ESPN Thursday Night Fights from Historic Hialeah Park and Casino
By Matt Benoliel
May 2, 2014. Warriors Boxing brought a spectacular night of pugilistic action from the “World’s Most Beautiful Race Course,” Hialeah Raceway and Casino in beautiful Miami, Florida on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Dubbed “Noche De Combates,” and broadcast the world over on ESPN2, the event marked a new direction for sports entertainment at Hialeah.
Tradition opened the evening with the “Flight of the Flamingos,” a spectacle featuring the flock of Flamingos that has resided in the center field of the racetrack since the 1930s. In attendance were boxing legends Riddick Bowe, Buddy McGirt, Joel Casamayor, and Sergio Martinez.
What followed would make the spirits of the great thoroughbreds that once roared through this course on their way to Triple Crown Glory proud. The bouts featured fighters from Mexico and Puerto Rico, to Miramar and Vero Beach, to Cuba, Columbia, Dominican Republic, to Brentwood, Long Island, and the great state of Texas.
Of the untelevised bouts, a four round light-heavyweight matchup between Miami’s Ahmed Elbiale and Jacsonville’s Steven Chadwick, Jr. was the most memorable. The fight was stopped in the first round after a barrage of heavy blows from Elbiale left Chadwick out on his feet. Within moments of the stoppage, however, Chadwick hit the canvas and was given a breathing mask and subsequently carried out on a stretcher. The Fighting News and its fans wish Chadwick a quick recovery after this bizarre incident.
The first fight in the Co-Main Event featured the undefeated Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez vs. Rogelio “Porky” Medina. The ten-round middleweight slugfest saw both fighters active throughout the fight with Medina pressing the most of the action. Gonzalez proved to be stronger in the end and landed several vicious hooks to the head and body in the later rounds to win a split decision.
The next exciting fight pitted the Welterweights Roberto Garcia vs. Victor Cayo. Garcia dominated this one, opening a cut above Cayo’s right eye in the early rounds and manhandling Cayo to control the distance and tire Cayo out. Although warned for pushing with his elbows, Garcia scored a TKO victory after a series of unanswered punches that rocked Cayo in round six.
There was also the impressive pro debut of Jeff “Rambo” Souffrant, a three-time Golden Gloves champion with an amateur record of 30-4. Although all four of his amateur losses were to southpaws, Souffrant was able to control the action in this four round smoker with southpaw Jorge Quintero who was not able to recover and score effectively after a first round knockdown by Souffrant. The Fighting News will be keeping an eye on Souffrant, who seems to have enough power and intensity to make some real waves in the welterweight division.