HBO Boxing Results – The Oracle Arena in Oakland, California hosted HBO Boxing and ROC NATION Sports for a boxing card headlined by a 12-round light heavyweight bout between Oakland’s Andre Ward and Alexander Brand of Columbia. Heading into the fight the big question was how much of a test the 39-year-old Brand would provide the formidable Ward, who is facing a November superfight against Sergey Kovalev. The answer: not much. Ward pitched a shutout, winning 120-108 on all three cards.
Brand has an unorthodox style, but Ward kept his composure and stuck to his game plan. Ward banked the early rounds in uneventful fashion, but in round five, after switching to a southpaw stance, he became more aggressive, landing good power shots. Ward banked round six fighting the entire three minutes as a lefty and he opened round seven as a left handed fighter before switching back to the orthodox stance. Ward flashed the southpaw stance again towards the end of the fight, but whether lefty or righty, Ward dominated every round although there were no knockdowns.
On the undercard, three fighters — Maurice Hooker, Junior Youman, and Daniel Franco — scored impressive knockouts.
Hooker blasted out Tyrone Barnett in the opening round of the co-main event, a 10-round contest in the 140-pound division. Hooker sent Barnett to the canvas early with a nicely timed right hand, and Barnett was never the same. The referee stepped in and stopped it after Hooker landed a pair of clean rights late in the first round. Hooker, who fights out of Dallas, improved to 21-0-2 (16). He holds a minor belt, the WBO NABO super lightweight title.
Junior Youman, a 20-year-old light heavyweight prospect from Brooklyn, scored an electric first round knockout over Ecuador’s Jinner Guerrero. Guerrero came out aggressively but Younan was composed and clearly more skilled. In one exchange he landed a huge left hook that sent Guerrero down and out. Youman improved to 10-0 with his eighth career knockout.
Super featherweight Daniel Franco showed great patience after scoring a knockdown in the first round, sticking to an intelligent game plan as he gradually broke down his opponent, Marcello Gallardo. Franco, now 14-0-3 (9), won by TKO in Round 5.
Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock, a highly regarded heavyweight prospect, had a more difficult time than expected with Mike Kyle, a 36-year-old former MMA fighter who fights out of Boise, Idaho. The 20-year-old Rock, who spurned a shot at the Olympics, improved to 4-0 with a unanimous decision but was extended the distance for the first time in his brief career.
Overall the card left the fans hanging a bit. It was a very short night overall with half of the undercard bouts being quick knockouts and the other half 4-round fights. That being said, Oakland really turned out for Andre Ward, selling 8,600 seats against an obscure opponent. One thing is for sure: Ward does things his way and is not going to apologize when his performance translates into a ho-hum fight.
Editor’s note: Ringside correspondent Kid Hersh contributed to this report.
HBO Boxing Results