By Max Warren at ringside
Jose Uzcategui vs. Ezequiel Maderna [Light-Heavyweights, 10 Rounds]: Venezuelan IBF World Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) stalked Maderna (26-5, 16 KOs) from the opening bell. He continued to come forward, landing his jab while throwing to the body. Maderna backed up for nearly the entirety of the round, as Uzcategui kept his jab in front of Maderna’s face. Maderna’s nose bled by the end of the opening stanza.
In round two, Maderna continued to paw with his jab, but to no effect. Uzcategui continued to follow Maderna around the ring, and Maderna continuously ate several jabs to the face. At the end of the round, Uzcategui hurt Maderna with a thudding right and landed two devastating left hooks to the body. Uzcategui attempted to go for the knockout in round three, but it was not quite time. He continuously fought on the inside, landing a head-snapping right and left hook. Maderna proceeded to go into a defensive shell. To Maderna’s credit, he landed a powerful counter left hook that kept Uzcategui honest.
From round four onward, Uzcategui followed Maderna around the ring, landing his jab, and mixing speeds with his punches. Occasionally, Maderna was able to land his jab and some solid counter left hooks that kept Uzcategui from going in for the kill. Uzcategui did not sit down on many of his punches, which allowed him to throw his power punches at a constant rate. Maderna remained on the defensive for a majority of the fight, as he avoided getting knocked out by the champion.
In round nine, the time seemed right--Uzcategui tried for the knockout, but Maderna would not go away. The Argentinian stuck in there and remained tough. He was unwilling to succumb to the adversity. It was a big opportunity for him, fighting at a world-class level in the main event. Maderna remained determined to go the distance from the opening bell, and many expected him to be the victim of an early knockout loss.
According to Uzcategui, the fight went the distance because he, “just played around and got some rounds.” He hopes that “maybe the other champions will have the guts to fight [him].”
At fight’s end, two judges scored the bout 98-92 for Uzcategui, while one judge scored the fight a shutout for the Venezuelan champion. Uzcategui spoke on his performance afterwards, and expressed his desire to face Mexican WBO World Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto Ramirez. He wants an all-Mexican championship fight that the fans will be excited for, although,he must in the interim fight his IBF mandatory challenger Caleb Plant, who he was ordered to fight earlier this year. In training, Plant broke his hand, and the scheduled championship bout versus Uzcategui was postponed.
The super middleweight division is heating up, as Jesse Hart, Caleb Plant, Jose Uzcategui, David Benavidez, and Gilberto Ramirez are vying for the number one spot. Although many expected Uzcategui to win the fight by early knockout, he still looked impressive. There was not a moment in tonight’s fight when he was not in complete control. He remains a prime contender to beat some of the top super middleweights.
Jerwin Ancajas vs. Alejandro Santiago Barrios [Super-Flyweights, 12 Rounds]: Defending his IBF World Junior Bantamweight Title for the sixth time, Jerwin “Pretty boy” Ancajas came into the ring smiling and enjoying himself as “Thunderstruck” rocked the house.
Despite not having experience at the world-class level, Santiago walked into the ring very determined, knowing this was a big opportunity. The young 26 year-old world champion was delighted to see a large Filipino contingency at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
From the opening bell, it was evident that Ancajas had a sizable height advantage. He started to flick his jab, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Santiago seemed to have difficulty nullifying Ancajas’ height advantage. Santiago landed a right hand that got the champion’s attention, but didn’t follow it up. Ancajas kept his distance, doubling up the jab, and was later able to sneak in a left hand to the body and head. The Filipino champ was the clear ring general in round one.
Ancajas landed a powerful straight left to get Santiago’s attention at the beginning of round two. He later landed a solid left hook to the body, followed by a crisp right hook upstairs. Ancajas moved in and out of range well, landing flurries on the inside and maintaining a consistent jab on the outside. He began throwing his jab to the body more, and attempted “Pacquiao’s signature straight left.”
To close out the round, Santiago landed a right hand that hurt Ancajas, who wobbled momentarily before the final bell. Santiago also landed a three-punch combination. He may have stolen the round with his work in the final ten seconds.
Ancajas began to fight at range once again, as the crowd was fired up following Santiago’s combination at the close of the previous round. The Filipino landed a straight left that connected. Yet it only made Santiago more aggressive as he proceeded to flurry, but failed to land several of his punches. Later, Santiago connected with an impressive overhand right. They later exchanged with one another, as Santiago connected with a left hook while Ancajas landed a straight left. To close out the round, Ancajas landed a straight left to the body.
To begin round four, Ancajas momentarily backed Santiago to the ropes, before moving back to the center of the ring. He landed a powerful straight left to back Santiago up, and later landed a left to the body while Santiago was on the ropes. Santiago connected with a flurry, landing a left hook and straight right. Ancajas later landed a solid left to the body. At the end of the round, Ancajas decided to stay out of range and throw the jab.
Ancajas landed a couple straight lefts while Santiago was on the ropes. While in the center of the ring, Santiago connected on a powerful overhand right. Ancajas later landed a straight left when he backed up Santiago to the ropes. Santiago landed another straight left after Ancajas landed a straight left to the body. At the end of the round, Santiago connected with a left hook before the two fighters tied up. Ancajas stayed in the center of the ring in round six, landing jabs and lead lefts. He also utilized the one-two. Santiago connected on hooks to the body, but Ancajas did a quality job maintaining his range to keep the shorter fighter from closing in on him. The Filipino champ began to warm up and find his groove, yet Santiago kept coming forward consistently. Ancajas kept his weight on the back foot, waiting for opportunities to counter before Santiago came inside. At round’s end, Ancajas’ plan worked to a tee as he connected with a straight left before the bell. Santiago tried to land punches on the inside, but they were few and far between.
In round eight, Ancajas continued to be the aggressor. Santiago connected with his jab and straight right. Santiago began timing Ancajas’s punches in order to land his jab. To close the round, Ancajas landed a hard straight left.
The champ kept the action in the center of the ring, and later landed a quality straight left to the body. He connected with a great right hook as Santiago tried to move inside. Santiago was able to connect later though with a left hook when he made his way into range. He stayed inside, his best place, to throw a power punches. The Mexican challenger finished the round with a great overhand right. Ancajas’ energy did not seem to be what it was at the beginning of the night.
In the tenth round Ancajas tried to stay out of range, but it was Santiago landing the power punches--overhand rights and a left hook. At one point, Ancajas backed up Santiago along the ropes, but once he got inside, Santiago was able to land effectively with his right.
The eleventh round was arguably Santiago’s best. He timed his punches well, landing a plethora of power shots while on the inside. Ancajas missed a number of counters, and had trouble connecting with his straight left.
Going into the twelfth, the fight was close. Ancajas missed several of his power punches, while Santiago consistently landed straight rights and left hooks. Also, Santiago was able to time Ancajas when the champion lurched forward.
Michael Tate scored the fight 116-112 for Ancajas, while Marshall Walker had Santiago 118-110, and Chris Wilson had 114-114 for a split draw. It was a close fight, as Ancajas controlled the early rounds and Santiago dominated the later portion of the fight by landing effectively with his power punches.
Santiago Barrios is now 16-2-5, (7 KOs), while Ancajas is 30-1-2, (20 KOs). The Filipino remains the IBF world super flyweight champion. At the end of the fight, fans applauded Santiago, as he put forth a valiant effort. Many considered him to be overmatched, but he came into the bout determined, and fought hard from the opening bell until the end. Certainly, many fans would like to see this fight again, as it proved to be competitive and entertaining throughout.
Santiago thought he won the fight, saying, “Everyone saw the fight, and everyone saw that I won the fight clearly.” On the other hand, Ancajas,“felt like [he] pressed the fight and did enough to win.”
Justin Cordona vs. Arturo Izaguirre [Lightweights, 4 Rounds]: Making his pro debut out of Salinas, California, Justin Cordona (1-0, 1KO) jumped on his opponent immediately and landed a vicious left hook that hurt Izaguirre (1-2, 1 KO). He later backed Izaguirre to the ropes, and landed an impressive flurry of punches before the referee broke the clinch. Cordona backed up his opponent to the ropes once again, and began throwing hooks to the body. Izaguirre landed a hard right hard, which momentarily slowed Cordona’s offense.
After an exciting first round, Cordona used his jab effectively to keep Izaguirre from walking in. The pace of the bout slowed down in round two. Cordona hurt Izaguirre once again, this time with an overhand right. Izaguirre bounced back, but Cordona established quality head movement that allowed him to control the pace. To begin the third, Cordona continued with his jab. He later landed a thunderous left hook to the body, causing Izaguirre to crumble to the canvas. The referee immediately stopped the fight at 1:10 of the stanza. Cordona impressed in his pro debut, and now boasts a KO percentage of 100%.
Joshua Greer Jr. vs. Giovanni Delgado [Junior Featherweights, 10 rounds]: The entertaining and flamboyant Joshua Greer established his jab from the opening bell, and threw hard shots to the body. He kept a steady punch rate to the body, and utilized the jab to keep his opponent at distance. Greer kept a tight guard, and his opponent failed to land any head-shots. He began to use the shoulder roll defense during the closing moments of the round, and tried to land his straight left before round’s end.
Greer connected with two solid counter left hooks in round two, and Delgado (18-8, 9 KOs) tried answering back with an overhand right that Greer scoffed at and smiled to indicate it hadn’t hurt him. Greer used the pull-and-counter technique to land a hard straight right. He later used his physicality to bully Delgado on the inside, and effectively jabbed to the body and head.
At the start of the third round, Greer went to the body once again very effectively, and used the shoulder roll to land a counter straight right. Greer landed a powerful overhand right that staggered Delgado. He followed up by throwing hooks at will before the referee stepped in and ended the fight at 1:44 of the third. Greer improved his record to 18-1-1, (10 KOs).
Genesis Servania vs. Carlos Carlson: [Featherweights, 10 rounds]: Servania and Carlson (23-5, 14 KOs) began fighting at a rapid pace, trading power punches in the center of the ring. Servania landed accurately with his jab, setting up power punches to the body and head. The Filipino backed up Carlson to the ropes, and landed a right hand that momentarily hurt Carlson. Carlson continued to stay tough, and answered back with his jab.
Round two started with both fighters rushing to the center of the ring, with neither fighter getting the better of the action. In the middle of the round, the pace slowed down, as Servania used his jab to throw hard rights the head and body. Servania landed a hard counter right uppercut, but Carlson began throwing flurries of his own. Servania doubled and tripled up the jab to keep Carlson at bay.
In round three, Servania landed a thunderous right hook that floored Carlson. Immediately after the referee ended the ten count, Carlson rose off the canvas but it was too late. The Mexican fighter argued to the referee that he had gotten up, but it was too late. Servania won by KO in the third round at 0:44, and improved his record to 32-1, (15 KOs)
Rico Ramos vs. Daniel Olea [Featherweights, Eight Rounds]: Former world WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Rico Ramos (30-5, 14 KOs) was supposed to face former WBO Super Bantamweight Champion Jessie Magdaleno, but the 31 year-old still came in to impress. Ramos controlled range with a piston-like jab. He landed a brutal left hook on Olea (13-6-2, 5 KOs) at the tail end of the opening round, and Olea got up at the count of six. Ramos began to follow up his knockdown with an onslaught of power punches as the bell signaled an end to round one.
In round two, Ramos landed two left hooks in a row. He began to fight on the inside, throwing to the body. He backed up Olea to the ropes, and Olea leaned over following a devastating body punch. Olea walked forward occasionally with caution, and kept his elbows at his side to protect the body. Toward of the round, he began to fight at distance to utilize the jab.
Ramos walked down Olea in round three, waiting to set up a power punch. He threw devastating hooks to the body as well as hard uppercuts and hooks to the head. Olea remained on the defensive. In round four, Ramos threw his jab to the body and head, while landing hard shots to the body in between. Olea tried to press the action, but Ramos stood there and smiled to show that the punches did not affect him. Ramos began round five by circling the ring, as Olea missed several power punches. Olea finally landed a hard right that briefly got the attention of Ramos. The former champion began controlling the action in the center of the ring, and began flurrying to the head and body. Ramos boxed patiently to close the round. Hamos started to have fun in round six, talking with his corner and winking at them. He stayed calm, and used the jab to his liking.
The former champ kept breaking down Olea, who wasn’t answering back with punches of his own. Ramos moved his head well and touched up Olea in round seven. He measured Olea with his left to throw the right. He remained close to Olea, and moved his head swiftly to dodge blows.
Ramos moved his hands up in the air before the opening bell for round eight to pump up the crowd. He hurt Olea with a hard right, and knocked him into the ropes to land a flurry. The action went back to the center of the ring, and Ramos continued to land at will.
The former champ closed the fight with a flashy combination before the final bell. All three judges turned in identical scorecards of 80-71 for Ramos, who was dominant in each moment of every round.
Askhat Ualikhanov vs. Angel Hernandez [Welterweights, Six Rounds]: Power-punching prospect Ualikhanov traded at times with Hernandez (13-11-2, 8 KOs) on the inside, but got the better of the action as he landed hard punches to the body. Hernandez backed up Ualikhanov a few times, but the Kazakh prospect, managed by Egis Klimas, remained patient for openings.
Ualikhanov wore down Hernandez by going to the body in round two. He also changed angles with lateral movement that allowed room for hard left hooks. Hernandez’s spirited effort in round one began to wilt away. Ualikhanov landed many combinations in round three, and backed Hernandez to the ropes. He took control of the fight, throwing at his own pace. He began jabbing to the body, and Hernandez slowed down considerably. He threw many flurries in round four that his opponent failed to answer.
In round five, Hernandez began to land some power punches of his own, yet they did not have the same effect as Ualikhanov. Hernandez backed Ualikhanov to the ropes for a brief period, but the Kazakh turned up his attack. Ualikhanov proceeded to throw the left hook to the body and head.
Both fighters appeared tired by round six, throwing as many power punches as they could to close out the fight. The Kazakh prospect landed power punches at will, connecting on solid hooks and uppercuts. He landed effectively with his power shots throughout the bout. At fight’s end, two judges scored the fight 58-56, while one judge had it 59-55, and Ualikhanov won by unanimous decision to improve his record to 4-1, (2 KOs).
Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Carlos Galvan [Super Middleweights, Six Rounds]: The much-touted prospect from Kazakhstan, Janibek Alimkhanuly (3-0, 1 KO), took on Carlos Galvan (16-8-1, 15 KOs) in his third professional bout. Before tonight’s fight, Janibek reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and earned gold at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships. Alimkhanuly is managed by renowned Russian boxing manager Egis Klimas, who has crafted the careers of Vasyl Lomachenko, Sergey Kovalev, and undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
In the opening round, Alimkhanuly showed patience, remaining at distance and landing an accurate and stiff right jab. He landed very solid straight lefts to the body, and remained in control without forcing the action.
Janibek landed a thunderous straight left in round two, causing Galvan’s glove to touch the canvas. The referee failed to notice this, and did not call it a knockdown. Nevertheless, Alimkhanuly remained at the center of the ring and used lateral movement that kept Galvan from settling in. The Kazakh prospect staggered Galvan with a straight left once again, but Galvan remained a tough customer and even came forward for most of round three.
Despite hurting his opponent, Alimkhanuly remained patient, using his range to land his powerful left hand. Alimkhanuly pushed the pace in rounds four and five, landing combinations while staying out of range. In round six, Alimkhanuly landed many straight lefts, but did not sit down on many of his punches. He was dominant, and hurt Galvan several times, but the bout went the distance. All three judges turned in identical scores of 60-54 Alimkhanuly.