There was much anticipation heading into the fourth BKB Boxing card on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In it’s nearly two year history the concept/sport known as BKB: Big-Knockout Boxing has established itself as a new venue for the sport of Boxing and has also become known for consistently producing action-packed excitement with each card. This card, much like previous BKB cards would be no different.
The night’s action began with an exciting Heavyweight battle between Julian Pollard and Elijah McCall. From the opening bell both fighters were willing to engage each other and each had periods of effectiveness in the first round. Although both fighters would continue to let their hands go in the second round it was Pollard who would begin to stand out from McCall by landing combinations highlighted by his right hand.
McCall was able to be effective during periods where he was able to step in on the inside of Pollard and get his offense off first. When Pollard was able to establish some distance however, and execute his offense before McCall could get on the inside the advantage was in his favor. A flush right hand from Pollard dropped McCall early in round four. McCall was able to beat the count, but was on unsteady legs causing Referee Russell Mora to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:07 of round four.
As the concept of BKB continues to grow it will be interesting to see where Julian Pollard will rank in the BKB’s Heavyweight division. With now two victories in BKB, one might assume that Pollard could be a contender in a fight to determine a vacant BKB Heavyweight world championship. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for both Pollard and the BKB’s Heavyweight division.
In a Jr. Welterweight bout Gabe Deluc scored a five round unanimous decision over Antonio Canas. Deluc dominated this fight with combination punching and his ability to keep turning Canas to avoid being a stationary target inside the narrow fighting area known as the “BKB Pit.” Official scores were 50-45 on all three scorecards for Gabe Deluc. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the judges 50-45 for Gabe Deluc.
Also in the Jr. Welterweight division Herbert Acevedo scored a five round unanimous decision over Bill Hutchinson. The story of this fight was Acevedo’s well-balanced attack to the body and head that battered Hutchinson over the course of the fight. Hutchinson was very “Game” and despite suffering a cut under his right eye in round three, he never stopped trying to turn the fight around in his favor. Official scores were 50-45 all in favor of Herbert Acevedo. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the three official judges 50-45 in favor of Acevedo. It will be interesting to see whether a potential fight can be made between Acevedo and Gabe Deluc. Based on their dominant performances in their respective bouts on this card a bout between the two is intriguing and quite possibly could headline a future BKB card.
In a bout for the BKB Welterweight world championship Jonathan Chicas scored a third round knockout over champion Javier Garcia to win the title. Chicas established a consistent body attack on the champion in the opening round and dropped Garcia twice in round two. Chicas closed the show with a left hook to chin of Garcia in round three. Following the third knockdown the fight was immediately stopped by Referee Tony Weeks. Official time of the stoppage was :16 of round three.
In first ever Women’s bout in the history of BKB for the vacant BKB Women’s Lightweight world championship Layla McCarter scored a seventh round knockout over Diana Prazak to win the title. McCarter dictated the pace of the fight from the outset picking her spots, and frankly put on a Boxing clinic. McCarter scored a knockdown of Prazak with a combination at the end of round four.
McCarter dropped Prazak for the second time with a barrage of punches in the seventh and final round. Prazak was able to get up from the knockdown, but McCarter closed the show with another barrage of punches forcing Referee Russell Mora to step in and stop the fight with ten seconds left in the contest. Official time of the stoppage was 1:50 of round seven.
In a bout for the BKB Cruiserweight world championship Anthony Johnson successfully defended his world title with a seven round unanimous decision over Joey Montoya. Both fighters suffered knockdowns in the opening round. Montoya dropped the champion with a left hand to score the first knockdown of the bout. Johnson however, would score a knockdown of his own in the closing seconds of the round when he dropped Montoya with a left hand of his own.
Both fighters continued to engage and would each score a knockdown for the second time in round three. As was the case in the first round Johnson would be knocked down first in the third round from a left hand. Johnson would however, be credited with a knockdown later in the round when Montoya stepped out of the fighting area of the “BKB Pit.”
The tempo of the fight began to shift in Johnson’s favor in rounds four and five due to his combination punching and landing the cleaner punches. Montoya however, had a solid round six where he briefly stunned the champion with a right hand and brought the fight to Johnson throughout the round.
Johnson would ultimately earn a hard fought unanimous decision to retain his world title. Official scores were 68-65 on all three scorecards in favor of Anthony Johnson. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the official judges 68-65 in favor of Johnson. This was a very entertaining fight to watch and it would not surprise this observer to see a rematch between these two fighters on a future BKB card. On this night Johnson simply did a little more than Montoya and was able to retain his world championship as a result.
In a bout for the BKB Jr. Middleweight world championship Khurshid Abduliaev scored a seven round unanimous decision over champion David Estrada to win the title. Abduliaev consistently pressed the action and backed the champion up from the outset with a well-balanced attack to the body and head. Estrada seemed to have trouble letting his hands go with consistency during this fight due to Abduliaev’s ability to control distance, get his punches off first, counter punching, and being solid defensively.
Abduliaev was credited with a knockdown in round five when Estrada stepped out of the “BKB Pit.” Moments later Abduliaev would score a second knockdown of Estrada as a result of a straight left hand. Despite Abduliaev dominating the fight, he would be penalized a point in round six for pushing Estrada.
Although Abduliaev lost a point in round six he dominated the fight from start to finish and earned a convincing unanimous decision on the scorecards. Official scores were 69-61 (on two scorecards), and 68-62 all for Kurshid Abduliaev. Unofficially, I scored this fight 69-61 in favor of Abduliaev. If one takes the point deduction against Abduliaev out of the equation, he nearly won every round of this fight. Estrada was able to connect with some solid punches in the final round, but he simply could not find a way to be consistent with his offense and that should be credited to the Boxing ability of Abduliaev.
Also in the Jr. Middleweight division Jesus Soto Karass scored a five round unanimous decision over Ed Paredes. Soto Karass consistently pressured Paredes over the course of this fight. Soto Karass’ pressure and ability to mix his offense to the head and body of Paredes including landing several flush overhand rights throughout allowed Sotto Karass to earn a convincing unanimous decision. Official scores were 49-46 on all three scorecards in favor of Jesus Soto Karass. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the official judges 49-46 in favor of Soto Karass. Paredes was able to have his moments periodically throughout this fight, but he was unable to neutralize Soto Karass’ pressure and that is what cost him the fight, in my opinion.
It will be interesting to see what may be in store for Jesus Soto Karass in the BKB’s Jr. Middleweight division. If Soto Karass chooses to continue to compete in BKB fights against either Kurshid Abduliaev or David Estrada could both be potential options.
In the main event of this card BKB Middleweight world champion Gabriel Rosado retained his world title in a hard fought seven round draw with Curtis Stevens. This was a fight that was extremely competitive and was a contest where both fighters had their moments. Stevens seemed to get the upper hand when he was able to get on the inside of Rosado and let his hands go. Rosado meanwhile was more effective when he was able to establish some space between himself and the challenger and able to keep Stevens at distance and able to work off of his jab.
Several of the rounds in this fight were difficult to score due in part to both fighters being able to have periods of effectiveness as well as the two minute round durations in which all fights in BKB are fought. Stevens scored a knockdown of Rosado with a flush left hook in the closing seconds of round five. Rosado did not appear hurt by the knockdown and the battle continued into round six. Although he was more effective when he was able to keep Stevens on the outside, Rosado was more than willing to engage with the challenger whenever Stevens would get on the inside. Despite Rosado suffering the knockdown in round five, the fight remained close and competitive. At the conclusion of the seven round championship bout the judges rendered a majority draw. Official scores were 69-63 for Stevens, and 66-66 (on two scorecards) resulting in a majority draw.
Unofficially I scored this fight a draw 66-66. Although Stevens was able to drop Rosado in round five, neither fighter was able to really stand out from the other for much of this fight and given that the BKB format differs from the traditional form of Professional Boxing with different round limits and durations than a traditional Boxing match, it was not surprising to this observer to see this fight scored a draw. It was also not surprising to see one scorecard determine a winner by a significantly wider margin than the other judges. Much as is the case in traditional Boxing, when it comes to close fights it will often boil down to what a judge prefers in their own individual criteria in how they score a fight based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense. The same criteria exists in BKB and from time to time close fights as this fight was will happen and there will be a difference of opinion as to who won.
Based on how close this fight was I believe that those behind BKB should consider an immediate rematch between Rosado and Stevens. If a rematch between the two is in the near future it will be interesting to see whether the rematch will be scheduled for a distance beyond seven rounds.
Although BKB is still very much in its growing stages and even though the BKB format is different from traditional Professional Boxing this observer believes that championship fights should be scheduled for a distance of at least ten or twelve rounds. The fight between Rosado and Stevens was very competitive and could have gone either way, but I believe the outcome of this fight can be best summed up as “Inconclusive” and it would have been interesting to see what might have happened had the fight been scheduled for a longer distance.
Overall the fourth card in this history of BKB and the second card since undergoing a slight revamp and name change much as the previous three produced action, excitement, and a healthy mix of knockouts and competitive fights. As this concept/sport continues to grow it will be interesting to see more fighters attempt to make the transition to the BKB format and whether BKB will attempt to stage cards perhaps on a cable network in addition to traditional pay-per-view to expand the exposure of BKB to a wider audience.
In this observer’s eyes the concept of BKB: Big-Knockout Boxing has consistently showed progress with each card and will likely continue to grow in time. For now, the future looks bright for BKB and I very much look forward to seeing this concept continue to evolve.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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