Berlanga Wins, Munguia Calls Out Charlo, and Quality Smaller Show Results
Berlanga Wins, But….
Edgar Berlanga has now gone to decision for four straight fights as his bout with Roamer Alexis Angulo went to a decision, but this one was strange. First off, Berlanga was without his longtime coach, Andre Rozier, next he went away from his unique and aggressive combination punching that saw him compile 16 straight first-round knockouts, as he was looking to outbox Angulo for most of the fight. Berlanga was pleased, citing this fight as the best of his career in a post-fight interview, but a lot of observers were stunned, and confused.
Now add to this, Berlanga had a bloody nose from the early rounds onward, seemingly tried to bite Angulo in a round out of frustration, and was booed in his post-fight in-ring interview, things are getting awkward for the Puerto Rican boxing star.
Even without a loss on his record, Berlanga is starting to feel like damaged goods. The talent is there, but mentally he was not here tonight as he looked checked out from the time he entered the arena. It was more clear when he was looking up at the clock in the fourth or fifth round with 30 seconds left in a clinch with Angulo. The biggest issue I saw was Berlanga’s lack of accountability from the bite to the performance, you always heard a reason for why, not I need to do better, which could be a big flaw at the highest level.
The troubling part was when “Zurdo” Ramirez and David Benavidez beat Angulo they looked to be on a different level. When Berlanga beat Angulo it was a close competitive fight, that felt like fighters at a similar level in which the younger fighter won. A jarring difference.
Where does he go from here? As most thought Berlanga would look better, and this in many ways was a side-step from his last fight with Steve Rolls – that also wasn’t that impressive. As a headliner in New York, Berlanga has had two rather mild main event performances.
Berlanga, a New York City native is in a tough spot, as he has a lot of friends and fans who are famous, which makes him a great main eventer for the New York market, but the problem is it looks like Berlanga has lost the confidence in his power. Now add the assortment of musical acts walking him to the ring instead of Fat Joe, a close family friend, and it just seems like too much is going on.
It will be interesting to see what Brad Goodman and Bruce Trampler do next with Berlanga.
Berlanga needs a recharge to his career. I still think Berlanga could be a Puerto Rican boxing legend, but that is falling on him now, as the system is in place to make him a star, he just now needs to put forth star-worthy performances.
130 lbs fighter Henry Lebron defeated Luis Lebron. The fight, well, it sort of came and went. It left no lasting impression. Henry Lebron is extremely talented, but at the end of the fight was tiring to Luis Lebron’s pressure. It was a solid win, but one that left the crowd rather muted. I was hoping Henry Lebron would announce himself to the world in this spot.
Super lightweight Dakota Linger knocked out Josue Vargas in the second round of their bout. This was the second time Vargas was knocked out at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Vargas was very badly hurt in this fight, and showed signs of damage as he struggled to leave the ring under his power. Vargas needs to think deeply about what he wants from life.
Lightweight Armani Almestica has started his career 6-0, with 6 KOs getting a sixth-round stoppage in his last bout, as the referee waived the contest off as he saw Eliseo Villalobos was taking too many clean shots.
Super lightweight Omar Rosario got some hard rounds with Julio Rosa as he got a six-round decision, but this fight truly tested Rosario, as he suffered a small cut in the fight.
Christina Cruz got a four-round decision to start the card, Cruz has to improve on moving her head when closing distance.
Jaime Munguia Wins, Charlo Next?
Jaime Munguia stopped Jimmy Kelly in a 165 lbs catchweight bout, and called out Jermall Charlo after the fight. The problem, why are we acting like this is a super-fight, it is simply a good fight, Munguia vs. Charlo.
The Munguia fight was weird. Munguia was being outboxed, and then seemingly he went back to his reckless offensive style, and stopped Kelly, who got up from the administered count, but the bout was still waived off, as Kelly looked confused as to why the bout was called.
A sort of uneventful return for Jaime Munguia who we need to see in a historically relevant bout in the future, at some point, as fights like this one just don’t matter at all.
Yokasta Valle defeated Lorraine Villalobos to make a defense of her IBF women’s mininiumweight title in a sneaky fun fight to watch. Valle is a lot of fun when matched right, but with Seniesa Estrada lurking near her weight class one has to assume the inevitable, a match-up between the two is near at some point.
Oscar Duarte returned to get a KO win over Mark Bernaldez, and Carlos Ortiz knocked out local favorite of the Central Valley, previously unbeaten Evan Sanchez. Other notables, Japhethlee Llamido got a win, and Carlos Ocampo got a first-round KO.
2020 Olympic gold medal heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov got a eighth-round KO over Jack Mulowayi on Friday Night’s ShoBox main event. The ending was violent, and brutal, what it took to get there was oddly uneventful.
Jalolov is probably the hardest prospect to predict, that I have seen in some time. Everything tells me that he is the boxing equivalent of Darko Millicic, a highly touted NBA player, who never saw stardom in the league. Yet, it is hard to argue with all eleven of his pro fights ending by way of knockout, as well as his crowning achievement KO over Richard Torrez Jr. in the amateurs.
That being said, Jalolov’s punch selection is similar to Erislandy Lara with a lot of straight punches, and a rear uppercut, as well as a ton of movement, movement that doesn’t always move the fight forward from an action standpoint. In short, Jalolov despite knocking everyone out still has a style that is largely amateur, and even though he is in eight-round bouts, and headlining boxing cards, he still feels about two-to-three years away from being a finished product.
A positive sign is that Jalolov is converting to the pros with Gennady Mashianov, the trainer of Dmitry Bivol, who got the biggest win thus far in 2022 an upset of Canelo Alvarez.
Jalolov is a strange case, as he got a brutal one-punch KO, and was deducted a point for holding in the same bout. To become the best of the era, he has to have a solution for the inside game besides holding, as Jalolov reminds me of another gold medalist from his home country, Vassiliy Jirov.
I just am curious to see where Jalolov goes as his compassion shown towards the fighter he knocked out was a welcomed change, and surely he will fight for a world title, but I just have no clue how good he is until he steps up to the next level.
A fight between himself and George Arias would be an interesting next progression, especially on ShoBox.
Heavyweight George Arias got a sleepy decision over Alante Green, who I could’ve sworn was a cruiserweight. Arias, who looks like Ali, and moves a ton, fought in spurts, while Green, looked for one shot. The result a close split-decision that I think will have both fighters thinking about what they should’ve done, more than what they did do.
Chann Thonson stopped Ty Tomlin by way of a fourth-round doctor’s stoppage. Tomlin, who had the best round of the fight, prior to the stoppage was obviously mad. It was painful to see, as though Thonson was winning the fight, Tomlin wanted the chance to continue, but NYSAC is very strict, and stopped the bout. One of the better fights I saw on the evening was stopped rather quickly.
2020 Olympic women’s bronze medalist Oshae Jones got a six-round decision off-television to start her pro career with a win.
Lower Weights Shine In Mexico
WBA light flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi stopped Esteban Bermudez in the main event of a Friday night card from Mexico on DAZN. I won’t lie, my attention was not given to this fight, which has the traits of a fight of the year-type bout. Why?
The NBA Playoffs between the Celtics vs Warriors, offered better entertainment value to me.
Isn’t that the problem though with the lower weights.
Kyoguchi puts forth a masterful performance, as bad decisions had been occurring all night, and saw himself lose two points, and said ‘you know what f’it I am stopping this guy.” Then he did it in the seventh round.
The problem for me isn’t the size of the fighters, it is the roadmap. The NBA Finals creates the best of the year, a great boxing fight creates trajectory or hopes for where a fighter is heading. With the lower weights, great fights happen, but the context is not always given, and the context is often what creates emotional attachment or the excitement to get you to tune into the bout.
I love the super flyweight division, because seven to ten fighters have been televised, and well documented. I am a huge fan of DeeJay Kriel, because I saw him fight at the lower weights, but it is a disservice to the fans and fighters when lower weight fighters are trotted out anonymously.
The lower weight fights are like the foreign films of cinema. You have some great films, but how many people will read subtitles? It will always limit the audience.
In the lower weights, you have great fighters fighting in epic wars, but the understanding of where it ranks in history is lost on me. That kind of matters a lot to me as I age, as I want to watch stuff that builds to the next mega-event.
These division seemingly are meant either for someone who wants to completely cover the sport in all divisions or those who love watching the best fights possible. Seemingly that should be everyone, but I don’t know if I fit in that category.
Time is limited, and highlights will do. Also, it seems like 10-years ago this is the type of fight I would watch on Solo Boxeo, but with so much boxing being televised, as a consumer I know pick and choose.
Congrats to Kyoguchi, a massive win in his career for the two-weight world champion, and for continuing his legacy, but we really have to invest a bit into who the top guys are in the division or some sort of road map at times for me to tune in over other interests.
Kyoguchi is the most interesting offensively gifted lower weight fighter I have seen since “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and “Bam” Rodriguez.
Beyond that, Kyoguchi had the Ring IQ that he knew he was on the verge of a DQ with the point deductions as well as potential bad judging and took the fight into his own hands forcing the stoppage.
Rocky Hernandez shocked me getting a first-round KO of Jorge David Castaneda in a lightweight bout. Hernandez caught Castaneda early in the first-round and that was all we saw, as Castaneda coming off two upset wins, was stopped on the ropes. For Hernandez, who has had a failure of a pro career so far, this was a good win to get back in the mix. The performance was all-gas, and no brakes from Hernandez, who might have been gassed out by round three if a stoppage didn’t come.
WBA super bantamweight Mayerlin Rivas, who is trained by Rigoberto Alvarez, put on a clinical world title defense by winning every minute of every round, up until a fourth round stoppage of Karina Fernandez. Rivas looked generational in this performance.
Super middleweight Diego Pacheco got a stoppage win, and after the fight it was suggested he might be fighting Lerrone Richards. Pacheco didn’t know who Richards was, but when he found out Richards was part of Matchroom and DAZN, was keen to the idea. Pacheco is Matchroom’s best chance at an organic homegrown world-champion.
Jesus Martinez got an impressive KO to start his career which we included above.
In his first fight as a signed fighter to Matchroom Anthony Herrera fought Kennyn Valenzuela, to a draw in 118 lbs division, as one judge scored four round 10-10, which is pretty bad. For Herrera, he should’ve won, but lost out on a marquee moment with his new promoter, as he could’ve separated a bit more to make it more decisive, but now has a draw on his record.
Peter Kahn managed 140 lbs Aaron Aponte got a hard fought win six-round win over Leo Leon Martinez on the undercard, that was ruled a split, but should have been a clear unanimous decision. Aponte will need to tighten up his defense on the inside as he rises up the ranks, but all-and-all a solid test for a young fighter, who is proving himself in the pro ranks as he is signed to Matchroom Boxing.
Harley Mederos got a first-round KO off-television.
Club Show Results
Richard Riakphorhe stopped Fabio Turchi in two rounds. The fight was unavailable in America, so that is all I know.
2020 Gold Medal Olympian Lauren Price got a six-round decision in her pro debut. Price will be a star, or should be as she is talented, and interesting.
Also on the card, Super middleweight Zak Chelli beat previously unbeaten Germaine Brown in a solid undercard bout.
Daniel Dubois left the U.K. to pick up some form of the WBA heavyweight world title by stopping Trevor Bryan in four rounds. Dubois nearly had Bryan out in the first, but it took three more rounds to get the stoppage. Dubois is a fan-favorite in the U.K., let’s see some big fights now.
Also, Light heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali got a fourth-round DQ win. Elbiali, who was with PBC at some point now was on a Don King card, fighting in Florida, and called out Bivol after the fight.
The biggest shocker of the night was Jonathan Guidry who lost a split-decision to Trevor Bryan on the last Don King PPV, knocked out Dacarree “Mac Truck” Scott in the seventh round. Scott, a promising prospect in the heavyweight division, was exhausted and stopped late.
Alfredo Angulo’s return didn’t happen as Atlanta has a curfew at midnight and the show went over.
MMA in 500 Words Or Less
We have a new UFC light heavyweight champion in Jiri Prochazka who submitted Glover Teixeira in the fifth and final round. The fight was viewed by MMA fans as the best fight of the year.
Long-reigning women’s champion Valentina Shevchenko got a split-decision win over Taila Santos in a fight that was much closer than people expected. This fight should be worthy of a rematch.
Zhang Weili brutally knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the second-round with a spinning back fist. After the bout, former champ Jedrzejczyk retired.
Jake Matthews knocked out Andre Fialho in a fan-friendly fight.