At Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night at the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Saturday night over HBO Main Events made their return to New Jersey featuring a pair of light heavyweight title fights before a large crowd. Big time boxing is back in the Garden state!
WBO World light heavyweight champion Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 32-3-1 (28), of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, was upset by knockout by Eleider “Storm” Alvarez, 24-0 (12), of Colombia living in Montreal, CAN, at 2:45 of the seventh round.
In the first round Kovalev was pressing but not throwing much while Alvarez was simply throwing nothing. Referee Fields then warned Alvarez for throwing a punch behind the head of Kovalev. In the second round Kovalev comes forward and Alvarez nails him with a right hand not once but twice it happened. Seemed Alvarez had to get the jitters out after the first round. Alvarez took the round then almost leaned on Kovalev at the bell and put both of them over the ropes before referee Fields pulled Alvarez off and warned him.
In the third round the fans started chanting “Kovalev, Kovalev” which seemed to inspire him showing a flurry of punches against Alvarez. Kovalev landed a pair of rights to the chin of Alvarez. Seconds later Kovalev landed a pair of left hooks to the head of Alvarez. At the end of the round Alvarez for some reason raised his right arm. For what? Getting through the round by holding? In the fourth round Alvarez was warned for a low blow by referee Fields. A pair of chopping right hands to the head of Alvarez hurt him. Kovalev jumped on him but Alvarez fought back. The fans loved it. Kovalev rocked Alvarez with a right on the chin. Kovalev landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Alvarez who at the end of the round responded to the cheering not realizing it was for Kovalev not him.
In the fifth round Alvarez finally fought back after taking punches from Kovalev. Kovalev drove Alvarez into the ropes but Alvarez spun out and shoved Kovalev into the ropes and onto him without a warning. It was a big round for Kovalev. In the sixth round Kovalev worked the body of Alvarez who was on the run for the most part. The fans became impatient with Alvarez not fighting enough. Just prior to the end of the round Kovalev landed a hart right onto the top of the head of Alvarez.
In the seventh round Kovalev hurt Alvarez with a right hand to the head. Alvarez dropped Kovalev with a right hand to the head dropping him. Kovalev was up and got dropped again with a right hand. Alvarez jumped all over him landing a left hook and a right followed and dropped him for a third time forcing referee David Fields to wave it off. The fans were shocked as was this writer. Out of nowhere Alvarez shocked the world! The French Canadian fans in attendance went wild with the finish by Alvarez. “First of all I want to thank God. I want to also thank my fans back in Colombia. I practiced that punch in training,” said Alvarez. Asked about fighting Bivol and he said “I have waited five years for this and would look forward to fighting Bivol.”
WBA World light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, 14-0 (11), of St. Petersburg, Russia, won a decision over Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba, 25-3-2 (10), of South Africa, over 12 rounds a lot closer than the judges saw it.
In the first round Bivol came right out after Chilemba. No “feeling out” first round for Bivol. He continued to go after Chilemba who fought defensively using a jab. The Eastern Europe fighters come to fight and the fans love it along with writers like me. They are hungry like the American’s “back in the day”. In the second round Bivol continues going on the attack. Before Chilemba landed a left hook. Suddenly it was Chilemba being the aggressor until a Bivol left hook landed. Then Chilemba landed a good right to the head of Bivol. Chilemba was allowing his left hand by his side trying to get Bivol to come in which could be a mistake on his part.
In the third round Bivol was showing Chilemba some respect after the second round. Bivol landed a good left hook to the chin of Chilemba. Then went on the attack driving him into a corner just prior to the bell. The fans were chanting “Bivol, Bivol”. In the fourth round Bivol landed a double left hook. The round seemed to slow down the action. Bivol may have thought he would walk through Chilemba and when it didn’t happen in the first two rounds its been a different fight and the fans are growing impatient. Chilemba may have taken his first round after losing the first three rounds.
In the fifth round Chilemba’s jab seems to keep Bivol from attacking like he did early in the fight. It was a very close round. In the sixth round Bivol landed a right but got countered by a Chilemba left. Bivol landed a solid jab but couldn’t take advantage of it as Shilemba came right back. Another close round. In the seventh round Chilemba missed with an overhand right and got countered by a right from Bivol. The fans started chanting “Bivol, Bivol” again to get more action out of their favorite fighter. Chilemba having a good round with an efective jab and opening up once again with some offensive.
In the eighth round Chilemba landed an overhand right that glanced off the top of Bivol’s head. The fans seemed surprised how Chilemba has fought since the third round against Bivol. In the ninth round Bivol hesitates coming in and Chilemba keeps using the jab and rocks Bivol with a right who counters with a right of his own. Chilemba misses with an overhand right and Bivol counters with a right on the chin.
In the tenth round of what seems like a 5-4 lead for Bivol to his point after taking the ninth still has the Bivol fans concerned. Bivol is doing a lot of moving but not enough throwing. Chilemba has missed with more than his share of overhand rights and Bivol has only taken advantage of it once.
In the eleventh round Bivol continues to box the boxer while Chilemba is the aggressor. The final round will be a big one. In the twelfth and final roundthe Bivol fans start chanting “Bivol, Bivol” once again. The fight is on the line in this round while Bivol is landing the jab when Chilemba finally landed a right. Halfway through the round the Bivol fans are chanting again trying to pump up their fighter. Neither fight seemed interested in taking the last round so the judges scores will be interesting.
Judge Grant and McNair 120-108 and 116-112 while this writer had it 115-113. The referee was David Franciosi. What were the two judges thining giving Bivol every round? Winning the first two rounds big won him the fight.
Light heavyweight Vaughn “Animal” Alexander, 12-1 (8), of St. Louis, MO, lost for the first time to southpaw Denis “Momma’s Boy” Douglin, 20-6 (13), of Marlboro, NJ, over 10 rounds.
In the first through third rounds southpaw Douglin moved and spun around for the much more mobile Alexander who seemed to have a problem releasing his punches. In the fifth round Alexander finally started throwing punches mostly to the mid-section of Doughlin. He just can’t put together a combination. Too many muscles.
In the seventh round Douglin continued to be much faster as Alexander loaded up looking for the big punch that never came. In the ninth round Alexander landed the hardest punch of the fight a straight right to the chin of Douglin. Douglin half a minute later landed a left on the chin of Alexander who is still swinging for the fences but too slow to connect solidly on the ever moving Douglin.
In the tenth and final round Douglin landed half a dozen punches before getting nailed by a Alexander right on the chin. It’s the first time the fans came alive with this being the best round of the fight.
“I just couldn’t get off tonight for some reason,” said Alexander.
Judge Layton and Rubenstein 99-91 and Consentino 100-90. This writer 99-91. Referee was Maulana Murdaugh.
Super welterweight IBA International champion Bakhram Murtazaliev, 13-0 (11), of Russia living in Big Bear, CA, looked like the real deal knocking out Fernando “El Guerrero Yaqui” Carcamo, 23-9 (18), of Sonora, MEX, at 0:41 of the first round.
In the first round Murtazaliev came storming out landing punch after punch before Carcamo finally went down after half a dozen punches to the head and barely beat the count but was in no condition to continue as referee Eddie Claudio halted the match.
Super welterweight Frank Galarza, 20-2-2 (12), of Brooklyn, NY, looked sensational in knocking out Alex Duarte, 13-6-1 (5), of Brazil living in Orlando, FL, at 1:57 of the second round.
In the first round Galarza was having his way with Duarte. Durate punches like a revolving door swinging around. An accidental clash of heads caused Durate complaining of a head injury to referee Claudio. In the second round a right uppercut to the solar plexis and down went Durate. He got up but didn’t want to continue but referee Claudio would have none of it and Galarza again landed a right uppercut to the body and down and out went Durate.
Super welterweight Madiyar Ashkeyev, 10-0 (6), of KAZ living in Oxnard, CA, stopped Eduardo “El Cheito” Flores, 26-30-4 (15), of Quito, ECU, at 0:50 of the fourth round.
In the first round it was all Ashkeyev mostly going to the body. Flores was there to be hit. In the second round Ashkeyev landed a dozen unanswered punches finally knocking out the mouthpiece of Flores. Flores started throwing back before they got tied up. An uppercut from Ashkeyev knocked out the mouthpiece of Flores for a second time.
In the third round a straight right to the chin and out went the mouthpiece of Flores automatically taking a point away being it was the third time. The battle worn Flores is taking quite a few punches from Ashkeyev who seems to want to add a stoppage to his near 50% ko average. In the fourth round out went the mouthpiece for the fourth time bringing about an end to the fight as referee Murdaugh halted the one sided fight.
Middleweight Meiirim Nursultanov, 8-0 (7), of KAZ living in Oxnard, CA, stopped Jonathan Batista, 17-15 (10), of San Pedro, DR, at the end of the second when Batista’s corner wouldn’t allow him to come out.
In the first round Nursultanov used a dolid jab landing a straight right to the chin of Batista. Batista has “opponent” written all over him. In the second round there was little opposition from Batista untill after the bell when he tried hitting Nursultanov but referee Claudio stepped in.
Welterweight southpaw Enriko Gogokhia, 8-0 (3), of Georgia, living in L.A., CA, easily defeated Ronald “Salvaje” Montes, 18-10 (16), of Barranquilla, COL, over 6 rounds.
In the first and second rounds southpaw Gogokhia outboxed taller Montes for the most part. In the third round Montes landed his best punch so far a left hook to the chin of Gogokhia. Half a round later Gogokhia landed a straight left followed by a jab to the head of Montes.
In the fourth round Gogokhia moved and came in with a hard right hook to the left ear or behind it of Montes. Montes came back with a left hook of his own in a close round. In the fifth round Montes started with a double left hook to body then head. Gogokhia came right back with a lead left to the chin. In the sixth and final round Gogokhia continued to box well easily confusing Montes. He ended the round stunning Montes with a lead straight right on the button.
Judges Layton, Rubenstein and Constantino 60-54 as did this writer. Referee Maulana Murdaugh.
Lightweight Karl “Dynamite” Dargan, 18-1 (9), of Philadelphia, PA, returned after over 2 year’s and won a lackluster decision over Jonathan “Popeye” Perez, 37-24 (29), of Barranquilla, COL, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Dargan used a good jab setting up the smaller Perez for the right hand. Dargan has been out of the ring for some time and seemed content in getting some rust off by holding off with the right hand. In the second round Dargan landed a combination to the body of Perez. Dargan continued using the jab with several rights to the body of Perez who seems uninterested in exchanging with Dargan.
In the third round Perez was warned by referee Murdaugh for hitting behind the head. Dargan kept Perez at bay with his jab looking for the knockout punch. Dargan landed a lead chopping right to the head of Perez. In the fourth round Dargan gets the jab in despite Perez having his hands held high. Due to the TV schedule the next fight being televised is half an hour from now so Dargan may have been told to make it last the entire 6 rounds. In the fifth round Dargan complained of getting an elbow in the eye to the referee. Perez finally landed several punches to the head of Dargan waking him up. Perez moved Dargan to the ropes with several body punches. Perez with hands to his side dancing around taunting Dargan. Referee Murdaugh had to usher Perez back to his corner at the bell preventing him from going to the Dargan corner.
In the sixth and final round Dargan started dancing around as Perez was going after him. Perez knowing he needs a knockout is going after Dargan who was content to go the distance. His uncle Naziim Richarson has continued as his trainer which is good for Dargan. Let’s hope Main Events can keep him busy. Getting down to 135 after the layoff tells you he has stayed in shape.
All 3 judges Layton, Rubenstein and Consentino had it 60-54 while this writer had it 59-55. Referee was Murdaugh.
Super Welterweight Ismael Villarreal, 3-0 (0), of Bronx, NY, defeated Kieran Hooks, 3-1-1 (1), of Philadelphia, PA, over 4 rounds.
All 3 judges Layton, Rubenstein and Consentino had it 39-37 all for Villarreal. Referee Maulana Murdaugh.