Toledo, Ohio Super Featherweight Albert Bell soundly defeats Andy Vences in first 10-round fight, in a battle of unbeaten fighters on the Fury-Schwarz undercard
LAS VEGAS (June 15, 2019) – When “Prince” Albert Bell (15-0, 5 KOs) first posted the image on his Facebook page, and revealed that his next opponent was WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight champion Andy Vences (22-1-1, 12 KOs) there was a lot one could infer. What exactly was Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman up to with this matchup?
I went out there and put my undefeated record on the line against a top guy… this shows that I’m a fighter to be taken seriously at 130 pounds. – “Prince” Albert Bell
Some thought Bell was being rushed into a fight with a more experienced fighter with a far better résumé. The 28-year-old from San Jose, California had televised fights with then-undefeated prospect Erick De Leon and veteran Frank De Alba. Bell was just a couple of fights into his deal with Top Rank, not having quite gone through the grooming process we’ve seen with fast-rising Bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr, for example.
A second announcement informed fans that Vences-Bell was moving from its original date, and being added to the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz. How would Bell, not having fought any fights out West, respond to those kind of bright lights?
The answer was simple. A week prior to the fight, Bell appeared on a live stream with Bite Down Boxing and shared some details about how the fight came together, and dispelled the notion that he was being fed to the wolves. The 26-year-old believed the time was right, and confidently spoke of eagerness to show the world who he was.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO “PRINCE” ALBERT BELL’S INTERVIEW WITH BITE DOWN BOXING WHERE HE DISCUSSED HIS PREPARATION AND APPROACH COMING INTO HIS FIRST TITLE FIGHT WITH ANDY VENCES ON THE FURY-SCHWARZ UNDERCARD.
Bell arrived in Las Vegas ready to perform. Vences brought a small handheld bell to the weigh-in, warning both media and the audience that, on fight night, he was going to ring the princess’ bell.
Saturday night Bell made his way to the ring looking at home in the big moment. He answered the first bell with the same poise he displayed while headlining cards at the Seagate Convention Center back in Toledo, or as part of an undercard on a homecoming event for former Lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr back in February 2017.
After the fight’s final instructions were delivered there was no glove tap. Vences opened the fight looking to push the action, but after Bell landed a pair of hooks the California knew he wasn’t in with a pushover. Bell controlled the first three minutes with his left hand, and landed a solid hook to close the first round.
Bell won some early rounds by maintaining a comfortable range, fighting wisely and utilizing his height and reach advantage. He also timed Vences well as the California pressed his way inside, catching him with left hooks or uppercuts. Vences continued with his pressure in the fourth and fifth rounds. He had his share of success in the exchanges, but Bell remained steady after Vences landed a big right hook early in the fifth round.
The taller and slender Bell made his biggest statement in Round 7. He knocked Vences backwards with a straight right followed by a left hand that visibly stunned Vences. Bell dominated the middle portion of the round, connecting with several clean power shots, and came back before the bell to score another straight right before the bell.
Vences came out for the final round seemingly understanding that he was down by at least two rounds. He caught Bell with a left hook early, shortly followed by a pair of right hands. After an exchange the action paused so Bell’s dislodged mouth guard could be rinsed and re-inserted. The Ohioan scored a left hook before the final minute of the fight, but Bell withstood Vences last rally as the two engaged in a flurry over the final :25.
All three of the judges unanimously scored the fight 97-93 in favor of the challenger, and afterwards an emotional Bell paced back and forth across the ring celebrating with his new WBC Continental Americas title. The moment was not too dissimilar to the scene when Cincinnati resident Jamel Herring – who was in attendance sitting ringside – won the WBO Junior Super Featherweight title from Masayuki Ito on ESPN on May 25.
Bell’s accomplishment was remarkable, as he only had a pair of 8-round bouts on his record, both happening among his four fights in 2018.
“I worked so hard for this. In my first 10-rounder, I went out there and put my undefeated record on the line against a top guy,” Bell said. “You don’t see that too much anymore. I’ve been counted out, and this shows that I’m a fighter to be taken seriously at 130 pounds.”
All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank