Former Heavyweight world title challenger Carlos Takam scored a workmanlike ten round unanimous decision over fellow contender Jerry Forrest on Thursday night at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. In what was a uneventful bout, Takam was able to outwork Forrest over the course of the ten round bout, despite being bothered throughout the fight due to a cut on his right cheekbone that was caused by an accidental clash of heads while the fighters were in close. Perhaps because of this as well as fatigue as the bout progressed, Forrest was able to have some success down the stretch, but it was not enough to turn the scoring of the fight in his favor. Official scores were: 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92 all in favor of Takam. Carlos Takam advances to 39-5-1, with 28 Knockouts. Jerry Forrest falls to 26-4, with 20 Knockouts.
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Undefeated Jr. Featherweight contender Carlos Castro scored a dominant fourth round stoppage of former world title challenger Cesar Juarez. For four rounds, Castro displayed a full skill set highlighted by a consistent body attack. The always “Game “ Juarez simply could not find a way to break Castro’s rhythm and at the end of the fourth round after sustaining significant punishment, Juarez’ corner wisely stopped the fight to prevent their fighter from further punishment. Carlos Castro advances to 26-0, with 11 Knockouts. Cesar Juarez falls to 25-9, with 19 Knockouts.
In a battle of undefeated Jr. Lightweights Joshafat Ortiz scored a hard-fought six round majority decision over Joshua Orta. Ortiz seemed to be having his way early in the fight by using his longer reach to keep Orta on the outside. Orta was able to rally over the second half of the fight and appeared to get the better of the exchanges between the two. Although Ortiz suffered a cut over the right eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads in round five, his success early in the fight was enough to earn the nod of two official judges who scored the fight 58-56 in his favor while the third judge scored the fight a draw 57-57 giving Ortiz the majority decision victory. Joshafat Ortiz advances to 8-0, with 4 Knockouts. Joshua Orta falls to 6-1, with 2 Knockouts.
Middleweight Donte Stubbs, who fought one week ago at the same MGM Grand Conference Center in losing a close six round majority decision to Isiah Jones, was able to rebound from what was his first career loss to score a convincing six round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Fred Wilson. Although Stubbs initially hard trouble navigating Wilson’s longer reach was able to score a knockdown of Wilson in round three with a wide right hand to the head. Wilson was able to get up, but was deducted a point in round four for holding. Wilson would be dropped for a second time toward the end of round five from another right hand to the head. The two knockdowns, the point deduction, and Wilson’s inability to avoid Stubbs’ right hand allowed Stubbs to earn the decision. Official scores were 58-53 (On two scorecards) and 58-54 all in favor of Stubbs. Donte Stubbs advances to 7-1, with 2 Knockouts. Fred Wilson falls to 6-1-2, with 2 Knockouts.
In a Welterweight bout that began the evening in what was a rarity for the sport of Boxing that saw a double knockdown in the first round, Corey Champion scored a first round knockout over Peter Cortez. The fight, which took place before the nationally televised broadcast on ESPN in the United States, saw the two fighters each land a right hand at the same time resulting in a double knockdown. Champion was able to score two additional knockdowns of Cortez to force a stoppage of the fight. Corey Champion advances to 2-3, with 2 Knockouts. Peter Cortez falls to 2-2, with 1 Knockout.
Although the overall theme of Boxing under the circumstances of COVID-19 remains fighters looking to stay active in the hope of garnering further and potentially more lucrative opportunities once circumstances improve where the sport can resume in a way more similar to when it is in its normal active state, this card in particular provided a look at one fighter who is looking for another opportunity at a world championship. Thirty-nine year old Carlos Takam.
While speculating on what a fighter might do next is normally standard practice when the sport is operating as normal, it remains unrealistic currently due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic. For a fighter in Takam’s position however, the longer the sport remains in its current state of trying to operate behind closed doors where many top fighters might opt to wait for circumstances to improve both due to financial reasons as well as the risk of exposure to the virus, it could have a severe impact on Takam’s hopes of getting another opportunity to fight for a world championship. The flip side of that scenario however, is if Takam can remain active under these circumstances and continue to win, the likelihood of him being in condition to capitalize on an opportunity should it present itself will obviously increase compared to fighter and world champions who will try to wait the epidemic out. In a situation largely dictated by circumstances beyond the control of the powers that be in Boxing and a scenario where sports fans are eager for compelling stories, the story of Cards Takam is one to observe and keep an eye on.
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