Boxing's heavyweight division may take on a new look after tonight's heavyweights battles in New York. Then again, don't bet on it.
John Ruiz vs. Andrew Golota
Andrew Golota was once again on the wrong end of a controversial decision as John Ruiz retained his WBA title with a unanimous points win.
Golota floored the champion twice in round two, the first time with a straight left and then again later in the round. Ruiz was also deducted a point for hitting Golota on the back of the head in the fourth round of an ugly fight riddled with constant fouling.
However, Ruiz somehow still did enough to convince all three judges to vote in his favour, two by 114-111 and the other 113-112.
Chris Byrd vs. Jameel McCline
IBF champion Chris Byrd, who had been fortunate to escape with a draw against Andrew Golota in his previous fight, retained his belt with a majority points win over Jameel McCline, but only after being floored with a right hand at the end of round two.
The champion rallied well and eventually used his greater speed to good effect to get home by 115-112 and 114-113 on two of the judges' scorecards, although the third had McCline ahead 114-112.
“The way I fought back showed I am a true champion. I had to dig down. He weighed 270 pounds,'' Byrd said. “I definitely did enough to win the fight. I am a champion.''
Byrd, who weighed 214 pounds to McCline's 270, was in trouble early, going down in the second round from a right hand and taking punishment from an aggressive McCline. He was trailing badly after five rounds, before beginning to find his mark and score with quick inside combinations.
“He has fast hands and he took me out of my game plan,'' said McCline. “That was the difference.''
Hasim Rahman vs. Kali Meehan
Former champion Hasim Rahman will likely target a clash with the winner of next month's clash between Vitali Klitschko and Danny Williams after beating Kali Meehan in a WBC/WBA title eliminator.
Meehan’s corner threw in the towel after the 4th round after their fighter took sustained punishment throughout the early rounds, but particularly in the 4th.
Evander Holyfield v. Larry Donald
The calls will grow for Evander Holyfield to hang up his gloves after the four-time heavyweight champion was easily outpointed by Larry Donald, via scores of 119-109 twice and 118-109.
Holyfield saw his record fall to 38-8-2 and has now lost 3 in a row and has won only 2 of his last 9.
DaVarryl Williamson vs. Oliver McCall
DaVarryl Williamson defeated former WBC champion Oliver McCall by unanimous decision, via scores of 96-94 twice and 97-94.
* More boxing coverage of these fights from TheSweetScience.com to follow.