Lightweight standout “Irish” Cam O’Connell (14-0-1, 9KOs) of Red Deer cruised to an eight round victory on Friday evening, taking a wide unanimous decision over Juan Bedolla Orozco (14-5-2, 11KOs) at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
The judges’ scorecards read 79-73, 79-73, 78-74. “It wasn’t my best fight and that’s to Juan’s credit,” said O’Connell. “He was a brawler who definitely studied me and did everything he could to have me fight his fight. I enjoy a good brawl, so I was easily persuaded. It got dirty. It was rough, but I enjoyed it. I need a good tough fight and a tough warrior to stand against me, that’s why we do this. I have a lot to work on with my coaches Doug Bolianatz, Robert Carswell, and Roman Rzepkowski and hopefully we can start the road to the next one ASAP. I’m excited to learn and I did a lot of that in this fight.”
Following the fight, O’Connell announced that he’s ready for anyone in nation and plans on pursuing a big all-Canadian tilt in 2017. “I want Steve Wilcox in the new year,” explained O’Connell. “According to his team, he’s willing. He has dodged me for long enough. I had to go public with it and it worked. Much respect to him and his team for taking the offer. This will make a great fight for the fans all over the country.” The contest would be one of the most significant all-Canadian lightweight tilts since Benoit Gaudet scored a unanimous decision over Leonardo Rojas for the national title in 2005.
Edmonton’s Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford (9-0-0, 5KOs) continued his assault on the light heavyweight division, outpointing Mario Baeza (6-3-0, 5KOs) by scores of 60-53, 60-53, and 59-54 in their six round clash. “I got a little frustrated from all the holding and running,” explained Ford. “But hey, that’s boxing and a champion adapts to the situation he’s put in. Still lots to work on, but you know me, my grind don’t stop! Now to bring the UBO light heavyweight world title back home to Edmonton.” Ford will now travel to Singapore on February 4 to take on Sam Rapira (15-3-0, ) of New Plymouth, New Zealand, for the vacant UBO crown. Rapira has previously held the New Zealand and IBO Asia Pacific championships.
In the evening’s other six rounder, undefeated super featherweight Justin Hocko (4-0-2) of Windsor, Ontario, via Edmonton, Alberta, earned a split decision victory over Dominic Babineau (6-0-1, 4KOs) of Richiboucto Village, New Brunswick, in what many fans are calling the fight of the night. After six entertaining rounds of non-stop action, two judges scored the fight 57-56 for Hocko, while the third had it for Babineau by the same margin. “I knew he would be tough,” said Hocko, “but he was definitely a better boxer than I expected. That being said, I did more than enough to get the win.” With the victory, Hocko has big plans for the new year. “I’d like a short at a title,” says Hocko. “I want to keep fighting the best and beating them and possibly get some fights in the United States.”
The undercard results were as follows:
Adam Braidwood KO1 Lee Mein
Tim Chemelli TKO2 Brad Switzer
Eric Taylor UD4 Michael Gargouri
Vince Calio SD4 Anthony Lessard
Mladen Miljas TKO1 Tim Hague