Ringside Report: Soro Shocks Tapia in Newark
- Updated: May 8, 2015
Mark it down. Francophone West Africa is having a boxing moment. Hassam N’Dam, Sako Bika, Carlos Takam and, now, Michel Soro (26-1-1, 16 KOs). The Ivorian product, now living in France, shocked the crowd in Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center by stopping local product Glen Tapia (23-2, 15 KOs) in four rounds. The fight was supposed to be a coming out party for Tapia, but turned into a nightmare as he could not manage to hit Soro cleanly and, instead, found himself the victim of a shocking upset.
The fight began with Tapia confidently strolling to the ring in a Sopranos jersey. That confidence carried into into the first round where he attempted to dig into Soro’s body. The Ivorian fighter appeared largely hesitant to engage, but that all changed in the second round. Soro showed extreme patient in waiting for openings and would adeptly fire counters when he had the opportunity. Tapia would throw power punches, but they were hardly landing.
The third round largely followed the same script, except, this time, Soro began to buzz Tapia and it appeared that the local product could potentially be in trouble. Tapia attempted to dig into the body in response, but he could not hurt Soro, whose defense appeared to be elite. It all led to a shocking fourth round in which Soro caught Tapia with a counter and then finished the fight with a number of big left hooks that forced the referee to call a halt to the bout.
It’ll be a tough road back for Tapia, but Soro’s future looks bright. The Ivorian’s lone loss came in 2012 during a world title shot in which he put the champion down. He shows a great deal of defensive acumen and counter skills. He’s certainly one to watch.
Monaghan Grinds Out Victory in Co-Feature
Nearby Long Island, NY product Sean Monaghan (24-0, 15 KOs) won the day via unanimous decision (98-92, 98-92, 99-91) against Brazil’s Cleiton Conceicao (19-7-2, 15 KOs) but his limitations were also on full display in this light heavyweight tilt. The Top Rank-promoted figher used pressure to build an early lead against his Brazilian opponent, who appeared set on resting his fate on overhand rights. However, as the fight proceeded into the middle rounds, it became apparent that Monaghan was not capable of impacting serious punishment on his opponent nor were his punches landing clean. Conceicao, perhaps feeling confident, began utilizing more jabs and hooks into his repetoire and appeared to take several of the middle rounds. Monaghan recovered and appeared to take some steam with him into the last two rounds, but that is when the Brazilian came alive and pushed Monaghan onto the ropes several times with big right hands. While it did not appear that the Long Island product was on the verge of being placed on the canvas, it was obvious that the early momentum he had built had dissipated.
Unfortunately, one of the judges did not see it that way and the wide scorecards were met with some skepticism in the crowd. 3MoreRounds scored the fight 97-93 for Monaghan. Despite the win, it remains evident that Monaghan has defensive issues moving forward and a bigger puncher could pose major problems for the undefeated light heavyweight.
Julian Rodriguez Dominates Oluoch
Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (10-0, 9 KOs) of nearby Hasbrough Heights, NJ had no issue in stopping Kenya’s Peter Oluoch (14-9-2, 8 KOs) in the first round. Rodriguez, who was accompanied to the ring by the San Antonio Spurs’ Kyle Anderson, quickly pounced upon Oluoch and unloaded on the outmatched opponent with 1-2-3 combinations before the referee was forced to call an early halt to the bout. The mostly partisan local crowd roared their enthusiasm for how easily Rodriguez dispatched Oluoch.
Esquiva Falcao Makes Impression Against Harness
Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao (9-0, 6 KOs) continued the trend of untelevised mismatches by dominating Missouri’s Paul Harness (5-5-1, 4 KOs) en route to a third round stoppage. Falcao came out early in the fight and showed an adept array of combinations which mixed up left and right hands to the body and head. This barrage quickly took the life out of Harness, who was bloodied and could not keep up with the offensive outburst of Falcao. Harness looked to be on life support by early in the second round and Falcao pulled the plug in the third with a littany of vicious body shots.
Reed Dispatches Vazquez
2011 U.S. Golden Gloves Champion Michael Reed (14-0, 8 KOs) had little trouble in stopping Puerto Rico’s Osenohad Vazquez (8-4-1, 3 KOs) in the second round of their eight round tilt. Reed used the early portions of the first round to measure Vazquez before opening up in the middle of the round with a big right hand that began a new onslaught of punches that nearly ended the fight in the first round. Vazquez, however, would not recover in the second and was quickly buzzed by a 1-2 combo which forced the referee to call a halt to the bout at 02:00 in the second round.
Goodall improves to 2-0
Local favorite Darren Goodall (2-0, 2 KOs) easily overpowered Alex Asbury (0-2) en route to a first round stoppage victory after two big knockdowns. Asbury started the round landing a few countershots, but his offensive effort was soon overwhelmed by the more powerful Goodall who made easy use of his hooks to knock Asbury down early in the round and follow it up with the final blow shortly thereafter.