Needing a walk-off win to salvage the night, Cameron Burroughs delivered a much-needed home run swing.
After losing the first five rounds of his scheduled six-round main event bout against Fatlum Zhuta on Friday night at Twin River Casino, Burroughs scored the knockout blow with a left hook 23 seconds into the final round to stun the pro-Zhuta crowd in Lincoln. The fight was the headliner for CES Boxing’s “The Future Is Now” card.
Zhuta (3-1-1) used his size and reach to his advantage, peppering Burroughs over the first five rounds, nearly sending Burroughs to the canvas in the first and third. Burroughs (3-1, 3 KOs) held his ground and survived the onslaught, including one more big flurry by Zhuta at the end of the fifth, to give himself one last shot in the final round.
Knowing he needed a knockout to have any chance of winning, Burroughs came out aggressive in the sixth and caught Zhuta with a clean left hook to the chin. Zhuta dropped to both knees and made it halfway up before tumbling backwards and falling helplessly into the ropes, prompting referee Joey Lupino to stop the fight.
Fighting a six-round fight for the first time in his career, Burroughs rebounded with a win Friday following a loss in August to Kalvin Henderson in Arkansas. The loss for Zhuta snapped a three-fight win streak dating back to last November.
Facing a dangerous, wiry veteran in just his second pro fight, Lawrence, Mass., welterweight Adrian Sosa (2-0) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Washington, D.C. native Lamont White (0-4), 40-36 on all three scorecards.
White has yet to be stopped in four pro fights and he showed his toughness early on, absorbing a big right hand from Sosa in the second round, but he fought through it and continued to exchange with his opponent until the final bell. White continued to hang in, but Sosa’s footwork and hand speed were just too much to overcome as he won each round en route to his second pro victory in as many fights.
In one of the more entertaining fights of the night, welterweights Miguel Ortiz (1-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass., andMarcus Bates (0-1) of Taunton, Mass., debuted against one another in an all-action thriller with the two fighters exchanging knockdowns before Ortiz earned the win by first-round knockout.
The two came out throwing haymakers, but Bates settled in a bit and effectively used his jab to set up and overhand right that sent Ortiz to the canvas early. As Bates tried to finish the fight, he inevitably left himself open and got cracked with a right hook from Ortiz that not only knocked him off his feet, but left him wobbly as he dragged himself back up. With the momentum shifting in the opposite direction, Ortiz finished the fight with a series of flurries that sent Bates through the ropes, forcing referee Dan Schiavone to stop the bout at the 2:43 mark.
Making his Twin River debut, Worcester, Mass., featherweight Irvin Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) dazzled the crowd with a first-round knockout win over Harrisburg, Pa., native Mike Heffelfinger (0-2) at the 1:07 mark. Heffelfinger landed an early left hand that momentarily stunned Gonzalez, but Gonzalez showed poise and worked the body effectively, sending Heffelfinger to the canvas twice before Lupino stopped the fight.
Worcester middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (3-0-1, 3 KOs), fighting for the fourth time this year, also made quick work of his opponent, stopping Philadelphia’s Demetrius Thomas (0-2) at 1:32 of the opening, sending Thomas to the canvas twice before Schiavone waved it off. The win was Ball Jr.’s first since knocking out Bruno Dias in July.
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