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Ochoa Wins Comeback Fight; Heavyweights Have New Contender

Rich Mancuso

New York – It was a successful return to the ring Saturday night in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center for Zachary Ochoa. The super lightweight, residing in Williamsburg Brooklyn and with a heritage from Puerto Rico, won a tough 8-round unanimous decision over Angel Sarinana.

After a year-and- half, the win was not clean. But now at 27-years of age, and with a comeback win, Ochoa is satisfied. He acocmplished the mission and made the return after taking on a new trainer and dealing with business of an old contract.

“He was a tough guy and gave me the rounds that I needed,” Ochoa said. “I have not fought in a year in a half. Got to work on some things. It felt good to be in there.”

Ochoa returned to the gym with Steven Edwards. They spent five weeks away form Brooklyn and set up camp in Philadelphia. In between the hiatus, Ochoa, a once promising fighter in the division, earned a living delivering stock off a truck route.

He said, “ I will be champion I am back.”

But he admits, there is a lot of work to be done to get back on top. Ochoa, with a nice jab and foot work, had his opponent in the corner. However, like any fighter away from the ring for an extented period of time, there was that ring rust.

“This was a tailor made fight for me,” he said. He (Sarinana), actuallty came to win. This was not a gimmie fight. I leaned, you cant take anything lightly. I’m back, confident I came back to fight and fought a tough guy. Went the distance.”

Ochoa, 21-1, 7 KO’s. said he has a lot to prove. He does admit, this is only the beginning. The key of course, staying in the gym and being consistent.

“Boxing can bring you up, it can bring you down,” he said. But from this point forward, after fighting on a PBC FOX undercard, it can only mean going up the ladder again after this win.

MAIN EVENT UPSET: Robert Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs)scored an upset victory over previously unbeaten Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) by stopping him in the fourth round of a WBA Heavyweight Title Eliminator headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes .

Once again, the heavyweight divsion has a new face in line for a shot at one of the major titles in the heavyweight divsion. And, this was an upset as Kownacki, a heavy favorite, needs to go back to the drawing board.

“I want to thank everyone who gave me this opportunity,” said Helenius. “Kownacki is a tough fighter. I worked hard in training camp and it paid off.”

Brooklyn’s Kownacki was fighting for the 10th time at Barclays Center in front of his hometown crowd, but was unable to keep the taller Helenius off of him after being hurt early in the fourth. A clean Helenius right hook hurt Kownacki, before a left hook put Kownacki down.

Credit: PBC

“I knew that I hit him hard and I knew I just had to continue,” said Helenius. “I knew he was still hurt after that punch.

“Kownacki just kept coming and coming. He’s a good fighter I have to give it to him. My strength is to punch back when people come at me. It was a good fight and a tremendous opportunity for me to be here.”

While Kownacki outpaced Helenius landing 84 punches to 49 according to CompuBox, it was Helenius’ 12 power punches landed in round four that made the difference. Helenius kept up the relentless attack, consistently hurting Kownacki and pushing him around the ring until referee David Fields waived off the fight 1:08 into the round.

“It wasn’t my night,” said Kownacki. “It’s boxing. It’s a tough sport and things just didn’t go my way tonight. It was a learning experience and I’m going to go back to the drawing board and get back to work.

“He hit me with a good shot. I knew what was going on, but I’m just upset with myself. It is what it is.”

In the televised opener, rising heavyweight Frank Sanchez (15-0, 11 KOs) scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko (20-8-4, 11 KOs) to remain unbeaten.

“I was well prepared and I thought I fought very well tonight,” said Sanchez. “I dominated the fight. I showed good footwork and movement and did exactly what we worked on. I expected a lot of pressure, but with my boxing ability, there was no way he was going to catch me.”

Credit: PBC

The Cuban fighter dominated with his movement, rarely being flustered by Dawejko’s attack as he bounded around the ring and avoided the incoming Philadelphia native. Sanchez was also superior in punch output and accuracy, out throwing Dawejko 352 to 242 and out landing him by a 116 to 46 margin.

“I knew he was going to fight on the outside and he stayed on the outside,” said Dawejko. “Not much to say, he just did what he had to do. He was scared that’s why he was running around. He kept jumping back and staying away, so I guess he made it easy on the judges.”

Sanchez was able to punch open a cut on Dawejko’s right eye in round five, which he continued to batter throughout the remainder of the fight with jabs and right hands. After 10 rounds, all three judges saw the bout in favor of Sanchez, with scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92.

“I didn’t want to fight Dawejko’s fight, and he realized that and it frustrated him,” said Sanchez. “He might have thought he’s faced guys like me, but there’s no other heavyweight like me.”

In the televised opener: Rising heavyweight Frank Sanchez (15-0, 11 KOs) scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko (20-8-4, 11 KOs) to remain unbeaten.

“I was well prepared and I thought I fought very well tonight,” said Sanchez. “I dominated the fight. I showed good footwork and movement and did exactly what we worked on. I expected a lot of pressure, but with my boxing ability, there was no way he was going to catch me.”

The Cuban fighter dominated with his movement, rarely being flustered by Dawejko’s attack as he bounded around the ring and avoided the incoming Philadelphia native. Sanchez was also superior in punch output and accuracy, out throwing Dawejko 352 to 242 and out landing him by a 116 to 46 margin.

“I knew he was going to fight on the outside and he stayed on the outside,” said Dawejko. “Not much to say, he just did what he had to do. He was scared that’s why he was running around. He kept jumping back and staying away, so I guess he made it easy on the judges.”

Sanchez was able to punch open a cut on Dawejko’s right eye in round five, which he continued to batter throughout the remainder of the fight with jabs and right hands. After 10 rounds, all three judges saw the bout in favor of Sanchez, with scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92.

“I didn’t want to fight Dawejko’s fight, and he realized that and it frustrated him,” said Sanchez. “He might have thought he’s faced guys like me, but there’s no other heavyweight like me.”

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