Jungle Boy Boxing’s Patriotic Punchout this Saturday, July 6, features two heavy hitting Minnesota boxers in important fights at critical stages of their careers. The first is Ceresso Fort of St. Paul in a middleweight rematch with Marcus Upshaw of Jacksonville, FL, the second Al Sands of Duluth in a cruiserweight fight against Justin Howe of Buckhannon, WV.
Fort and Upshaw fought to a 6 round draw in September 2011 in Tampa, FL. As Upshaw heads north to yield the hometown advantage he enjoyed in their last fight, both men look to reestablish momentum after decision losses. Upshaw lost a 12 round unanimous decision in Mexico to top middleweight Marco Antonio Rubio in March and Fort lost an 8 round junior middleweight fight to John Jackson in mid-April. While Upshaw has a few losses he has fought a higher level of opponents and gone 12 rounds more than once. Fort has his work cut out for him but should have a good chance for victory Saturday night.
Sands faces a knockout puncher who normally fights at heavyweight, but Howe has suffered losses in recent efforts and will likely have a hard time against Duluth’s ‘Haitian Sensation’.
Sands’ record is 9-1, 9 KOs, while Howe’s record is 13-4, 11 KOs.
“Howes has more knockouts than Al has fights,” promoter Zach Walters says, alluding to the challenging matchups in these two main events and on the rest of the card.
Duluth’s Gary Eyer, 11-2, 7 KOs, who recently gained the North American Boxing Union (NABU) lightweight title, faces Robbie Cannon, 12-8, 6 KOs. Cannon is attempting to bounce back after a narrow decision loss in New York kept him from acquiring the IBA Americas title.
“This will be an action packed match-up pitting brawler against brawler,” Walters says.
St. Paul’s Ismail ‘Sharp Shooter’ Muwendo, now 13-0, 10 KOs, defends his USA Mid-America title against Carlos ‘Thin Man’ Fulgencio. With a nickname like ‘Thin Man’ one would expect Fulgencio to be relatively tall with punching power. Informed boxing fans know that taller, thinner fighters are usually able to get leverage on their punches and so are dangerous when they land their combinations. Muwendo, however, has shown tremendous body punching abilities and has taken opponents out with left uppercut liver shots before. It will be exciting to see what adjustments each man makes when facing the strengths presented by the other.
Among the card’s other attractions is junior middleweight Rondale Hubbert, 2-0, 1 KO, of Minneapolis against Ricky Smith, 1-1 from Green Bay, WI.
by Mark Connor