By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Former world champion and local favorite Sadam “World Kid” Ali (27-2, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn and former world champion Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (24-8, 7 KOs) of Riverside, California went the full ten round distance. A slow pace to start off, Ali and Herrera tested one another with the jab in the early rounds. Herrera pressured in the middle rounds as Ali pumped the jab and was on his feet boxing from the outside. Displaying superior skill, Ali landed a solid combination in the seventh as Herrera continued to press despite getting hit. Keeping his distance and staying conservative later in the fight, Ali out-boxed the always tough Herrera in route to a decision. In the end, the judges scored the bout 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 as Sadam Ali scores a unanimous decision
Super featherweight prospect Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (17-0, 14 KOs) of Victorville, California continued to impress on the big stage under new trainer Eddie Reynoso as he knocked out Braulio Rodriguez (19-4, 17 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in five. Clinched together, a quick check left hook dropped Rodriguez in the opening round. The referee warned Rodriguez in round three for hitting below the belt, later in the round Rodriguez landed another low blow as he was deducted a point, Garcia stuck to the plan as the Dominican showboated. However a hard left hook in the fifth from Garcia did it as Rodriguez was out cold referee Ron Lipton reached a ten count at 1:14.
The ladies were in action as Ireland’s Women’s IBF & WBA lightweight champion Katie Taylor (12-0, 5 KOs) shutout Eva Wahlstrom (22-1-1, 3 KOs) of Finland. Off to a fast start displaying the hand speed, Taylor busted Wahlstrom in the opening round. Taylor used good footwork and technique as Wahlstrom kept going forward getting caught with punches and in the fifth Taylor landed a solid right as Wahlstrom clinched stopping Taylor’s momentum. Taylor’s hand speed was too much for Wahlstrom out-landing her with four punch combinations in the second half of the fight. Trading in the ninth round, Taylor got the best of Wahlstrom rocking her with a left hook and Taylor finished strong working her way to an impressive decision. All three judges scored the bout 100-90 as Taylor retains her titles.
Washington D.C.’s Lamont Roach Jr. (18-0-1, 7 KOs) won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Alberto Mercado (15-2-1, 3 KOs) Puerto Rico in going the distance in a scheduled ten round bout. Boxing smoothly throughout the fight, Roach controlled the action as the aggressor Mercado pressured. Past the halfway point, Roach continued to put in work in the seventh as he backed Mercado to the ropes with a left hook. Mercado pressured late in the fight looking to rally but the D.C. fighter, Roach’s slick style was too much for the Puerto Rican. Scores were 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93.
Super lightweight Yves Ulysse (17-1, 9 KOs) of Montreal, Canada won a unanimous decision over Santa Ana, California’s Max Becerra (16-3-2, 8 KOs) in an eight round bout. A right hand by Ulysse during an exchange in the sixth dropped Becerra as he quickly got up and continued to fight. Becerra was down a second time in the seventh Ulysse was well on his way to a decision victory. Judges scores were 79-71, 78-72, and 78-72.
In the opening bout from Madison Square Garden in New York. Australian super middleweight prospect Bilal Akkawy (19-0-1, 15 KOs) stopped Vicktor Fonseca (17-9-1, KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in a scheduled eight round bout. The Australian Akkaway pressured early but Fonseca held his own in exchanging. Late in the fight during an exchange Akkaway landed a low blow as the referee gave the Mexican time recover. However Akkaway finished off Fonseca late in the seventh as the referee Willis stepped in to stop the fight at 2:53 of the seventh. Akkaway served as a sparring partner for Canelo in preparation for tonight and is trained by Eddie Reynoso.