Texas-tough Kendo Castaneda scored the knockout of the night as his left hook detonated on Sonny Fredrickson in round one and spelled lights out for the man from Toledo, Ohio.
This match really stood out as a Last Chance prototype. Castaneda is one of the biggest free spirits in the sport. The San Antonio, Texas fighter, age 28, goes by “Kendo Tremendo,” or, when his mood strikes, refers to himself as “The Tremendous Goon.”
It could be argued that the Goon needed a win real soon, as the part-time Fed Ex employee had lost five straight coming in.
The 27-year-old Fredrickson, a pro since 2014, had been signed to promoter Roc Nation after a hot start. He had cooled down, however, and had lost four in a row when he got offered a Last Chance slot.
Sonny told ProBoxNews that he’d trained more than adequately for the gig. He’d devoted himself full-time to boxing for this. He conceded that he needed to turn things around. Even his mom told him it was time to win because he has four kids to tend to. And Kendo told us the same; his head was dialed on straight, he had no nagging injuries dragging him down. He promised to bring his A game to Plant City.
“I’m not timid going into this tournament,” Castaneda declared, despite being stopped out in his last bout, versus Raul Curiel in December. “I’ve been knocked down, I’m not afraid of eating a good punch, I don’t care. I get knocked down, I get up… knockdowns only piss me off!”
The live wire had told Sonny he’d retire him at the fight week press conference, and most assumed that this was boilerplate smack talk. You know what happens when you assume.
Malignaggi was finishing saying how Kendo was locked in on getting in close to Sonny: “Castaneda’s finding his way in and…” the analyst said, unable to finish because a switch-stance left hook landed clean and mean in the first of eight scheduled rounds.
Sonny’s hands were split and Kendo (now 18-5) placed the hook expertly. Fredrickson (21-6) hit the deck hard on his butt and back. It was clear his senses were scrambled as he looked to the ref while trying to clear his head and stand up. The referee knew what he was seeing and waved his hands right away. At 2:02 of the first, Castaneda advanced to the Last Chance Final Four, courtesy of a viral video finish.
After the Goon did his bidding, Tarver asked Roy what this loss meant for Sonny’s prospects. Roy didn’t pull the punch: “Time to find another career,” he declared.
Regarding Sonny and retirement, check back later this week and we will have information on that for you. (You should know he has a flourishing power washing business in Toledo.) But yes, when ProBoxTV crafted this tournament, they weren’t kidding about the stakes.