The two featured fights were the highlight of the night for the April 18 Card promoted by the Minnesota Sports Council at Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis. Wilton Hilario fulfilled the Boxers and Writers Magazine prediction that he’d win within five rounds, and Tocker Pudwill proved the need for a teacher’s union by schooling Matt Vanda throughout their 8 round bout only to be robbed by the hometown judges.
With the most energy and determination he’s so far shown in his career, Hilario pummeled Litzau into a fifth round stoppage during a slugfest for which Litzau was neither physically nor mentally prepared. For the first time in a twelve fight career, Hilario actually noticeably used the jab, albeit not enough, in the first round. Upon the first right hand he landed, Hilario followed through with hooks and uppercuts to Litzau’s body and head. The fight was still competitive, however, as the two stood toe to toe and Litzau landed some good clean shots of his own, particularly left hooks. But Litzau’s inability to handle the punishment unleashed by Hilario was evident from the beginning. It seemed a little early for referee Mark Nelson to stop the fight, preventing an exclamation point on Hilario’s answer to years of Litzau’s verbal abuse, but the fight was effectively over. Litzau was obviously ready to fall.
“It was a good stoppage,” said fight doctor Sheldon Siegel when I mentioned it at ringside. “That Mark Nelson, he’s really top notch.”
The fight was for the vacant International Boxing Association Americas Super featherweight Championship, and Hilario was presented with the belt immediately after the fight.
“This is my new girlfriend,” Hilario said of the belt while photographers snapped pictures of him with it in the ring. “This is my new girlfriend.”
Hilario climbs to a record of 11-0-1 with 9 knockouts, and Litzau falls to 13-4-0 with 7 knockouts and 3 knockout losses.
Tocker Pudwill showed himself to be the accomplished boxer his record of 40 wins against 6 losses signified entering into this fight. He out boxed Vanda from the start, landing clean jabs followed with solid combinations. Listed as 6 feet tall, he kept the shorter Vanda at bay and made him walk into punches in most exchanges. He did receive a few lumps from Vanda, but most punches did not land cleanly on him, and Vanda was reduced to tying up and wrestling whenever he got inside.
After dominating through the first four, Pudwill’s artistry was on display in the 5th as he hooked off the left jab twice while moving to the left, then stepped back to the right, turning over a right hand-left-hook-right hand combination. These types of exchanges did not hurt Vanda enough to wear him down and put him away, but they effectively neutralized any roughhousing tactics or brute power he might have otherwise employed. Pudwill did tire visibly in the 6th round, but a small cut over the corner of his right eye was skillfully stifled after the bell and he turned the engine back on in the 7th and 8th rounds, controlling the action to the end. Unfortunately, the judges arrived at an unjustifiable majority decision of 77-75, 77-75, 76-76 for Vanda.
© Copyright 2009, Mark Connor