Lightweight contender Felix Verdejo scored an impressive first round knockout over previously undefeated prospect Will Madera on Thursday night at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Verdejo used his quicker hands and longer reach to dictate the combat and create openings. In the closing seconds of round one, Verdejo connected with a flush right uppercut that set off a barrage of punches that sent the unbeaten Madera down on his back in a neutral corner of the ring. Madera was unable to get up. Official time of the stoppage was 2:59 of round one. Felix Verdejo advances to 27-1, with 17 Knockouts. Will Madera falls to 15-1-3, with 8 Knockouts.
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Featherweight Martino Jules remained undefeated by scoring an eight round majority decision over Aleem Jumakhonov. Although both fighters had their moments throughout the eight round bout, when Jules was able to keep Jumakhonov on the outside and was able to control distances, it was Jules who outworked Jumakhonov. At the conclusion of the fight two official judges scored the fight 78-74, while the third judge scored the fight even 76-76 giving Jules the victory. Martino Jules advances to 10-0, with 2 Knockouts. Aleem Jumakhonov falls to 8-3-2, with 4 Knockouts.
Undefeated Heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson scored a first round knockout over Hector Perez. A body shot followed by a left hook, right hand combination sent Perez down midway through round one. While it appeared that the body shot was the punch that did the most damage, Perez was in no condition to get up and the bout was stopped by Referee Russell Mora after administering a count of eight of ten while Perez was down on his knees on the canvas. Official time of the stoppage was: 1:45 of round one. Jared Anderson advances to 5-0, with 5 Knockouts. Hector Perez falls to 7-3, with 3 Knockouts.
In the opening bout of the evening, Lightweight Kenny Davis scored a hard fought four round majority decision over Eduardo Sanchez. Davis’ combination punching dictated the combat in the first round, but in round two, the fighters reversed roles where Sanchez was landing combinations and dictating the action. A left hook to the body of Sanchez sent him down in round three, but the ruling of a knockdown was somewhat controversial as Davis landed a right hand to the head while Sanchez was down. Although he was warned for the foul at the beginning of round four, there was no penalty and the fight continued. Davis however, would lose a point in the fourth and final round for losing the grip on his mouthpiece, the second time it occurred during the fight. The knockdown in round three proved to be the deciding factor as two of three official judges scored the fight 38-36 in his favor while the third judge scored the fight even 37-37. Kenny Davis advances to 3-2-1, with 0 Knockouts. Eduardo Sanchez falls to 2-3, with 0 Knockouts.
The originally scheduled main event between Featherweights Miguel Marriaga and Mark John Yap was cancelled on Wednesday due to Yap not making weight. Yap, who agreed to the fight on two weeks notice weighed in eight and a half pounds over the contracted 128lb. weight. Although we have become accustomed over the last month to fights being postponed/cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, a fighter missing weight is also something that comes with the territory in combat sports and unfortunately can also lead to scheduled fights not taking place. Although it is a pastime of sorts for those of us who cover the sport like yours truly to be critical when a fighter misses weight by a significant margin, it is important to remember that the sport of Boxing, like the rest of the world is dealing with an ongoing epidemic and the circumstances of COVID-19 has made it difficult for all to go about life as normal. This includes boxers and other athletes in combat sports.
It is reasonable under the circumstances to expect fighters such as Mark John Yap, who in this case took the fight against Miguel Marriaga on short notice for one can assume financial reasons may not be as prepared due to many gyms being closed as well as other restrictions related to COVID-19, which can make preparing for competition an even more challenging task beyond the obvious concerns related to potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. While some may view it as an excuse and disrespectful to the sport, Boxing is operating in far from normal circumstances and if the sport is going to continue trying to resume its schedule, despite diagnosed cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise in the United States as well as internationally, the possibility of fighters missing weight is unfortunately something that will come with the territory, much as it does when Boxing is in its normal active state.
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