- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Middleweight Willie Monroe Jr. and lightweight Petr Petrov won their respective ESPN Boxcino tournament titles in 2014 and parlayed them into bigger fights, which is exactly what heavyweight Andrey Fedosov and junior middleweight John Thompson, the 2015 Boxcino winners, are hoping to do.
Monroe got a shot at world titleholder Gennady Golovkin on May 16, and although Monroe was stopped in the sixth round, he would never have gotten the opportunity if not for the exposure the Boxcino experience afforded him. The same goes for Petrov, whose next fight is expected to be a world title elimination bout against an opponent to be determined.
Fedosov (28-3, 23 KOs) won all three of his Boxcino fights by knockout, including the final by eighth-round stoppage of Donovan Dennis on Friday night. Thompson (17-1, 5 KOs) knocked out tournament favorite Brandon Adams in the second round to win the junior middleweight tournament in the co-feature.
"I was being patient and waiting for a counter, and I was able to hit him with it," said Fedosov of the winning punch. "Now I will look for a big fight."
Thompson, who was not even in the field until coming aboard at the last minute to replace Cleotis Pendarvis, who failed to make weight, understands that winning Boxcino will bolster his career.
"This is a new beginning for me," Thompson said. "We're in a whole different ballgame now. This is where I'm supposed to be."
Banner Promotions’ Artie Pelullo, who created Boxcino, agreed that both fighters will get at least a chance at a bigger fight coming out of their impressive tournament performances.
“John and Andrey earned these titles,” Pelullo said. “We expect to have them in big fights very soon.”
The tournament finals closed out ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, which is going off the air after 17 years to make way for Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN, beginning in July. However, Pelullo said he expects Boxcino to continue. He said he is talking to other networks about putting on Boxcino tournaments next year.