Photo by Blair Diamond
By G.M. Ross
On May 3 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, several fighters improved their stock, opening news doors for future bouts. Most notably, Brandon Cook (13-0-0, 7KO) scored a close split decision over the always improving Phil Rose (5-3-1, 4KO) in an all-Ontario, NABA Canada middleweight title clash. Fresh off a TKO5 win over former NABA light middleweight champ Adam Trupish, Rose showed he belongs in the upper echelons of the Canadian middleweight division by going the full eight rounds with Cook. In some trouble in the sixth round, Cook once again showed his impressive knack for resilience, proving he can take whatever the opposition can dish out. With the opinions of fans seemingly split over the outcome, a rematch, over the ten round route, would certainly be a hot ticket item in Ontario in the coming months.
At lightweight, Steve Wilcox (9-1-0, 4KO) not only returned to the win column with his unanimous decision victory over Saul Mendoza (10-8-1, 2KO), he loudly proclaimed his position as a top five contender in Canada, gaining significant ground on Tony Luis and Roody Pierre-Paul in the race to catch consensus Canadian #1 Ghislain Maduma. Already the holder of the CPBC light welterweight strap, Wilcox can now make a legitimate challenge to his North American and Commonwealth counterparts.
Super bantamweight prospect Marc Pagcaliwangan (7-0-1, 6KO) of London, Ontario, remained undefeated on Saturday, taking a six round unanimous decision over George Gachechiladze (14-11-0, 7KO) of Georgia. With few Canadian opponents available, don’t be surprised if you see Pagcaliwangan fighting for a continental/regional title in the not too distant future. In Canada, the only viable opponent for Pagcaliwangan is likely Kyle McNeil (6-1-0, 2KO) of Darmouth, Nova Scotia, who currently campaigns at featherweight.
Last, but not least, middleweight Ryan Young (5-0-0, 5KO) earned his fifth stoppage win in as many fights against Arnoldo Poblete (7-6-1) of Chile, stopping the journeyman in the fourth round. With a couple more fights under his belt this guy could contend for a national title by the end of 2015. A fight with between Young and the likes of John Alejandro Gonzalez, Jonah Arbuckle, or Goitom Ghebrezghi would help sort out the talent in the middleweight rankings and line up some big fights with the Canadian division’s upper echelon.