Mikaela Mayer wins the primary world title in addition to just a few TKOs
Mikaela Mayer won the WBO junior world lightweight title by finally delivering Ewa Brodnicka on Saturday night on the Naoya Inoue-Jason Moloney card at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
After 10 rounds, all three judges had put Mayer in the lead with 99-89, 100-88 and 100-88. Brodnicka had entered that fight as the defending champion but was exempt from the title after failing to hit the £ 130 limit on Friday and was not eligible to win the belt in that fight.
The action wasn't all that dramatic. Mayer (14-0, 5 KOs) could box around and was never really threatened. She fought a smart, tactical battle, controlling the action behind her long left thrust and the occasional right hand.
Brodnicka (19-1, 2 KOs), who suffered her first professional loss, was never permanently attacked. And given her lack of knockout strength, it was clear that this would not be her night once she fell behind early. It didn't help that she had deducted two points for over-holding, but those deductions were academic as she tried to slow the pace of Mayer, a 2016 Olympic champion who slightly dominated the action.
"As (head coach) Coach Al (Mitchell) said, her hold and her movement was a little difficult for me to grasp," Mayer said after the fight. "I still feel like I've won every round. There were definitely some things I could have done a little better, but in the end it was a good learning battle."
With this win, Mayer says she is targeting unification battles in her division.
"I definitely want to standardize this split," said Mayer. "I don't want to wait. I don't want to take a couple of years to do it. I want to do it right now. So, (WBC Champion) Terri Harper told me to get a belt. Eddie Hearn told me "I'm supposed to get a belt. I have the WBO belt now, so let's start this fight. I want Terri Harper next." – Steve Kim
Barrios KOs Karl retains junior welterweight title
Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) defended his second WBA junior welterweight title with a sixth-round knockout from Ryan Karl (18-3, 12 KOs) in an action-packed fight of high-volume rounds of punch on the Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz undercard Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Barrios dropped Karl on lap 6 with a clean straight right hand, and that was the beginning of the end. Karl got bloody from an accidental headbutt on round six, which made matters worse as he struggled and tried desperately to stay in the fight. Barrios dropped it again with another right hand, and then the referee canceled.
The title defense was especially sweet for Barrios because he did it in his hometown of San Antonio. Barrios continues to build his reputation as one of the most exciting junior welterweight fighters. He landed 54% of his power punches (101 of 187) and eventually overpowered a game of Karl. – Cameron Wolfe
Prograis returns with an impressive TKO win
Regis Prograis, right, returned to the ring after a year off to defeat Juan Heraldez by TKO. Esther Lin / Showtime
Former world junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) scored a dominant TKO win in the third round against the previously undefeated but superior junior player Juan Heraldez (16-1- 1, 10 KOs) the referee to end the fight.
Prograis showed strength in his left hand, consistently injuring Heraldez with it and knocking Heraldez down in round 3 with it. Heraldez's survival was short-lived from this point on, as Prograis ended him forever about 30 seconds later.
Prograis got over the 140-pound weight limit in 1½ pounds, but the fight continued after the fighters and their teams resolved the problem with a financial agreement in favor of Heraldez. Prograis blamed the lack of weight for his long discharge.
Prograis returned to the ring after a year-long hiatus in his first competition since his lonely loss – a majority decision for Josh Taylor in the bantamweight final of the World Boxing Super Series in October 2019, in what was a fight of the year. Saturday's performance was Prograis' statement that he deserves to be back in the title mix once Taylor and Jose Ramirez settle the long-awaited unification battle sometime in 2021. – Cameron Wolfe
Cruz KOs Magdaleno in the first round
Lightweight Isaac Cruz jumped on Diego Magdaleno like he should have been somewhere – he knocked him down with relentless force strokes 30 seconds into the fight and followed with a gorgeous double uppercut finish that dropped Magdaleno a second time than that Referee waved the fight off.
Cruz (20-1-1, 15 KOs) dominated the IBF lightweight eliminator. He showed his eye-opening power when he hit Magdaleno with the same blows on the head and body and quickly pushed Magdaleno against the ropes – he was done. With the second rainfall, Magdaleno landed on the lower ropes and needed a few moments to orientate himself again after the TKO.
Magdaleno (32-4, 13 KOs) was eliminated twice in his last three fights, with the first being played in the seventh round of his fight by lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez Jr. Cruz, the man some call mini-Tyson, did little to disregard the heavyweight legend with his lightning-fast knockout of Magdaleno in the first round. – Cameron Wolfe
Conceicao gets up from the canvas to defeat Coria
Juniro middleweight Robson Conceicao, left, made a unanimous decision over Luis Coria, right. Mikey Williams / Top Place
Robson Conceicao overcame an early trip to the big screen and two point deductions for low blows to defeat Luis Coria by unanimous decision in a 10-round bloody and physical battle.
Despite all the difficulties, Conceicao was rated the winner on all three maps: 94-93, 95-92 and 95-92.
A left hook from Coria sent Conceicao to the canvas in the second round, and it wasn't lightning – he was rightly injured. But Conceicao finished the round pretty strong and over the next few rounds he was more than ready to stand and trade with Coria.
Both Conceicao and Coria landed tough combinations, and for much of the night Conceicao had blood from his mouth. Conceicao was docked for low hits on both rounds four and six.
The action in this fight involved a lot of lengthy conversation, and neither man gave in an inch. And while it looked like Coria was ahead of the game, especially if Conceicao lost two points, the judges preferred Conceicao's activity. – Steve Kim
Rodriguez destroys Lopez in four rounds
Julian Rodriguez versus Jose Eduardo Lopez Rodriguez Mikey Williams / Top Place
Young welterweight player Julian Rodriguez made a strong showing, sending veteran Jose Lopez onto the silver screen four times to claim a TKO win in Round 4.
The fight could have been stopped in the first round when a well-placed left hook on the body sent Lopez (29-8-2, 15 KOs) onto the canvas. Referee Robert Hoyle gave Lopez enough time to consider whether he wanted to move on after getting up at nine.
In the following round, a right hook from Rodriguez from the south paw position sent Lopez down for the second time. In the third round, a left push sent Lopez back down. Finally, after a series of body punches sent Lopez back to the canvas, Hoyle stopped the fight at 2:10 p.m. of the fourth round.
Rodriguez (21-0, 16 KOs), who stopped Anthony Laureano in one round in August, is fast becoming a competitor in the 140-pound division. – Steve Kim
Anderson wins again
Jared Anderson, right, scored another first-round TKO win by stopping Luis Eduardo Pena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Mikey Williams / Top Place
Acclaimed heavyweight expert Jared Anderson made quick work of Luis Pena, scooping a TKO first-round win.
From the start, Anderson (7-0, 7 KOs) came out and let go of both hands generously with left hooks on the body and hard right hands over the top, and it was clear that he wanted to end Pena (6-2), 6 KOs) as soon as possible.
Pena hit both the body and the head, but when he stumbled away after a prolonged blow in the corner towards the end of the first round, the fight was broken off. This was Anderson's fourth top-rank bubble win in 2020 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. – Steve Kim
Hiraoka stops Edwards on lap 4
Andy Hiraoka (right) dropped Ricky Edwards (left) three times en route to a fourth round TKO win. Mikey Williams / Top Place
Andy Hiraoka, junior welterweight, scored a TKO in the fourth round from Rickey Edwards in the first competition of the night at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Japan's Hiraoka (16-0, 11 KOs) took a round or two to meet Edwards (12-5, 3 KOs), who was proving to be athletic and quick. Hiraoka sent Edwards down with a nice combination for the first time in the third round and that helped him take full control of the procedure.
In the following round, Hiraoka continued his attack on Edwards and after sending him down twice, referee Celestino Ruiz waved off the fight at 2:20 in the fourth round. – Steve Kim