In the thrilling main event, Chicago junior middleweight Achour Esho (13-0, 8 KOs) had to survive a nearly disastrous first round to stop crosstown rival Anthony Abbruzzese (4-6, 3 KOs) in three.
Abbruzzese came out blazing in the first, culminating in a sustained barrage of punches that could have easily led to a stoppage. To Esho’s credit, he survived and walked wearily to his stool.
The fight changed, however, in round two, as a miraculously revived Esho bit down on his mouthpiece and started throwing hard shots. One of them dropped a surprised Abbruzzese, who arose on shaky legs, only to be dropped again before round’s end.
Smelling blood, Esho pounced on Abbruzzese in round three, dropping him again with a left hook and for the final time with a right uppercut. The time was :58.
Esho, now the newly formed ABO Junior Middleweight Champion, took the opportunity of his post-fight interview to call out MMA star Connor McGregor.
Two more Warriors Boxing prospects were in action that night, as undefeated Josh Hernandez (5-0, 4 KOs) of Chicago figured out the puzzle that is Thomas Smith (3-3-1, 2 KOs) of Dallas over six calculating featherweight rounds. Finding it difficult to trap the elusive Smith, Hernandez still did enough to win a clear unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55.
And in another scorching slugfest, Chicago lightweight Jessica McCaskill (3-1, 2 KOs) pounded out an exciting unanimous decision over battle-hardened Puerto Rican Carla Torres (5-4), now fighting out of Cleveland. McCaskill’s advantages in size, strength and power eventually took over the back-and-forth battle. In the end, the scores were 39-37 by all three judges.
In a very impressive “Windy City Fight Night” debut, Chicago bantamweight Shawn Simpson remained undefeated by clearly outclassing Mexico’s Leonardo Reyes (5-12, 2 KOs) over four rounds. The scores were 40-36 twice and 40-35. At this level, Simpson appears to be one to keep an eye on.
Ruben Schobitz (2-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Joel Blair (1-3)
Scores: 40-35 X 3
Cesar Ruiz (3-4, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Martez McGregor (3-1, 3 KOs)
Yousif Saleh (2-0), 1 KO) TKO 1 Luis Ramos