Stevenson crushes Guevera in three

By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photos: Darryl Cobb, Jr.

It was billed as the long-awaited homecoming for the WBO featherweight contender “Fearless” Shakur Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs) and he did so in dramatic fashion with a decisive third round knockout of former world bantamweight challenger Alberto “Metro” Guevara (27-5, 12 KOs) Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Stevenson looked sharp right from the opening bell with a heavy left hook to the body. Guevera, who took the fight on just eight days notice went on the retreat.

The bodywork continued in round two and Guevara was withering from the shots. In mid-round, a short left hook underneath sent Guevara to the canvas. He rose to his feet, but returned to the canvas from a straight left on the button. The bell sounded before any further damage could be done.

Stevenson was on the attack, but a low blow which was followed by a two punch combination just before Referee David Fields stepped in to give him time to recover. Stevenson went right after him and a four punch combination put him down for the ten count at 2:37 of round three.

Stevenson was jubilant about his fight afterward: “That was a great performance I put on for the city of Newark. Top Rank, you all have to give me better competition I want the IBF and WBO {titles}. I would love to go to England to fight Josh Warrington.”

* * *

Joshua “Don’t Blink” Geer Jr (20-1-1, 12 KOs won a methodical twelve round majority decision Nikolai Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KOs) to win the NABF bantamweight title and the IBF eliminator for the number two spot in the bantamweight rankings.

Rounds one and two were non descript as both fighters probed with jabs. Potapov’s shots were heavier.

The Russian by way of Brooklyn found his mark early in round three with some straight one-twos up the middle and both traded big hooks as the round came to an end.

Greer went back on the offensive in the fourth and fifth rounds walking down Potapov with careful single shots. The crowd began to boo from lack of action.

It was another close round in the sixth Potapov landed some hard counters, but Greer pushed the attack in the final minute to make the round close.

Greer took the eighth round with short combinations, but the bout slowed as neither fighter committed to any heavy combinations.

The ninth round saw Greer control most of the round with sharp jabs, Potapov would land the occasional heavy single hook that made the round hard to call.

Greer hurt Potapov in the tenth round with a left hook under the ribs, but could not capitalize on the opportunity as Potapov stepped out of danger before ending the round with a flurry.

Round eleven went to Greer who forced most of the action with short flurries and movement.

The twelfth and final round was close, but Greer once again boxed his way with the occasion power flurry to take the round.

One judge scored it even at 114-114 even, but was overruled as the other two officials it in favor of Joshua Greer by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 for the majority decision victory.

“He’s very awkward with the Russian style,” said Greer afterward. “But at the end of the day, this is the pros. I pulled it out.”

* * *

Welterweight prospect Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (14-1, 9 KOs) put another impressive performance with a seventh round stoppage of Manuel Lopez (14-4-1, 7 KOs). Vargas controlled the early rounds with short combinations while stepping in and out of the pocket. Lopez made rounds five and six close with hooks on the inside. It all changed as Vargas rocked Lopez with a right hand in the seventh round. Lopez tried to fight back, Vargas would not let him off the hook as he pushed the attack and ended it with three straight right uppercuts that had Lopez hurt and covering against the ropes. Referee Sparkle Lee had seen enough and waved a halt to the contest at 2:50 of the seventh round for the TKO victory.

Highly touted local amateur star Vito “White Magic” Mielnicki scored devastating first round knockout Tamarcus Smith (2-3, 2 KOs) in his professional debut. Smith had no chance as Mielnicki floored him with a three punch combination that ended with a right hand at 1:16 of the opening round. Smith was out before he hit the canvas

Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) needed only fifty-nine seconds to overcome two years of ring rust in scoring a devastating knockout of Columbian veteran Hevinson Herrera (24-18-1, 18 KOs). Rodriguez was sharp from the opening bell and found his mark with a solid left-right on the button that put Herrera to the canvas and out for the ten count.

Popular super lightweight John “El Terrible” Bauza (13-0, 5 KOs) battered a game, but outgunned Mexican Angel Sarinana (10-9-2, 4 KOs) over eight action-packed rounds en route to a solid unanimous decision. Bauza controlled the action throughout with hard combinations and movement. Sarinana wouldn’t back off and pressed the action, but just could not match the hand speed and ring generalship of Bauza. All Three judges scored it 80-72 x 3 to give Bauza the clear cut unanimous decision victory

Two-time Indian Olympian Vijender Singh (11-0, 8KOs) impressed in his US debut as he stopped crafty super middleweight “Iron” Mike Snider (13-6-3, 6 KOs) in the fourth round of their scheduled eight round contest. Singh took over in the second round as he sent Snider almost through the ropes with a right hand. Singh was in control by the fourth round as he battered a badly hurt Snider in the corner until the bout was stopped at the 1:23 mark for the TKO victory.

Undefeated lightweight knockout artist Joseph Adorno (13-0, 11 KOs) blasted out tough Dominican Adriano Ramirez (10-4, 6 KOs) in the opening bout of the evening. Adorno controlled the bout right from the opening bell with pinpoint jabs. He stepped up the pace in the second round and dropped Ramirez with a left hook. Ramirez rose to his feet, but it was to no avail, as a bristling three punch combination sent him back to the canvas for the final time at 1:12 of the second round.

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  • Josh Greer, Jr. put on a hugely disappointing performance tonight. Although he won a gift majority decision, he should have lost by 2 or 3 rounds. He wasn’t using his jab, he didn’t throw enough punches, and he often forgot to throw to the body. In contrast, his Russian opponent was using his jab effectively and would throw the right hand behind it. He was troubled in mid-fight with Greer’s body shots, but Greer didn’t jump on him and continue punching

    Greer displayed many flaws in this fight. He would work his way in, throw a punch, then back out and have to restart again. That is just dumb. He needed to stay inside and dig to the body. He also needed to stop accepting clinches at times when he should have been letting his hands go. He was vulnerable to the straight right hand all night and never made any adjustments to avoid it. What he did do was bend low, but that left him vulnerable to uppercuts. He needed a lot more head movement to avoid shots.

    Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley were critical of Greer’s fight plan and rightfully so. He finished strongly but his flaws were on display to the end. He needs to stop the really bad habit of lunging without jabbing and putting his head up on a platter for his opponent to hit. He also needs to focus on faster starts. He didn’t do much in the first two rounds and his opponent was getting in rhythm hitting him with jabs and right hands. Greer’s status in his division took a huge step back tonight. He’s not ready for a title shot of any type. If he meets one of the top fighters, he will be knocked out.

  • It’s too bad that the promoters ruined Stevenson’s home town debut. Guevera didn’t deserve to be in the same ring with Stevenson. I never saw a fighter more scared in my whole life. If Guevera could have run right out of the ring, he would have, instead he just laid down on the canvas and got counted out. The fight did nothing to help cement Stevenson’s legacy as an up and coming title contender. He needs to fight legitimate contenders to get the respect he is trying to achieve.

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