Gervonta Davis Fails to “Thrill” In Easy First Round KO Victory
When Abner Mares had to pull out of the fight against Davis with a detached retina, it became clear that the onus was on Davis to entertain the disappointed crowd against replacement opponent Hugo Ruiz. Davis tried, but in the end the crowd and viewing audience on Showtime left disappointed despite Davis’ first-round KO victory.
Davis entered the ring led by a dance group dressed as zombies performing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” choreography. Although it was fun, and very well done, large portions of the crowd booed the performance throughout. What could the crowd possibly be booing? Boo, we didn’t come to see a dance crew, we came to see an obvious mismatch! Boo, this isn’t as good as Naseem Hamed’s Thriller entrance featuring his KO victims’ names on gravestones! Boo, how come they never made a 13 Going on 30 Sequel? Who knows?
The entrance lasted longer and was far more entertaining than the fight. Davis walked through Ruiz, blasting him with a straight left hand that put Ruiz on a knee. When he got up, Ruiz stumbled around and failed to answer the referee’s questions until the fight was stopped. That was pretty much it.
So, what is next for the now 21-0 with 20 knockouts fighter who calls himself “Tank?” His promoter, Floyd Mayweather, says he will go to Japan to fight Mayweather KO victim, kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa. Unless Davis resurrects Michael Jackson to actually perform “Thriller,” there’s no way he can make that event interesting so boxing media blasted Floyd for the idea, and pressed why Davis shouldn’t be fighting Vasyl Lomachenko. Floyd essentially argued that Lomachenko was getting old and needed that fight to happen now, because he is fading while Davis is peaking before telling Gervonta that he’s making as much money as Loma for doing far easier work. In essence, Floyd told us Davis-Lomachenko isn’t going to happen until Lomachenko is old and has lost a step, so you might as well enjoy the dancing.
Questionable Stoppage Mars Barrios’ Fourth Round TKO Over Zamora
Mario Barrios was probably always going to stop Richard Zamora. After all, the undefeated fighter from San Antonio that tells anyone who will listen he wants “all the smoke at 140 pounds” was riding a six-fight knockout streak and was put on the card because Showtime thinks he could be something special.
Because of that, it was a real shame to watch him beat a very game Richard Zamora, but have many fans left unhappy because the stoppage seemed so premature. Zamora was wobbling as Barrios landed big shot after big shot, but never went down and was clearly upset when the referee grabbed him to end the fight. Zamora deserves credit for how well he performed and he should get another chance at a name opponent on the network. For Barrios, the stoppage controversy was a shame, but with his seventh KO in a row, it will likely be forgotten by the time his next fight rolls around.
Andrew Cancio Shocks Alberto Machado after Being Dropped in the First Round
DAZN didn’t see this one coming. After riding the investment HBO had put in promoting Alberto Machado, DAZN gave the Freddie Roach-trained Puerto Rican what seemed like an easy assignment against Andrew Cancio, who had lost four times already as a professional, to get their audience acquainted with him. Everything seemed to be going according to plan when Machado dropped Cancio in the first round, but Cancio got up and pressured Machado, to which Machado showed an immediate aversion.
Cancio’s body work really began to give Machado problems in the third round. In the fourth round, a straight right hand to the body had Machado taking a knee, then another onslaught to the body had Machado on all fours until the count of nine, then one final attack to the body dropped Machado and forced the referee to stop the fight. With the inspiring end, Alberto Cancio became the new WBA super featherweight champion of the world.
It will be interesting to see how DAZN handles this situation. Machado has the star potential and a rematch clause, but if he doesn’t exercise it Cancio will face Rene Alvarado. Machado showed a near fatal flaw against Cancios come forward style, so it will be interesting if he wants to test himself against the new champ so quickly, or if he wants to spend some time in the gym working to fix his issues.
Rey Vargas Cruises to Decision Win after Getting Dropped in the Second
To beat Rey Vargas, Franklin Manzanilla knew he had basically a puncher’s chance to land the one shot that could get Vargas out, before he got outboxed. Manzanilla almost had that moment when he dropped Vargas in the second round with a left hook to the head, but it wouldn’t be enough. It was a nice enough shot to put Vargas down, but not enough to really hurt him. Unfortunately for Manzanilla, that was his best shot at winning the fight, and though he tried he couldn’t really muster another moment, and was soundly beaten by a unanimous 117-108, 117-108, 117-108 decision, to improve to 33-0.
Beltran Stops Okada in First Fight at Junior Welterweight
After losing both his lightweight title and a shot at Vasyl Lomachenko to Jose Pedraza last August, Raymundo Beltran moved up to junior welterweight to try and once again rejuvenate his career. After stopping Hiroki Okada in the ninth round on Sunday night, so far, so good.
In the ninth round, Okada landed a flurry on Beltran that Beltran mostly blocked or rolled with. Okada briefly rested, leading Beltran to land a clean short right hook on Okada’s chin that dropped the previously undefeated Japanese fighter. After Okada got up at the count of nine, Beltran pressed and bounced Okada off the ropes before he put Okada down and the referee called the fight off.
Okada fought very well, but Beltran is a veteran of over 46 professional prizefights and proved too poised and savvy for the greener fighter. Whatever is next for Beltran will be entertaining, but fans on twitter are calling for a potentially very exciting bout against Alex Saucedo.
Jose Ramirez Retains Title with Razor-Thin Decision in Hometown
Jose Ramirez won a close decision in his hometown, but it was far from a “hometown decision.” The fighter from Fresno is so beloved for both his in ring skills and philanthropic work that he has a mural of himself painted on one of Fresno's walls. So, going into the fight Jose Zepeda should have known he would likely need a dominant victory or a knockout to take Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title. Zepeda boxed very well, but faltered late and never got the knockdown trainer Freddie Roach acknowledged he would likely need, ultimately losing a majority 116-112, 115-113, 114-114 decision.
Early on in the fight, Zepeda’s dart of a left hand was landing at will and his jab consistently kept Ramirez off of him. However, as the fight wore on and Ramirez’s bodywork took its toll, Ramirez was able to take over as Zepeda slowed. Zepeda consistently leaned forward and grabbed onto Ramirez, but Ramirez was never able to time the big uppercut the ESPN commentators were begging for.
After the fight, Zepeda seemed to accept that he should have done more and probably should have been better conditioned so he wouldn’t falter like he did in the later rounds. Ramirez indicated he wanted a big fight, but noted that if he couldn’t get a big name fighter he might move up to 147 pounds.