LAS VEGAS-The boxing capital of the world seems to bring out the bad in the sport or at least the strangest endings as Sharif Bogere (21-0, 13 KOs) knocked out Francisco Contreras (16-1, 13 KOs) with a punch behind the back to retain the NABO lightweight title on Friday.
It wasn’t pretty but it was a win for Bogere.
After all of the hoopla, strange chants and lion dressed entourage, Bogere attacked Dominican Republic’s Contreras at the sound of the bell. It was all fury and fists at the Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel before nearly 1,000 fans.
An over-anxious Bogere was jumping in and getting caught with blows from Contreras in round one. The Dominican was waiting to counter and did so successfully.
Bogere was not stymied by Contreras’ counter punching style and pressed the attack even more in round two. Several left hands found the mark as Contreras tried to slip under and around but was caught. A few stiff right leads from Contreras scored but Bogere landed more.
Round three saw referee Jay Nady warn Contreras for holding as Bogere continued to press aggressively forward landing lefts through the Dominican’s guard. A few right hands in return by Contreras did nothing to slow Bogere’s attack. When both fighters tangled against the ropes Bogere unraveled himself and fired a right as Contreras turned his back. Down he went for the count at 2:01 of round three. Referee Jay Nady counted him out.
After a brief delay the knockout was officially read and Bogere declared the winner by knockout.
Jermell Charlo (16-0, 7 KOs) made his Showtime debut against Francisco Santana (12-3-1, 6 KOs) and didn’t warm the hearts of the fans with a so-so performance to win by unanimous decision. Counter-punching just didn’t seem to ignite a fight.
Santana pressured Charlo from round one but was not too accurate throughout the fight. Though he did land numerous body shots it wasn’t enough to convince the judges who preferred the light uppercuts and one-twos from Houston’s Charlo.
Charlo’s athletic ability served him well though he was caught by a right from Santana. He survived that right cross in round six and won 79-73 twice and 78-74. He reminds me of Anthony “the Messenger” Thompson who fought out of Philadelphia several years back. He fights like him and even has the same hair do.
A battle between Las Vegas junior welterweights ended in a majority draw between Taylor Larson (0-1-1) and Cameron Krael (0-0-1). Larson looked over matched at first against the taller more athletic Krael, but he made adjustments in the second round and peppered his opponent with short quick punches for the next three rounds. One judge CJ Ross scored it for Larson 39-37, but the other judges had it 38-38 for a draw.
Pacoima’s Ronald Rodriguez (1-1) survived a knockdown in round two to score his own knockdown and knockout over Gilroy’s Alonso Loeza (0-2) in a junior welterweight bout. Rodriguez kept firing sidewinder left hands and caught Loeza walking in with his chin and down he went. In round two Loeza landed a counter right that floored Rodriguez but he survived. Loeza ran into the left hand in round three and referee Russell Mora stopped the fight at 31 seconds of the round. It was Rodriguez’s first pro win.