Review from Birmingham – Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder pummeled Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola into submission to successfully defend his WBA World heavyweight title, but it was a bittersweet triumph as he suffered a broken right hand and apparent torn biceps in the process. Arreola, now 36-5-1 (31 KOs) started very slow and never really had much of any success except for occasional bursts in the fight. Wilder dominated the action and was even taunting Arreola to the delight of the pro-Wilder crowd. Arreola would finally not answer the bell to start the ninth round after a one-sided beat down. The undefeated (37-O) Wilder registered his 36th knockout.
In the 10-round semi-main, welterweight Felix Diaz, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist for the Dominican Republic, saddled “The Sergeant” Sammy “The Who Can Mexican” Vasquez Jr. with his first defeat. Diaz, now 18-1, pressed Vasquez around the ring through a bobbing and weaving type of style that we had not previously seen from him. He would then transition back to defense in spurts to further confuse Vasquez, although nothing was as confusing as the scorecards reading a majority draw, only to be overturned to a unanimous decision for Diaz after it was realized that the point deduction taken from Vasquez for splitting out his mouthpiece in the final round was apparently left out. Vasquez declined to 21-1 (15).
The 10-round welterweight bout between Jamal “Shango” James (19-0, 9 KOs) vs Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (26-2, 21 KOs) was a hard fought war where both men left everything they had in the ring. Omotoso pressed James very hard throughout the fight, causing James to have to uncomfortably create enough distance to use his length. Omotoso scored a knockdown in the first round and hurt James a couple of other times, but James showed excellent fighting heart and stamina in landing his own right hands and body shots to hurt Omotoso. It was a great fight that saw James prevailing by a split decision.
Undercard Review from Birmingham
Twenty-year-old super welterweight Erickson Lubin improved to 16-0 (11) with an 8-round decision over Ivan Montero who fell to 20-2. Lubin won every round, but yet it was a good learning lesson for him. He had problems in adjusting to Montero after it appeared that he would take him out early. Montero offered just enough movement so that Lubin’s power shots were not landing to full effect.
The fight between Vic Darchinyan (42-8-1, 31 KOs) and Sergio Frias (17-6-2, 8 KOs) was a shocker as the light punching and heavy underdog Frias landed a right hand to Darchinyan’s chin that put him down and out in the second round. Vic’s fighting spirit wanted to get up; his head inched off the canvas and his eyes had a look like he was trying real hard to rise, but his body just couldn’t do it. Perhaps it is time for the forty year old former flyweight champion Darchinian, a veteran of many tough fights, to call it quits.
The bout between Gerald Washington (17-0-1, 11 KOs) and Ray Austin (29-7-4, 18 KOs) started slowly as Washington was very cautious of Austin’s power and gave him great respect. It wasn’t until the fourth round that Washington started to unload his right hand – which caught Ray and stiffened his legs up. Washington landed more right hands and Austin was down and out. Good, solid win for Washington who just needs to continue getting these learning fights and staying busy to further his progression in the heavyweight ranks.
Layla McCarter (37-13-5, 9 KOs) vs Melissa Hernandez (22-6-3, 7 KOs) was another good fight. It was the fourth meeting between the two top notch females and McCarter would get the better of it as she kept Hernandez on the outside for the majority of the 8-round fight and landed the cleaner shots en route to a unanimous decision. The scores were 80-72, 79-73, and 78-74.
Ryan Martin’s bout with Samuel Amoako was a bit of a coming out party for Martin, the young Cleveland junior lightweight. Amoako, now 21-12 (15 KOs) is a tough guy that almost always comes to fight and Martin, now 15-0 (9 KOs) gave him a beating over the course of six rounds. Amoako would end up circling the ring and playing defense to last through the final two rounds due to Martin being superior in every way.
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Review from Birmingham – Other Bout Results:
Robert Alfonso-Acea UD 6 Jamal Woods, heavyweights
Kenny NcNeil KO 2 Robert Burwell, 6 rounds middleweights
Keandre Leatherwood TKO 2 Tyrone Selders, 6 rounds middleweights