Carrington, Cortes Overwhelm Opponents With Matching Fourth-Round KOs On MSG Undercard

A pair of undefeated 26-year-old Top Rank prospects, super featherweight Andres “Savage” Cortes and featherweight Bruce “Shu-Shu” Carrington, scored emphatic stoppages in their respective fourth rounds in ESPN-televised lead-ups to O’Shaquie Foster-Abraham Nova at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Friday night.

The heavily-hyped Carrington did so with an early contender for Knockout of the Year, dispatching the best opponent of his brief career, Filipino Bernard Torres, with a sizzling right hand just before the bell to end the fourth round.

Carrington, from the historically boxing-rich Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn, had the MSG crowd behind him as he figured out the southpaw Torres bit by bit, round by round. By the third, “Shu-Shu” was comfortable enough to peacock about the ring with his hands down, while Torres grew increasingly defense-minded. But the underdog got bold after landing a couple of combinations in the fourth — leading to his demise. The combatants exchanged at close range and Carrington scored with a looping right cross to the jaw over a low left hand from Torres, 18-2 (8 KOs), dropping his foe on his face. Referee Charlie Fitch called a halt without finishing the count at 2:59 of the round.

After scoring the victory and improving to 11-0 (7 KOs), Carrington channeled Brownsville’s most iconic boxer, recreating into the ESPN microphone Mike Tyson’s famous “my style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable” speech that followed his June 2000 KO of Lou Savarese.

Cortes, 21-0 (12 KOs), was similarly dominant against Bryan Chevalier, 20-2-1 (16 KOs). The Puerto Rican Chevalier had the New York crowd on his side, but his long frame proved a disadvantage as Cortes threw the straighter, faster punches and was able to muscle the 5ft 11ins 130-pounder around.

Between rounds two and three, Chevalier’s trainer was already threatening to stop the fight. Over the next couple of rounds, Cortes forced his hand.

A big left hand hurt Chevalier on the ropes late in the third, and his upper body soon went through the ropes for what could have been — but wasn’t — called a knockdown. The ringside physicians checked Chevalier at the start of the fourth and deemed him fit to continue, but Cortes’ right hand soon deemed him unfit, and the corner threw in the towel at 2:17 of the fourth.

Prior to the main ESPN telecast, Italian heavyweight Guido Vianello, 12-1-1 (10 KOs) stopped Huntington, New York’s Moses Johnson, 11-2-2 (8 KOs), in the opening round of a scheduled eight, scoring four official knockdowns in a fight that actually could have been ruled a KO prior to the first of those knockdowns. Johnson had trouble beating the count after a right hand landed in the first minute of the bout, but referee Shada Murdaugh ruled Johnson’s crash to the canvas to be the result of a push. Johnson never quite recovered, and Vianello dropped him four more times before Murdaugh belatedly waved it off at 2:59 of the round.

In a high-contact six-round middleweight slugfest that was far more competitive than the scores would indicate, Isaah Flaherty of Queens, 7-0 (3 KOs), overcame a pair of cuts from opening-round head clashes to beat Julien Baptiste, 6-4 (3 KOs), via a trio of 60-54 scorecards.

Bronx junior lightweight prospect Ofacio “The Sniper” Falcon ran his record to 11-0 (6 KOs) with a shutout decision over Edward Ceballos, 11-5-1 (6 KOs). It was Falcon’s third consecutive win to come by 60-54 scores on all cards.

In a junior welterweight bout scheduled for eight rounds, 2020 U.S. Olympian Delante “Tiger” Johnson, 12-0 (6 KOs), shined in TKO-ing southpaw Paulo Cesar Galdino, 13-8-2 (9 KOs), in the opening round. Johnson dropped Johnson with a left uppercut before forcing the referee’s intervention at 2:49 of the round with an aggressive follow-up assault.

Middleweight southpaw Euri Cedeno, a 2020 Dominican Olympian, improved to 8-0-1 (7 KOs) by pounding out a stoppage over brave but outclassed Antonio Todd, 16-10 (9 KOs), with veteran ref Benji Esteves mercifully calling a halt at 2:59 of the fifth round.

In the show opener, stocky Harlem welterweight Arnold Gonzalez remained unbeaten at 14-0 (6 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Charles Stanford, 7-5 (4 KOs).