Saturday, June 16, 2018 — The Ford Center in Frisco, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, hosted a night of boxing with unforeseen endings. From Javier Fortuna’s unfortunate plunge out of the ring and Errol Spence’s premature 1st round KO of Carlos Ocampo.
Spence gleamed as he entered the arena filled with over-joyed hometown fans, waiting in anticipation for the promise of a “Man Down” finale. The mandatory challenger, Ocampo, made his entrance attempting to appear calm, although he knew he was seemingly a lamb to the slaughter. He was well over-matched, but had the courage to take on the challenge as it was a massive opportunity for him to make a name for himself outside of Mexico. Ocampo performed well in the first two and half minutes, displaying a game fight style. He may not have previously fought a top 20 fighter, but he was in there with Spence, holding his own and even going to the body.
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Spence vs Ocampo would end in a KO victory for the hometown star. What was not expected was a first-round knockout from a quick combo to the body in the last 10 seconds of the round, leaving Ocampo on the canvas writhing in pain. He attempted to rise, but quickly curled back into position, not surviving the 10-count. Although the body blows did not seem as potent as confirmed by the man down, it was clear that Spence is a hard-hitting welterweight ready to take on his next victim with his self-proclaimed body-snatching style.
Is Spence inherently stronger than imagined? This leaves fans wondering if he displayed enough power to overtake his most anticipated, upcoming opponent — Terrence Crawford. Most importantly, will Crawford be able to survive the body-snatcher?
Two of the world’s best welterweights leave us in anticipation of a unification match-up that is not promised for at least another year. This is surely confirmed by Spence’s post-fight silence on Crawford, while calling out Jesse Vargas. Spence proclaimed his desire to stay busy, but also willing to fight the most challenging opponents. We can expect to see him in the ring with possibly Vargas, followed by a bout with the winner of Danny Garcia/Shawn Porter, and hopefully Crawford thereafter. Fight fans can only hope that promoter, Bob Arum, will be cooperative. Spence/Crawford is the match-up that cannot be left unrealised. The fans demand it!
Adrian Granados vs Javier Fortuna:
In the preceding bout, Granados (18-6-2, 12 KOs) and Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) delivered a seemingly promising battle in the opening rounds until the constant wrestling took over. Granados was visibly bigger and stronger than Fortuna, who moved up in weight. Fortuna is known for rough-housing and messy play in the ring, but Granados was more than willing to capitalize on his size advantage and respond with the same tactics. Unfortunately for Fortuna, Texas regulations do not bode well for his fight-style. Without hesitation, the referee deducted two points in the 4th round for rabbit punching and excessive holding.
At 2:50 of the round, the bout ends as the two fighters were battling — followed by Granados pushing Fortuna and inadvertently causing him to plunge backwards and head first out of the ring. It appeared that Fortuna hit his head on a nearby platform as he went down. The vidoe replay did not show any impact to his head, causing many to surmise that he suffered whiplash or possibly exaggerated his injury. Fortuna left the ring in a stretcher with visible tears.
Granados was visibly disturbed as it became apparent that the bout reached a halt. Because the bout didn't complete at least four rounds, the fight was stopped in the 4th round and ruled as "No-Contest", leaving Granados appearing frustrated and furious. It was an unfortunate and controversial outcome for both sides.