By: William Holmes
ESPN Friday Night Fights was broadcast from the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. This was 50 Cent’s first solo promotional debut but his main event of the evening between Eleider Alvarez and Allan Green was cancelled when Green came in yesterday six pounds overweight and was diagnosed from food poisoning today.
The bout between Billy Dib (35-2) and Mike Oliver (25-3) in the featherweight division became the new main event of the night.
The first bout of the night was between Robert Osiobe (14-5-4) and Mark Davis (16-0) in the lightweight division. Davis is a former US National Amateur Champion but has not been very active in recent years and only has five knockouts on his record while facing inferior competition.
Osiobe was the older and taller fighter inside the ring, but he was a step slower than Davis. Davis was talking trash from the beginning and could be heard telling Osiobe “It’s going to be a long night.”
Osiobe however gave Davis a good fight. Davis was able to land a larger volume of punches on Osiobe, but he was unable to land any hard damaging shots. He pressed forward and was able to use his speed to his advantage.
Osiobe occasionally landed a hard straight right hand on Davis as he came in. Davis suffered a cut under his left eye in the sixth round but was never in serious trouble.
This uneventful fight went to the scorecards. The judges scored it 78-74, 78-74, and 77-75 for Mark “Too Sharp” Davis.
Rikardo Smith (6-3) and Emmanuel DeJesus (4-0) met in the welterweight division in a four round bout. DeJesus had knocked out all of his previous opponents but was unable to tonight. He scored a knockdown in the second round with a short left hook but was unable to finish Smith. DeJesus still won the fight with scores of 39-36, 39-36, and 40-35.
Billy Dib and Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver was the last bout of the night. Mike Oliver has not fought in over a year and Billy Dib is coming off of a loss to Evgeny Gradovich.
Oliver is a southpaw, and he was the visibly shorter and thinner man inside the ring. Many expected Dib to walk over Oliver, but Oliver made it a good fight. Oliver was able to land his right hook early on and Dib applied pressure in an attempt to trap Oliver by the corner.
Oliver tied up a lot throughout the entire night but it was Dib who lost points from the referee. He was warned in the first round for low blows and sent Oliver to the mat with another low blow in the second round. The referee deducted a point from Billy Dib for the foul but Oliver’s acting may have helped the referee in his decision.
Billy Dib came out aggressive in the third round but landed another low blow. The referee deducted another point from Dib and warned that he will be disqualified the next time he lands a low blow. Dib’s left eye also was beginning to swell up.
Dib changed up his game plan in the fourth round and began to throw less body punches and was becoming more successful trapping Oliver in the corner. His size advantage really started to show as he was able to punish Oliver whenever he trapped him.
The referee finally warned Mike Oliver for holding in the eighth round and Oliver listened. Dib was able to land more punishing shots on Oliver by the ropes and corner as a result. Oliver might have had his best round in the last round as he was able to land several hard left hands while his back was against the ropes.
In the end the judges scored it 94-94, 96-92, and 96-92 for Billy Dib.