It’s been another busy weekend of pugilism, with a host of talent making outings both stateside and across the pond. Three championships unfolded in the headline acts, with Terence Crawford facing Felix Diaz, Gervonta Davis going on the road to meet Liam Walsh, and Gary Russell Jr clashing with Oscar Escandon.
Terence Crawford vs Felix Diaz
At Madison Square Garden, New York, Terence Crawford dominated and stopped a valiant Felix Diaz, with the challenger’s corner forcing a retirement at the close of the 10th round. Crawford returns to Omaha with his sparkling record intact, now consisting of 31 wins, 22 knockouts, along with the WBC and WBO Junior Welterweight titles. Diaz reduces to 19 wins, 2 defeats, 9 knockouts.
While BB has no qualms tallying the contest 99-91 going into the 10th, it should be noted that Diaz, who pressed the action early, fought with plenty of spirit before attrition set in. Crawford, who pumped out a constant jab, coupled with accurate, crisp straight combinations, was more than willing to trade with his opponent. The 140 pound elite began toying with a fading Diaz by the mid rounds, and, with significant height and reach advantages, was never in serious danger.
Crawford vs Diaz: Undercard
- Raymundo Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KO) kept his winning streak in tact following an action-packed two-rounder with Jonathan Maicelo (25-3, 12 KO). Beltran had to pick himself up from the canvas in the opener before returning the favour in the 2nd to collect his fourth straight knockout since being outclassed by Crawford (above) in 2014. Beltran’s Lightweight comeback, which edges him closer to another crack at world glory, continues.
- Shakur Stevenson (2-0, 1 KO) walked through Carlos Gaston Suarez (6-4-2, 1 KO) in the opening round to add another notch to his Featherweight slate.
- Tong Hui Li (9-1, 5 KO) turned in a Unanimous Decision against Daniel Calzada (14-17-3, 2 KO), with landslide scores of 60-54 settling the Junior Middleweight contest.
Gervonta Davis vs Liam Walsh
At the Copper Box Arena, London, Gervonta Davis stopped Liam Walsh inside three rounds. After a tentative start, Davis began firing off left hooks in the 3rd, with one to the temple putting Walsh on unsteady feet. Walsh immediately found himself under an onslaught of further whistling hooks, eating a series of clean shots until he finally hit the canvas. Walsh beat the count, but seconds later was rescued by the referee following more unanswered violence.
Davis, who made the first defense of his IBF Junior Lightweight title, now improves to 18 wins, 17 knockouts, while an overwhelmed Walsh picks up his first career blemish, falling to 21 wins, 1 defeat, 14 knockouts. Davis, with Floyd Mayweather at ringside, picked up some extra buzz on away soil tonight. This was another vicious performance from the man who demolished Jose Pedraza back in January, and we’ll find out in the coming months just how formidable Davis is on the 140 scene.
Davis vs Walsh: Undercard
- Mitchell Smith (15-1, 8 KO) had to settle for a Points victory over journeyman Lee Connelly (6-25-2, 0 KO), with the referee seeing the Welterweight contest 59-54.
- Ryan Walsh (22-2-1, 11 KO) broke down Marco McCullough (17-4, 10 KO) en route to an 11th round stoppage, defending his British Featherweight title in the process.
- Anthony Yarde (11-0, 10 KO) disposed of an overmatched Chris Hobbs (6-2-1, 0 KO) in the 4th round of their Light Heavyweight encounter. Hobbs was down at the close of the 1st, twice in the 2nd, and thrice in the 4th, with body shots sending him south on each occasion.
- Joe Pigford (13-0, 12 KO) came out on top against fellow unbeaten Aarron Morgan (12-1, 8 KO), with a series of crunching power shots ending matters in the 5th. Pigford’s skillset isn’t the most extensive out there, but he can certainly crack.
- Daniel Dubois (3-0, 3 KO) ploughed through David Howe (13-6, 6 KO) in devastating fashion, needing just sixty seconds to conclude their Heavyweight meeting. While there’s no major talking points here, the 19-year-old passes an early doors eye test, and, if anything, has a lights-out right hand.
Gary Russell Jr vs Oscar Escandon
At the MGM National Harbor, Maryland, Gary Russell Jr stopped Oscar Escandon in the 7th round, dropping his game challenger twice to defend the WBC Featherweight crown. With the victory, Russell moves on to 28 wins, 1 defeat, 17 knockouts, edging closer to an anticipated rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko, while Escandon falls to 25 wins, 3 defeats, 17 knockouts.
Russell was all business from the first bell, picking off his man with ease before scoring a knockdown in the 3rd session. Escandon forced his way back into the contest during the 4th and 5th, but couldn’t withstand Russell’s barrage of firepower in the 7th, getting decked for the final time before the referee waved off the violence seconds later.
Russell Jr vs Escandon: Undercard
- Andre Dirrell (26-2, 16 KO) managed to conquer hard-hitting Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KO) in the night’s chief support, albeit in less than conclusive fashion. The Super Middleweight clash was razor-thin on the cards when Uzcategui’s 8th round disqualification arrived due to continued punching after the bell.
- Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KO) earned a hard-fought Unanimous Decision over resilient foe Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KO). Both fighters were floored during the Junior Welterweight 12-rounder, decided on scores of 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109, Barthelemy in the 5th, and Relikh in the 8th.
- Gary Antonio Russell (8-0, 6 KO) had too much in store for Jovany Fuentes (7-9, 6 KO), dropping his overmatched dance partner in the 2nd and 3rd before finding a stoppage. Russell, a Junior Featherweight prospect, adds another building block to his Junior Featherweight campaign.
Give us your take on Terence Crawford’s latest title defense, Davis vs Walsh, Russell Jr vs Escandon, plus the rest of the supporting cast.