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By: “Boxing” Bob Newman
at ringside
Photography by Emily Harney

A capacity crowd was treated to a night of fisticuffs this past Friday at Saratoga City Center in scenic Saratoga Springs, NY as Lisa Elovich of Pugnacious Promotions presented the annual “Night of Future Champions!”  Headlining the card was the battle for the New York State heavyweight title between champ Darrell Madison and hard-hitting challenger Nagy Aguilera.

Madison, of Central Islip, NY and Aguilera of Newburgh, NY had the fans screaming at the tops of their lungs after the first round but not because of the action, but for any action at all!

The lack of the slam-bang action that you expect between heavyweights not only drew the ire of the crowd, but also referee Eddie Claudio, who several times in the bout urged the fighters to make an effort.

Round after round the combatants continued to circle around each other without throwing any meaningful punches.

At the beginning of round six, the referee motioned the “fighters” to the center of the ring. As the fighters huddled around the referee, the ref motioned from his own head to belt line, as if to let the fighters know, “Hey guys, anywhere in this region is safe to try and hit!”

Aguilera tried his best to land a hard punch when the action resumed, but his nine year older foe (23 to 32 respectively) had too much savvy, countering from his southpaw stance, ducking and dodging at will.

After a couple of more rounds the contest went to the scorecards.

Incredibly, the decision was split!

Billy Costello scored the contest at 79-73 and Don Ackerman tabbed it 77-75 both for Madison.  Judge Wynn Kintz saw it 77-75 for Aguilar.

A confident Madison told FightNews afterward that he was worried, “Because this area is his backyard. But I knew my experience and age would be too much for him. He was a dirty fighter, using his head in there. Am I cut?”

As for his future, “I'd like to fight Lance Whitaker on the 21st of August,” said Madison.  “I'll be right back in the gym on Monday!”

Madison improves to 14-1, 3 KOs, while Nagy slides to 13-2, 8 KOs.



Heavyweights Shannon Miller of Troy, NY and Terrell Nelson of Plainfield, NJ slugged it out to the crowd's delight. After an even first round, Miller spent most of the round ripping into Nelson's ample midsection along the ropes. Things were looking good until an accidental clash of heads opened up a cut high on Miller's forehead in the third round. After a look by the ringside physician, who decided the cut was too dangerous for Miller to continue, the bout was declared a No Decision at :52 of the third round.

Nelson was clearly disappointed at the sudden stoppage and he demonstrated his disbelief by stomping his feet and screaming over and over again to the crowd:  “He don't wanna fight!”


Schenectady, NY corrections officer Brian Miller and former amateur foe Manny Cotrich, of Utica, NY laced 'em up again as professionals, this time over six rounds in a lightweight encounter.

Round one saw Miller, (no relation the Miller brothers on the card), dropped by a left, right combo. The two warred on even terms in the second, and Cotrich seemed to tire in the third as Miller forged ahead, raining punches up and down on his foe. Cotrich got a second wind on the fourth, and resumed his counter punching at a decent volume, against Miller's dogged offense. The fifth was an engaging back and forth affair that engaged the crowd.  Each fighter had a section of fans that cheered on their respective warrior to the finish. Both fighters slugged it out to the end, with the crowd on their feet, seemingly trying to will their favorites to victory.

In the end, it went to the scorecards. Scores were as follows:  Tom Schreck saw the contest at 57-56 for Cotrich but he was overruled by Wynn Kintz who scored the bout at 57-56 for Miller and Billy Costello who tallied the encounter at 58-55 for Miller.

With split decision victory, Miller now goes to 4-0-3, 1 KO, while Cotrich seems unlucky at 1-4, 1 KO.

Rematch anyone?



Debuting super featherweight Wazell Ellison of Newark, NJ pummeled Alex Cooper of the Bronx at will until Cooper's corner signaled to a commission member that they wanted to pull their man out of the slaughter.  Cooper only threw a punch or two in the less-than-two-rounds-of-action, and he took a lot more than he delivered.

The time was 1:18 of round two. Ellison is now 1-0, 1 KO while Cooper drops to 0-2.


Also making his pro debut, light heavyweight Shawn Miller of Troy, NY  -  younger brother of Shannon  -  and Zaid Malik (0-3) of Cleveland, Ohio staged a war over four rounds.  Miller, a former Arena football player, was dropped to the seat of h is pants in round one, courtesy of a Malik chopping right hand. The surprise knockdown quickly hushed the partisan crowd.

Miller turned the trick twice though in round two, sending Malik through the ropes with a brutal barrage, and when Malik recovered, Miller unleashed another assault which forced Malik to turn his back as he absorbed more punches, forcing him head first through the ropes onto the apron.

Somehow, Malik made it through the round.

Round three saw Malik hit the deck twice more, once from a vicious, yet accidental low blow, then again when his and Miller's feet became tangled.

Both fighters were tired by this point and seemed to look forward to the fourth and final round.

Miller found renewed energy in the fourth as he cornered Malik with a non-stop barrage.  Malik crouched on the ropes but did not answer back, forcing referee Ken Zimmer to mercifully stop the attack.

Time was 0:56 of the fourth round. Miller wins his debut via TKO, while Malik slithers to 0-3.



Lightweights Mike Faragon, of nearby Guilderland, NY and Alberto Amaro of Catano, Puerto Rico competed in a very entertaining six round lightweight contest.  The boxers showed their skills and speed in the opening session with Faragon earning the edge. The boxers landed their share again in the second, each showing their talents at the expense of the other.  The third saw the switch-hitting Amaro go on the defensive as he back pedaled and countered Faragon's calculated offense. Each man had their moments in the fourth, again drawing cheers from the crowd. Rounds five and six saw Faragon impose his will on Amaro, while not enough to overwhelm, but enough to win the rounds.

The scores were as follows:  Billy Costello scored the contest at 58-56, Tom Schreck saw the battle at 58-56, and Don Ackerman tallied the bout at 60-54, all for the now 7-0, 2 KOs Faragon. Amaro has it tough at 5-4, 2 KOs.



Promoter Lisa Elovich of Pugnacious Promotions was very satisfied with the capacity crowd at her third annual “Night of Future Champions” event which showcases boxing prospects during the first weekend of world-class thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Springs.  “I’ll be back next year, same time, same race track,” promised Elovich.

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