Williams Takes Hurd’s Title in His Backyard
Julian “J Rock” Williams traveled to just outside of Jarrett Hurd’s hometown of Washington DC, dominated him, won a unanimous 116-111, 115-112, 115-112 decision, gave him his first loss as a professional and took his IBF and WBA 154-pound titles. It’s safe to say this was a great night for Williams, and a terrible one for Hurd.
It’s also safe to say that not many people saw this coming. Hurd was considered a destroyer, far too big for anyone in the division, while Williams was considered chinny and past his prime, fast approaching 30. Instead, Williams consistently outboxed Hurd, with the official scorecards being far closer than most people scored the fight. Williams dropped Hurd with a big right hand in the second round, then survived some big shots from Hurd in the fifth and sixth. That was Hurd’s best chance, as Williams cut Hurd later in the fight and cruised from that point on.
Both fighters expressed that they would fight a rematch next. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Hurd can make that would allow him to win a rematch, when he couldn’t win this fight in his own backyard. And, as we saw elsewhere this weekend, rematches tend to mirror the first matchup closely.
Berchelt Stops Vargas after the Sixth Round
Miguel Berchelt was too good for Francisco Vargas two years ago, and he was way too good for him on Saturday. Miguel Berchelt’s pace put enough of a hurting on Francisco Vargas that Vargas’ corner stopped the fight after the sixth round. Vargas fought well and did his best to match Berchelt’s pace but Berchelt consistently landed left hooks to the body under Vargas’ elbow, uppercuts when Vargas leaned forward and looping shots around Vargas’ guard. In the sixth round, Berchelt started bringing the hooks to the head consistently which likely led to Vargas’ corner deciding they had seen enough. Vargas did not seem especially hurt at the time of the stoppage, but it was clear the fight, while entertaining, wasn’t going to end in a Vargas victory.
After the fight when asked whom he wanted next, Berchelt cut a promo for ESPN, hyping the Jamel Herring-Masayuki Ito fight that will air on the network May 25 as the match that would produce his next opponent.
Navarrete Stops Dogboe in the 12th Round of One-Sided Rematch
Despite getting handily beaten in the first matchup, Isaac Dogboe entered the rematch with confidence. His father had laid out a litany of excuses for why they weren’t ready last time, ranging from bad sparring partners to allergy-related hospital trips, and when Dogboe entered the ring in a mocking sombrero, it appeared he had embraced the idea the loss was due to those issues and remained confident in his destiny to be a great champion. By the time the rematch was over, the only excuses anyone wanted to hear were about why Dogboe’s corner didn’t stop the fight sooner.
Emanuel Navarrete continued where he left off, battering Dogboe with heavy punches as Dogboe consistently found himself unable to get inside on his much larger opponent. By the time the ninth round came, commentators Andre Ward and Tim Bradley were actively questioning why Dogboe’s father was allowing his son to take such a beating, theorizing it had to do with the shame the Dogboe family spoke of bringing back to Ghana after they lost their title.
Dogboe never stopped trying, but he didn’t have the power to keep Navarrete off of him even when he would land a winging shot, and Navarrete was constantly changing stances and cutting off the ring when Dogboe attempted to flee.
Going into the tenth round, Dogboe’s father told him he was going to stop the fight because he was taking too much punishment, then made the baffling decision to send him out to fight the round. Finally, in the 12th, Dogboe was knocked down on a shot that broke Navarrete’s hand. When he got up, Dogboe’s father threw in the towel as his son shakily rocked back and forth trying to regain his balance as the referee checked to see that he was okay.
After the fight, Dogboe said he is moving up to featherweight, which is a baffling decision, considering his small size played such a role in his losses to Navarrete at junior featherweight. Navarrete, on the other hand, simply declared that he’s the champion and anyone that wants his WBO belt can come and take it from him.
Mykal Fox Uses Huge Size Advantage to Decision Fazliddin Gaibnazarov
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov was a two-time Olympian that won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but it’s unlikely that all that amateur experience could have prepared him to fight a guy as unique as Mykal Fox. Fox is 6 feet, 3 inches inches tall but fights at 142 pounds, while Gaibnazarov is 5-foot-6. Gaibnazarov’s size disadvantage was large enough that he looked like a courtside reporter interviewing an NBA player when they went face to face.
While Fox doesn’t carry any power in that light frame, he wouldn’t need it on Saturday as he thoroughly outboxed Gaibnazarov after surviving being stunned in the second round. Gaibnazarov was deducted points in the fight for excessive holding as he grew frustrated with how the fight was going and how there was nothing he could do about it. In the end. Fox moved to 20-1 with five knockouts via a unanimous 96-92, 96-92, 95-93 decision. This was Gaibnazarov’s first loss, as he moved to 7-1.
Mario Barrios Stays undefeated With Huge Second-Round Knockout
Mario Barrios was looking to one-up Regis Prograis’ performance against Juan Jose Velasco. On Saturday, he did that and more. While Velasco made it to the eighth round against Rougarou, he couldn’t get out of the second round against the pinpoint accuracy and tremendous power of Barrios.
Barrios landed a left hook to the ribs of Velasco then followed up with a short right hand. The body shot is the one that did the damage, as Velasco keeled over in pain and was counted out on his knees. That’s eight knockout wins in a row for the young man from San Antonio.
Check out the devastating body blow San Antonio’s Mario Barrios used to finish his fight against Juan Jose Velasco in the second round tonight. pic.twitter.com/W5vLFcZuJK— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) May 12, 2019
After the fight, Barrios said he wanted one of the 140-pound champions. It would be tough to argue he’s not ready for one.
Korobov, Aleem Fight to Majority Draw
Matt Korobov fought to a majority, 95-95, 95-95, 96-94 draw against Imanuel Aleem, though he likely deserved the win. Korobov was initially deemed the winner until it was announced that the scorecards had been read wrong and the fight was actually a draw. Reflecting this confusion, PBC’s twitter page put up a highlight of the fight and labeled it “Matt Korobov displays his dominance in a slugfest with Immanuwel Aleem to secure the majority decision draw!” That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Korobov is 36, so it’s unsurprising but still a bad sign that he faded as the fight went on. He needed this win. It’s a shame he didn’t get it. Korobov remained 29-2 with 14 knockouts while Aleem moved to 18-2 with 11 knockouts.
Oliver McCall Fight Doesn’t Happen
Sources are scarce but the Oliver McCall fight didn’t happen this weekend. Maybe somebody came to their senses.