Thoughts from the Carmen vs. Dillon undercard
On Friday, Dec. 1, Mladen Miljas took the Canadian boxing scene by storm when he finished Dillon Carman in the second round, securing the NCC Canadian Heavyweight Championship in the process.
Of course, Miljas wasn’t the only boxer who impressed on the card. There was a variety of young fighters from Ontario and beyond that took part in the undercard bouts, some of which were more impressive than others.
Here’s our top performances from the Dillon vs. Carman undercard:
1.) Ryan Robinson
There’s a lot of things you are looking for when a fighter makes their professional boxing debut, but the most important thing in this reporter’s opinion is poise.
It’s rare to see a fighter look as poised as Ryan Robinson was. Coming to the ring with a stone-faced façade, the 6’0” super middleweight from London quickly and efficiently picked apart his opponent, using his reach to land a jab both to the head and body. He used that same jab to set up his other punches, with quickly broke down his overmatched opponent.
Not a lot is known about Robinson, who went 28-2 as an amateur and has spent time with famed amateur trainers Adrian Teodorescu, Dewitt Frazier and Chris Johnson. His debut left fans wanting more and it will be interesting to see this young fighter continue to develop.
2.) Marko Szalai
A record of 3-1 doesn’t jump off the page, but Marko Szalai’s cerebral style certainly does.
A tricky mover with jaw-shattering power, Szalai dominated his overmatched opponent en route to a second-round knockout. His movement was what stood out, with obvious influences from clever fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko and Conor McGregor.
With wins over MMA fighter Tristan Johnson and Montreal-area prospect Flavio Michel, Szalai is wasting no time going after significant fighters on the Canadian fight scene.
Currently the ninth ranked welterweight in Canada, Szalai could look to take the next step in his career in his next outing, challenging another highly ranked fighter in the weight division.
3.) Josh Lupia
Ryan Robinson wasn’t the only impressive debut on the card. Niagara Falls’ Josh Lupia made his professional debut with an impressive second round TKO, using clever boxing to set traps and pick his opponent apart.
Lupia is a fantastic athlete who used his movement to outsmart his opponent. He avoided taking punches, and landed nearly at will as the fight wore on.
A two-time junior national champion and a one-time finalist at the open division, Lupia has the skills to leave a mark on the Canadian boxing scene. If he can fight regularly and continue to improve his movement, Lupia will be a name to remember.
4.) Bradley Wilcox
While Szalai might be ranked ninth in the country, the fighter directly ahead of him is also an Ontario-based fighter.
Opening the card on Friday was Hamilton’s Bradley Wilcox, who used his athleticism and power to win a four-round decision. He is the third Wilcox brother from the family to turn pro, behind Steven and Jessie.
Bradley Wilcox is the most rugged of the three, not afraid to get in and mix it up with his opponent. As a result, he may end up being the most palatable to major audiences.
Like many of the undercard fighters, Wilcox is far from a finished product. He used timing and speed to land his punches, but did get hit enough for one of the judges to score the bout a draw.
Wilcox’ best success came when he used the jab, which kept his opponent off guard. When he abandoned it, there were many 50-50 exchanges that resulted in a closer fight than it should have been