Star Boxing’s “Rockin’ Fights” 37 lived up to expectations on Saturday night in front of a lively, packed house at The Paramount in Huntington, New York. The action started with the opening bell and continued into the highly anticipated main event rematch between DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ and JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ.
Leading up to Saturday’s fight, Danny Gonzalez and Johnny Hernandez were clear on their feelings towards one another. Danny had a simple game plan, “leave no doubt” in his rematch with Hernandez. Johnny, on the other hand, was set on revenge, proving that the first Gonzalez-Hernandez bout was the incorrect decision.
The first round of the rematch picked up right where the last fight left off. Johnny (now 10-5 1KO) utilizing his solid footwork, and slick combinations, while Gonzalez (now 19-8-2 7KO’s) settled in and finished the round strong. Hernandez looked very sharp, but the WBC FECARBOX & ABO Intercontinental championship main event turned in the second round at the 1:24 mark, when a perfect right-left Gonzalez combination planted Hernandez on the canvas.
Hernandez returned the favor with a flush counter right, just seconds after standing from the knockdown. From the third round on the bout was intensive with both Gonzalez and Hernandez exchanging solid combinations, however, Gonzalez seemed to get the better of the clashes. Over the back half of the fight, Gonzalez established his control and dominance and stalked and banged Hernandez, and while a thoroughly entertaining bout, Gonzalez physical strength and command was evident. At the end of the rematch, Gonzalez retained his titles via a unanimous decision. (98-91 (x2), 99-90).
Danny had this to say about his win, “You can tell I have gotten ten times better since our last fight. He is tough, he is good, but I am on a different level. I give him credit, but I am top level now and you saw that tonight.” As for what Danny wants next, “I want big fights, give me world champions. I am ready.”
In the WBC Continental America’s Cruiserweight co-feature bout, Italian SIMONE FEDERICI (now 16-2-1 7KO’s) and Albanian, STIVENS BUJAJ (now 17-3-1 11KO’s) went the distance for the hardware. From the opening bell Federici took the fight to Bujaj, moving forward relentlessly, like a tank. Bujaj never backing down from Federici’s pressure, attempted to slow the Italian’s come forward style with counters and combinations to the body.
Over the loud contingent of Albanian’s cheering on Bujaj, Federici, from Rome, Italy, continued to control the action through the closing bell banging Bujaj with multiple barrages. At the finish, it was clear that Federici would be taking the vacant title belt, and there was jubilant celebration when he was officially announced the winner and new WBC titlist. The scores were unanimous for Federici. (97-93 (x2), 98-92)
Federici had this to say about his career changing win, “This is a great moment, and a great honor for me. My goal is to defend this title to the world. Thank you, Joe DeGuardia, for this opportunity. ”
There was much hype surrounding the battle of the undefeated between DASHUAN “TOOSWEET” JOHNS (now 2-1 1KO) and ALEX “EL TORO” VARGAS (now 5-0 1KO). The two southpaws entered the ring as amateur standouts, putting their perfect professional records on the line. In the opening rounds both men let their hands fly, staying in the pocket, fighting for control. After a tight first and second round, Vargas began sitting on his punches, establishing himself as the more aggressive fighter. With momentum on his side, and loud “El Toro” cheers from the electric crowd, Vargas finished the fight strong, earning the unanimous decision victory in an entertaining fight. (60-55 (x2), 58-56).
Vargas recapped his strong victory, “My plan was to work the jab, stay low and work the body to slow him down. I am training with the best, so I have to fight like I’m the best. It is amazing to be a kid, a prospect, who is 5-0, to have that many people come out and support me, I have to keep winning, and make them proud. ”
The opening three fights of the night set the table for the rest of the action. Featherweights, JUSTICE “LIL NASTY” BLAND (now 2-0) and DAWSHAQUAN “THE DRAGON” THOMAS (now 0-1) went to battle over 4-rounds, as Bland controlled the action for most of the fight earning the unanimous decision victory. (40-36, 39-37 (x2))
JAHVEL “SMOKIN JOE” JOSEPH (2-0 1KO) devoured “KING” CURL AITCHESON (now 0-1) with an overhand right, just 30 seconds into the first round, dropping Aitcheson. Only 40 seconds later, another flurry from Joseph caused the referee to stop the action at the 1:47 mark of the first round, as Joseph secured the TKO victory.
SALEEM “BAD DREAM” KELLY (now 3-0 2KO’s) wasted no time kicking off the show as he stopped fellow New Jersey native, GEORGE “THE PITBULL” GETHERS (now 0-2) in emphatic fashion with 47 seconds left in the first round of the scheduled 4-round fight.
Star Boxing President and CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about “Rockin’ Fights” 37, “Another ‘Rockin’ Fights’ that lived up to expectations. From top to bottom fans were greeted with great action and thrilling fights. Congratulations to Danny Gonzalez on his decisive title defense and hats off to Johnny Hernandez for leaving it all in the ring. Simone Federici really impressed, traveling from Italy, battling with a game Stivens Bujaj. Alex Vargas showed again why he is a crowd pleaser for his local Long Island fans. We cannot wait to be back at the Paramount on February 28, for another great “Rockin’ Fights” card.”