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Moraza-Pollard, Walker win Lion Fight 45
By Brian Woodman Jr.
Chip Moraza-Pollard (8-1) of Plymouth, Massachusetts successfully defended his world cruiserweight title against Mark MacKinnon (9-4) during the main event at Lion Fight 45 at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The evening's co-main event, a North American Cruiserweight title fight between Brett Hlavacek (18-5) and Tibor Nagy (24-14-1) was cancelled.
Although it was a back-and-forth battle, Moraza-Pollard appeared more economic and polished in his striking. But Mackinnon stayed on his feet for the entire fight and landed enough for at least one judge to score the fight 47-47 -- the other two judges scored it 48-46, giving Moraza-Pollard a majority decision win.
MacKinnon landed a few decent high kicks but his wide punches contrasted with Moraza-Pollard's conservative punching, elbows and knees.
MacKinnnon landed a spinning back elbow against Moraza-Pollard that floored him and prompted an eight-count from the referee. But Moraza-Pollard recovered and landed two straight shots to the chin that barely gazed MacKinnon before the round ended.
North American Super Cruiserweight champion Steve Walker (5-0) secured a TKO victory over William Sriyapai (83-13-2). Walker, who fights out of Boston, secured the win at 2:32 in the third round.
Sriyapai, who fights out of California, slipped a few high kicks and landed a few punches but seemed at a reach-disadvantage against the taller Walker.
During the fight, water leaked from the roof into one end of the ring and provided an unwelcome distraction. Sriyapai fell out of the ring during the second round while in the vicinity of the leakage.
The main card opened with a featherweight fight between Bizrat Asfera (0-1) and Ricardo Mixco (2-0). Asfera, who fights out of Virginia, landed a few solid shots during the bout but was bleeding profusely by the end of the first round. Mixco, who fights out of Maryland, generally dominated the one-sided fight with brutal punching combinations, a few elbows and a couple of high side kicks to the body.
Officials temporarily stopped the fight during the second round to make sure a cut above Asfera's eyes wasn't obscuring his vision. The referee later waved the fight off at 1:39 and Mixco secured a TKO victory.
Tom Evans (2-2) of Providence, Rhode Island earned an unanimous decision during middleweight bout against Fernando Perez (1-2). Perez, who fights out of Massachusetts, seemed to favor lower leg kicks during his striking exchanges with Evans and dumped him on the ground toward the end of the fourth round. But Evans got the last word in, landing a knee in the clinch at the end of the fifth round.
The next bout, a lightweight fight between Jordan Harris (4-0) and Mike Triana (4-1), also ended in a majority decision with one judge scoring the fight 47-47 while the others scored it 48-46. Harris, who won, dictated the pace for much of the fight -- he landed a flying knee to the body in the first round and attempted lots of spinning back elbows. The referee briefly stoped the fight during the third round to check a cut near Triana's eye.
Triana was also almost got counted out after eating an elbow. He increased his pace later in the fight and engaged in exchanges throughout but it wasn't enough.
The amateur results were:
Middleweight: Andrew Murray of Boston defeats Antonio Centeo of Dorcester, Massachusetts by majority decision.
Middleweight: Matt Brady of Stratham, New Hampshire defeats Mike Shanahan of Wendel, Massachusetts by TKO at 1:05 in the third round.
Super welterweight: Jurell Laronal of Boston defeats John Nelson of Boston by unanimous decision.
Middleweight: Miguel Cadiz of Worcester, Massachusetts defeats Mike Colon of New Britain by split decision.
William Sriyapai, left, verus Steve Walker during Lion Fight 45 on July 28 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Photo by John Fulcher