Polideportivo Fray Mamerto Esquiu, Catamarca, Argentina
In a rematch of their encounter last October, welterweight contender Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo struck gold again in knocking Adrian Vernon out in the first round. Their first fight produced one of last year’s best knockouts and Barrionuevo can add the rematch to his highlight reel. The fight came to end with less than minute left in the opening frame as a Barrionuevo straight left hand, right hook combination put Vernon down for the count. Barrionuevo is now ranked number six in the WBC welterweight rankings.
Domo Sindicato de Trabajadores IMSS, Tlalpan, Distrito Federal, Mexico
He’s not talked about as much as fellow promising Mexican youngsters Jaime Munguia and Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez, but that hasn’t seemed to bother Eduardo “Vaquero” Navarrete on his campaign from prospect to contender. Just three days after turning 23, Navarrete did to Glenn Porras what he has by and large done to opposition: bulldoze his way through them. With a varied offense, Navarrete got to Porras early. An accumulation of punches in the first round caused a Porras delayed reaction knockdown. Porras tried to press the action in the second round however Navarrete timed him coming in with a counter right. Navarrete closed the show moments later as he continued to pour combinations on the overmatched Porras. A left hook combination to the body and then head floored Porras a third time which prompted the referee to call a halt to the action. This year should see Navarrete make the move from prospect to contender.
Barclays Center-Brooklyn, New York
Making the first defense of his IBF welterweight strap, Errol Spence Jr. put a halt to former two division (albeit WBA “Regular” welterweight title) champion Lamont Peterson in seven rounds. Spence capitalized early against the notoriously slow starting Peterson, befuddling him with both power and volume. Behind an educated right jab and short combinations from the southpaw stance, Spence never let Peterson, a fighter win or lose who has given everybody not named Lucas Matthysse hell, into the fight. Spence dropped Peterson in the fifth round. The onslaught continued, and Peterson trainer Barry Hunter called a halt to the action after the seventh round. It was a complete, if expected, performance by Spence, who expressed interest in unifying the division against WBA/IBF welterweight champion Keith Thurman in his post-fight interview with Jim Grey.
Robert Easter defended his lightweight title against former two division titlist Javier Fortuna, winning a tough twelve round decision.
Former 2012 Olympian Marcus Browne blew out Francy Ntetu in the first round of their light heavyweight encounter.
Heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki was too big and strong for Iago Kiladze, putting him away in six rounds of a fun heavyweight affair. Kiladze, having spent the bulk of his career at cruiserweight, didn’t have a problem landing on Kownacki, just couldn’t stop him from imposing his will and 260-pound frame on him. Kownacki probably won’t make it to the upper-echelon of the sport, but will make for fun fights, and the sport can never have enough of those.
Palais des sport Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Franck Petitjean rebounded well after a brief scare in the third round to soundly outbox Andrea Scarpa for the EBU-EU Super Lightweight title.
Mohamed Mimoune decisioned Emiliano Dominguez Rodriguez over the course of twelve rounds for the vacant IBO super lightweight title. Mimoune was dropped early and doesn’t seem overwhelmingly sturdy at the division.
Marvin Petit knocked Samir Kasmi out in seven rounds. Petit dropped Kasmi twice in the seventh and was counted out after the second knockdown. A massive brawl in the crowd erupted afterwards with chairs being thrown everywhere.
Kevin Lele Sadjo knocked Shamil Ismailov out in four rounds. Sadjo fights with a bravado and seek and destroy style akin to Mamadou Thiam.