At the Wintrust Arena, in Chicago, ILL, Saturday over the Zone (DAZN) Matchroom Boxing – Eddie Hearn featured a pair of world title fights with champions winning and WBC Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk moving up to heavyweight with a stoppage.
WBA World Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, 17-0 (11), #174.3, of KYRG and St. Petersburg, RUS, defended his title easily defeating Lenin Castillo, 20-3-1 (15), #175, of Santo Domingo, DR, over 12 rounds.
In the first round it was a “feeling out round” with Castillo showing a good jab while mostly on defense. In the second round and fourth rounds action picked up a bit but fans getting restless.
In the fifth round Castillo jabs but seemed to not be able to let his right hand go. Little action. In the sixth round after one minute a Bivol counter right dropped Castillo for an 8-count from referee Louis Pabon. Castillo got up and finally started throwing punches. Bivol never tried to follow-up.
In the eighth and ninth rounds Bivol continued winning rounds but Castillo kept it interesting. In the tenth round Bivol opened up to the delight of the crowd. In the eleventh round Bivol landed an overhand right in the final minute but didn’t follow-up.
In the twelfth and final round a fight broke out in the first minute. Castillo knew he needed a knockout so he countered Bivol. Castillo looked like going the distance would be a victory.
Scores were 120-107 and 119-108 twice and 119-110 by this writer.
“I know it may have been boring for the fans. I keep my belt and hope to meet my dream in getting another belt,” said Bivol.
In the Main Event former WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC World Cruiserweight champion southpaw Oleksandr Usyk, 17-0 (13), #215, of Kiev, UKR, moved up to heavyweight halting late substitute Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon, 38-4 (29), #242, of Philadelphia, PA, who couldn’t come out for the eighth round of a scheduled 12 rounds.
In the first round both felt each other out with Witherspoon using and effective jab taking the round. In the second round the lack of action continued with Usyk jabbing to the mid-section and Witherspoon just jabbing. In the third round fans continue to yell “Usyk, Usyk”. Usyk picked up the action while Witherspoon threw several rights over his jabs.
In the fourth round Usyk picked up the pace outworking Witherspoon exciting the crowd. In the fifth round Usyk had his best round so far opening up on Witherspoon who is on the defense with his hands held high.
In the sixth round after a minute Usyk backed Witherspoon up with four punches. Usyk drove Witherspoon into a corner opening up while Witherspoon looks exhausted. In the seventh round Usyk kept up the pressure wearing down Witherspoon who is bleeding from the nose and mouth. His corner called a halt.
This writer had it 68 to 65 at time of stoppage.
WBC and WBA World Super Lightweight champion Jessica “CasKILL” McCaskill, 8-2 (3), #138.7, of Chicago, IL, in a rematch won in defending her titles against former champion Erica “LaPantera” Anabella Farias, 26-4 (10), of Bueno Aires, ARG, in a wrestling match over 10 rounds.
In the first round in a rematch it was a good round for both boxers with Farias best punch an overhand right to the chin. In the second round there were too many clinches. Farias missed with many wild punches. In the third round the clinches continued with McCaskill looking to hold an edge.
In the fourth round they clinched inside of ten seconds. Referee Christian Curiel took a point from Farias for continual holding. In the fifth round more of the same. In the sixth round McCaskill had a point taken for hitting behind the head.
In the seventh round the fans let Farias have it for holding. In the eighth round this horrible fight considering a champion and former champion is a disgrace. In the ninth round the holding and hitting continued.
In the tenth and final round the fight even ended in a clinch. No need for a third match between these two.
“It seemed like more of a wrestling match and wish I could have given the fans more exciting action. I’m looking to add the WBO title,” said McCaskill.
Scores were 94-94, 97-91 and 96-92 with this writer having it 97-90. 94-94 should give this judge a suspension.
USBA Super Welterweight champion Charles Conwell, 11-0 (8), #153.8, of Cleveland, OH, knocked out Pat “All Day Every Day” Day, 17-4-1 (6), #153.7, of Freeport, NY, in a defense of his USBA Super Welter title at 1:46 of the tenth and final round.
In the first round both boxers when strong to the body. Conwell was the aggressor throughout the round and rocked Day in the final seconds with three overhand rights to the head. In the second round it was more of the same in an all action packed round with the first clinch in the two rounds in the final ten seconds for referee Celestino Ruiz.
In the third round they went punch for punch. Day’s mouth had blood in it. Best punch of the round was in the final minute with Day rocking Conwell with a left hook to the chin. In the fourth round near the halfway point Conwell lead with a right on the chin and it dropped Day for an 8-count. Conwell had a cut over his right eye.
In the fifth round Conwell continue the attack wearing down Day a bit. Both fighters kept up pleasing the fans. In the sixth round Conwell was warned twice for low blows. He went to the body well otherwise while Day did enough to stay in the fight.
In the seventh round Day kept in the middle of the ring on spirts. He used a good jab. In the final minute Conwell backed Day against the ropes rocking Day with a right to the chin. In the eighth round the action continued until near the final thirty seconds a right over a jab from Conwell on the chin dropped Day. for an 8-count.
In the ninth round Day became the aggressor knowing he is behind in the fight having been dropped twice. The cut over the right eye of Conwell started dripping down the side of his face. In the tenth and final round at the halfway point a right from Conwell to the head rocked Day followed by another right and left hook dropped Day whose head hit the canvas with a thud. Referee Ruiz immediately waved it off. He did a good job throughout the fight. Day was taken from the ring on a stretcher. He was still unconscious on the way to the hospital at last report.
This writer had it 88-81 through nine rounds for Conwell who is managed by David McWater and trained by Rashon Jones.
Super Welterweight Joshuah Hernandez, 9-2 (7), #130, of Chicago, IL, Giovanni Mioletti, 17-0 (7), #131, of Chicago, IL,
Super Middleweight Anthony “The Magician” Sims, Jr., 20-0 (18), #168.5, Compton,CA, stopped Morgan “Big Chief” Fitch, 19-4-1 (8), #167, of Pittsburgh, PA, at 2:18 of the sixth round.
In the first round inside the first minute a right from Sims to the left eye of Fitch caused a delay knockdown to his knee. Sims jumped on him dropping Fitch with a flurry halfway through the round. Fitch made it through the round due to Sims not putting the pressure on him. Sims, a protoge of the late Manny Steward in the Kronk gym.
In the second round Fitch got back into the fight but Sims continued outworking him. A left hook on the chin from Sims almost dropped him. In the third round Sims used an effective jab throughout showing his all-around skills. In the fourth round Fitch used a good jab to take the round. His trainer Tom Yankello convince him between rounds to box Sims.
“I tried telling his corner to stop the fight. He has to go back to his family and didn’t need more punishment. I’m giving out a pair of pink gloves in support of cancer,” said Sims. Very impressive showing.
In the fifth round Sims picked up where he left off in the third working on Fitch’s left eye causing swelling. Referee Smith wisely halted the fight seeing Fitch taking too much punishment. Fitch complained about the stoppage.
This writer had it 49-44 through five rounds for Sims.
Super Bantamweight TJ Doheny, 21-1 (15), #124, of IRE and New South Wales, AUSTR, Jesus Martinez, 26-9 (13), #124, of COL and Hollywood, FL,
Super Lightweight southpaw Olympian Arthur “The Chechnya Wolf” Biyarslanov, 5-0 (4), #137, of RUS and Toronto, CAN, bloodied but defeated southpaw Tyrome “Sweet Pea” Jones, 4-6-1 (1), of South Bend, IND, over 6 rounds.
In the first round both boxers threw jabs for the most part with Biyarslanov getting the better of the two southpaws. In the second round Biyarslanov put on more pressure with Jones at times landing 3-punch combinations but not busy enough.
In the third round Biyarslanov continued outworking Jones. In the fourth round blood coming from Biyarslanov from the counter’s of Jones. Jones controlled things until the final ten seconds when a flurry from Biyarslanov to try to steal the round. He had a cut across the top of his nose.
In the fifth round Biyarslanov pinned Jones against the ropes with over a dozen unanswered punches. The blood continued to cover the face even though on the offensive. He was cut outside his right eye from an accidental head butt. In the sixth and final round Jones continued to surprise his showing and having Biyarslanov all busted up but not good enough to get the win.
Scores were 58-56 and 59-55 twice as was this writer’s.
19 year-old Super Featherweight Otha “OJ 3” Jones lll, 4-0 (1), #129, of Toledo, OH, defeated by majority decision Eric “The Baby Face Assassin” Manriquez, 7-9-1 (3), #130, of Houston, TX, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Jones outworked Manriquez using a jab and some good body work hurting his opponent. In the second round after both boxers fell to the canvas with Manriquez pulling Jones down. Jones went onto go southpaw until Manriquez’s mouthpiece went out.
In the third round Manriquez lost his mouthpiece for a second time. In the final minute Jones closed his left eye due to an accidental head butt. In the fourth and final round Jones continued outworking Manriquez in a close round and tough fight.
Scores were 38-38, 40-36 and 39-36 with this writer 40-36.