PHILADELPHIA – Boxer Johnny Arellano came out of the corner blazing and throwing four consecutive punches at Forestville native Mykal Fox at the start of their fight at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Dec. 6.
As each punch came, they were countered by Fox with clean shots to the Texas native’s face until the end of the first round. It was a preview of how the rest of the fight would go for the entire eight rounds as Fox showed supreme movement with his head and body while his consistent counter punches landed all night. In one of the best overall defensive fights of his career, Fox earned a unanimous decision victory to improve to 22-1. The judges scored the bout 78-73 and 79-72, twice.
Arellano (10-2), who stands at 6-foot-2, was the tallest opponent of Fox’s career, but the county native was about to frustrate him with his defensive style. Troy Fox, Mykal’s father and trainer, said they focus on defense every time they train together.
“Mykal is a defensive fighter at heart,” Troy Fox said. “I couldn’t tell how hard the guy hit, so I told him to press him. Mykal had to figure out how much power the guy had and adjust.”
“My defense was good, but I still got caught with some shots,” Fox said. “Johnny Arellano is tough and awkward.”
Fox did not leave the fight unscathed as he had a shiner under his left eye. However, his defensive effort earned an 8 out of 10 rating from his father as the 24 year old hopes to compete for junior title belts in the coming year.
“He was tall, but I was taller, and once I found my range, we were able to pick him apart,” the 6-foot-3 Mykal Fox said. “He was kind of finishing awkward, so I had to touch his body and then counter to his head. His head wasn’t always where it should be after he throws punches.”
Fox is not the only one looking to enter the new year on a winning note as his older brother, Alantez, is fighting for his first world title in London on Dec. 21 in the middleweight division against Liam Williams.
The other area fighter on the Philadelphia card was Washington, D.C. native and world-ranked bantamweight Marcus Bates, who won a unanimous decision over Fransisco Pedroza. Bates (11-1-1) controlled the majority of the fight, closing out the final round with a perfect left hook that put Pedroza (13-10-2) onto the canvass.
The Mexican boxer got up in time to force the decision to go to the scorecards. Two judges scored it a shutout, 80-71, and the other judge scored it 78-73, all in favor of Bates.
Super middleweight Devar Ferhadi, fighting out of Frederick, improved his record to 8-0 with a TKO of Vincent Baccus in the fifth round. Ferhadi just finished medical school and will decide in the near future if he will practice medicine or continue his boxing career.