At the historic Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, CA, Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jorge Silva put on a war Saturday night. While the fight ended in a draw, the sustained action honored the many battles that have been fought in that building over the years. From the outset Silva looked like he might overwhelm the Japanese fighter, taking it to him early on with volume, sheer aggression and an uppercut that rocked Kamegai.
But Kamegai, 21-0-1 with 18 knockouts, used his toughness, guile and hard jab to wrest a semblance of control from Silva. The two men went at each other like everything was on the line. To these men who have not established themselves in the US as draws or recognizable names, everything was. Silva was able to stun Kamegai twice in the fight while Kamegai kept Silva honest with his power punching ways.
In the end, the crowd was satisfied, the fighters’ stocks both rose and the judges had it 95-95 twice and 96-94 for Kamegai, a draw.
Linares decisions Velasquez
In a fight that was a likely rougher than expected, Venezuela’s Jorge Linares improved to 32-3 with 20 knockouts via a wide ten round decision over Hector Velasquez 52-18-3 with 35 knockouts by scores of 100-89, 98-91, and 97-91. Linares was once high on many writers’ list as a future elite fighter. But after back to back stoppage losses, he has had to re-tool in Japan’s Teiken Gym.
In this fight, you could see his skill level. The offense of Linares has never been questioned. It’s his durability and ability to take a punch. Velasquez was game, pressing and attacking early and often. But Linares’ jab and movement kept him in charge throughout despite taking flush punches from Velasquez on a number of occasions. Velasquez was penalized a point for rough stuff and Linares suffered a cut that his team managed very well. All in all, it was a solid effort from Linares who did not appeared terribly happy with his performance, expressing his need to improve.