Undefeated WBO Middleweight world champion Demetrius Andrade scored a dominant ninth round stoppage of WBO number three Middleweight contender Luke Keeler on Thursday night at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, FL. Andrade, who was making his third defense of his WBO crown dropped Keeler with a short overhand left to the chin shortly after the bell rang to begin the fight. Keeler was able to get up, but it did not take long for the difference in hand speed and overall skill to become apparent. The champion would score a second knockdown of Keeler in the second round with a flush left hook to the jaw.
Keeler was able to survive the round, and to his credit was able to find his footing and get into the fight. The challenger was unable to find a way to turn the momentum in his favor. As the fight progressed, it appeared for a time that Andrade may have been content to box his way to a convincing unanimous decision victory, but in round nine the champion would bring an end to the fight as he connected with several unanswered punches in the closing seconds of the round to force Referee Telis Assimenios to stop the fight at 2:59 of the round. Demetrius Andrade advances to 29-0, with 18 Knockouts. Luke Keeler falls to 17-3-1, with 5 Knockouts.
In a battle for the IBF Jr. Lightweight world championship, longtime contender Joseph Diaz scored a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision over defending champion Tevin Farmer to win the world championship. The majority of this fight was fought in close where both fighters were willing to engage with each other. Farmer appeared to injure his right hand in round one, but it was unclear to this observer as to how the injury occurred. A central part of the story of this fight however, did occur in the second round when Diaz suffered a deep gash over his left eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads. Although the gash appeared severe enough that the fight could have been stopped at any time, Diaz’ corner did an excellent job in managing the damage to the wound and the gash was not a factor for the remainder of the fight.
Many of the rounds in this fight were difficult to score simply because the combat was fought in close and both fighters had periods of effectiveness throughout.Diaz’ greater activity particularly over the second half of the fight in being able to outwork Farmer was ultimately what took him to victory as all the judges turned in scores of 115-113 (On two scorecards), and 116-112 in his favor making him the new champion. Joseph Diaz advances to 31-1, with 15 Knockouts. Tevin Farmer falls to 30-5-1, with 6 Knockouts.
In a battle for the unified WBA/IBF Jr. Featherweight world championship undefeated contender Murodjon Akhmadaliev scored a hard-fought twelve round split decision over defending champion Daniel Roman to win the championship. Akhmadaliev was consistently the aggressor throughout the fight and landed the cleaner punches. Although the fight was not easy to score due to both fighters having periods of success, Akhmadaliev’s consistent pressure, greater activity, and ability to immediately return offense whenever Roman would have success ultimately proved to be the difference as two official judges scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Akhmadaliev, while the third judge had the same score in favor of Roman in what was a highly competitive and entertaining bout to watch. Murodjon Akhmadaliev advances to 8-0, with 6 Knockouts. Daniel Roman falls to 27-3-1, with 10 Knockouts.
Super-Middleweight Alexis Angulo scored an upset in scoring a ten round split decision over previously undefeated highly touted prospect Anthony Sims Jr. Sims executed effective lateral movement throughout the fight, but was not aggressive in a largely uneventful fight. Despite being deducted a point in round five for holding and hitting in a clear sign of frustration, Angulo’s overall willingness to engage and press the action was enough to earn the nod of two official judges who scored the fight 96-93 each in his favor while the third judge felt Sims had done enough to win in scoring the fight 95-94 in his favor. Alexis Angulo advances to 26-1, with 22 Knockouts. Anthony Sims Jr. falls to 20-1, with 18 Knockouts.
In a Lightweight bout undefeated prospect Otha Jones remained undefeated with a second round stoppage of Juan Santiago. Otha Jones advances to 5-0, with 2 Knockouts. Juan Santiago falls to 16-18-2, with 9 Knockouts.
In the Women’s Lightweight division WBO Featherweight world champion Amanda Serrano scored a third round stoppage over Simone Da Silva. Amanda Serrano advances to 38-1-1, with 28 Knockouts. Simone Da Silva falls to 17-15, with 6 Knockouts.
Undefeated Lightweight Movladdin Biyarslanov remained unbeaten in scoring a first round knockout over Nicolas Velazquez. Movladdin Biyarslanov advances to 6-0, with 5 Knockouts. Nicolas Velazquez falls to 11-8, with 3 Knockouts.
In a Cruiserweight bout between two YouTube stars making their respective professional Boxing debuts Jake Paul scored a first round knockout over Ali Eson Gib. Gib fought out of an unorthodox crouching style from the opening bell an frankly did not look like a fighter who should be competing in the 190lb. Cruiserweight division based on how small he appeared in the midst of combat. Whether this was due to his unorthodox approach proved to be a mute point in that he really could not provide much resistance for Paul. Paul landed what appeared to be a short left hook early in round one that dropped Gib. A barrage of punches sent Gib down for a second time. Paul was able to close the show in dropping Gib for a third and final time with a flush right hand forcing Referee Chris Young to stop the fight at 2:18 of round one. Jake Paul advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Ali Eson Gib falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
Following the fight there was a near physical altercation between Paul and Olajide Olattunji, better known as KSI, who defeated Paul’s older brother Logan in November of last year by six round split decision. The exchange between the two YouTube stars full of explicit language from both men was finally broken up before the situation could escalate into a physical brawl.
Undefeated Super-Middleweight prospect Alexis Espino scored an impressive third round stoppage of Vincent Baccus. A flush left hook to the jaw dropped Baccus in round three and Espino was able to close the show with a follow up barrage as the fight was stopped by Referee Samuel Burgos at 1:49 of the round. Alexis Espino advances to 5-0, with 4 Knockouts. Vincent Baccus falls to 4-2-1, with 3 Knockouts.
In a Middleweight bout undefeated prospect Austin Williams scored a fourth round stoppage of Donald Sanchez. Williams consistently forced Sanchez backward and found success in landing his left hand. It was an overhand left that would drop Sanchez in round two. An accumulation of punishment highlighted by several body punches eventually set Sanchez up for a straight left hand that sent him down for the second time prompting Referee Telis Assimenios to stop the fight at 2:51 of round four. Austin Williams advances to 5-0, with 4 Knockouts. Donald Sanchez falls to 5-3, with 3 Knockouts.
In a Women’s Bantamweight division bout that kicked off the evening, undefeated prospect Avril Mathie scored a fourth round stoppage of Angelina Hoffschneider. Avril Mathie advances to 4-0-1, with 2 Knockouts. Angelina Hoffschneider falls to 0-3, with 0 Knockouts.
This card, which was the first for promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing United States promotional branch as well as digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN’s first time presenting a Boxing card in the state of Florida, had a little of everything. From prospects at the early stages in their respective careers, to contenders winning world championships, to some fighters thought to be mere opponents pulling off upsets, to YouTube stars bringing their influence into the sport of Boxing, to finally a world champion showcasing his dominance in the hope of securing a lucrative opportunity against another star in the Middleweight division. “Miami Fight Night “ had a little bit of everything for just about any level of Boxing fan.
As the focus remains on Demetrius Andrade as he looks for potential unification bouts against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin, this card should be viewed as a success for both Matchroom and DAZN. As both continue to establish themselves in the United States by not only putting on competitive Boxing cards, but also staging events in cities and states that are not thought to be traditional Boxing destinations while also staging cards in major cities like New York City and Las Vegas as well as internationally, this observer as a native New Yorker and longtime resident of Florida hopes that the Florida Boxing scene will be able to benefit from the exposure that DAZN and promoters like Eddie Hearn can bring to the state by staging more events in “The Sunshine State.” A state that has always had a dedicated fan base for the sport and is home to many fighters is long overdue for valuable exposure on a consistent basis that television networks can bring that would only help continue the growth of Boxing in the long-term.
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