Hollywood Fight Nights Boston Recap: Callum Walsh Impresses in Main Event, Danny O’Connor wins after five year layoff
Tonight there was a boxing card at Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. Though I was not able to attend the event in person, I watched it live on UFC Fight Pass. It was promoted by Tom Loeffler and 360 Promotions, as well as UFC President Dana White.
The main event was the first ten rounder in the career of rising Irish prospect “King” Callum Walsh. He was opposite of Wesley Tucker, who took the fight on short notice but is a tricky southpaw who looked to spoil the event and score a massive upset. Walsh was originally set to square off against a taller pressure fighter, and got sparred with highly respected long time contender Gabe Rosado (26-16-1, 15 KOs) in camp. Though he was in with an opponent he did not prepare for, Walsh fought as if he had a full camp to prepare for Tucker.
From the opening bell, Walsh was on the front foot bringing the fight to Tucker. Tucker was defensively responsible early, but Walsh did a great job of landing his right hook to the body when Tucker was in the high guard. Walsh would go on to score three knockdowns in the second round and score a lopsided TKO victory. Walsh is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and is heavily promoted by UFC president Dana White, so if this is your first time hearing about him, I doubt it will be your last. Walsh improved to 6-0 with 5 KOs, and called out Francis Hogan who fought earlier on the undercard and hopes they can make a fight this year. Tucker is now 15-5 after the loss. Hogan is a 6’3″ middleweight with a 77″ reach who like Walsh was an amateur standout. A fight between the two certainly intrigues me and would be a great opportunity for both to pick up a major win and become a player in the middleweight division.
The co-main event featured two fighters trying to prove a point coming off of long layoffs. Danny O’Connor was in the ring for the first time since 2018, and his opponent Luis Garcia in action for the first time since 2020. The hand speed of O’Connor was the difference early, as he showed no ill effects from his extended layoff. Garcia was game, but was never able to get any momentum and kept getting caught when he tried to initiate any offense. The fight was one-sided and was stopped in the fourth round. O’Connor ended his layoff with an impressive victory and is now 31-3-1, while Garcia is now 13-2-1 with the defeat.
Local favorite Francis “Frank The Tank” Hogan was opposite of respected veteran Jimmy Williams in an eight round middleweight bout. Hogan is a 22-year-old who is thought of highly by the New England boxing circuit, and Jimmy Williams represented for him the toughest test of his career to date on paper. Hogan kept Williams on the end of his punches, being patient behind his jab. A few left hands in the third round got Williams off balance, but Williams would show his experience by tying up each time. The more the fight progressed, the more Hogan pushed Williams against the ropes and forced him to be on the defensive. Williams lost a point for holding in round five, and the fight was stopped in the corner by the ringside doctor at the end of the round. Hogan was cut and bruised a bit, but he passed the stiffest test of his pro career with flying colors and improves to 14-0 with 13 KOs with the win. Jimmy Williams falls to 18-11-2, dropping his sixth straight fight.
Hegly Mosqueda and Jose Garcia met in an eight round featherweight contest. The fight was fought at a moderate pace and from distance for the first four rounds. Mosqueda controlled the first half of the fight from range, landing his long right hand over the jab of Garcia. Garcia picked up the pace in the second half of the fight, pressuring Mosqueda and putting him on the back foot. He landed a right hand in the final round that seemed to buzz Mosqueda momentarily, but he was unable to capitalize on the moment. He would have much more success in the final three rounds than he did in the first five, but it was not enough as Mosqueda edges out the split decision win. The judges scores were 77-75, one for Garcia and the other two seeing it in Mosqueda’s favor. I also scored it 77-75 for Mosqueda. Mosqueda is now 23-0 with the win, while Garcia drops to 13-4-3.
The opening fight of the night was a six round light heavyweight battle between Kendrick Ball, Jr., and Mike Stegall. Stegall was at a six inch height and reach disadvantage in this one, and looked to get inside of Ball from the opening minute. The pressure of Stegall was successful in the first two rounds in making the fight tough on Ball, but the longer the fight went on the more comfortable Ball got. He utilized his boxing from distance and did enough to come out with the unanimous decision victory. Two judges had it 60-54, and the third judge had it 59-55. I scored it 58-56 for Ball. Ball improves to 20-1-3. Stegall takes the first loss of his pro career and is now 7-1-3.