Jermell Charlo KOs Cota to Set Up Harrison Rematch
After Tony Harrison pulled out of their rematch with an injury -- leaving the fight essentially guaranteed to happen when he heals up -- Jermell Charlo’s fight against Jorge Cota was essentially an all risk, no reward prospect. So, credit to Charlo for taking it, and credit to him for dominating and knocking out Cota in the third round.
Charlo was too good for Cota, and in the third round he dropped him with a nice right hand after using his left to block Cota’s punch. Cota went down and got up on shaky legs, after using the ropes to lift himself off the ground. This is when the fight probably should have been stopped, but instead the referee let Cota continue, only to get knocked completely unconscious with a guard-splitting one-two.
Harrison was at the fight and acted unimpressed when put on camera, but in a fight he didn’t need to take, Charlo sent a message to the Detroit native that their rematch could go very differently.
Rigondeaux Scores Come-From-Behind TKO Victory over Julio Ceja
Guillermo Rigondeaux did something this weekend we’ve never seen from him before. He scored a comeback TKO in a fight he was clearly losing. In the eighth round of a back-and-forth fight, the two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist knocked down Ceja with an overhand left, and though Ceja got up, the referee (controversially) decided the fight should be stopped.
Rigondeaux is known as a slick technician, so watching him slug it out toe to toe with Julio Ceja was a big change from his usually boring style. And, seeing him mount a strong comeback while down on the scorecards, especially in an action fight like this, should do a lot to stop people from questioning his heart after he quit against Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Supposedly, this win means Rigondeaux gets a shot at Rey Vargas and his WBC title if Vargas gets by Tomoki Kameda in July. Rigondeaux is 38 years old but a far more entertaining fighter than he has ever been. After two straight stoppage victories and an action fight against a knockout puncher, for the first time in a long time, people will be very interested in seeing him.
Cancio Stops Machado Faster than in Their First Matchup
Going into their rematch, which was taking place in the same venue as the first bout, Andrew Cancio was talking about doing everything the same, so that the result would be the same against Alberto Machado. That didn’t happen. Instead, rather than stopping the Puerto Rican in the fourth round, Cancio managed to stop him in the third.
“El Chango” again walked Machado down, stunning him with an uppercut at the end of the second round that had him shaky heading into the third. Then, in the third round Cancio landed a beautiful left hook to the body that dropped Machado, and when he got up the referee decided he had seen enough.
What’s next for Cancio, other than another day working at the gas company? Well, Rene Alvorado is the mandatory challenger to his belt, but Joseph Diaz is publicly declaring he wants to fight Cancio next. Diaz beat Cancio via a ninth-round stoppage in 2016, a loss which caused Cancio to seriously consider quitting boxing forever, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Cancio tries to find a way to make that rematch happen instead. If it does, Diaz will enter the ring having only lost to Gary Russell Jr., and having stopped Cancio already, so don’t expect anyone to stop doubting the full-time gas worker any time soon.
Sebastian Fundora Forces Corner Stoppage in Fourth against Manuel Zepeda
Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora (great nickname, awful movie), a 6-foot, 7-inch 154-pounder, used his height advantage to dominate Manuel Zepeda, whose corner grew frustrated with his inability to land close the distance and called a stop to the fight after the fourth round. Fundora is 21, and now 13-0 with nine knockouts. His height alone makes him must-see TV, but we’ll likely need to wait a few more fights before we see how an elite boxer deals with the problems his height creates.
Elwin Soto Stops Angel Acosta in Last Round of Fight He Was Losing
The tough weekend for Puerto Rican’s continued when Angel Acosta, the WBO 108-pound champion was stopped in the final round of a fight he was leading on all three scorecards. Acosta had survived some scary moments throughout the bout from Elwin Soto, including having been dropped in the third, so when he was dazed from a left hook and pinned against the ropes in the last round, many, including Acosta himself, were shocked to see the referee call an end to the fight.
Acosta was ahead enough on the scorecards that he could have been knocked down, and still won the fight as long as he got up, so the stoppage was a huge judgement call by referee Thomas Taylor. As a result, Acosta said he wants an immediate rematch (and will likely try and fail to get the decision overturned).
Conor Benn Stops Jussi Koivula in Two
Conor Benn, son of Nigel “The Dark Destroyer” Benn did some destroying of his own this weekend, when after a shaky first round saw him eat some good shots from Finnish journeyman Jussi Koivola (who is now 1-3 in his last four fights), Benn’s power took over, earning him an eventual second-round TKO. People don’t expect much out of Benn, but he’s enough of a name overseas that he could “earn” a big fight sooner rather than later.
Malignaggi Loses to Lobov in Bareknuckle
And finally, a word about Paulie Malignaggi. By now, you’ve probably heard he lost to a sub-500 MMA fighter in his bareknuckle boxing debut. Obviously, that’s not a good look for him or for boxing (though most boxing fans were too crushed by Randall Bailey’s fight getting cancelled to care), but by all accounts, it appears he believed he easily outboxed his opponent, and thought he won the fight using slick defense and work with the jab.
Yes, in a promotion that once felt the need to publicly announce it was taking a fighter’s pay for not engaging in a blood and guts brawl, “The Magic Man” thought the judges would appreciate his footwork and consistent jab more than Lobov’s pressure and wild haymakers. That, more than any facet of the loss, is most embarrassing.
« Previous Artem Lobov Outpoints Paulie Malignaggi in Bare Knuckle FC 6 Main Event Next Jason Knight Suggests Lobov and Malignaggi Were 'Scared' in their BKFC 6 Bout »