At Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday night over ESPN promoter Top Rank Boxing presented a pair of world title fights. In the Main Event is WBO World Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford defended his title stopping No. 1 ranked Egidigus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas in nine rounds. In the co-feature IBF World Lightweight champion Richard “RC” Commey lost his title to No. 1 ranked Teofimo “El Brooklyn” Lopez in 2 rounds.
In the Main Event WBO World Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, 36-0 (27), #147, out of Omaha, NEB, stopped two-time Olympian and No. 1 ranked Egidigus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas, 21-1-1 (17), #146 1/2, of LITH, out of Oxnard, CA, at 44 seconds of the ninth of a scheduled 12 rounds.
In the first round Crawford came out southpaw. In Kavaliauskas draw he was fortunate to get the draw with southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson in Philly. Crawford completely dominated the round. In the second round Crawford continued to jab him almost at will until a right from Kavaliauskas landed on Crawford’s chin. Crawford easily won the round.
In the third round Kavalisuskas hurt Crawford with an overhand right on the chin making the champion hold until he slipped to the canvas. Referee Gonzalez called it a slip though it looked like a knockdown. Crawford’s head cleared by Kavalisuskas fought him to a stand still.
In the fourth round Crawford was warned for holding behind the head and hitting by the referee. The rest of the way it was back and forth who was getting the best of it. In the fifth round Kavalisuskas got the best of an early exchange. Crawford got away with a couple of fouls without warning then hurt Kavalisuskas with a combination to the chin.
In the sixth round Crawford kept the jab in the face of Kavalisuskas who on few occasions got in the lead right on the chin of Crawford. In the seventh round Kavalisuskas got in several rights on the chin of Crawford. Shortly later Crawford turned orthodox and battered Kavalisuskas finishing with a righ behind the ear driving him to the canvas but couldn’t finish him “yet!” The bell saved Kavalisuskas.
In the eighth round Crawford came out orthodox landing well on Kavalisuskas. Crawford was landing well and for some reason went back to southpaw again beating on Kavalisuskas right up to the bell with double uppercut rights on the chin.
In the ninth round a looping left hand followed by a right uppercut following with a pair of right uppercuts dropping Kavalisuskas with a flurry of punches with the referee wisely calling a halt.
“First of all I want to thank God. He was strong. I knew I had him. am not calling out anyone. I want to fight all the top boxers. I duck no one,” said Crawford.
In the co-feature IBF World Lightweight champion Richard “RC” Commey, 29-3 (26), #134 ¼, of GHANA, out of Bronx, NY, lost his title to No. 1 ranked Teofimo “El Brooklyn” Lopez, 15-0 (12), #134 ¼, out of Brooklyn, NY, being stopped at 1:13 in the second round of a scheduled 12 rounds.
In the first round Commey used a solid jab with several rights on the chin of Lopez. Lopez got in a couple of times but not enough to take the round. In the second round Lopez dropped Commey with a wicked right on the chin. When Commey got up but was in plenty of trouble. Lopez went in for the finish landing over two dozen punches before referee David Fields stepped in waving it over for Commey.
“I want to thank God. This is a dream come true. We want Lomachenko next,” said Lopez. Later Lomachenko got into the ring and his manager Klimas said “April 11th they will meet!”
Lightweight George “Ferocious” Kambosos, Jr., 18-0 (10), out of Sydney, AUST, won a split decision over former IBF World Lightweight champion Mickey “The Spirit” Bey, 23-3-1 (11), out of Cleveland, OH, over 10 rounds. Bey was down in the 10th.
Scores were Bruni 95-94 Bey, Consentino 97-92 and Procopio 96-93 both for Kambosos. Referee was Mike Ortega.
Super Lightweight southpaw Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas, 16-1 (9), #139 ¾, of PR, out of Bronx, NY, won a lopsided decision over southpaw Noel Murphy, 14-2-1 (2), #138 ¼, of Ireland, out of Woodlawn, NY, for the vacant No. American IBF title over 10 rounds.
In the first round the first solid punch came from Vargas a left on the chin of Murphy close to a minute gone in the round. In the final seconds Murphy a combination to the head in on Vargas. In the second round with a little more than a minute left in the round Vargas landed a solid left to the chin of Murphy. Both connected seconds left in the round with left’s to the chin. Two southpaws do not always make a good fight and so far its living up to that reputation. More faking than landing punches.
In the third round Vargas continues coming forward and shows more accuracy. In the final seconds Vargas landed a low shot from a right as referee Ron Lipton gave Murphy a brief breather. In the fourth round Vargas continued to outland Murphy who has been on the run from the opening round. Vargas landed the best punch of the round a straight left on the chin rocking Murphy.
In the fifth round at the halfway point Murphy for the first time in the fight stoppInside the final minute Murhpy rocked Vargas who came back seconds later rocking Murphy with a solid left to the chin. Though Vargas landed more his face showed more punishment with red marks in several places.
In the sixth round the same as in the other rounds Murphy back on his bike. He throws few left hands but has a solid jab. He’s certainly marked up the face of Vargas with those jabs.
In the seventh round a right uppercut on the chin from Vargas hurt Murphy having him holding on. Murphy was bleeding from the nose in the final minute of the round. Big round for Vargas though under his left eye is swelling up. Murphy also has a welt under his left eye.
In the eighth round after half a minute Vargas landed a solid right uppercut on the chin of Murphy. After a minute Vargas continued outpunching Murphy who has to know he needs a knockout to win. Vargas has Murphy walking into a double right uppercut in the final minute of the round. Murphy has a small nick on top of his nose.
In the ninth round Vargas continues to chase and inside the final minute rocked Murphy with a right hook on the chin. The left eye of Vargas is nearly closed. In the tenth and final round Murphy can’t deal with the speed of Vargas. With half a minute left in the round Murphy was in trouble from a left on the chin. Easy win for Vargas.
Scores were the same at 98-92 with this writer’s 99-91.
2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2016 Olympian Featherweight southpaw Michael Conlan, 13-0 (7), #125 ¾, out of Belfast, No. Ireland, won a lopsided decision over 2012 Olympian and 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Vladimir Nikitin, 3-1 (0), #126, of Russia, out of Oxnard, CA, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Conlan controlled the early action with his right jab. Having lost to Nikitin in the 2016 Olympics he is looking for revenge. In the second round Conlan continues to control with his jab as Nikitin using his height and reach advantage. Nikitin does not seem to open up knowing his opponent is the much better boxer.
In the third round Nikitin warned by excellent ref Harvey Dock to “keep your elbows down!” Conlan continues using the jab and Nikitin has no answer to get past it. In the fourth round referee Dock gave a second warning to Nikitin using his elbows. At the end of the round Nikitin purposely tried head butting Conlan seconds before the end of the round and got a third warning for fouling.
In the fifth round for some reason Conlan goes orthodox and gets hit. Nikitin is very frustrated as Conlan goe back to his natural southpaw in the final thirty seconds of the round. In the sixth round as soon as Conlan turned back to orthodox he got hit with a right on the chin from Nikitin half a minute later Conlan is back to southpaw.
In the seventh round in the final twenty seconds both stood toe to toe banging away at each other. In the eighth round Conlan got hit with a lead right on the chin from Nikitin and immediately Conlan went back to orthodox. Conlan landed a low blow giving Nikitin half a minute rest. It was Nikitin holding down the neck of Conlan brought about the low blow. Referee Dock warned both fighters for fouling. Conlan goes orthodox and wants to stop Nikitin not outpoint him. The fans love it though for staying on the inside Conlan got a cut on the outside of his right eye. It was the best round of the fight action wise but Conlan fighting Nikitin’s style paid the price with the cut.
In the ninth round the blood is coming down the right side of Conlan’s face. Conlan avoids most of the punches from Nikitin but allows him back in the fight. Nikitin suffered a small cut outside of his left eye. In the tenth and final round Conlan avoids most punches while giving Nikitin a boxing lesson.
Scores were 98-92, 99-91 and 100-90 with this writer 99-91.
“It was a lot of pressure going into that fight and there are no bad feeling toward Vladimir. I hope to get a title fight in 12 months,” said Conlan. The Irish kid is some showman in and out of the ring.
Super Middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 13-0 (13), #164 ¾, out of New York, NY, scored his 13th straight knockout in the first round stopping Cesar “Bam-Bam” Nunez, 16-2-1 (8), #164 ¾, out of Pamplona, SP, at 2:45 of the first round.
In the first round it only took ten seconds with one left hook from Berlanga to the chin of Nunez and down he went. With a little over a minute left in the round it looked like Berlanga eith hit the top of the head or behind it and down went Nunez but referee Ortega ruled it no knockdown. In the final minute a left to the ribs, a miss and a right to the head and Nunez went down again forcing referee Ortega to wisely halt the fight as Nunez was finished.
Super Lightweight Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 19-0 (12), #141 1/2, out of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, defeated Manuel “La Tormenta” Mendez, 16-7-3 (11), #140 ¾, out of Colton, CA, over 8 rounds scoring one knockdown.
In the first round a left hook from Rodriguez on the chin dropped Mendez for an 8-count. Mendez took a beating but managed to get thru the round.
Rounds two thru five Rodriguez had an edge in a very competitive fight.
In the sixth round Rodriguez continued pounding it out with Mendez. The latter has a lump under his left eye. In the seventh round Mendez kept pressing in a close round but Rodriguez seemed to have an edge.
In the eighth and final round Mendez was desperate but couldn’t get over on Rodriguez who had one tough opponent.
Scores were 80-71 twice and 79-72 as did this writer have it.