Russell Jr destroys Gonzalez; Charlo defeats Martirosyan
By Dan Ambrose: #7 WBC Gary Russell Jr (26-1, 15 KOs) proved to be much too fast and too powerful for WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48 KOs) in beating the aging 33-year-old champion by a 4th round TKO on Saturday night at the Palms Casino Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The official time of the stoppage was 0:37 of the 4th.
Russell Jr dropped Gonzalez three times in the fight with two of the knockdowns coming in the 4th round. Gonzalez staggered to his feet after the second knockdown in the 4th, but referee Tony Weeks halted the fight due to Gonzalez being too hurt to continue.
Russell Jr knocked Gonzalez down with big left-right combination at the end of the 3rd round. Gonzalez was badly hurt from those shots. He got to his feet and luckily for him the round ended at that moment. However, Gonzalez was far too hurt to recover in between rounds.
At the start of the 4th, Russell Jr rushed Gonzalez, nailing him with a flurry of power punches to the head and body. Gonzalez dropped to the canvas after getting hit with a left to the head. Gonzalez got back up, but he looked out on his feet. Once the action resumed, Russell Jr threw another flurry of shots that sent Gonzalez down for the second and final time in the round. Referee Tony Weeks then halted the bout.
It wasn’t surprising that Russell Jr was able to win the fight, because it was immediately clear that Gonzalez didn’t have the hand speed to compete with Russell Jr. In the 1st round, Gonzalez landed almost nothing. His punches were just way too slow, and Russell Jr did a great job of getting in and getting out to avoid getting hit by Gonzalez’s much slower shots.
Gonzalez did a little better in the 3rd round until the end of the round. Earlier in the round, Gonzalez landed some nice body shots that made Russell Jr cautious. However, in the last 10 seconds of the round, Russell Jr surprised Gonzalez with big left hook that snapped the head of Gonzalez sideways. Russell then followed up with a big right hook that dropped Gonzalez on the canvas.
In a highly controversial fight, undefeated #1 WBO, 2 IBF, #3 WBC junior middleweight contender Jermell Charlo (26-0, 11 KOs) defeated #2 WBO, #4 IBF Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 97-93, 96-94 and 96-94.
Martirosyan landed the much harder blows in the fight, and he was by far the more aggressive fighter of the two. Charlo spent of the time circling the ring trying not to get hit.
Charlos’ performance made it difficult for me to give him more than 2 rounds in the fight, but it’s interesting that the three judges all had him winning the fight. They even had him winning rounds where he was clearly dominated. The 97-93 score was way off from what actually happened in the fight.
Martirosyan was cut over his left eye from a head-butt. However, he dominated the round after the action continued. Interestingly enough, one judge had Charlo winning the 8th despite the fact that he was totally dominated by Martirosyan in that round.
“I won the fight,” Martiroshyan said after the fight. “I pushed the action. This is professional boxing. This one I can’t take it as a loss. He was just running.”
Other boxing results on the card:
Jermall Charlo UD 10 Michael Finney
J’Leon Love UD 8 Scott Sigmon
Elvin Ayala UD 8 Ronald Gavril
Cesar Juarez MD 8 Cesar Seda
Levan Ghvamichava RTD 4 Sergio Villanueva
Thomas Hill KO 1 Jeremiah Page