Undefeated two-division world champion Demetrius Andrade scored a twelfth round stoppage of WBO number eight Middleweight contender Artur Akavov to retain his WBO World Middleweight championship on Friday night in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. In what was a tactical fight early on, Andrade’s hand speed and combination punching gradually took over the fight. Despite being tactically outgunned, Akavov was quite “Game” and never stopped trying to turn the momentum in his favor. In the twelfth and final round, a body shot followed by a left hand that did not land appeared to briefly stagger Akavov and Referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. stepped in and stopped the fight. Akavov, who had taken some punishment throughout the fight, protested the stoppage, but it was to no avail as Mercante told the native of Novocherkassk, Russia that he was concerned for his welfare and said there will be another day.
Official time of the stoppage was 2:36 of round twelve. Demetrius Andrade advances to 27-0, with 17 Knockouts. Artur Akavov falls to 19-3, with 8 Knockouts.
In a shocking upset, longtime Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight contender Pablo Cesar Cano scored an impressive first round stoppage of former three-division world champion Jorge Linares. Cano’s naturally bigger size and punching power were the story of this fight as he scored three knockdowns of the future Hall of Famer Linares before the fight was stopped by Referee Rocky Gonzalez. Official time of the stoppage was 2:48 of round one.
Pablo Cesar Cano advances to 32-7-1, with 22 Knockouts. Jorge Linares falls to 45-5, with 28 Knockouts.
In a battle for the vacant WBO Women’s Jr. Bantamweight world championship, multi-division world champion Amanda Serrano became a seven-division world champion as she scored a first round knockout over IBF Jr. Bantamweight world champion Eva Voraberger. A left hook to Voraberger’s liver ended the fight almost as quickly as it began as Voraberger went down and could not beat the count of Referee Sparkle Lee. Official time of the stoppage was :35 of round one.
Amanda Serrano advances to 36-1-1, with 26 Knockouts. Eva Voraberger falls to 24-6, with 11 Knockouts.
In the Jr. Welterweight division, former WBO Jr. Welterweight world champion Chris Algieri scored a lopsided ten round unanimous decision over veteran Danial Gonzalez. Algieri put on an impressive display of Boxing in the first seven rounds of the fight using lateral movement and effective body punching to out box Gonzalez. Algieri suffered a cut in round seven under his left eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads. Gonzalez, who has served as a sparring partner for Algieri in the past came on aggressively late in the fight, but was unable to turn the ebb and flow in his favor, despite the former world champion backing up throughout the latter stages of the fight. The result of a unanimous decision in favor of Algieri after ten rounds was not well received by the crowd in attendance as they booed the decision. Official scores were 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94 all in favor of Algieri. Unofficially, I scored this fight 97-93 in Algieri’s favor.
Chris Algieri advances to 23-3, with 8 Knockouts. Daniel Gonzalez falls to 17-2-1, with 7 Knockouts.
In a bout for the IBF Jr. Featherweight world championship, undefeated champion TJ Doheny successfully made the first defense of his world title by scoring an eleventh round stoppage of IBF number ten rated contender Ryohei Takashi. Both fighters suffered cuts in round two as a result of an accidental clash of heads, but despite the cut, Doheny was in control of the fight throughout and scored a knockdown of the challenger in round three. The end came in the eleventh round when Referee Michael Ortega stopped the fight at a moment that appeared odd in that although Takahashi had sustained punishment throughout much of the fight, he wasn’t in trouble when the fight was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 2:18 of round eleven.
TJ Doheny advances to 21-0, with 15 Knockouts. Ryohei Takahashi falls to 16-4-1, with 6 Knockouts.
Undefeated Welterweight Reshat Mati scored the third win of his young career by scoring a first round knockout over Benjamin Borteye. Mati scored a knockdown of Borteye early in the round and was able to get a stoppage of Borteye from Referee Miguel Rosario at 1:06 of round one.
Reshat Mati advances to 3-0, with 2 Knockouts. Benjamin Borteye falls to 4-4, with 4 Knockouts.
The first defense of his WBO Middleweight world championship could likely set up some interesting possibilities for him in 2019 and beyond in the talent deep 160lb. Middleweight division. Among his possible options would obviously be to face the winner of the upcoming Middleweight unification bout between WBC/WBA/IBO world champion Saul Alvarez and recently crowned IBF world champion Daniel Jacobs, which will take place on May 4th. Another possible option would be for Andrade to defend his crown against former longtime Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin, who as of this writing remains a fighter without a broadcaster to televise his fights, with DAZN, ESPN, and the Premier Boxing Champions brand, which includes both Showtime and Fox as potential future homes for the former world champion. If Golovkin were to sign with DAZN, the possibility of full unification of the Middleweight championship of the world is very real as all the current world champions will be fighting on one platform and a fighter who in the opinion of many is still a world champion in Gennady Golovkin would also be a player in that mix.
In closing one brief observation. A topic of some in the days ahead might concern the stoppages of both the Doheny-Takahashi and Andrade-Akavov fights. Although some might view the stoppages of these two fights as premature and may even call them controversial, it is important to remember that the knockout of Adonis Stevenson in December of last year at the hands of Oleksandr Gvozdyk, a brutal knockout that resulted in Stevenson being hospitalized after suffering traumatic brain injury is still fresh in the minds and hearts of everyone in the sport. As yours truly has stated since that fight both in my work here at The Boxing Truth® as well as on social media that under circumstances like what happened in the Stevenson-Gvozdyk fight, referees and athletic commissions may be a little extra cautious in trying to determine when a fight should be stopped following a situation like Stevenson’s.
While Takahashi and Akavov were not in a situation similar to Stevenson, both did sustain punishment throughout their respective bouts and it is understandable that the referees of those bouts Arthur Mercante, Jr. and Michael Ortega were thinking of the long-term welfare of both fighters. Sometimes it is better for a fighter to come back to fight another day rather than taking one punch too many.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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