Professional boxing returned to B.C. on Friday, April 30, as Empire Promotions hosted ‘The Resurgence,’ a six-bout pay-per-view card at the Gaming Station Arena in Vancouver.
No spectators were in attendance and fighters followed COVID-19 protocols. The ring was completely wiped down between fights.
Alex Torres def. Jose Luis Zarate Lara (Lightweight)
Alex Torres picked apart Jose Luis Zarate Lara to take home two championship belts, unifying the Canadian Professional Boxing Council (CPBC) eastern and western lightweight championships.
Lara was knocked down in the fourth round and in the fifth, an overhand left hand from Torres put him down for good.
Torres grew more confident in each round. He said he could feel a knockout coming as soon as the second round in a post-fight interview.
“I just picked up the tempo,” Torres said.
Lara took the fight (scheduled for eight rounds) on short notice after Mohamed Soumaoro wasn’t able to compete.
“I kept catching him with an overhead left, over the jab, it was beautiful, I’ll give myself an eight out of 10 for that performance,” Torres said.
Torres never broke focus throughout the bout, showing focus to take advantage of nearly every mistake Lara made.
Torres moves to 7-3, and stops a three-match losing streak, and could be in line for a CPBC Canadian lightweight title shot.
“I will fight anybody,” he said. “I’m not going to say anything about other fighters, but I’m a real fighter… I represent the Mexican flag with all my heart, I’m a real Mexican warrior.”
Josh Jauncy def. Brian Samuel (Middleweight)
Surrey kickboxer Josh Jauncy was short and to the point in a pre-fight promo as to why he’s making a transition to boxing.
“I’m bored,” he said. The 28-year-old top-ranked Glory kickboxer hasn’t been able to find a fight in over a year, so decided to try boxing, and was placed in the co-main event.
Red Deer’s Brian Samuel looked to end that boredom, but the 12-fight veteran came up short in a unanimous decision for Jauncy’s first professional win.
Samuel looked to close the distance and box in tight with the lanky Jauncy, even drawing blood from the kickboxer’s nose, but wasn’t consistent enough to earn a victory.
As the fight went forward, Jauncy continued to find the mark with uppercuts but Samuel made Jauncy work the entire night absorbing everything the kickboxer could dish out with his fists.
Jauncy showed respect to the veteran after the fight, and Samuel responded in kind by holding open the ropes for Jauncy to exit the ring.
“He’s tough, what can I say?” Jauncy said after the fight.
Jauncy added he’d consider continuing his boxing career.
Tamas Munkacsi def. Buneet Bisla (Light Heavyweight)
Surry’s Buneet Bisla put an exclamation point on a solid fight, knocking out Tamas Munkacsi in the fourth round to improve to 3-0.
Munkacsi was behind on the scorecard and looking to make something happen in the final round, backing Bisla into the ropes.
As soon as Bisla’s back hit those ropes, he stepped forward to land a right hand, which turned into a devastating combination.
Munkacsi fell to the canvas with the referee immediately calling the fight, as ringside doctors came into the ring to check on him. Munkacsi was able to leave the ring under his own power but received more medical attention afterward.
Rhett Gibbons def. Ari Ashari (Welterweight)
In a battle of Vancouver-based fighters, Rhett Gibbons was able to come away with a clean victory. Ari Ashari was knocked down in the first two rounds, and Gibbons was able to easily cruise to victory, never looking uncomfortable in the unanimous decision.
Ashari, making his professional debut, got a tough welcome to the pro ranks.
Gibbons hadn’t fought in three years after turning pro and picking up a draw after an extensive amateur career.
It looked like Ashari wouldn’t be able to answer the referee’s count after the first knockdown, but the debutant managed to win a round on the judges scorecard.
Hassan Oseni def. Jaye Byard (Bridgerweight)
The first-ever professional bridgerweight fight in Canadian boxing history didn’t disappoint.
The fight between Jaye Byard and Hassan Oseni exploded in the second round. Jaye managed to score a knockdown after the two exchanged blows in tight. Oseni appeared to be caught on his heels and laughed off the knockdown.
That joviality wasn’t just bluster, as moments later he ended it. A right jab managed to break Jaye’s guard and a left hook ended his night.
While Oseni was making his pro boxing debut on short notice, he isn’t a stranger to pro fighting. He has recorded fights in kickboxing, with a Muay Thai background.
With the loss, Byard, who has won provincial amateur championships, dropped to 0-3 as a pro.
Daniel Roach def. Shawn Archer (Super Welterweight)
In a battle of 1-0 fighters, Toronto’s Daniel Roach was able to defeat Quesnel’s Shawn Archer in a unanimous decision in the first fight of the night.
Roach, who towered over Archer by a listed seven inches, was able to use his height advantage to land jabs throughout the four-round fight.
While both fighters received cuts to their face during the fight, the decisive moment would be a result of body shots. Roach was able to drop Archer with two consecutive left hooks to the body for the only knockdown of the bout.
Archer was able to answer the referee’s 10-count, and came out punching in the fourth round but was too far behind on the scorecard to make up the ground.
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