Luis upsets Dargan; Barrera stops Lacy and Falowo decisions Lamour
Against all odds, Tony Luis shocked everyone at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, CT, by convincingly beating undefeated Karl Dargan, earning himself a unanimous decision (97-92 twice, 99-90). This lightweight bout was the headliner of a Main Events card televised on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”
Everything seemed fine from the get-go for the heralded prospect out of Philadelphia, PA and after a solid first round using a snapping jab and balanced footwork, Dargan looked poised to take another step toward a world title shot. However, Luis made an adjustment that seemingly tripped up his opponent. By taking the fight into close quarters, Luis used his superb inside game to frustrate Dargan and, more importantly, take away his opponent’s effective jab and defense. Keeping Dargan in a phone booth, Luis took him off his game plan and Dargan couldn’t dial up an adjustment. In the third round, Luis charged at a retreating Dargan and looked to have dropped him after landing a right hand but referee Johnny Callas ruled it a slip. Upon further review on the ESPN2 replay, Callas was incorrect.
Luis, who fights out of Ontario, Canada, used brilliant tactics to keep Dargan close from then on. Out of sight from Callas, Luis slightly held Dargan’s arm to keep him from getting outside. He also did a good job of keeping Dargan against the ropes. Put simply, Dargan couldn’t figure out how to get back to his jab that would have kept Luis at bay. Once he had his opponent trapped in a mental lull, Luis consistently peppered him with uppercuts and hooks to the body. To Dargan’s credit toward the later rounds, he landed his fair share of shots but just wasn’t throwing enough to outshine Luis. In the 10th and final round, Luis got the knockdown that got away from him in the third, albeit being a shot to the back of Dargan’s head. Needing a knockout to build any chance of winning, Dargan was tired and frustrated by the sound of the final bell. After it rang, he hung his head low while Luis raised his arms in jubilation.
Luis, 19-2 (7), fought the perfect fight and did so by not giving Dargan a moment to think. He also showed tremendous conditioning by never letting up. With the win, Luis puts himself closer than ever at getting a shot at a world title in a lightweight division open for the taking. Dargan, 17-1 (9), didn’t do himself any favors and, quite frankly, looked a shell of himself. Failing to adjust to Luis’ tactics, Dargan must use the loss as a valued experience. He will go back to the drawing board as he misses out on tentatively getting a shot at a world title.
Barrera stops Lacy
It only took four rounds for Sullivan Barrera, 15-0 (10), to stop Jeff Lacy, 27-6 (18), but it seemed much longer to the concerned viewer. The last time we saw “Left Hook” Lacy step in the ring on national television, last July, he took a nasty knockout loss to Umberto Savigne that was already tough to watch from those who used to root for the former super middleweight titleholder. Against Barrera, the feeling of concern was apparent for the 37-year old just after he was knocked down in the first round with a big right hand. From then on out, Lacy’s legs were gone and even referee Mike Ortega was looking for the smallest opportunity to stop the bout while those watching hoped for the same. To Barrera’s credit, he looked sharp the entire fight but with a shot fighter in front of him, it’s hard not to keep your eyes on the tragedy taking place. Just after taking a point from Barrera for a low blow, Ortega finally had an opportunity to put a stop to the fight while Lacy was in a corner defenseless from Barrera’s barrage of bombs. Thankfully Lacy was alert and didn’t dispute the referee’s decision but nothing good can be said when a fighter enters the ring and fans are already afraid for his health before even the first bell rings.
Falowo gets the decision over Lamour in a brawl
Kicking off the Friday Night Fights broadcast, Thomas Falowo got the unanimous decision (78-74, 77-75 twice) victory over Russell Lamour after eight grueling rounds in a middleweight match-up. Falowo started out as the aggressor at the sound of the opening bell and as a result, Lamour was forced into a brawl. Because he set the precedent, Falowo seeming got off to an early lead until the fourth round when Lamour landed a left hook that was the biggest punch of the fight at that point. Just when it seemed like Lamour was about to get into some sort of rhythm, Falowo answered back in the same round with his biggest punch, a right hand directly to the chin. With each fighter willing to exchange punch for punch, the crowd and those watching at home were given an extremely entertaining fight. Although both landed consistently, neither fighter was ever visibly hurt. They entered the last round seemingly even in a tough fight to score but Falowo ended it in convincing fashion with more punches landed and at a higher rate than his opponent. Falowo, 13-3 (8), gets a big win on television coming off a loss while Lamour, 11-1 (5), takes the first seat of his career.