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Lawson defeats Prescott, looks poor

By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten #12 IBF welterweight contender Fredrick Lawson (24-0, 20 KOs) had to really struggle tonight to defeat 32-year-old Breidis Prescott (27-7, 20 KOs) by a 10 round split decision on Thursday night at the Hialeah Park Race Track in Miami, Florida.

The final judges’ scores were 95-94 and 95-94 for Lawson, and 96-93 for Prescott. Lawson got the victory basically on a blown call by the referee, who credited Lawson for a knockdown in the 3rd round on a slip by Prescott.

Not only was it a slip by Prescott, but it was also an illegal punch to the back of the head by Lawson that caused Prescott to slip on the canvas. It is unclear how the referee Samuel Burgos got have so badly blown the call because the rabbit punch that Lawson landed was so obvious to the eyes, and the slip was just as obvious. You hate to see fighters lose due to poor referring, but this was definitely a case.

Lawson came into the fight wanting to fight a war with Prescott, and a war he got. Lawson fought well in the first four rounds, but the tide of the fight turned in the 5th round when Prescott began to batter Lawson. From that point on, Lawson fought timidly and stayed on the outside and stopped looking to mix it up with Prescott like he’d done earlier.

Prescott suffered swelling around around both eyes, especially his left eye. The swelling got worse as the fight progressed, but Prescott did a good job of ignoring it and fighting hard.

Lawson’s stock really went down with this victory, because he took a lot of hard shots from Prescott, and he was backing off from him in the second half of the fight. Prescott is someone that the better welterweights are supposed to be able to beat with ease, but Lawson went life and death with him and was given a victory that he clearly didn’t deserve.

Lawson’s trainer Abel Sanchez really has his work cut out for him if he wants to turn him into a good fighter. Sanchez also trains WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, but in that case he has something to work with. Golovkin was already a great fighter before Sanchez took over as his trainer. With Lawson, he’s very, very raw, and he didn’t show that he had the heart to go toe-to-toe tonight when the going got tough for him.


In the co-feature bout, unbeaten former IBF super featherweight champion Rances Barthelemy (21-0, 12 KOs) stopped Angino Perez (18-6, 16 KOs) in the 2nd round. Barthelemy knocked Perez down two times in the 1st round with hard shots. In the 2nd, Barthelemy flurried on Perez until he dropped in the corner. The referee then halted the fight.

It wasn’t much of a fight for Barthelemy. He’s going to have to fight better opposition at lightweight if he wants to go somewhere. He’s easy to hit, and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to stand up to the hard shots from guys like Reynaldo Beltran. Barthelemy is lucky that Terence Crawford is moving up in weight, because he doesn’t match up against someone like that, at least not with the way he looked tonight.

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