Cuban refugee Yunier Dorticos rang down the curtain on a busy weekend of professional boxing with a smashing second round knockout of Dmitry Kudryashov. The match was held in the Illusions Theater of the Alamodome in San Antonio, a curious place for a bout between a Cuban and a Russian, especially considering that it was a college football Saturday in football-mad Texas.
The skirmish figured to be brief, no matter the outcome. Dorticos, who improved to 22-0, and Kudryashov (21-2) entered the match with 41 knockouts between them. The end came at the 2:00 minute mark of round two when Dorticos unhinged Kudryashov from his senses with a huge right hand. The Russian was unable to beat the count.
With the victory, Dorticos advances to the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament. He faces the winner of the Oct. 21 bout at Newark between Murat Gassiev and Krzystof Wladarczyk.
On the undercard, Nonito Donaire, a former world champion at 112, 118, 122, and 126 pounds, cruised to a 10-round decision over Mexico’s Ruben Garcia Hernandez. The 34-year-old “Filipino Flash” was making his first start for Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Promotions after leaving the Top Rank fold. In his previous outing, Nonaire lost his WBO 122-pound title to Jessie Magdaleno. The decision that went against him, although unanimous, was controversial, notwithstanding the fact that judge Adalaide Byrd saw fit to award Magdaleno 10 rounds.
Competition from college football didn’t stop Top Rank’s Bob Arum from staging a show with a pair of world title fights at the Tucson Convention Center. His show went head-to-head with the Utah-Arizona game held 1.3 miles away. Despite a strong walk-up (and what proved to be a very entertaining card), only 4,103 tickets were sold.
Featherweight Oscar Valdez and super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez retained their WBO titles with hard-earned 12-round decisions over Gesesis Sirvania and Jesse Hart, respectively. In undercard bouts of note, two-time Olympians Egidijus Kavaliauskas (18-0, 15) and Michael Conlan (4-0, 4) kept on rolling. Kavaliauskas, a welterweight from Lithuania, advanced to 18-0 (15) with a seventh round stoppage of Mexico’s Mahonry Montes and featherweight Michael Conlan scored a second round knockout over Montana’s Kenny Guzman.
The Conlan-Guzman fight had to be scratched from the telecast on ESPN’s flagship station when the Cubs-Brewers baseball game ran late. In fact, the baseball game ran so late that the first eight rounds of the Ramirez-Hart fight was shunted from ESPN to ESPN2.
Conlan’s next showcase fight is slated for Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden underneath Lomachenko-Rigondeaux.
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At Philadelphia’s Sugar House Casino, hot prospect Devin Haney improved to 17-0 (11) with an 8-round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Enrique Tinoco (16-5-3). The precocious Haney, only 18 years old, grew up in Las Vegas and turned pro under the tutelage of Floyd Mayweather, Sr. A lightweight, Haney had 10 of his previous 16 fights in Tijuana.
Also, Philadelphia heavyweight Joey Dawejko (18-4-4, 11 KOs) delighted the home folks with a third round TKO over Demetrius Banks who was 9-1 going in. Detroit’s Banks, who had previously competed as a cruiserweight, was outweighed by 31 pounds.
A version of the world heavyweight title was contested in Manchester, England, where WBO champion Joseph Parker turned away Hughie Fury via a majority decision (118-110, 118-110,114-114). While the consensus was that all three scorecards were a bit off, Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy found few sympathizers among unbiased observers when he announced that the decision would be repealed. Hennessy described Fury’s uninspired performance as “an absolute masterclass” and invoked the name of Muhammad Ali by way of comparison.
There were no knockdowns in the lackluster bout although Fury suffered a bad cut over his right eye in the fourth round from an apparent accidental head butt.
Parker has his eyes set on a unification fight with WBA/IBF champion Anthony Joshua who opposes Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff, Wales next month. However, in the immediate aftermath of the Parker-Fury fight there was talk that Parker’s next match would come against enigmatic Tyson Fury, the former lineal heavyweight champion. After the scores were announced, Tyson charged the ring to berate the judges.
Another Englishman, Luke Campbell, was also upset with the judges following his failed bid to wrest the WBA world lightweight title from Jorge Linares at the Forum in Inglewood, California. One of the judges gave him the nod (115-113), but the others dissented, voting for Linares by scores of 115-112 and 114-113.
Campbell was dropped in the second round by a punch that also opened a cut over his right eye. That proved to be the margin of difference as the bout would have otherwise resulted in a draw. Although his corner was able to stem the bleeding, Campbell, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, said he fought the rest of the fight with double-vision. His effort will undoubtedly earn him another title shot in the near future.
A 33-year-old Venezuelan who currently calls Tokyo his home, Linares advanced to 43-3 with his 12th straight win. After the fight he called out WBC world lightweight champion Mikey Garcia.
Attendees were cheated of what potentially was the best fight on the card when the 10-round junior welterweight match between Antonio Orozco (26-0) and Roberto Ortiz (35-1-2) was cancelled, reducing the show to five bouts. Orozco was purportedly seven pounds over the limit; so far overweight that he blew off the weigh-in. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Ortiz was willing to go ahead with the fight but Orozco said thanks but no thanks, saying he just didn’t feel well.
This was the second time this year that Orozco missed out on a TV fight because of a weight problem.
Photo credit: Francisco Perez / Ringstar Sports
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