Substitute jr middleweight Willie “The Great” Nelson (18-1-1, 11 KOs) won a surprise ten round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Yudel Jhonson (12-1, 8 KOs) on Friday night at the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas. The 6’3 Nelson dropped Jhonson with a right hand in round two, but didn’t follow up. Jhonson floored Nelson hard in round four with a big left. Nelson, however, staggered Jhonson in round five and pretty much controlled the fight after that. Scores were 95-94, 97-92, 97-92. Nelson, who is trained by Jack Loew, took the fight on 11 days notice after Jhonson’s original foe Freddy Hernandez pulled out with an injury.
In a clash of unbeaten super middleweights, WBC #9 Badou Jack “The Ripper” (11-0, 8 KOs) barely won an unpopular eight round split decision Alexander Brand (17-1, 15 KOs). The wild, free-swinging attacks of Brand gave Jack all sorts of problems, but Jack prevailed on two cards 77-75, 77-75. Brand was up 77-75 on the third card.
In other results: Cuban super featherweight Rances Barthelemy (16-0, 11 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round unanimous decision over Las Vegas’ Robert Osiobe (11-5-4, 6 KOs). Scores were 79-72 and 78-73 twice. Las Vegas super feather Jesus Gutierrez (4-0, 2 KOs) brought the crowd to watch him batter crosstown debuter Jimmy Jones (0-1) around, knocking him down twice en route to a TKO win at 2:34 of round three. All three pre-TV bouts ended by TKO: Cuban light-heavy Yunieski Gonzalez (8-0, 5 KOs) took out Phoenix’ Carlos Reyes (5-4-1, 3 KOs) at 1:39 of the first; Michigan cruiser William Mitch Williams (4-2-1, 4 KOs) stopped Carlos Gaytan (3-1-1, 3 KOs), of Reno, at 1:20 of the first; and Puerto Rican super middleweight Roberto Acevedo (4-0, 3 KOs) TKO’d Milwaukee’s Martinez Porter (1-2) at 2:19 of round two. Stay tuned for a full report and gallery tomorrow.