By Felipe Leon at ringside
Photos: Mary Ann Owen
In customary Las Vegas fashion, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions put on an entertaining fight card filled with up and coming talent as well as the return bout between undefeated welterweight Shawn Porter (22-0-1, 14KOs) and former world champion Julio “Kidd” Diaz (40-9-1, 29KOs) in which Porter out muscled himself to a unanimous decision and as well as the vacant NABO welterweight title.
Porter and Diaz first danced last December where after ten heated rounds, they walked away with a split draw. Since then, Diaz went across the big pond to face Amir Khan and fell via a unanimous decision while Porter defeated Phil LeGreco last May with a lopsided decision.
The rematch almost was a carbon copy of the first fight with high punch output and punches through out but this time Porter had the edge and definitely took the fight but not as wide as the final scores of 98-92 and 97-93 would indicate.
Big exchanges was the order of the day as well as more clinching that the crowed and referee Russell Mora would have liked as Diaz made it a point to go to the body while Porter scored the bigger power punches.
The fighters did not let up the brutal pace they had set from the opening bell with the rounds fairly close up to the fifth. In the seventh Porter began to pull away and began to score the more telling shots as Diaz, a veteran of fifty fights, began to tire.
Porter scored a big overhand left in the eight that sent Diaz reeling towards the ropes but Diaz with his experience was able to weather the storm. After Porter jumped in and scored a left hook in the night, their heads clashed and both were awarded with cuts. Diaz, perhaps knowing that he was behind on the card, came out determined and looking for the knockout in the tenth and final round but Porter landed a right hand that reminded Diaz where he was. With the win, Porter remains undefeated and captures the NABO welterweight title.
Badou Jack and Marco Antonio Periban Fight To a Draw
In the co-main event, former world title challenger Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1, 13KOs) of Mexico City controlled the first half of the fight but then was out worked by undefeated Badou Jack (15-0, 10KOs) in the second but still walked away with a draw in the ten round super middleweight fight for the NABF title.
The bout was an all-action affair for the majority of the ten heats with Periban scoring well and being the more active from the opening bell. He had no trouble imposing his busy style on Jack of Las Vegas by way of Sweden as he went for the head and body. Jack kept up with him and in the third began to land right hands that began to mark up the face of the Mexico City fighter. An even bigger right landed in the fourth with this one causing a cut over the right eye of Periban that bled for the remainder of the fight.
By the fifth Jack succeeded in getting on the inside and began to bring his fight to Periban. Periban was still throwing the leather at a high clip but not with the same affect or intensity as in the earlier rounds. Jack kept pushing and scoring the right hand as Periban began to look with out answers by the eighth. The deciding round might have been the tenth and Periban took it using angles and punch combinations to convince the judges.
At the end judge Jerry Roth scored it 96-94 while Al Lefkowitz and Steve Morrow both saw it an even 95-95.
Williams vs Certeño Ends No Contest
The highly anticipated super welterweight match up between the undefeated Julian “J-Rock” Williams (13-0-1, 7KOs) and Oxnard, CA’s Hugo “The Boss” Centeño (19-0, 10KOs) ended in a controversial no contest after Centeño suffered a mild cut at the onset of the fourth round.
Williams, who in his last fight dropped the much more experienced Joachim Alcine three times en route to a unanimous decision win, was in control from the get-go as he applied effective and constant pressure to the always moving Certeño. Certeño was never given the opportunity to set up his offense and opted to shoot one punch at a time, mainly the jab.
With the first three rounds easily won by Williams, a headbutt opened up a slight cut over the left eye of Centeño. The ringside doctor immediately checked him and after some evaluation it was decided the bout needed to stop amidst the jeers and boos of the assembled crowd. Time was :59 of the fourth round.
The bout was scheduled for ten and it was for the WBC International 154 lbs. title.
The “Golden Kid” Was Golden
Displaying a deep arsenal of weapons, poise, maturity and a killer instinct, Diego De La Hoya (1-0, 1KO) the younger cousin of Oscar De La Hoya, made his first pro fight a good one by annihilating Bayamon, Puerto Rico’s Luis Cosme (8-3, 3KOs) in the third round of a scheduled super bantamweight four.
De La Hoya was quicker to the punch and showed better than average hand speed as he landed multi-punch combos and at the end of the first, an impressive four punch combinations of straight punches to the head of Cosme.
Both fighters had no fear in exchanging left hooks and body shots with De La Hoya getting the best of the exchanges. By beginning of the third De La Hoya of Mexicali, Mexico, began to pull away and as Cosme had his back against the ropes the Mexican scored a right hand that hurt Cosme and sent him reeling back. De La Hoya went after his prey with a heavy attack that finally sent the Puerto Rican to the canvas. As referee Robert Byrd was administering the count, he took a long look at Cosme and decided to stop the action. Official time was 1:53 of the third.
In an entertaining back and forth affair, Houston, TX’s, Jermall Charlo (16-0, 12KOs) beat fellow Houstonian Rogelio De La Torre (10-4, 6KOs) by stoppage in the seventh round of a scheduled middleweight eight. Despite De La Torre being game and applying constant pressure to his opponent, Charlo was much quicker, smarter and stronger and it showed in the exchanges. A left hook was the lethal blow in the seventh which forced referee Tony Weeks to halt the action. Official time was 1:50.
Undefeated middleweight Errol Spence Jr (8-0, 7KOs) only needed 2:33 of the first round to stop Mexico City’s Jesus Tavera (5-4, 1KO) with an accumulation of body shots. Spence Jr. of Dallas, TX, dropped Tavera with a left hook mid way through the round. Despite being hurt, Tavera beat the count but Spence Jr did not let him off the hook and went after him with power punches to the body forcing the stoppage by referee Russell Mora. The bout was scheduled for eight rounds.
The difference in hand speed was evident from the opening bell and it turned out to what ended the night early for Muscatine, IO’s Lance Williams (6-2, 6KOs) as Robert Easter Jr (7-0, 7KOs) was just too quick for his slightly shorter opponent. The jab of Easter Jr of Akron, OH, was lighting quick and scoring often. When he began to double it up with his just as quick right hand, it was only a matter of time for Williams. Williams went down three times before the end of the first round of a scheduled six rounder in the lightweight division. After the third knockdown referee Jay Nady had seen enough and called the action at 2:43 of the first round.
Former Olympian Terrell Gausha did quick work of over matched Bruce Runkle knocking him out in the first round of a scheduled middleweight six. Gausha (6-0, 4KOd) forced Runkle (4-3-1) to take a knee with a heavy barrage of power shots and seconds later landed a hard left hook to the chin. Runkle at first tried to beat the count but referee Tony Weeks opted to stop the action at the 2:11 mark of the first round.
Heavyweight hopeful Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (7-0, 7KOs) completely dominated John Hill (6-3, 5Kos) on his way to stopping him at the 1:08 mark of the third round of a scheduled eight. Hill had no answers as Breazeale of Los Angeles, CA, kept him at the end of his long punches while he kept his perfect record intact. Hill went down twice, once at the end of the second and again in the third, as he got thoroughly beat up.