The heavyweight co-main event was a wild scene with Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (18-2, 16 KOs) capturing the vacant National Boxing Association (NBA) World Title by seventh-round knockout over California’s Brendan Barrett (7-3-2) in a fight that featured six knockdowns, one fighter getting tossed out of the ring and a melee at the end following the final blow from Cusumano.
With a six-inch height advantage, Cusumano had trouble letting his hands go against the shorter, stockier Barrett, who kept charging, but would unload with one punch, maybe two, at a time and then clinching to avoid Cusumano’s counter. The 6-foot-4 Sicilian finally found his distance and sent Barrett tumbling to the canvas three times in the fourth round, but not without a complaint from Barrett, who felt Cusumano pushed him in the back of the head.
Cusumano eventually sustained a cut on the forehead, which only heightened the intensity as the fight progressed, and the war reached its fever pitch in the fifth when the two became entangled in the middle of the ring and Barrett picked up Cusumano and tossed him through the ropes and onto the scorer’s table. The chaos momentarily unraveled Cusumano, who got caught with an overhand right in the sixth – Barrett’s best punch of the night – and hit the ground halfway through the round.
The shift in momentum was short-lived as Cusumano got his legs back and finally finished the fight for good at the 2:51 mark of the seventh, catching Barrett with a right cross that buckled his opponent’s legs and sent him crashing to the canvas for the fourth time. The referee waved it off, but that was only the beginning and a brawl ensued shortly after the final bell between the respective camps and fans sitting ringside, forcing Twin River security to quiet the storm.
Once the dust settled, Cusumano had his third consecutive win and 16th in his last 17 bouts.