Heavyweights Cassius Chaney and Juiseppe Cusumano continued their climb to the top of the division Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena with knockout victories in the main and co-main events of Summer Heat, presented by CES Boxing.
The New London, CT, veteran Chaney (22-1, 15 KOs) made quick work of Mathew McKinney in the main event, flooring his opponent three times to score the win at 2:07 of the opening round, while the 6-foot-4 Sicilian Juiseppe Cusumano (21-4, 19 KOs) finished Lynn, MA, native Dennis Ventura at 1:53 of the second round. The event streamed live on BXNG TV, showcasing both top-ranked heavyweights to a worldwide audience.
Body shots were the weapon of choice for both winners. Chaney exposed McKinney’s core early and often, using a devastating right hook to the ribcage to finish the fight. Cusumano was equally effective to the body, blasting Ventura with several unanswered hooks to the midsection before referee Danny Schiavone stopped the fight.
Chaney and Cusumano entered the weekend ranked 11th and 17th, respectively, among United States heavyweights and among the top 75 in the world. As they continue to establish their footing, the “who’s who” list among heavyweights is much clearer following Oleksandr Usyk’s second win over Anthony Joshua this past weekend to retain the IBF, IBO, WBO, and WBA Super World Heavyweight titles. The opportunities are endless for both.
In other action Saturday at Mohegan, New London super featherweight Alejandro Paulino (11-0) kept his perfect record intact with a hard-earned 58-56, 60-54, 59-55 win over Bronx, NY, challenger Brandon Idrogo. Paulino ran into some trouble in the opening round courtesy of a hard, overhand right by Idrogo, but recovered quickly and dominated the second half of the fight to earn the win.
In similar fashion, Boston lightweight Jonathan de Pina (9-1) rebounded from a slow start to earn a narrow 59-56, 58-56, 58-56 unanimous decision win over New York’s Christian Otero.
Fighting for the first time since his MMA world title bout in February, Cranston, RI, light heavyweight Gary Balletto III (3-0, 2 KOs) returned to the boxing ring and scored a second-round knockout win over debut Jeremiah David Austin at the 2:55 mark.
Stoughton, MA, heavyweight Sean Bey (7-0, 7 KOs) turned in an equally-impressive performance, stopping Dallas’ John Shipman at the 12-second mark of the second round following two knockdowns in the opening round. Bey remains perfect at 7-0 with each win coming by knockout and none of his fights lasting past the second round.
Also remaining undefeated, Springfield, MA, welterweight Jalen Renaud improved to 9-0 with a 58-56, 59-55, 60-54 unanimous decision win over Quincy, MA, veteran Michael Ogundo and southpaw middleweight Francis Hogan upped his record to 12-0 with a fourth-round knockout win over Cleotis Pendarvis, sending his opening crashing to the canvas at the 2:59 mark.
Female welterweight Stevie Jane Coleman (3-1) scored her first career knockout in the opener, stopping debut Jesenia Rivas of Denver 39 seconds into the opening round.
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