Cook makes easy work of Pintos, defends WBA Intercontinental title

Shawn W. Smith
22/11/2015 7:05pm

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Image credit: Mark Ruddick Photography

Another one up, another one down for Ontario’s Brandon Cook, who successfully defended his WBA Intercontinental Super Welterweight title on Saturday night against Uruguay’s Rafael Pintos.

A nearly packed house at the Hershey Centre saw the always-entertaining Cook lay another one of his signature dominant performances on Pintos, who could do little other than circle away before a body shot in the fifth round lifted him off his feet and planted him on the mat.

Cook used pressure in the first round to keep Pintos on the ropes, but had trouble cutting off the ring. Pintos continued to circle away, unable to find openings.

The second round saw Pintos try to establish his jab, but was walked down again by an unrelenting pressure. Cook starting to establish his body punches a little more frequently as the round wore on.

The third and fourth rounds saw Cook start to find a way to cut off the ring and land with increased frequency. Although Pintos held tough, he was visibly slowing by the end of the fourth. His legs no longer could carry him away from the action, and he was forced to exchange along the ropes.

Early in the fifth, Cook began to shake out his right hand, likely signaling that the hand was broken. For nearly a minute he worked his left jab, keeping Pintos off before exploding with a jab, body left hook combination that left Pintos in a heap on the canvas.

The win was Cook’s first defense of the title he won in June against Gogi Knezevic.

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Image credit: Mark Ruddick Photography

Before the fight, promoter Tyler Buxton told Boxing Monthly that they would be looking for a top 10 opponent next for Cook, possibly in Europe. Ringside rumours suggested that Cook could be added to United Promotions February bill before an overseas fight is scheduled.

In the co-main event, Tyler Asselstine returned to the ring for the first time in 18 months against Argentinean gatekeeper Diego Sananco. Although Sananco was tough, his lack of footwork and poor head movement left an easy target at times for Asselstine, who took some time to brush the ring rust off.

Over six rounds, Sananco tasted the canvas four times and, although he never looked hurt, looked heavy on his legs throughout the night. With his head-down and wild hooking style, he was able to tag Asselstine more than the Ontario native would have liked, but at no point did Asselstine appear damaged from the punches.

Asselstine runs his record to 15-2 with the win and will be looking for a return to main-event status in his next fight.

Perhaps the most impressive performance of the night went to Josh O'Reilly, who ran his record to 5-0 with crisp, accurate boxing against Matias Arriagada. Still adjusting to the professional level, O'Reilly was unable to do much damage to his opponent, but used his reach and superior fundamentals to outpoint his opponent over six rounds in a dominant performance.

In straight technique, O'Reilly is as good as any super featherweight in Canada. The next step for O'Reilly will be to develop a killer instinct, which he showed little signs of.

Mohammed Abedeen and James Bishop put on a wild fight over four rounds in the second bout of the evening. Bishop was dropped in the second round, but managed to survive. Abedeen's cleaner striking game helped him land longer, smarter punches on Bishop, who relied on his physicality and strength to power forward. In the end, Abedeen took a close, competitive decision.

Jessie Wilcox started the night with his third straight victory, defeating the durable Alan Adrian Nunez. The taller, stronger Wilcox used his reach advantage to keep Nunez back, damaging him to the body along the ropes. In the four-round affair, Nunez was dropped four times before the ref mercifully called a stop to the fight.

Upcoming Canadian shows:

- Lucian Bute will look for a considerable upset when he takes on England’s James DeGale for the IBF World Super Middleweight title on Nov. 28. The fight will mark DeGale’s first defense of the championship his won by unanimous decision against Andre Dirrell in May. Also on the card, Eleider Alvarez will look to become the WBC light-heavyweight mandatory challenger as he takes on Isaac Chilemba

- On the same night in Halifax, Tyson Cave will look for his first “world” title, when he takes on WBU champ Jesus Rios.

- Highly touted prospect Steven Butler returns to the ring on Dec. 4 in Montreal against the 10-1 Teemu Tuominen in what should be his toughest test to date. Also on the card are 14-0-3 Mick Gadbois, 17-1 Schiller Hyppolite and 13-0 Mian Hussain, all of which are fighters expected to lead Quebec into the next generation of boxing.

- On Dec. 11, Brandon Brewer and Samuel Vargas both return to the ring under the Lee Baxter Promotions banner. Brewer will take on Junmar Emon, who is better than his 6-2 record would suggest.

- Jan. 30 looks to be the date for the Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal rematch, slated for Montreal. The first fight was amongst the best fights of 2015, and which the rematch isn’t the Kovalev vs. Adonis Stevenson bout everyone is waiting for, it should be another exciting bout. Pascal announced last week that he will be training full-time with Freddie Roach for this fight.