad to be fighting him."
If you ask Gatica, he believes the semifinal match is worthy of being the final.
"It could be us in the finals but that's the way tournament shook out,” Gatica said. “I see myself winning the whole thing, but I am taking this one fight at a time. It is exciting and I believe I will be in the final. (Fans) have liked my fights and have got great feedback on the concept of Boxcino. It gets people to fight and not be protected.”
The Boxcino lightweight tournament final is also on the May 23 card and will match Petr Petrov (34-4-2, 15 KOs) against Fernando Carcamo (17-5, 13 KOs).