Guerrero beats Kamegai; Lomachenko tops Russell Jr; Alexander dominates Soto Karass
By Jim Dower: In a fight of the year candidate, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KO’s) defeated Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 KO’s) in a tougher than expected fight on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The final judges’ scores were 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111.
Guerrero took a great deal of punishment in the fight from the hard hitting Kamegai, and ended up with a nearly swollen shut left eye.
After the fight Guerrero showed little interest when Keith Thurman’s name was mentioned as a potential opponent for him by Showtime’s Jim Gray. Guerrero said “I fell into his style. I wanted to please the fans. He hit me with some big shots and some big body shots. I took them well though.”
Guerrero is going to need to take some time to let his right eye heal, but provided that there’s no internal injuries, he should be able to come back later this year to fight again. A fight between him and Amir Khan would be an excellent match-up.
After getting beaten in his last fight, Ukrainian Vasly Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO’s) was able to come back against the smaller but much quicker Gary Russell Jr (24-1, 14 KO’s) to beat him by a 12 round majority decision and capture the vacant WBO featherweight title. Lomachenko had Russell Jr hurt in the last 20 seconds of the 12th round after tagging him with some really big punches to the head and body.
The final judges’ scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 116-112.
Russell Jr threw 209 more punches than Lomachenko, and was landing more in the last 4 rounds of the fight. However, Lomachenko was connecting with the bigger shots to the head and mostly to the body. The body shots gave Russell Jr a lot of problems in the second half of the fight, as he seemed to hurt him each time he was hit hard.
Lomachenko’s size and power advantage was the key in this fight. He wasn’t fighting someone with more size than him like he was in his last fight against Orlando Salido. Lomachenko had problems with Salido’s body punching, but he didn’t have to worry about that tonight with Russell Jr mostly head-hunting in the fight.
Russell Jr was much more effective when he was backing Lomachenko up. It was light night and day. Lomachenko isn’t nearly as good in going backwards as he is going forwards.
One fight that would make sense would be Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux if there was a way of evening the size between them by having a catch-weight. Lomachenko is a lot bigger than Rigondeaux and he’s a lot heavier. If there could be a catch-weight with a rehydration limit to keep Lomachenko from rehydrating to a certain limit, it would be a good fight.
In one of Devon Alexander’s most impressive performances of his career, he defeated Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KO’s) by a mostly one-sided but still highly interesting 10 round unanimous decision. The final judges scores were 97-93, 99-91 and 99-91.
Alexander got the better of Soto Karass with his powerful jab and blazing fast combinations in each round. But instead of holding like he’d done in the past, Alexander mostly stayed in the pocket and willingly exchanged shots with the bigger, stronger Soto Karass.
Alexander seemed to fade a little bit in rounds 7 and 8. However, he came back in the 9th and 10th and fought Soto Karass to a stand still in both of those rounds. Those rounds were easily the most exciting in the entire fight.
Former IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (32-3, 18 KO’s) rehydrated to 202 pounds and come into the ring looking like a chunky cruiserweight in stopping 39-year-old George Blades (23-6, 16 KO’s) in the 1st round in Dawson’s successful comeback fight.
A flabby looking Dawson knocked Blades down three times in the 1st round before referee Raul Caiz Jr stepped in and halted the fight at 2:35 of the round.
Dawson knocked Blades down with a chopping left hand to the head for the first knockdown in the round. In the second knockdown, Dawson flurried on him in knocking him down with a left hand to the head. Dawson then finished him off with another chopping left hand to the head that left Blades on his backside looking both hurt and shocked.
On Friday, Dawson came in over the contract weight of 179lbs in weighing in at 182lbs. He looked fat around his midsection. Overnight, Dawson added 20 pounds of water weight in rehydrating and came into the fight at 202 pounds tonight. Dawson looked more like an out of shape cruiserweight than a light heavyweight, and you have to wonder what Dawson was thinking when he went through training camp for this fight. Did he take it seriously or what?
Other boxing results on the card:
Dominic Breazeale TKO 3 Devin Vargas
Sharif Bogere RTD 3 Miguel Zamudio
Michael Hunter UD 8 Jerry Forrest
Fabian Andres Maidana UD 4 Eddie Diaz
Mark Anthony Hernandez UD 4 Dante Spinks