While there weren’t any big time boxing PPVs over the weekend, fans of the sweet science had plenty of action to keep themselves busy.
ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s series showcased two rising prospects both under the age of twenty-five. The show was broadcast live from Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas. First up was junior featherweight Jesse Magdaleno (11-0, 8 KOs), who made quick and easy work of Silva Santos (17-3, 9 KOs). He pummeled Santos right from the very start and dropped the overmatched Brazilian at the end of the first, then again in the second, before finishing him off with just six seconds left in the round.
In the main event of the evening, Mercito Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KOs) notched a TKO9 win over Ty Barnett (20-3-1, 13 KOs) in what is becoming typical Gesta fashion: he alternated brilliant displays of offense with fairly mediocre defense before overcoming his opponent with sharp, precise punches. Gesta, a junior welterweight, is often compared to fellow Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao, but that’s a bit unfair to him at this point. He doesn’t seem to possess the overwhelming speed and agility Pacquiao does, though he does have solid enough power. Still, Gesta is only twenty-four years old and seems to be progressing nicely for Top Rank, who would like to see him challenge for a title in the near future.
Alabama isn’t particularly known for boxing, but native son and heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (24-0, 24 KOs) may help to change that. Wilder is one of the United States’ best and brightest prospects in the heavyweight division. He was featured in the main event at Exposition Hall in Mobile, Alabama in front of a boisterous hometown-like crowd. The fight was nationally televised on Fox Sports.
Wilder was America’s lone boxing medalist in Beijing during 2004 Summer Olympics, taking home the bronze in the heavyweight division. After four years, though, fans are ready to see him tested, and his opponent Saturday didn’t even come close. Wilder blasted out veteran Kerston Manswell (22-6, 17 KOs) in the first round in tremendous fashion by knocking him across the ring and down three times before the contest stopped. While Manswell isn’t much of a real life contender these days, he had been in the ring with guys who are/were (e.g., Ruslan Chagaev) and had never been dominated quite like this before.
Finally, Telefutura’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate” card was a prospect bonanza of sorts. Three undefeated fighters stayed that way on the Top Rank promoted card at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas. Light heavyweight Mike Lee (10-0, 6 KOs) showed that eating fresh at Subway may really have its advantages (Lee is featured in national advertisements for the sandwich shop).
The Notre Dame graduate blasted out journeyman Mike Seever (13-12-1, 11 KOs) in just two rounds with a series devastating right hands. He is reportedly scheduled to fight on the 9/15 Martinez-Chavez PPV card next, which should provide even more exposure for the rising contender.
Lots of folks like what they see in twenty-year-old welterweight Jose Benavidez (16-0, 13 KOs) and the prospect likely gained even more admirers after his demolition of the previously undefeated Javier Loya (7-1, 6 KOs) on Saturday. Benavidez dominated his game opponent until the contest was halted in the fourth.
Finally, junior lightweight Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 8 KOs), older brother of Jesse, held up his end of the bargain this weekend, keeping the brothers undefeated at Texas Station Casino for the weekend and on their way to the top of the sport. Magdaleno outclassed former title challenger Antonio Davis with solid combination punching and aggressive offense. Magdaleno took home the easy win by TKO4 after both the referee and the corner had seen Davis eat far too many sharp punches to continue.
What did our TSS readers think about these fights? Did any one guy stand out to you in particular? Are any of these guys future stars in the sport? Let us know!
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV