The Weekend That Was
Kovalev vs Ward wasn’t the only fight happening this past Saturday. In fact, it was a fairly busy weekend in fisticuffs. So with help from the good people at Fightfan.com, we will the give you the weekend update. Let’s get to it:
On the Kovalev-Ward PPV undercard, big puncher Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) stopped the awkward and frustrating Issac Chilemba (24-5-2) after eight uneventful rounds. Gvozdyk was in control and winning the fight but Chilemba made things difficult with his awkard style. Citing a hand injury, the Chilemba corner signaled surrender, giving Gvozdyk the stoppage win. The Ukrainian is clearly a serious force in a now talent-laden light heavyweight division.
Former lightweight titleist Darleys Perez (33-2-2) looked to have convincingly beaten previously undefeated Maurice Hooker (21-0-3) in a light welterweight contest but came away with a controversial draw in the Kovalev-Ward co-main event in Vegas. Perez was in control throughout but after 10 rounds each fighter received a 97-93 card in their favour with the third and deciding tally even. The decision was met with great displeasure from the Vegas crowd.
Big punching middleweight banger Curtis Stevens (29-5) was featured on the Las Vegas card and he pounded out a ten round unanimous decision win over James De La Rosa, (23-5). Scores were 98-90 and 96-92 (x2). More than a few observers thought the judges got this one wrong too.
Meanwhile, in Germany former cruiserweight world champion Marco Huck (40-3-1) was in action Saturday and won a 12 round unanimous decision over Dmytro Kucher (24-2-1). Scores were all wide in the former champ’s favour. This was Huck’s second win since losing to Krzysztof Glowacki last year.
The incredible journey of Demond ‘Body Shot’ Brock continued Friday in the “Knockout Night at the D” main event that aired live on CBS Sports Network from inside the Las Vegas Events Center tent. From the Louisiana Penitentiary, where he learned how to box while serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery, Brock (13-3-1) has now emerged as a serious force in the lightweight division. The 35-year-old from New Orleans captured his second title, taking a 10-round split decision (96-94, 96-94, 93-97) from defending North American Boxing Association (NABA) lightweight champion Reynaldo “El Trampolin” Blanco (13-3).
Former welterweight world title challenger Pablo Cesar Cano (30-5-1) scored a ten round split decision over the always tricky and durable Mauricio Herrera (22-7) Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Casino Resort in Indio, California, as seen live on Estrella TV. Two judges had Cano ahead 97-91 while the third saw Herrera up 95-93. It was an exciting back-and-forth battle that saw Cano’s greater height and disciplined boxing making the difference. “Cano had a length we were not expecting,” said Herrera after the bout. “I could have done more to get in and break him down but his reach prevented me from doing that.”
Former light heavyweight world title challenger Tommy Karpency (27-6) returned to action Friday in West Virginia and obliterated Mickey Scarborough (6-11) in one round.
In Mississauga, Ontario, fight fans got a stacked card from the good people at United Boxing Promotions. Quebec-based heavyweight prospect Simon Kean (7-0) looked sensational as he made quick work of Chicago’s Danny Calhoun (6-2), destroying him in under three minutes in the main event. Kean started calm and cool with jabs to the body to find his range. Late in the opening stanza he connected with a huge right hand that sent Calhoun down hard. The bout was stopped immediately giving Kean the impressive KO win.
In the co-main event of the evening undefeated Hamilton product Josh O’Reilly (7-0) showed a ton of heart to get up off the canvas twice to out-point Mexico’s Angel Sarinana (7-4-2) in an eight round super featherweight contest. O’Reilly boxed well to start but was caught with a big punch in the third and went down. He collected himself and fought through it but was sent down a second time in round four. He gallantly beat the count yet again and rallied back later in the fight to pull ahead on the scores. After eight rounds the Canadian was up by scores of 76-73 and 75-74 (x2) to collect the exciting gut-check victory.
On the same card, Cornwall, Ontario’s Tony ‘Lightning’ Luis (22-3) returned to action Saturday with a fan-friendly eight round decision victory over Mexico’s Christian Uruzquieta (14-3-1) in a co-featured bout on United Boxing Promotions’ latest gala. It was toe-to-toe action throughout, but Luis’s work rate and accuracy carried the way as he was busier and sharper down the stretch. After eight rounds were in the books the Ontario charge was ahead by wide scores to pick up the well deserved decision nod. It was Luis’s second victory of 2016 after picking up a win February against Samuel Amoako Iowa.
In an elimination bout for the British cruiserweight title, Matty Askin (21-3) won a unanimous decision over Tommy McCarthy (9-1) in Manchester. The win earns Askin a chance to fight for the vacant British title.
Finally, in Russia, welterweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko (22-1) bounced back from defeat with a seventh round stoppage over dangerous veteran Breidis Prescott (30-9) to win the WBC Silver interim title. Mikhaylenko was briefly dropped in the first but came back to wear down the Colombian visitor over the next six rounds. Prescott was dropped outside the ropes in round seven and the match was soon stopped. Mikhaylenko is now the official challenger to Charles Manyuchi and is eager to take revenge for his only loss. That’s a wrap!