With a pair of explosive semifinals bouts on tap Friday in the 2014 Boxcino lightweight tournament, one can expect plenty of action at the 4 Bears Casino in New Town, N.D.
A pair of eight-round bouts will headline ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET) as Chris Rudd meets Petr Petrov and Miguel Gonzalez squares off with Fernando Carcamo.
All four fighters were victorious in the Boxcino quarterfinals held Feb. 21 in Laughlin, Nev., with Carcamo scoring the lone stoppage win.
Chris Rudd (13-1, eight KOs) vs. Petr Petrov (33-4-2, 15 KOs)
Both fighters advanced to the semifinal round after winning extremely hard-fought battles in bouts in which neither was the prohibitive favorite coming in. In Rudd's case, he needed an extra round to pull through as his bout with Ghana's Yakubu Amidu was ruled a draw after six full rounds, sending the fight to a one-round "drawbreaker." Rudd, who had fought just once in the previous two years entering the bout, showed plenty of courage after absorbing heavy punishment in the opening round. He went on to rally in the fourth round as the bout turned exceedingly into an all-action affair.
Petrov, meanwhile, a native of Russia who fights out of Spain, entered his quarterfinal bout against countryman Fedor Papazov having been most remembered for being knocked out Marcos Maidana in 2011. But those who expected to see him end up on the canvas against Papzov, whose nickname is "Mr. Knockout," were surprised by the outcome, as Petrov walked through heavy punishment to land precision counter shots. He went on to claim a victory by unanimous decision.
Friday's semifinal bout is expected to be an attractive clash of styles. Rudd, the more aggressive fighter, has won six of his past 10 fights by knockout and will surely be active from the outset. But Petrov, a former world-title challenger at 140 pounds, brings with him 14 years of experience and is better equipped than Rudd from a technical standpoint.
Miguel Gonzalez (23-3, 16 KOs) vs. Fernando Carcamo (16-5, 13 KOs)
This battle of southpaws has the potential for an uncertain outcome. Carcamo, 23, of Mexico, lived up to his reputation as a hard puncher in the quarterfinal round by stopping unbeaten Samuel Neequaye of Ghana. Carcamo overwhelmed his opponent from the start with relentless pressure until referee Jay Nady mercifully stopped the fight in the second round. The marked the sixth in a row for Carcamo by way of stoppage.
Gonzalez, of Cleveland, had to work harder in his opening bout to overcome Miguel Mendoza by majority decision. The victory confirmed Gonzalez is on the right track in his career as he was forced to overcome a late surge from Mendoza, who refused to quit after falling behind early.
Carcamo, an aggressive fighter, will enter the fight with a decided advantage in punching power. He will likely look to set the pace from the start and try to finish the fight early. However, he should take precautions, or he could run into a surprise.