Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Stevenson Stops Caraballo In 6 In Boxing’s U.S. Return

Undefeated WBO Featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson scored a dominant sixth round stoppage over veteran contender Felix Caraballo in the main event of the first Boxing card to take place in the United States since the COVID-19 crisis brought a halt to the sport in March, on Tuesday night at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. In what was his debut in the 130lb. Jr. Lightweight division , Stevenson had some difficulty early due to Caraballo’s aggression. A left hook to the head, left hook to the body combination sent Caraballo down in the first round. Although Caraballo remained aggressive, the fight became a demonstration of Stevenson’s overall skills as he consistently threw and landed combinations as Caraballo came forward. Despite being able to pressure Stevenson, Caraballo was unable to land consistent offense. In round six, Stevenson connected with a left hook to the body followed by a left uppercut to the solar plexus that sent Caraballo down and in pain forcing Referee Tony Weeks to immediately stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:31of round six. Shakur Stevenson advances to 14-0, with 8 Knockouts. Felix Caraballo falls to 13-2-2, with 9 Knockouts.

Also on this card:

In the first of two Heavyweight bouts, undefeated Italian prospect Guido Vianello scored a first round stoppage of Don Haynesworth. A flush overhand right that landed behind the ear of Haynesworth stiffened his legs and send him down hard to the canvas. Although Haynesworth was able to make it to his feet, he was on unsteady legs, and despite pleading to continue, Referee Jay Nady was not convinced and stopped the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 2:16 of round one. Guido Vianello advances to 7-0, with 7 Knockouts. Don Haynesworth falls to 16-4-1, with 14 Knockouts.

This was followed by undefeated American prospect Jared Anderson scoring a third round stoppage over a very “Game “ Johnnie Langston. Initially, this bout was fought toe to toe with each fighter having success in exchanges of offense. Anderson’s bigger size and power however, eventually took a toll on Langston. A body shot followed by a brutal barrage of unanswered punches that had Langston badly staggered and was frankly hard to watch forced Referee Jay Nady to call a halt to the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:55 of round three. Jared Anderson advances to 4-0, with 4 Knockouts. Johnnie Langston falls to 8-3, with 3 Knockouts.

Middleweight prospect Quatavious Cash scored a six round technical decision over Calvin Metcalf. Cash consistently outworked Metcalf throughout the fight, despite being pressured from the opening bell. A cut as a result of an accidental clash of heads in the second round that caused a gash on the left eyebrow of Metcalf ultimately caused the fight to be stopped shortly after the beginning of round six resulting in a technical decision. Official scores were 60-54,60-55, and 59-55 all in favor of Quatavious Cash. Quatavious Cash advances to 12-2, with 7 Knockouts. Calvin Metcalf falls to 10-4-1, with 3 Knockouts.

In the opening bout of the evening Featherweight Robeisy Ramirez, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist needed only fifty-four seconds to stop Yeuri Andujar in the first round. Ramirez dropped Andujar with a looping left hand almost as quickly as the fight began. A second knockdown highlighted by left hands forced Referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight. Robeisy Ramirez advances to 3-1, with 3 Knockouts. Yeuri Andujar falls to 5-4, with 3 Knockouts.

Although this observer is not at this moment ready to give a thorough analysis on Boxing’s overall return in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and keeping in mind my noted concerns that I have shared both through material here on The Boxing Truth®️ as well as through social media platforms, I was impressed by the steps both promoter Bob Arum, his promotional company Top Rank Inc., as well as television network ESPN have taken in terms of precautions and protocols as COVID-19 remains a serious problem for the world. While yours truly remains uneasy about not only the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, but also the desire of many to try and resume everyday activity, despite numbers of diagnosed cases and deaths related to the COVID-19 virus continuing to increase, if Boxing is to succeed in an era where strict guidelines and protocols must be followed and without spectators, the sport needed to show that it could take a step in the right direction.

With two cards now having taken place over the last few days in both Mexico and now Las Vegas, the first step although a small one has now moved the sport in the right direction. As Bob Arum and Top Rank now prepare for their second card that will occur on June 11th, we will see if the progress that has been established can be maintained.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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