At the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday over ESPN and ESPN+ Bob Arum – Top Rank presented in the Main Event former WBO World Featherweight champion Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson easily defeated Jeremiah “Low Key” Nakathila for the WBO interim World Super Feather Title. In the co-feature former IBF Super Feather and WBO Lightweight champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza stopped Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez after 8 rounds.
In the Main Event former 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist, WBO World Feather champion and No. 1 ranked WBO Super Feather Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson, 16-0 (8), #129.6, of Brick City Newark, NJ, easily defeated No. 2 ranked Jeremiah “Low Key” Nakathila, 21-2 (17), #129.4, of Walvis Bay, Nambia, for the WBO interim World Super Feather title, over 12 rounds.
In the first round it took half a round before Stevenson landed a punch and when he did it was a left on the chin of Nakathila rocking him. In the second round referee Celestino Ruiz kept warning both boxers about stepping on one another’s feet. Stevenson landed a right to the chin dropping Nakathila but referee Ruiz ruled it a slip. In the third round southpaw Stevenson would step around the left foot of Nakathila landing a solid left on the chin. A minute into the fourth round a left from Stevenson on the chin rocked Nakathila. At the end of the fifth round a right hook from Stevenson on the chin caught Nakathila as he was stepping in with a punch from his left hand dropping him for an 8-count as the bell sounded.
In the sixth round Stevenson continued countering with his left landing on the chin of Nakathila who had no answer for this. In the seventh round both fighters exchanged punches after referee Ruiz called for a halt saying “listen to my command!” Nakathila was very frustrated trying to land more punches on the elusive Stevenson. From the eighth through the tenth Stevenson kept outsmarting Nakathila whose past record comprised of mediocre opponents at best. In the twelfth and final round a frustrated Nakathila swinging and missing wildly slipped to the canvas. It wasn’t pretty but Stevenson continued to school Nakathila countering him throughout the round and the fight. The fans started booing in the eleventh round for lack of action. Stevenson will be looking for unification in the fall with WBO champion Jamel Herring while wanting champion WBC champion Oscar Valdez.
All 3 judges scored it 120-107 for the winner. It’s hard to disagree with it.
In the co-feature former IBF Super Feather and WBO Lightweight champion now WBO No. 6 ranked Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, 29-3 (14), #139.8, of Cidra, PR, stopped Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 21-1 (14), #141.4, of Bergen County, NJ, after 8 rounds of a scheduled 10 rounds.
In the second round Rodriguez suffered swelling around his left eye. In the third round Pedraza continued outworking Rodriguez during the round. In the fourth round Pedraza’s movement seemed to give the much more inexperienced Rodriguez problems. In the fifth round Pedraza turned southpaw the entire round. By the end of the round Pedraza had both of the eyes of Rodriguez red and swelling around them.
In the sixth and seventh rounds Pedraza continued stalking and pressuring Rodriguez with uppercuts. In the eighth round Rodriguez had a much better round letting his hands go. In between the round Rodriguez complained to his corner he couldn’t see out of his left eye which was all but closed.The corner advised Referee Kenny Bayless who waved it off after being told this.
Super Feather Manuel Rey “The Punisher” Rojas, 21-5 (6), #131.6, of Dallas, TX, defeated Tyler “The Golden Child” McCreary, 16-2-1 (7), #131.6, of Toledo, OH, over 8 rounds.
In the first four rounds it was all Rojas outworking and out landing McCreary. In the fifth round McCreary finally started the round with some offense but Rojas took over the rest of the round. McCreary’s jab couldn’t keep Rojas off of him. In the seventh round Rojas had McCreary holding in order to get through the round. In the eighth and final round McCreary had his best round but too late.
Scores were 80-72 twice and 79-73 as did this writer have it. Referee was Russell Mora.
Super Lightweight John “El Terrible” Bauza, 15-0 (6), #140, of Catano, PR, and North Bergen, NJ, stopped Christon Edwards, 12-3 (6), #140.4, of Houston, TX, at 0:40 of the second round, of a scheduled 8, scoring 3 knockdowns.
In the first round two left’s from Bauza on the head of Edwards and down he went for the first knockdown. In the second round a left from Bauza on the chin of Edwards and down he went for an 8-count. Upon rising Bauza jumped on Edwards the final punch a right hook on the chin dropping Edwards for the third time in the fight causing referee Robert Hoyle to call a halt. Bauza is managed by David McWater.
Welterweight 18 year-old Xander Zayas, 9-0 (7), #147.4, of PR and Sunrise, FL, stopped southpaw Larry Fryers, 11-4 (4), #144.6, of IRE, and Yonkers, NY, at 1:02 of the third of a scheduled 6 rounds.
Zayas was the youngest boxer at age 16 to be signed by Top Rank. At 18 he continued his unbeaten streak stopping Fryers.
In the third round Zayas landed our punches with the final one on the temple having Fryers defenseless when referee Celestino Ruiz called a halt
Super Featherweight Bryan Lua, 8-0 (3), #131.4, of Modera, CA, defeated Frevian Gonzalez, 4-1 (1), #131.8, of Cidra, PR, over 6 rounds.
Scores were 58-56 and 60-54 twice.
Middleweight LaQuan Evans, 4-2 (2), #156, Philadelphia, PA, was stopped by controversy by Troy “Transformer” Isley, 2-0 (1), #156.8, of Alexandria, VA, at 2:26 of the fourth and final round.
In the fourth round it was a bizarre stoppage by referee Russell Mora who called a halt with 34 seconds left in the fight giving Isley the win, though Evans it seemed wasn’t hurt at all.
Welterweight southpaw Kasir “Mazzi” Goldston, 3-0 (1), #142, of Albany, NY, defeated Maurice Anthony, 3-2 (3), #142, Ypsilanti, MI, over 4 rounds.
All scores were 40-36.
Welterweight Jahi Tucker, 4-0 (2), #146, of Deer Park, NY, defeated Ysrael Barboza, 3-2-1 (3), #146.4, of Corpus Christi, TX, over 4 rounds.
Scores were 40-36.