Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions over ESPN and ESPN+ at the Hangar at Costa Mesa, CA, brought in former WBO Super Bantamweight champion Jesse Magdaleno with the No. 1 IBF heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev for 3-belt champion Anthony Joshua in the Main Event.
In the Main Event heavyweight Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev, 27-1 (14), of Sofia, Bulgaria, stopped Bogdan “The Sniper” Dinu, 18-2 (14), of Bucharest, Romania, at 2:40 of the seventh round after three knockdowns.
In the first round in a rematch from the amateurs Pulev threw the first non jab a right to the chin. Both had effective jabs with Dinu using his more. Pulev went to his corner standing with no stool while Dinu’s corner with new trainer former world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad putting the stool out of the corner.
In the second round Pulev landed a right to the body making Dinu grab him into a clinch. The many Pulev fans were chanting “Pulev, Pulev”. There have been a lot of feinting but not as many clean punches landing. In the third round Dinu drove Pulev to the ropes with body shots. Pulev then backed Dinu against the ropes with a flurry of punches. If this was Europe the fans would be going wild but the heavies in the US are not as popular.
In the fourth round Dinu backed Pulev into the ropes with a flurry of punches with a right opening a bad cut over the left eye of Pulev. Dinu had him in trouble to the point it looked like it might get stopped. Pulev finally fought back hurting Dinu with blood flowing down the side of his face up until the bell. The ring physician stepped into the ring when the bell sounded.
In the fifth round Dinu re-opens the cut having it flow down the side of Pulev’s face. Pulev is looking for a knockout throwing rights to the head fearing the fight being stopped. In the sixth round Pulev drove Dinu into a corner with a solid right to the chin. Dinu keeps backing up not using his jab as much as he did earlier to re-open the cut. Pulev is throwing every right hand with the intention to ending the fight. It was a big round for Pulev.
In the seventh round Pulev drove Dinu into a corner with a flurry of punches driving him to the canvas. The referee Cantu gave him minutes to re-coup claiming while he was down Pulev hit him on the back of the head twice. Then the ring physician asked Dinu if he was all right. The referee took a point away from Pulev after saying it was an accidental punch. Pulev went right after Dinu landing a hard right on the head dropping Dinu for a second time while Dinu barely beat the count getting up at nine. He tried fighting back but Pulev was overpowering him with rights to the head. Another right dropped Dinu whose one leg went under him and unable to continue as the referee waved it over.
Dinu felt he got hit on the back of the head too often. Pulev said “Sometimes the cut was not a big problem and the blood made me hungary. I was fit and didn’t worry about the fight being stopped (when he hit Dinu while down). I hit him too hard,”
In the co-feature former WBO Super bantamweight champion southpaw Jesse Magdaleno, 26-1 (18), out of Las Vegas, NV, won a lopsided decision over former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Rico “Suavecito” Ramos, 30-6 (14), of Pico Rivera, CA, for the vacant WBC NBC championship, over 10 rounds of mauling.
In he first round Magdaleno raced across the ring attacking Ramos like a buzzsaw rocking him. (It ended up being the most action in the fight). Coming off his only loss he was looking to return big. Ramos was willing to mix it up but got countered with a lead left to the chin. In the second round it was more of a feeling out round with little action. The third round didn’t get much better though Magdaleno landed several lead lefts to the body.
In the fifth round Ramos continues to do little offensively. He presses without “pulling the trigger”. Ramos ducked into a Magdaleno right hook off the top of the head. In the sixth round Ramos finally started throwing punches but not as many as Magdaleno whose counter lefts to the body have been coming on a regular basis though showing some ring rust.
In the seventh and eighth rounds there were too many clinches with referee Cantu telling them to fight out of it but wasn’t getting between them and breaking them as much as he should have. In the ninth round for two world champions to grab and hold so much is bad. They clinched and hit each other behind the head.
In the tenth and final round the clinching continues. Fortunately at this point it’s not the main event. Magdaleno off the ropes landed left hooks to the head and body before getting tied up. Ramos was very disappointing. Magdaleno had swelling under his right eye at the end.
Scores were 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91 as did this writer.
“First and foremost I want to thank God for being here. I came back with a tough veteran and former champion. I have to go back to the drawing board and talk to Frank Espinosa and my father,” said Magdaleno.
Super lightweight Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev, 13-0 (11), of Russia and Oxnard, CA, came off the canvas to knock out Ricky “Chocolate Hills Mondo Harada” Sismundo, 35-13-3 (17), of PH and Yokohama, JAP, at 2:30 of the fourth round.
In the second round a left from Sismundo on the chin dropped Dadashev for a count. In the third round Sismundo continued to chase after Dadashev. In the fourth round Dadashev landed a combination left hook and right on the chin with Sismundo on the way down knocking Sismundo to the canvas on his back forcing referee Taylor to wave it off.
Super welterweight southpaw Chris “The Heat” Van Heerden, 27-2-1 (13), of Johannesburg, RSA, Santa Monica, CA, won by technical decision winning all 6 rounds at 1:44 of the sixth round over tough Mahonri “Russo Jr.” Montes, 35-9-1 (24), of Los Mochis, Sinaola, MEX.
In the first round Montes kept coming forward with Van Heerden countering him well with a busy jab from the southpaw. Van Heerden landed the final punch a right hook to the chin. In the corner was his new trainer former world champion Brian Villoria since Van Heerden’s recent signing with Top Rank.
In the second round Van Heerden started landing a straight lefts to the chin following a jab. Montes came back landing a lead right to the chin. Van Heerden landed a left uppercut to the body. Then landed a 3-punch combination ending with a left to the chin rocking Montes.
In the third round coming off an 18 month layoff Van Heerden returned to the ring almost a year ago with his only 2018 bout. Both fighters landed hooks to the body. Van Heerden landed a solid combination to the head of Montes rocking him.
In the fourth round Van Heerden landed close to a dozen unanswered punches to the head of Montes. Montes landed a right to the chin but got countered by a combination from Van Heerden to the head. Montes landed a lead right to the head of Van Heerden bringing a smile from the latter. Van Heerden landed a 3-punch combination to the head. Both fighters show respect to one another touching gloves after each round.
In the fifth round Van Heerden landed a low blow. Referee Thomas Taylor gave Montes half a minute to re-coup. Both fighters touched gloves with Van Heerden knodding. Van Heerden landed a hard right hook to the body followed by a left to the chin. Van Heerden landed a 4-punch combination to the head. It was the first round they did not touch gloves at the end of the round.
In the sixth round at the halfway point Montes head ran into the right eye of Van Heerden causing a nasty cut over the eye. Referee Taylor stopped the fight having it go to the scorecards.
Scores were 60-54 by all three judges and this writer.
Van Heerden’s hand were raised by the referee then Van Heerden placed his hands around the front of his trunks with the name DAD on it dedicating the win to his dad.
Lightweight southpaw Erik De Leon, 19-0-1 (11), of MEX, and Detroit, MI, came off the canvas in an otherwise one sided fight stopping Jose Luis “Relampago” Gallegos, 16-6 (12), of IL, Jalisco, MEX, at 1:55 of the seventh round.
In the first round De Leon pressed Gallegos using a good jab and blocked most of Gallegos’ punches. De Leon landed a good body shot. Gallegos countered with a left hook to the head. In the second round De Leon backed Gallegos against the ropes landing right hooks to the body from the southpaw. De Leon had the face of Gallegos red from head shots. Gallegos landed a right to the chin. De Leon went right back on him up to the bell.
In the third round De Leon landed a lead left to the mid-section. He backed Gallegos into a corner landing straight left to the chin again and again. Gallegos countered with an overhand right to the head. The body shogts from DE Leon are taking an effect. De Leon is outlanding Gallegos 5-1. In the fourth round De Leon landed a right hook to the head followed by a left uppercut to the body. The referee told Gallegos “you better show me something!” Gallegos landed half a dozen punches right up to the bell!
In the fifth round Gallegos stays against or along the ropes allowing De Leon to have an easy target landing almost at will to the body and head. Gallegos landed an overhand right on the chin dropping De Leon for an 8 count (second time in his career down). Gallegos goes after him until an accidental clash of heads.
In the sixth round De Leon picks it up where he left off since the knockdown backing Gallegos against the ropes. De Leon was warned for a second time for a low blow. Gallegos landed a left hook to the head while De Leon landed a right to the chin with Gallegos countering with another left hook to the head. De Leon had Gallegos against the ropes at the bell.
In the seventh round Gallegos continues with hands high take punch after punch from De Leon before throwing a right landed on the chin of De Leon. De Leon wondering what is holding this man up landed a dozen unanswered punches before the referee wisely stepped in to halt the one sided fight (except for knockdown). De Leon fought a near perfect fight.
Super lightweight 2006 Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina, 19-2 (8), of Norwalk, CA, defeated Abdiel “Mortero” Ramirez, 24-4-1 (22), of Chihuahua, MEX, in 8 close rounds.
In the first round Molina returned to the ring in 2018 after a 2 1/2 year layoff suffering his only loss immediately lands three jabs to the chin of Ramirez before landing left hooks and straight rights to the chin. Molina was backed into a corner with Ramirez turning southpaw landing several right uppercuts to the chin. Molina landed the final punch a right to the head after Ramirez landed several punches prior to this.
In the second round the shorter Ramirez backed Molina into a corner before Molina landed a left hook. Ramirez switches back to southpaw backing Molina into a corner landing body shots and right uppercuts to the chin. Molina’s hands were faster but he got into a slugging match instead of using his boxing skills. Ramirez landed a double right uppercut to the chin before Molina countered with a left hook to the chin.
In the third round both fighters go all out inside landing punch after punch. Ramirez having 22 of his 23 wins by knockout held his own with the taller Molina. Molina landed several body shots with his right uppercuts. Ramirez gets the better of the inside fighting for a second round in a row.
In the fourth round Molina moved backwards landing good punches with both hands until he ends in a corner allowing Ramirez to get the better of him inside which is his fight. Molina landed a 3-punch combination to the head but can’t seem to keep Ramirez off of him. Ramirez backing up landed several punches until Molina landed a left hook on the chin at the bell. Close round.
In the fifth round Molina not a better puncher than Ramirez starts to use his footwork boxing well until he ends up in a corner or on the ropes. Ramirez lands a combination to the head before Molina counters with a right hook to the head. Close round. In the sixth round Ramirez lands a flurry of punches backing Molina to the ropes. He then lands a pair of right uppercuts to the chin of Molina. Seconds later lands three right uppercuts to the chin. His corner screams “go to the body” which he really hasn’t up until then. Ramirez landed half a dozen unanswered punches to the body and head. Big round for Ramirez with Molina landing the final punch of the round a right to the chin.
In the seventh round Molina moves well picking his punches to the head of Ramirez listening to his corner yelling “stay off the ropes!” Ramirez having problems catching up to him until Molina stops moving. Ramirez does good work to the body and head until Molina lands a hard right to the chin. Ramirez keeps backing Molina up with non-stop punching.
In the eighth and final round Ramirez comes out attacking as Molina landed a 3-punch combination to the head. Ramirez backs him to the ropes but Molina immediately works his way out of it. Both fighters landed left hooks to the head. Inside of the final minute Ramirez rocks Molina with a right uppercut to the chin. Molina keeps moving countering well before landing a left hook to the chin. Another close round in an all-action fight.
Scores were 78-74 twice and 79-73 while this writer had it 76-76. The judges seemed way off of a close fight.
Heavyweight 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Tervel Pulev, 13-0 (11), of Sofia, Bulgaria, defeated southpaw Mitch “King Kamm” Williams, 16-7-3 (11), of Jackson, MI, over 6 close rounds.
In the first round after half a round of feeling each other out Pulev lands a righ to the head before getting tied up. Williams landed an overhand left from his southpaw stance. Williams just fought three week ago going ten rounds. Pulev landed a lead right to the chin. In the second round Williams landed a double left to the chin. Pulev having trouble with the southpaw stance looking clumsy at times. Pulev landed a right hand to the head. Williams returned the favor with a right hook to the head of Pulev. 78 year-old trainer of Pulev Kenny Adams giving him instruction from just outside of the ropes between rounds.
In the third round Williams warned by referee Jerry Cantu for pushing Pulev with his shoulder into the ropes out of a clinch. Then Williams seemed to push the referee aside to get back at Pulev. Williams rushes in with his head causing a cut on the cheekbone under the left eye. Pulev seemed frustrated at the bell.
In the fourth round Pulev landed a left hook to the chin of Williams on the break getting a warning. Pulev walked into a left uppercut to the chin from Williams. After hitting on the break a second time Pulev loses a point from referee Cantu. William had landed three left’s behind the head prior to this.
In the fifth round Pulev landed a right to the body into the second minute of the round. Williams swithes back and forth from southpaw. Pulev landed a combination to the head. The mouthpiece of Williams went out. Pulev landed a lead right to the chin.
In the sixth and final round of an scheduled eight cut to a six. Williams warned for coming in with his head. Pulev landed an overhand right to the head in side the final minute of the round.
Scores were 59-54, 57-56 and 58-55 and this writer 57-56.
Welterweight 18 year-old southpaw David Kaminsky, 4-0 (2), of Israel out of Tarzana, CA, shut out Estevan Payan, 1-6-1 (1), of Glendale, AZ, over 4 rounds.
In the first round southpaw Kaminsky landed a lead left to the chin. Payan coming forward getting countered well by Kaminsky. Kaminsky has rocked the former MMA Payan several times with lead straight and uppercut lefts to the chin. In the second round Kaminsky used his much better speed of hand to land lead lefts to the chin. Kaminsky injured his right hand in his last fight in October.
In the third round Kaminsky landed three lead left’s on the chin with the final one rocking Payan. Payan landed a solid right hook to the body of Kaminsky that was nodded by the latter a good punch. Taylor warned Kaminsky again about pulling down Payan’s head when he comes in low. Kaminsky ended the round with a left uppercut on the chin.
In the fourth and final round Army veteran Payan knows he needs a knockout to win. Kaminsky landed a combination to the chin making Payan smile. Both fighters mixed it well when inside. Kaminsky landed a lead left on the chin inside the final minute of the round.
Scores were 40-36 by all 3 judges and this writer.