By Xavier Porter
(Brooklyn – December 15, 2019)
In a hard fought victory, Terence “Bud” Crawford retained his WBO Welterweight Championship against a game and tough challenger in Egidijus Kavaliauskas, while Teofimo Lopez stopped previous IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey in dramatic fashion; and Irish Michael Conlan avenged his Olympic loss against the Russia’s Wladimir Nikitin.
WBO Welterweight Championship
(12 Rounds – Welterweight)
Terence Crawford, Omaha, NEB (35-0, 26 KO’s) vs Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Oxnard, CA (21-0, 17 KO’s)
The bout began with Kavaliauskas showing no fear towards the world’s number one ranked welterweight. Why should he? During the lead up to the fight, “The Mean Machine” shared that he has trained for six months, solely on the purpose of defeating the current champion.
While Kavaliauskas landed some clean, effective punches during the early parts of the bout, it was clear that Crawford was beginning to warm and slowly gravitate towards taking control of the bout.
After the third round, where it appeared that Kavaliauskas scored a flash knockdown against Crawford, the fight immediately changed direction, whereas Crawford became more of the aggressor, exhibiting a “SEEK AND DESTROY” mindset as he methodically began to place punches in areas of Kavaliauskas’ face, body, and upper torso.
The former undefeated fighter from Lithuania never wavered as he tried his best to offset the strategic attack of Crawford. Unfortunately for him, he was out-muscled and outgunned, as Crawford pounced away, ultimately scoring a knockdown in the seventh round after landing a series of combination punches.
Crawford would go on to defeat and stop his opponent at :44 seconds in round nine, after knocking his opponent down with a clean right hook.
In total, Crawford knocked his opponent down three times. Afterwards he shared this with the media:
“I wanted to give the crowd something to cheer about. I wanted to entertain everyone tonight. It’s the holidays.”
“I wasn’t hurt during the fight, not one time. Yes, he caught me with a good shot, but it did not hurt me. It made me want to hurt him more.”
“I was loading up on my punches, instead of using my jab. My coach said to stop loading up, use your jab more, and make the fight easier for you. That’s what I did; I followed his game plan and that’s what happened.”
“For 2020, I don’t have to call out anyone, on the PBC side or the Top Rank side. It doesn’t matter to me. You put any fighter in my division, in front of me, and I will beat them.”
IBF Lightweight Championship
(12 Rounds – Lightweight)
Richard Commey, Accra, GHA (29-2, 26 KO’s) vs Teofimo Lopez, Brooklyn, NY (14-0, 11 KO’s)
What began as a pretty good first round for Richard Commey, ended in a matter of seconds in the second round when Lopez landed a tremendous right hand in the middle of the ring, which immediately sent the former champion stumbling to the canvass and trying to find his way back to his feet.
Commey began the fight, utilizing his lead jab extremely well; however, Lopez began to plot and wait for the left jab and during an exchange of right hands, it was Lopez’ right hand that did the damage.
Commey, who rose to his feet but stumbled around the ring, tried his best weather the onslaught of punches from Lopez who immediately went on the attack to take his opponent out.
Unable to fend off the repeated punches of Lopez, the fight was called with Lopez declared the winner.
Commey appeared stunned after the fight, while Lopez bounced around the ring and performed his patented back flip after his crowd pleasing victory.
With current unified lightweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko sitting ringside to bear witness this stunning knockout, Lopez had this to say:
“I was waiting to counter him. I was timing his jab. I knew eventually that he would punch and when he did I threw my right hand before he could react and throw his.”
“It was a good punch. I was surprised that he got up. I knew that he was hurt and that I had to finish him.”
“Commey is a great man. A strong fighter. I told him that he’s a great champion. No one can take that from him. He fights for his people, for his country, just like me. I am thankful that he gave me the opportunity to fight for my first world title.”
“What’s next for me? You’ll know what’s next for me. It’s the takeover. I’ve been telling you guys this for so long. It’s time for the young guys to take over the sport.”
“I don’t have to say much. Everyone knows what’s next and he (Vasyl Lomachenko) knows what’s next.”
“I’d like to become undisputed champion at 135lb and at 140lb.”
Lomachenko and Lopez are expected to have a unification bout during the upcoming year, either in April or May.
WBO Intercontinental Title
10 Rounds – Featherweight
Michael Conlan, Belfast, IRL (12-0, 7 KO’s) vs Wladimir Nikitin, Oxnard, CA (3-0, 0 KO’s)
The bad blood between former Olympic heroes boiled over in round eight when both men stood toe to toe and threw nonstop punches.
During the exchanges, it was Conlan who got the better of his opponent; however, Nikitin stood his ground, throwing punches back every step of the way.
Conlan, fighting in the southpaw stance for predominantly most of the fight, utilized a continued attack to the body of Nikitin which slowed down his opponent’s offensive output drastically.
In the end, Conlan would go on to avenge his Olympic loss, defeating Nikitin by way of unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91, 100-90).
Afterwards, Conlan had this to say:
“I’m just happy that this is over. I never really had any anger or bad feelings against Nikitin, it was more so towards the Olympic Boxing Committee.”
“I’m just glad that I got this monkey off my back. Now I can go home, relax, enjoy my holiday, and prepare for what comes next.”
“I can wait to come back to fight at Madison Square Garden on St. Patty’s Day. Hopefully I’ll be fighting for a world championship soon.”
IBF North American Junior Welterweight Title
(10 Rounds –Junior Welterweight)
Josue Vargas, Bronx, NY (15-1, 9 KO’s) vs Noel Murphy, Woodlawn, NY (14-1-1, 2 KO’s)
Both men, who are former sparring partners, entered the ring with an equal amount of professionals fights (seventeen).
Both men, fighting in the southpaw stance, went toe to toe but it was Vargas who walked away with the vacant IBF North American Junior Welterweight Title, winning a unanimous decision of (98-92) on all three judge’s scorecards.
Vargas controlled the pace of the fight, often darting in and out of range to land his jab, along with a series of uppercuts, right hooks to the body of Murphy.
Murphy had some success in the fight but when he did, it was far and minimal.
Vargas improved to (16-1, 9 KO’s) while Murphy falls to (14-2-1, 2 KO’s).
(8 Rounds – Super Middleweight)
Edgar Berlanga, Brooklyn, NY (12-0, 12 KO’s) vs Cesar Nunez, Pamplona, ESP (16-1-1, 8 KO’s)
Berlanga, who into the fight on a twelve-fight, knockout winning streak, continued in the same fashion, disposing of his opponent in less round as he knocked down Nunez a total of two times, resulting in referee Mike Ortega calling a halt to the bout at 2:45 of the first
(8 Rounds – Super Lightweight)
Julian Rodriguez, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ (18-0, 12 KO’s) vs Manuel Mendez, Colton, CA (16-6-3, 11 KO’s)
In the second fight of the night, New Jersey’s Julian “Hammerhands” Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KO’s) defeated Manuel Mendez (16-7-3, 11 KO’s) by unanimous decision (80-71 twice, 79-72).
Rodriguez used his patented left hook and fast hands to keep Mendez in range to receive punches all night.
(10 Rounds – Lightweight)
George Kambosos, Jr., Sydney, AUS (17-0, 10 KO’s) vs Mickey Bey, Cleveland, OH (23-2-1, 11 KO’s)
In the first of the night, lightweight sensation and sparring partner for the great Manny Pacquiao, George Kambosos, Jr. (18-0, 10 KO’s) defeated former Lightweight World Champion Mickey Bey (23-3-1, 11 KO’s) by spilt decision (97-92, 96-93 Kambosos, Jr; 95-94, Bey).
Kambosos, Jr controlled the pace of the fight, using supreme power punching to ultimately score a knockdown in round ten towards winning the split decision victory
Xavier Porter is the:
- Host | Producer of the podcast: SHOOT THE FIVE WITH XAVIER PORTER
- Editor and Lead Writer: www.brooklynfights.com
- Fight Analyst for: Facebook FIGHTNIGHTLIVE https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/
Subscribe, like, comment, share, and click the notification button: