The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 3, 2013

Main event ends in draw; Cook wins unanimous decision

MIAMI, Okla. — Despite the pre-fight claims, Javier Fortuna didn’t score a knockout. He didn’t even earn a win.

Fortuna and Luis Franco fought to a 10-round draw in the main event of the ESPN Friday Night Fights boxing card at Buffalo Run Casino.

The first judge favored Franco 99-91, while the second judge gave Fortuna a 96-94 win. The final judge scored the featherweight bout even at 95.

The near-capacity crowd at Buffalo Run seemed to favor Franco.

“I know I won the fight. Fortuna knows I won this fight,” Franco said through a translator. “But the judges are the ones who have the decision to make.”

Fortuna, who entered the fight with a 22-0 record and 16 knockouts, predicted an easy knockout against the experienced 31-year-old Franco from Cuba. He appeared to go for the knockout early, but a power outage halted the fight in the first round. Power was out for several minutes, and the fight didn’t resume until almost 10 minutes later.

“Not too much, but I felt in the first 20 seconds of the fight I was dominating,” Fortuna said through a translator about how the power outage affected the match. “I got hit with a couple of punches early, so it probably would have made a difference but maybe not.”

After the fight resumed, Fortuna still appeared eager for the knockout but missed wildly on numerous attempts. Billed as a match between Fortuna’s power and Franco’s speed, the quickness seemed to have the edge.

“Of course it affected him, because he was looking for the knockout,” Franco said. “He didn’t think I was going to come with the speed that I did. It confused him. He knows he lost that fight.”

Franco’s record moved to 11-1-1 with seven knockouts.

Both fighters said they would be willing to have a rematch.

“If he wants to fight again, I’m ready,” Franco said. “I’ll beat him again.”

In the co-main event, former world champion Kermit Cintron (34-5-2) moved forward on his comeback bid as he earned a unanimous decision over Jonathan Batista (14-2) in the welterweight fight.

Cintron had difficulty as Batista locked him up throughout the fight. Batista also landed a low blow, as well as a rabbit punch.

Still, Cintron was able to earn the easy decision 99-88, 98-89, 98-89.  

ESPN fights

At Buffalo Run Casino

Featherweight—Clifton Thames won by unanimous decision over LaVale Wilson (38-38, 38-37, 38-37)

Super featherweight—Deangelo Cunningham won by unanimous decision over Mason Wicket (38-36, 39-37, 39-37)

Welterweight—Kermit Cintron won by unanimous decision over Jonathan Batista (99-88, 98-89, 98-89)

Featherweight—Javier Fortuna and Luis Franco ends in draw (Franco 99-91, Fortuna 96-94, 95-95 on other card)

Junior middleweight—Dillon Cook won by unanimous decision over Joel Vargas


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