LAS VEGAS-Brooklyn’s Curtis Stevens scored a fourth round knockdown of Philadelphia’s Gabe Rosado but it wasn’t enough to take the BKB middleweight title, as two judges scored it a draw after seven somewhat tentative rounds on Saturday.
“It was the first time at BKB. I should have kept coming to him,” said Stevens.
Rosado kept his composure but was not satisfied with the majority draw against Stevens at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It was his second fight at BKB and he wanted to win convincingly.
“I thought I boxed the s**t out of him. I thought I even hurt him,” said Rosado. “I’m the champion. I thought you had to take it from the champion. We can run it back. It was a draw. Anybody who knows boxing knows I won but we can run it back.”
Stevens did most of the pressuring while Rosado spent most of the time shooting long left jabs. But the more effective blows seemed to be the Brooklyn fighter’s punches. During an exchange of left hooks in round four Stevens beat Rosado to the punch and down he went. He got up and held. It was Stevens’s moment but he could not finish off Rosado.
The taller Philly fighter had a much better sixth-round, landing combos and moving out but never did he land with any authority. In the seventh and last round it seemed Stevens landed cleaner blows while Rosado did connect with some light combos. One judge scored it for Stevens 69-63 while the other two saw it 66-66 despite the knockdown. That made it a majority draw and Rosado keeps the title.
Female title debut
Layla McCarter was a little worried about the small dimensions of the pit, especially against hard-hitting Diana Prazak, but her boxing skills translated well and her pinpoint accuracy gave fans something to gaze at in amazement.
McCarter moved side to side, changing direction with subtlety and small steps on the charges of Prazak, who’s known for heavy punching. Combinations rained on Prazak, who never stopped trying to catch McCarter but the Las Vegas fighter slipped, ducked and countered like the pro she is.
“I’ve fought more in boxing than any woman ever had,” said McCarter, who has amassed more than 50 fights.
Prazak had a good fourth round going but it seemed to wake McCarter up. A flurry of eight punches sent Prazak down near the end of the round.
Luci Rijker, a former great who trains Prazak, shouted instruction to her fighter but she couldn’t get a bead on the slippery McCarter, who ducked under lefts and pivoted around her opponent like Willy Pep.
McCarter was near flawless until Prazak connected with a strong counter right in round six. McCarter rallied with a seamless stream of punches that seemed effortless.
In the seventh and final round McCarter looked eager to score a knockout and attacked with a little more bad intentions. Prazak fought back but was caught by an eight punch combination that pounded the Aussie to the floor. Referee Russell Mora stopped the fight at 1:50 of the round to give McCarter the win by knockout.
McCarter becomes the first female BKB lightweight champion.
“I want to fight Ronda Rousey. I heard she wants to try boxing, let’s do it here,” said McCarter to the fans in the arena. “I love BKB, they give women a chance to fight on pay per view.”
Jesus Soto Karass got bumped up to a pay-per-view fight status and showed his experience edge by out-pointing Ed Paredes over five rounds to win by unanimous decision in a junior middleweight match. Soto Karass had few problems with Paredes who never seemed hurt by Soto Karass but couldn’t stop the punches from landing. All three judges scored it the same 49-46.
“It was a like a normal ring. He hits pretty hard but I’m used to it,” said Soto Karass about his first win in the BKB pit.
Russia’s Khurshid Abdulaev scored two knockdowns to win by unanimous decision and grab the BKB junior middleweight title from Chicago’s David Estrada. Abdulaev was on control for most of the fight but Estrada had his best round in the seventh and last round. It was far too late as all three judges scored it for the Russian 69-61 twice and 68-62.
Anthony Johnson kept the BKB cruiserweight title by unanimous decision in an entertaining fight against Joey Montoya. Both scored knockdowns in the first round and later in the fight. None of the knockdowns seemed to be from punishing blows but were scored as such. The judges scored it for Johnson 68-65 on all three cards.
Jonathan Chicas knocked out Javier “Pelos” Garcia at 16 seconds of round three in their welterweight BKB title fight. Chicas knocked down Garcia twice with right hands in the second round. Garcia rallied in that round but was caught by a left hook in the third round. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight.
Oxnard’s Herbert Acevedo was too accurate for Pittsburgh’s William Hutchinson but after repeated bombs could not seriously hurt the kid. Both junior welterweights fought toe to toe but Acevedo was landing everything he fired. Hutchinson was wobbled in the third and fourth round but never touched the floor. All three judges scored it 50-45 for Acevedo who is originally from Garden City, Kansas.
Boston’s Gabe Duluc was too strong for Chicago’s Antonio Canas and was given a unanimous decision after five rounds of a junior welterweight contest.
Julian Pollard knocked out Elijah McCall at 1:07 of round four in a heavyweight clash. McCall started out quickly but Pollard turned things around. Pollard was more accurate and hurt McCall several times before McCall finally went down.
Photo Credit: David Becker
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