Top Rank-Bob Arum, in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions- J Russell Peltz promoted the Unification light heavyweight bout between Russia-Canada‘s Artur Beterbiev the IBF champion and Ukraine’s Oleksandr “the Nail” Gvozdyk the WBC World champion at Philadelphia’s Liacouras Center (Temple U.) Friday night over ESPN.
In the Main Event to unify the Light Heavyweight title WBC World champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk, 17-1 (14), of UKR lost to IBF World champion Artur Beterbiev, 15-0 (15), of Russia and Montreal, CAN, after 3 knockdowns in the tenth round at 2:49 of a scheduled 12.
In the first round Gvozdyk used a jab as Beterbiev stalked him. At the end of the round Beterbiev wrestled Gvozdyk to the canvas and referee Gary Rosato ruled it a knockdown. At the end of the round Teddy Atlas the trainer of Gvozdyk went to Boxing Director Greg Sirb complaining and Sirb overruled the referee calling it a take down in one of his greatest acts since taking the office.
In the second thru the fourth round it went back and forth. When Gvozdyk came forward with a jab and right he did well. Beterbiev couldn’t fight backing up. When Gvozdyk moved around the ring Beterbiev stalked and did well.
In the fifth round Gvozdyk started well but Beterbiev took over in the second half of the round before landing a forearm to the chin and getting warned by referee Rosato. In the sixth round the fans continued rooting for Gvozdyk. The action picked up with Gvozdyk landing rock hard punches to the chin of Beterbiev before being wrestled to the canvas forcing referee Rosato to call it a slip this time. The fight looked even after 6 rounds to this writer. Halfway thru the round Gvozdyk landed a pair of hard rights to the chin of Beterbiev who retaliated fouling and getting a second warning in the round by referee Rosato.
In the seventh round Gvozdyk outworked Beterbiev in a close contested round. In the eighth round Beterbiev started out fast backing up Gvozdyk. Gvozdyk came back strong outworking Beterbiev. In the ninth round Gvodyk hurt his right hand walking away shaking it. Beterbiev hurt him with a right having him holding on until the bell. It was a big round for Beterbiev and at that point the fight was over for Gvozdyk.
In the tenth round it looked like Beterbiev knocked down Gvozdyk but referee Rosato called it a slip. Beterbiev went on to drop Gvozdyk twice with right hands to the chin. Gvozdyk was out on his feet when he got up and was dropped for a third time forcing referee Rosato to wave the fight off.
This writer had it 95-94 Gvozdyk after 9 rounds.
In the Co-feature former WBA World Welterweight champion southpaw Luis “God’s Way” Collazo, 39-8 (20), #146.4, of Queens, lost a decision to the “road runner” Kudratillo “The Punisher” Abdukakhorov, 17-0 (9), #147.1, of UZB and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over 10 rounds. You knew at the end by their faces who the winner was and who the loser was. Let’s say Abdukakhorov knew how to “use his head!”
In the first round Collazo used a jab keeping Abdukakhorov from landing any serious punches. In the second round Collazo had his opponent missing numerous punches and running around the ring while stalking him. At the end of the round Collazo had a small cut outside of his left eyebrow.
In the fourth round a left hook on the chin from Abdukakhorov rocked Collazo. From that point Collazo did the chasing and scoring with counter punches while slipping most punches. In the fifth round Collazo stalked and slipped punch after punch countering well. Collazo by the end of the round at 37 looked like he was slowing down chasing his opponent with his face swelling up.
In the sixth round Collazo chased and in cornering Abdukakhorov took several hard punches to the head in the closest round of the fight up to then. In the seventh round Collazo started landing punches to the head and body when getting Abdukakhorov in the corner. The fans kept yelling “Louie, Louie” as Collazo continued taking the round after getting his second wind.
In the eighth round Collazo stalked with both landing punches when Abdukakhorov stopped to exchange and getting the best of it. In the ninth round Abdukakhorov knowing he might need a knockout to win stopped running and dealt out quite a bit of punishment on the former world champion.
In the tenth and final round with Collazo coming forward he walked into a right on the chin from Abdukakhorov. An accidental clash of heads caused a cut under the right eyebrow of Collazo stopping the fight by referee Rosato.
When Ring Announcer Jimmy Lennon announced scores of Dewey LaRosa 99-91, Steve Weisfeld 97-93 and James Kinney 98-92 the stunned crowd was so quiet you couldn’t hear a sound as this writer had it 99-91 for Collazo and was given a free examination coupon by one of the judges at the nearest optometrist office.
IBHOF inductee J Russell Peltz told this writer “Collazo kept getting hit and because he was coming forward you felt he won!” The rest of the press had Abdukakhorov ahead in a close fight.
In the opening bout Light Heavyweight Michael Seals, 24-2 (18), of Fairburn, GA, #174.6, knocked out Ello “La Maquina” Heraldo Trosch, 14-9-2 (7), #173.2, of Santiago del Estero, ARG, at 1:38 of the first round of a scheduled 10. Long trip from home for nothing but a payday for the Argentine punching bag!
In the first round Seals made it clear it wasn’t going to last long as he had his opponent against the ropes landing a left hook on the chin and down he went like a sack of potatoes for the count from referee Erik Dali.
Lightweight Joseph Adorno, 14-0 (12), #136.8, of Allentown, PA, remained unbeaten stopping Damian “El Pana” Alejandro Sosa, 9-3 (7), #134.7, of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 1:20 of the second round in a scheduled 8.
In the final ten seconds of the first round a left hook from Adorno dropped Sosa for an 8 count of referee Shawn Clark. Sosa beat the count as the bell ended the round. In the second round Adorno knocked Sosa halfway thru the ropes with a left hook ending the fight.
Super Lightweight Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas, 15-1 (9), #140.2, of PR out of the Bronx, NY, defeated Johnny “The Punisher” Rodriguez, 9-5-1 (6), #140.5, out of Westminster, CO, over 8 rounds by scores of all judges 80-72. Enough said.
Super Lightweight Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 18-0 (12), #142.6, of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, stopped Leonardo “Toto” Doronino, 17-17-3 (11), #139, of Metro Manila, PH, at 2:39 of the 6th and final round.
In the first round there was little action with Rodriguez dancing around Doronino. In the second round things picked up a bit but nothing much happened. In the third round Rodriguez decided to make a fight of hit with a flurry of punches before going back to dancing.
In the fourth round at the halfway point of the round Rodriguez drove Doronino toward the ropes and got tied up. In the fifth round it was more of the same with Rodriguez outworking Doronino. In the sixth and final round a left hook from Rodriguez on the chin dropped Doronino. He beat the count of referee Esteves but was in no condition to continue in the referee’s opinion.
Super Bantamweight southpaw Jeremy “Majic Hands” Adorno, 3-0 (1), #121.1, of PR out of Allentown, PA, defeated Misael Reyes, 1-3 (0), 121.2, of MEX, out of Kansas City, KS, over 4 rounds.
In the first round both boxers felt each other out with little action. In the second round an Adorno left to the body followed with a right hook on the chin knocked Reyes to the canvas briefly as referee Rosato administered the 8 count.
In the third round Reyes hit Adorno behind the head causing referee Rosato to give a warning to Reyes and Adorno a minute rest. In the fourth and final round Adorno possibly still hurt from the rabbit punch ran around the ring like he was a sure winner as Reyes chased. .
Scores were 40-35 twice and 38-37 with this writer’s 39-36.
The lone Philly boxer on the card did his ring walk to the “Rocky song” as Heavyweight Sonny “The Bronco” Conto, 5-0 (4), #214.1, out of South Philly, PA, didn’t disappoint in stopping Steven “Lion King” Lyons, 5-6 (2), #201.9, Larose, La, when Lyons couldn’t come out for the second round of a scheduled 4 complaining he couldn’t see out of his right eye.
In the first round it was all Conto. In the final seconds Conto landed three left hooks to the body of Lyons. At the bell Conto landed a right to the right eye of Lyons. Lyons couldn’t come out for the second round ending the mismatch. Conto’s manager David McWater had a smile as did the corner of Conto’s father and cut man Joe Eye!
Vasily “High Tech” Lomachenko the P4P best boxer in the world and unbeaten heavyweight Tyson Fury were at ringside to the delight of the crowd! Fury is taking a page out of the book of Floyd Mayweather having a match with a UFC sacrifice! Philly’s Jesse Hart and former champion Bernard Hopkins were at ringside arm in arm with a picture of the “old and the new” as one of B-Hop’s former opponents Robert Allen stood in the crowd remembering his fight with Hopkins.
As a contribution to the Philthadelphia’s Parking Society this writer donated a large check for the City of Brotherly Shove upon reaching his car not 30 feet but 30 inches from a fire hydrant! I thought it was too good to be true parking so close to the entrance of the building. Hope it helps those sleeping on the sidewalks of Philly!