A slow start was followed by a strong finish and the seventh win of Cam O’Connell’s professional boxing career.
The Red Deer boxer hit the canvas in the first round of his fight with Mexican veteran Randy Lozano Friday night at the Edmonton Shaw Conference Centre and didn’t fare well in the second round. But O’Connell battled back in impressive fashion and won a unanimous decision, remaining undefeated with seven wins and a draw on his record.
“He caught me with an overhand right that I wasn’t ready for,” said O’Connell, in reference to the first-round knockdown which resulted in Lozano taking the round 10-8. “The next round I was still trying to catch myself and it was a 10-9 round for him.”
But from there …
“From watching three videos now I can see I won every round after that, after the second round,” said O’Connell. “The sixth round was a swing round, it could have gone either way. Some judges had it for me, some for him.
“I scored the fight 76-75 for me and one judge had it that way too, giving (Lozano) the swing round. The other judges had me winning 77-74.”
O’Connell admitted that Lozano provided him with his stiffest test to date in his young pro career.
“You have to keep moving up (in calibre) and I was unaware that people hit that hard,” O’Connell noted with a chuckle.
“He’s definitely the best guy I’ve ever fought.”
The lightweight-category fighter realizes that it won’t get any easier from here, especially if he is able to line up a bout for a North American title. He knows he’ll have to train that much harder.
“We have a couple of things that I know we have to work on,” he said.
O’Connell originally hoped to have an October fight on his schedule, but said nothing is official yet.
“About the fight, we’re not sure … we’re not sure about the contracts,” he said. “It looks good but I don’t want to say it’s a ‘for sure’ yet until all the paperwork is signed on both ends.
“I’m healthy and ready to go. My coach is making me take a couple of more days off, but I want to be back in the gym as soon as possible and get back at it again.”