The T-Mobile Undercard: Hooker, Stevens, Gwozdyk, Shields and More

 

T-MOBILE RINGSIDE REPORT. LAS VEGAS-Maurice Hooker remained undefeated and retained the NABO junior welterweight title with a surprising split decision draw against Colombia’s Darlys Perez in a seesaw battle on Saturday.

The two junior welterweights were a contrast in styles and size but it seemed the Colombian was landing the better shots and not allowing much return fire. There were no knockdowns in the contest which seemed to favor Perez.

But though one judge scored it 97-93 for Perez, another somehow saw it the reverse for Hooker and a third saw it a more reasonable draw at 95-95.

“It’s not my day. That’s not how I wanted to see this fight end,” said Hooker (21-0-3, 16 KOs).

Perez walked out of the ring shaking his head.

“I won the fight. He’s a young lion but I know in my heart that I won the fight. I was robbed, I want a rematch,” said Perez (33-2-2, 21 KOs).

Several other minor title bouts took place.

Light heavyweights Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0, 10 KOs) and Issac Chilemba (24-5-2, 1O KOs) battled on somewhat even terms for eight rounds, though the Ukrainian fighter Gvozdyk (pictured with his manager Egis Klimas) seemingly landed more. At the end of the eighth Chilemba could not continue due to a broken hand and the fight was ruled a technical knockout win for Gvozdyk who keeps the NABF title.

“I am devastated. If I hadn’t hurt my right arm in the third round it would have been a completely different outcome,” said Chilemba. “I was in an incredible amount of pain from the third round through the rest of the fight.”

Gvozdyk was satisfied with the win.

“I’m very excited and happy. What more can I say? This is the best feeling,” Gvozdyk said.

Despite an injured hand Curtis Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) managed to retain the WBC Continental Americas middleweight title by unanimous decision after 10 rounds with James De La Rosa (23-5, 13 KOs). Stevens looked like he was able to do whatever he pleased but De La Rosa survived the early onslaught and after the fifth round it was anybody’s fight. Still, Stevens was able to out-score De La Rosa who had his moments but not enough. All three judges scored it for Stevens: 98-90, 96-92 twice.

“I hurt my left hand in the fourth round. He’s got a hard-ass head. But I am glad I got the win,” said Stevens.

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields showed the crowd exactly how she won back-to-back Olympiads with a combination of speed and power that enabled her to out-fight a very talented Franchon Crews.

Both Shields and Crews were making their pro debuts but their skill level was far beyond any female pro debut fighters in the past. Their exchanges were concise and speedy with obvious middleweight power.

Shields continually beat Crews to the punch but despite having that advantage at first, Crews made adjustments and both were wary of each other. After four quick and snappy rounds, Shields showed off her left hooks that landed often. Crews was able to connect with counters but not enough to win any rounds. The crowd was extremely entertained by the rare televised female fight.

“It feels so good to have just made my pro debut. This is what I’ve been training for. I’m faster and I hit harder. And I’m the better fighter. But Crews brought 100 percent and I respect her for that,” said Shields

It looks like Shields is for real.

Other bouts

Philadelphia’s Damani Rock (6-0, 4 KOs) was taller and seemingly heavier but the undersized Brice Ritami-Coe (4-5-1) proved uncooperative. Rock showed fast hands but could never put together the combinations to trouble Ritami-Coe. After four heavyweight rounds all three judges gave every round to Rock.

Tyler McCreary (12-0) scored a ho-hum win over Vincent Jennings (5-3-1) by decision in a featherweight match.

Sonny Frederickson (15-0, 9 KOs) defeated Gabriel Duluc (11-2, 2 KOs) by decision after eight brutal rounds in a junior welterweight clash.

Bakhram Murtazaliev (7-0, 5 KOs) knocked out Botirsher Obidov (6-1-1) at 2:52 of the second round of their middleweight fight.

Meirim Nursultanov (1-0) defeated Henry Beckford (4-6) by decision in a middleweight contest.

Photo credit: Miguel Salazar

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COMMENTS

-Kid Blast :

Not a great undercard. Hooker stunk up the place and got a draw that will go down as my "worse decision of the year". Shields won but she did not meet the hype. She needs to be matched very carefully at this stage. Chilemba is never in an exciting fight. Kellerman also was especially noxious with his bias mouth. Making a solid fight a "great fight" was bile 'inducing. Only the main event satisfied and a draw would have been particularly satisfying IMHO.


-oubobcat :

Not a great undercard. Hooker stunk up the place and got a draw that will go down as my "worse decision of the year". Shields won but she did not meet the hype. She needs to be matched very carefully at this stage. Chilemba is never in an exciting fight. Kellerman also was especially noxious with his bias mouth. Making a solid fight a "great fight" was bile 'inducing. Only the main event satisfied and a draw would have been particularly satisfying IMHO.
Perez got totally hosed. I had him winning every round. At most, I had three rounds circled as close that could have gone to Hooker. How one judge had it 97-93 Hooker is beyond me. That is the worst card turned in since 117-111 for Oscar Escandon over Tyson Cave two years ago. Shields has some fine tuning to do no doubt. But also keep in mind she was in with no pushover. It was interesting aggressive matchmaking and she was clipped a few times. But I do think she will get better and fights like this will only accelerate the process. She will be must watch tv when she fights and I hope networks give her the opportunity.


-Kid Blast :

Perez got totally hosed. I had him winning every round. At most, I had three rounds circled as close that could have gone to Hooker. How one judge had it 97-93 Hooker is beyond me. That is the worst card turned in since 117-111 for Oscar Escandon over Tyson Cave two years ago. Shields has some fine tuning to do no doubt. But also keep in mind she was in with no pushover. It was interesting aggressive matchmaking and she was clipped a few times. But I do think she will get better and fights like this will only accelerate the process. She will be must watch tv when she fights and I hope networks give her the opportunity.
Oscar Escandon over Tyson Cave two years ago was boxing at it's very worst. Cave truly got stiffed. Also, Ben?tez (sp-?) over Herrera