Oliver decisions Carbajal, and Earns title shot against Molitor
Super bantamweight challenger Mike Oliver (20-0, 7 KOs) returned to action with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over boxing veteran Cruz Carbajal (28-14-2, 24 KOs) in an IBF eliminator bout on Wednesday night at the Castle Park Plaza, in Boston, Massachusetts. Oliver, 27, used his blazing fast quick hands to control much of the bout, keeping the more powerful, albeit slower, Carbajal off balance. The final judges’ scores were 118-111, 118-111, and 118-110, all for Oliver. The win makes Oliver the # 1 mandatory challenger for the tough IBF super bantamweight champion Steve Molitor.
In the early rounds, Carbjal, ranked # 9 by the IBF, put constant pressure on Oliver, as he backed him up constantly to the ropes, landing big uppercuts and hooks. Oliver, however, was quite frequently able to land flurried and then quickly tie him up Carbajal in a clinch before he could off any punches. Carbajal appeared to do enough to win rounds one and four, mostly due to his effective uppercuts on the inside.
Following the 4th round, Carbajal, 34, had little left, as he appeared exhausted from the pace that Oliver had set. The fifth round went back and forth with both fighters punishing each other with huge punches, however, in the last 30 seconds of the round, Oliver opened up with a flurry of punches, backing Carbajal up and seeming to momentarily hurt him.
In rounds 6-12, Carbajal was looking increasingly more exhausted with every round, and was reduced to slowly plodding after Oliver, and taking an enormous amount of punishment. If it weren’t for the fact that Oliver, ranked # 8 by the IBF, has very little power, Carbajal would have likely have been stopped along the way. Nevertheless, it was an impressive boxing performance that Oliver provided, showing a vast array of punches to go along with his impressive speed.