Bruce Boyington and his wife, Randi-Beth, celebrate his victory over Sean Soriano for the CES MMA featherweight championship at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, in August 2018. Credit: Contributed

Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington of Titan Athletics in Brewer used a strong final round to hold off challenger Dan Dubuque by split decision in their five-round battle for Boyington’s CES MMA pro featherweight championship Friday night in Hartford, Connecticut.

The bout was the main event of CES 56, held at the Connecticut Convention Center, with Boyington winning on the three judges’ scorecards 49-46, 48-47, 47-48.

Boyington, who was making his first defense of the CES title he captured in August 2018, secured his third straight victory while improving his professional record to 17-11 overall, 2-1 in CES bouts.

Dubuque, a hometown favorite from nearby Rocky Hill, Connecticut, fell to 8-3 overall (2-1 CES) as Boyington ended his four-fight winning streak.

This fight went back and forth, according to media reports, with the fighters battling each other standing, on the ground and in clinches against the cage.

Boyington was most at home in the stand-up game, using his jab and his well-known array of spinning kicks to set up several takedowns during the five, five-minute rounds.

Dubuque was at his best in the second and third rounds, but the 40-year-old Boyington won the endurance test by building up a strong early lead in the fifth round and then withstanding a late submission attempt by Dubuque to regain top control as the fight ended.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...