By Matt Richardson at ringside
Carlos Cuadras W10 David Carmona (super flyweight)
Ryan Martin TKO8 Bryant Cruz (lightweight)
Andy Lee W8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (middleweight)
Matt McKinney W4 Jay Carrigan-McFarlane (heavyweight)
Serhii Bohachuk TKO3 Yasmani Pedroso (welterweight)
Former WBC super flyweight champion and Carlos “Principe” Cuadras, (36-1-1, 27 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over former world title challenger David “Severo” Carmona, (20-4-5, 8 KOs). Former Roman Gonzalez opponent Cuadras bounced back from a September 2016 defeat at the hands of “Chocolatito” to win 97-93 (twice) and 96-94. Despite the lopsided nature of the fight, both men took punishment: Carmona (20-4-5, 8 KO’s) was cut on the left side of the head from a Cuadras punch but Cuadras was cut over the left eye in the seventh from a similar shot. It was Cuadras, however, who was in control throughout. He dictated the pace of the action, stunned his opponent occasionally and built up enough of an early lead to hold of Carmona down the stretch.
Lightweight prospect Ryan Martin outworked, outpunched and just plain beat up Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz in the first fight of the HBO-televised pay-per-view. Eventually, the wear and tear added up and referee Harvey Dock stopped the fight in the eighth round (45 seconds) with Cruz still standing but clearly defeated. There were no knockdowns.
Martin (18-0, 11 KO’s) looked sharp and he demonstrated real poise and talent but Cruz couldn’t really compete and he essentially lost each minute of each round. Martin did particular damage with his right, which couldn’t seem to miss Cruz, who dropped to 17-2 with 8 KO’s. Martin scored well with a hook to the body at the end of the first round and was in command throughout the second as Cruz backpedaled for the round. Cruz fought more aggressively in the third but Martin connected with hard rights in the final minute of the round. Martin stunned Cruz with a flush right in the fifth but missed some follow-up shots. But Martin continued to slam Cruz with rights in the sixth and accurate combinations in the final minute of the round backed Cruz into the ropes as Martin snapped his head back.
By the eighth round Dock had seen enough and after Martin ate a hard combination along the ropes the referee waved the fight off. Cruz briefly argued the ending but seemed content that the punishment had mercifully come to an end.
Former WBO middleweight title-holder Andy Lee made a triumphant return to the ring after a 15 month lay-off – and remained in the running for a potential fight against Gennady Golovkin – by winning an eight-round unanimous decision against KeAndrae Leatherwood. Lee gave a workman like performance, doing just enough to win the rounds but never enough to threaten a knockout. One judge scored the fight a shut-out, 80-72 while the other two submitted scores of 79-73 and 78-74.
Neither fighter seemed particularly eager to engage the other, although Leatherwood did connect with a few straight rights toward the end of the second round. Lee found success with sporadic straight lefts throughout but the effective punching was rare as both men spent significant chunks of time sizing up their opponent. Lee is now 35-3-1 with 24 KO’s. Leatherwood is 19-4-1 with 12 KO’s. Lee was coming off a December 2015 title loss to Billy Joe Saunders. Saunders, meantime, is the likely opponent for Golovkin should “GGG” take a homecoming fight in Kazakhstan in June.
Matt McKinney upset Jay Carrigan-McFarlane in a clash of beefy heavyweights. McKinney won a four-round majority decision by scores of 39-37 (twice) and 38-38. Carrigan-McFarlane, who hails from Glasgow, Scotland appeared to be soft around the middle and didn’t fight with the urgency required to actually win the bout. He fought sloppy, winged a lot of punches and often left himself open for crisp counterpunches. He’s now 2-1 with 2 KO’s; McKinney is 4-2-2 with one win via knockout.
Ukrainian welterweight Serhii Bohachuk defeated Yasmani Pedroso in the first fight of the evening via third round technical knockout. Bohachuck (3-0, 3 KO’s) dominated the first three rounds. Pedroso was bleeding from the nose by the end of the second and was down once in the third before a wide left hook knocked him to the canvas again. The second knockdown prompted referee Ron Lipton to promptly call a halt without issuing a count. There were 32 seconds left in the round. With the loss, Pedroso dropped to 1-2 with one win inside the distance.