October saw action from three former US Olympians in the professional ranks. Demetrius Andrade, Tarrell Gausha and Antonio Vargas who were Team USA representatives in the Beijing, London and Rio games respectively each fought in fights significant to their particular career stage.
While his 2008 and 2012 counterparts faced different career challenges last month, Antonio Vargas, the wide-eyed prospect from Florida, is in the record building stage of his career fighting frequently and gaining an early lead on both his career and his Oct. 13th opponent, Miguel Rebullosa. Vargas he made easy work of the 4-4 Rebullosa. Vargas came out strong leading with not only more of the offense between the two but also displayed defensive movement that was leagues above his competition. A relentless flurry lead to Rebullosa going down at 1:41 into the first, a round which he would eventually survive. Later in the second however Vargas put his opponent down at 1:02 into the round. Rebullosa made his way to his feet at around 8 seconds, but the referee decided he had seen enough and signaled for the stoppage.
Tarrell Gausha (’12) of Cleveland, Ohio faced his first world title opportunity when he went up against WBA and IBO incumbent Erislandy Lara on October 14th. It the biggest test yet for the 30 year old who entered the contest with a perfect 20-0 record. As the two fought and completed a full 12 rounds, fans who appreciate the sweet science certainly got the opportunity to see some skilled boxing, but they also had to endure some dull moments. Lara won the 12 round contest by a unanimous decision knocking Gausha down once in the fourth. Gausha can take solace in the fact that completing 12 rounds against the Cuban southpaw is not only a difficult task but quality rounds on the resume for a career that will likely have more title opportunities.
The 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade made his way to the ring for the second time this year in October. The Providence, Road Island native who fought only once in each of the last three years finds himself in a little bit of a restart mode. He had held the WBA “regular” world championship title at super welterweight earlier this year but later vacated it for hopes larger fight opportunities at the next weight class. Although it seems like a shot at a middleweight title is still a little ways away, other than one controversial slip that was scored a knockdown, Andrade rolled through Alantez Fox on October 21st in his first middleweight appearance. Andrade’s eyes are now set on a middleweight title, and his impressive 12 UD victory over Fox was an important first step in that direction.