Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions brought in a first class show Saturday night at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, MD, televised over USA HBO.
Ukraine’s Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 8-1 (6), out of Oxnard, CA, retained his WBO Super featherweight title stopping the WBA World Super featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 21-2-1 (15), of Camden, NJ, after nine rounds when Sosa’s trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas wisely stopped the fight advising referee Kenny Cavalier.
In the opening round it was Lomachenko in control though Sosa had his moments. In the second round Lomachenko’s hand and foot speed and landing from various angles had Sosa bewildered. Lomanchenko landed 8 punches without return just prior to the bell. In the third round Lomachenko continued to dominate Sosa until a right uppercut to Lomachenko’s midsection that was Sosa’s best punch so far. Lomachenko is in a world of his own in that division. Sosa’s left eye was swelling by the end of the round.
In the fourth round it was all Lomachenko with Sosa fighting on heart not able to handle the hand speed. Sosa’s best punch was a right uppercut to the body but his left eye by the end of the round is half closed. In the fifth round once again it was all Lomachenko with Sosa bewildered by the hand speed. In the sixth round Sosa continues to look toward his corner for advice from his trainer Rivas. Lomachenko is dazzling Sosa and the crowd.
In the seventh round Lomachenko landed half a dozen punches without return from Sosa. The left eye of Sosa’s hadn’t gotten worse thanks to a good cut-man. In the eighth round it was all Lomachenko. After the round Sosa’s trainer Rivas threatened to stop the fight if he didn’t show some offense. In the ninth round though overmatched Sosa continued fighting back the best he could. A straight right by Sosa to the chin of Lomachenko was his best punch of the fight for him. Sosa’s heart will never be questioned but in with one of the two best boxers in the world he would get his best pay day of his career but paid for it.
WBO Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, 12-0 (10), of the Ukraine, retained his title defeating Michael Hunter, 12-1 (8), of Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
In the opening round the southpaw Usyk showed the power as Hunter used a jab working the body. In the second round Hunter used more punching with both hands to the body gaining a slight edge over Usyk. In the third round Hunter used more movement and landed more until the last part of the round when Usyk had Hunter in a corner. In the fourth round Hunter continued to outwork Usyk who does more covering up than throwing punches.
In the fifth round Usyk finally opened up on Hunter with both hands putting him on the defense. In the sixth round Hunter controlled for the first half of the round with an effective double jab until a break in the action by referee Bill Clancy to kick an ice cube out of the ring. Usyk opened up after this driving Hunter into the ropes with a left uppercut to the chin rocking Hunter.
In the seventh round Hunter was on the run until halfway through when he seemed to over take Usyk. In the eighth round Hunter continued using his jab until halfway through when Usyk drove Hunter into the ropes with a flurry of punches. In the ninth round Hunter controlled up until the final minute when once again Usyk came on rocking Hunter with a right hook to the chin and several left hooks to the midsection of Hunter.
In the tenth round Usyk started out strong unlike most of the previous rounds. With less than a minute left in the round Usyk had Hunter hurt several times. In the eleventh round Usyk controlled putting Hunter on the run. Just prior to the bell Hunter rocked Usyk with a right to the chin. In the twelfth and final round Usyk overpowered Hunter having him out on his feet. Clancy gave Hunter an 8 count when Hunter was saved by a knockdown when he went against the ropes. It looked like referee Clancy was going to stop it shortly there after. Usyk continued beating Hunter who did all he could do to last out the round. Hunter had not had a bout in 11 months and in the end it showed.
All 3 Judges scored it 117-110. This writer scored it 116-111.
Light heavyweight Oleksandr “Nail” Gvozdyk, 13-0 (11), of the Ukraine, stopped Yuniueski “The Monster” Gonzalez, 18-3 (14), at 2:55 of the third round.
In the opening round Gvozdyk opened up right away against Gonzalez. Suddenly with a minute left in the round it was Gonzalez backing up Gvozdyk. In the second round it was Gvozdyk landing power punches as Gonzalez was on the defense. In the third round Gonzalez is coming forward but being countered by Gvozdyk. Gonzalez went down from a flurry of punches. His nose was bleeding but he fought back until Gvozdyk landed a 3 punch combination and down again went Gonzalez. Referee Harvey Dock had no choice but to stop it.
Philadelphia’s Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, 22-0 (18), remained unbeaten stopping Mexico’s Alan “Amenaza” Campa, 16-3 (11), by technical stoppage at 1:44 in the fifth of a scheduled ten rounder. Hart, the No. 1 contender called out the WBO champ Gilberto Ramirez who is defending his title on April 22nd against his No. 9 contender Max Bursak. Ramirez hasn’t fought since winning the title a year ago. He had a hand injury but had plenty of time prior to that to defend his title.