Keep tuned in leading up to tonight’s Top Rank boxing card on HBO. The triple-header begins at 10:00pm. We’ll keep you posted on undercard action until then, and the televised fights afterwards here at TheFightJournal.com.
Notable attendees I’ve seen so far are US Olympian Shakur Stevenson, who makes his pro debut later this month, former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik, heavyweight hopeful Amir Mansour, Gervonta Davis, and Tevin Farmer, a Philadelphia boxer with interest in tonight’s main event winner.
HBO Televised Card
Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko defended his WBO World super featherweight title by defeating Camden, New Jersey’s Jason Sosa via corner stoppage at the end of nine rounds.
Sosa landed his fair share of shots against Lomachenko and won the first round on my card. It was not enough, however, as Lomachnko fought with footwork and hand speed not yet seen in this universe.
Sosa, already experiencing possible weight troubles, ran out of gas as the pack was too much to handle on this night.
No shame for Sosa who stepped up when others stepped aside. Lomachenko vows to try to get fights with every champion at 130. If he fails, he’s moving up to 135 and mentioned fighting Mikey Garcia in a dream fight.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 13-0 (11 KOs) took Yunieski Gonzalez, 18-3 (14 KOs) out early in this lopsided affair three one sided rounds. Gonzalez never got started, as Gvozdyk dominated from the start, leading to a knockdown in round three. He continued to batter Gonzalez until his corner did what referee Harvey Dock should’ve done earlier- they waved the fight off to save a seriously beaten Gonzalez.
WBO Cruiserweight champion Aleksandr Usyk retained his title with unanimous decision over Michael Hunter to open the HBO telecast. Usyk started out fast, but Hunter had plenty of answers early.
Hunter fights an awkward style, similar to John Thompson of ESPN Boxino fame. Hunter was hurt several times and was hit with every shot in the book, but kept going. This fight had plenty of action and shots landed by both fighters.
Referee Bill Clancy might want to change his name to Steve Smoger III as he could’ve stopped the fight on numerous occasion. However, he allowed Hunter every possible opportunity to recover. All three judges scored it 117-110.
Usyk is now 12-0, 11 KO’s while Hunter loses for the first time and he is 12-1, eight KO’s.
Early undercard results
Hometown fighter (Waldorf, Maryland) Michael “Yes Indeed” Reed won a ten-round unanimous round over tough-as-nails Reyes Sanchez. Reed threw everything but the bathroom sink, including the Manny Pacquiao (also of Top Rank’s stable) ‘slide’ left hand. Sanchez however would not go away.
Reed didn’t have the power to put Sanchez away, but his quickness was too much for the taller fighter. landed solid shodts to the body throughout the contest and mixed in some straight left hands from distance.
Reed raises his record to 22-0, 12 KOs. Sanchez drops to 26-10-2.
Philadelphia’s Jesse “Hard Work” Hart won the NABO and USBA title with a crushing uppercut in the fifth round to stop Alan Campa. Hart had little trouble setting Campa up for his money shot. With the win, Hart will most certainly be looking for a World title shot sometime in 2017. Hart remains undefeated and moves to 22-0, (18 KOs). Campa drops to 16-3, (11 KOs).
Local fighter Patrick Harris won an eight-round decision over durable Omar Garcia. Plenty of back-and-forth action between the fighters as the more talented Harris landed solid shots, while Garcia played the catch-and-counter game all night. All three judges saw it the same, however, at 80-72 for Harris. Harris moves to 11-0, 7 KOs.
In the opening bout, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, (16-0, 13 KOs), opened the doors of the new MGM Nationa Harbor by knocking out Ramses Agaton, (17-3-3, 9 KOs) in the fourth round.