Hard hitting heavyweight Junior Tafa is looking for a rematch with top contender Benjamin Adegbuyi after the Romanian stopped him with leg kicks last Friday night in Chicago.
“21 years of age. I did well. I’m here. You seen what I can do. He didn’t hurt me. I want a rematch,” Tafa said after the fight. “I’m gonna get you. You’re coming one way or another, bro.”
The heavyweight bout was the final of the Glory 50 heavyweight contender tournament. Adegbuyi knocked out D’Angelo Marshall in less than a minute to advance to the final. Tafa meanwhile, lost on points in his semifinal bout with Guto Inocente, but advanced when Inocente was deemed unable to continue because of a cut. In the final, Adegbuyi dropped the young New Zealander three times with leg kicks en route to winning the tournament and positioning himself for a title shot. Tafa claims he was never hurt despite being downed 3 times.
“If I didn’t have that Guto and I just had Adegbuyi, I would have knocked him out,” he said. “No one hurt me. Look at my face, I’m untouched. Just (expletive) kicks.”
“I was not phased at all by Benny. I hurt him. I seen the fear in his eyes when I hit him-when the right hand connected. Glory, give me Benny. “
Tafa may have to wait a while for the opportunity to avenge the Adegbuyi loss. Glory Head of Talent Operations Cor Hemmers said after the tournament that Adegbuyi earned a title shot, although he won’t necessarily be next in line to face champion Rico Verhoeven. The next heavyweight title challenger could depend on who wins the March 3 showdown between Badr Hari and Hesdy Gerges. If either man wins impressively, they could jump to the head of the line considering a bout between Rico and the winner would probably do better box office than a third Rico-Adegbuyi fight. Rico has already beaten the Romanian twice.
As for Tafa, he’s shown a lot of toughness and good punching power. He’s not ranked in the top 10, and will probably have to win a contenders tournament in order to get in the mix with the division’s big names.
Photo Courtesy of James Law, Glory Sports International