Coming off a loss of his NABF Junior Middleweight title to Yuri Foreman, Tsurkan, the Ukrainian born Pelham Parkway resident, needed a win in order to get back into the title hunt.
The Bronxite did not disappoint, coming through during an explosive encounter with fellow tough guy Jesse Feliciano (15-7-3, 9 KO’s) with an 8th round technical knockout to close out the main event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights card.
Going into the match, fight fans were promised a classic, with both pugilists expected to go into battle head on. Tsurkan predicted a classic, while taking a shot at Foreman.
“This is boxing. This is a sport for men who come to fight, not come to run,” he said, noting Foreman’s controversial split decision victory that saw the Brooklyn fighter avoid Tsurkan throughout the fight. “People pay money to see action, blood and combinations,” he continued. “Jesse Feliciano is a great fighter. He fights like me. Expect a lot of punches, a lot of combinations and a lot of blood.”
Tsurkan, who predicted a 10-round decision in his favor, came out with a flurry of punches and immediately scored a knockdown, connecting with a right hand that sent Feliciano down to a knee. Referee Benji Estevez administered a standing 8-count before letting the fight continue.
Feliciano continued to push forward, refusing to take a step back and paying for it with brutal shots to the head. Tsurkan would land 267 heads shots in the bout. Feliciano was able to land a number of shots as well, but would give the Bronxite an advantage, often titling forward on the jab, allowing Tsurkan to land devastating right hand shots.
Feliciano would call for more in the 4th round, but by the time the 8th round started, many in attendance wondered how much was too much and got their answer as Estevez stopped the fight at 1:17 in the 8th round of a scheduled 10-round battle.
Over 700 punches were landed between the two boxers, as Tsurkan improved his record to (26-3, 16 KO’s).
In other action, Poland’s Albert Sosnowski would improve to 43-1, 26 KO’s with a 5th round stoppage of Terrell “Baby Bull” Nelson (8-5, 5 KO’s). Joe Hanks (2-0, 1 KO) upended Corey Winfield (2-4, 2 KO’s) in 4 rounds. Bryant Pappas (6-0, 6 KO’s) knocked out Mike Terry (1-3, 1 KO) in the 3rd round of a 4-round middleweight battle. Clarence Moore (5-3-1, 5 KO’s) upset Jon Schneider (7-2-1, 5 KO’s) with a knockout at 2:48 in Round 2 of a 4-round cruiserweight fight. Welterweight Raymond Serrano, Jr. (5-0, 3 KO’s) won a decision over Damon Antoine (7-24-1, 3 KO’s).
And Bronx featherweight Irizarry (2-0, 1 KO) stopped Jean Ramos (0-1) at the end of the 1st round. The action in the fight was frenetic from the opening bell, with Irizarry landing a neat left-right combination, only to get hit back with a huge left hook that sent the Bronxite staggering to the ropes. Irizarry came right back landing one monster shot after another that sent Ramos down. Ramos could not continue as the bell sounded and the Bronx went 2-0 at the Paradise.
“This was a throwback to the glory days of boxing,” said Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia, about the fight lineup. “Each fighter who participated tonight came to fight and tried to win. I am very proud of the performances they gave all of us in attendance and those who watched on ESPN2.”
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