Linares Stops Perez; Korobov Destroys Diaz, Plotnikov Defeats Alimjanov – Boxing Results
By Erik Schmidt: Undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight champion Jorge Linares (27-0, 18 KO’s) stopped challenger Josafat Perez (12-2, 7 KO’s) in the 8th round on Saturday night at the Plaza de Toros, Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Linares, 23, looked far from impressive in most of the rounds throwing few punches and getting outworked by the 25-year-old Perez.
Where Perez seemed to make a mistake is when he decided to open up his offense and trade shots with Linares in the 8th round. Both fighters stood toe to toe firing off big shots at which point Linares dropped Perez with a short right hand after hurting him with a left hook just prior to that.
Perez got to his feet and resumed fighting, but he was still badly hurt and not in the position to be getting hit any more. Instead of trying to clinch his way out of the round, Perez stood in front of Linares and got tagged with a big right hand to the head that caused Perez to stagger backwards towards the ropes.
Linares then added one more right hand that caused Perez to drop both his hands and take another backwards step near the ropes. Referee Luis Pabon then stepped in and halted the bout at 1:40 of the round. Although Linares got the win, he looked far from unbeatable in the fight showing problems with letting his hands go and getting hit a lot by Perez. At the time the fight was stopped, Linares has a bruise under his right eye.
In the first two rounds, Linares fought cautiously throwing few punches other than jabs and not throwing many punches. I thought that Linares may have done enough to edge the first round because Perez wasn’t doing much either at this point. Linares circled the ring in the 2nd round, throwing jabs and nothing else.
Perez took control over the round in the second half and hit Linares with a couple lefts and one right hand. This was another round where neither fighter threw many punches. Linares gave away another round in the 3rd, moving from side to side as if the fight was in the 12th and he was trying to run out the clock.
He wasn’t punching and again got outworked by the busier Perez. At this point, Linares looked nothing like a champion or even a top ranked fighter because he was doing nothing but running. In the 4th through 6th rounds, Linares seemed to do just enough to win two of the rounds with his jab and occasional right hand.
Perez came on in the 2nd half of the 5th to win that round, but the other two appeared to belong to Perez. It wasn’t impressive work by Linares, who continued to fight as if he were walking on egg shells as if he were fighting a sleeping giant. The 7th round had very few punches thrown by either fighter. I counted only 10 punches thrown during the entire round with most of the action involving movement and a lot of staring at each other.
In the 8th round, Perez decided to open up with a flurry of shots at close range. It was questionable strategy to employ, because Perez stood directly in front of Linares and made it easy for him. Linares caught Perez with a big left hand while both were throwing punches, and then dropped him with a right hand just as Perez was throwing a right of his own.
Based on how Linares has looked in the past few fights, I don’t consider him to be the top fighter in the super featherweight division or even close to it. Humberto Soto, the WBC champion, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Roman Martinez look like better overall fighters than the highly hyped Linares.
Plotnikov Defeats Alimjanov
Ukrainian welterweight Viktor Plotnikov (22-1, 10 KO’s) defeated Sherzodbek Alimjanov (15-1, 10 KO’s) by a 12-round majority decision on Saturday night to capture the vacant EBA (European Boxing Association) welterweight title at the Sportpalace Ukraine, in Lviv, Ukraine. The final judges’ scores were 114-114, 115-113 and 118-111. Plotnikov, 31, had problems with Alimjanov in the first half of the fight and lost most of the rounds due to Alimjanov’s busier activity.
However, starting in the 9th, Plotnikov took over as Alimjanov faded badly and ended up sweeping rounds nine through twelve to get the win. Neither Plotnikov nor Alimjanov had any real power to speak of and both essentially traded weak shots back and forth for 12 rounds.
Plotnikov stayed on the move throughout the fight firing off jabs and weak combinations, whereas Alimjanov constantly pressured him with jabs and slashing attacks. Alimjanov looked to be in control of the fight and on his way to a victory after the 8th. However, his punch output dropped off badly from the 9th round on, which allowed Plotnikov to win most of the remaining rounds with his combinations.
Korobov Destroys Diaz
After struggling and looking less than impressive in his last fight two weeks ago against Loren Myers, unbeaten middleweight prospect Matt Korobov (7-0, 6 KO’s) destroyed a badly over-matched 38-year-old Benjamin Diaz (9-3-2, 6 KO’s) in the 1st round on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bout was stopped at 1:22 of the 1st round by referee Brian O’Melia after the 26-year-old Korobov knocked Diaz down for the second time in the round.
It’s hard to say what Korobov proved in the fight, because he was matched so softly. He has thus far struggled against two of his opponents in his first seven fights and looked unimpressive when facing an opponent that comes at him and applies pressure. Diaz was just what Korobov needed to look invincible again, even if it is temporary. Korobov dropped Diaz with a left hand seconds into the fight.
And then with the round half gone, Korobov finished him off with a hook to the midsection that sent Diaz down for the final time. Korobov needs work on his stamina and handling pressure. Not sure if this is the right type of opponent for him to be facing if he is to keep learning and moving forward.
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