By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
In an unbelievable display of will over skill and guts galore, Ruben Jacoby and Derek Perez packed more punches into three-and-a-half minutes than some 12 round bores. Much to the dismay of the hometown crowd, Jacoby was badly hurt and dropped twice in round one. Incredibly, referee Tim Mills didn’t step in as Jacoby’s head resembled a bobble-head doll with Perez teeing off after the second knockdown. Possibly punched out, Perez couldn’t seal the deal and allowed a bloody and battered Jacoby the fight back, albeit with flailing punches. Saved by the bell, Jacoby staggered back to his corner. Buoyed on by his supporters, Jacoby came out possessed, pinning Perez to the ropes. Eventually, Perez turned to the ref and signaled he didn’t want anymore, the crowd erupting in cheers.
With the win, Jacoby earned the United States Boxing League super lightweight title, moving to 6-4-1, 3 KOs. Perez falls to 2-16-1, 1 KO.
Republic of Georgia heavyweight Mikheil Bakhtidze dropped Chicagoan Francois Russell twice in the first round, courtesy of shots to Russell’s ample midsection. Bakhtidze turned the trick twice more in the second, sandwiched around the loss of a point from referee Stephen Blea for rabbit punching. The second knockdown saw Russell opt to remain on his knee for the full ten count at 1:37 of round two. Bakhtidze moves to 3-0, 3 KOs, while Russell plummets to 3-34, 3 KOs.
Nikita Miroshnichenko put on a body punching clinic against 60-fight veteran Larry “Slow Motion” Smith, over six rounds of middleweight action. The Russian Miroshnichenko mixed head and body shots against the defensive-minded Smith, focusing on his foe’s lean frame. In the end, it was a straight shutout, 60-54 from all three judges for Miroshnichenko, who moves to 12-0, 3 KOs, while Smith lowers to 12-47-2, 8 KOs.
Mengistu Zarzar came out like a man possessed and completely blew away Patrick Pierre in a light heavyweight “contest,” which was anything but. After two crushing knockdowns, referee Tim Mills halted matters at 1:54 of the opening stanza. Zarzar moves to 8-7-1, 7 KOs. Pierre slides to 3-15, 1 KO, after this, his tenth consecutive loss, seventh via stoppage.
Sergio Lopez smoked winless Ray Collins with a perfect right-left combination, laying him out at 1:10 of round one. Lopez moves to 4-1, 2 KOs, while Collins’ “0” remains intact, now sporting a 0-16 record, all 16 losses by KO!
Opening the pro portion of “The Battle” in Cheyenne, Wyoming, debuting cruiserweights Adam Vigil and Carlos Encinas engaged in a sloppy, yet exciting four rounder that went the distance. The Atlas-like physique of Vigil didn’t help him against the shorter, pudgy Encinas whose modicum of skill and endurance belied his build. Encinas looked to have Vigil going in the fourth, the crowd on its feet, rooting for the portly underdog. Vigil lost his mouthpiece during a heated exchange and benefited from a generous cleaning time and re-insertion by his corner. In the end, Vigil prevailed in a majority decision by scores of 39-37, 38-38, 40-36.
An 11-bout Pro-Am show took place at the Red Lion Conference Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming Friday night. Promoted by Ghost Town Gladiators, A1 PRO The Next Generation and Chichimecan Combat Sports and Entertainment. The first five bouts were dubbed “semi-pro,” but fought under amateur rules: 3 x 3 minute rounds, no headgear.
In the opening bout, Anthony Martinez outworked Alex Mann in a light heavyweight match.
Super middleweights Franco Perez Antillon and Francisco Martinez thrilled the crowd with their effort over three hot rounds, with Antillon eking out a split decision.
Middleweights Francisco Hernandez and Ramiro Figueroa showed loads of skill and heart, but Figueroa had the measure of Hernandez in winning a unanimous 3-round decision.
Luis Acosta piled on too much pressure for Kevin Pantoja to handle in winning a super welterweight battle.
Lasha Abashidze gave away the first round to Josh Challenger in their middleweight contest. Then the Georgian import began landing telling blows, finally flooring Challenger at the close of round 2. Challenger was reeling from more Abashidze pressure in the third, but somehow withstood the onslaught to hear the final bell. Abashidze won going away on all three judges’ scorecards.