By: William Holmes
ESPN Friday Night Fights took place at the Joint in the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, and tonight’s card delivered with some exciting stoppages in two of the televised bouts.
The first bout of the night was a heavyweight battle between the undefeated Magomed “Mago” Adbusalamov (14-0) and the one loss Maurice Byarm (13-1-1).
Maurice Byarm is no pushover, but Adbusalamov was the favorite coming into the fight. Byarm started off well, but Adbusalamov closed the first round strongly and pummeled Byarm by the corner with several straight left hands that buckled him at the end of the first round.
An early left hand by Adbusalamov knocked Byarm down in the second round and he was able to beat the count. Adbusalamov quickly attacked Byarm as soon as he got to his feet and the referee had no choice but to stop the fight.
The powerful Russian Adbusalamov had his first real test in his career and quickly dispatched Byarm with brutal straight left hands. The official stoppage came at 0:36 of round 2. We look forward to seeing “Mago” in the ring again soon.
The next bout was between Rocco Santomauro (8-0) and Dewayne Wisdom (2-3) in the featherweight division.
Wisdom fought out of the southpaw stance, and was able to tag Santomauro with a few overhand lefts early on in the first round, but his punches were wide and had little power to them. Santomauro was not overly impressive, but his punches were tighter and he was by far the more active fighter. Despite having a cut on his right cheek, Santomauro was easily able to win the fight with scores of 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36.
The main event of the night was between Javier Fortuna (19-0) and Cristobal Cruz (39-13-3) in the junior lightweight division.
Fortuna, the southpaw, pushed Cruz to the ground early in the first round, but quickly followed it up with a straight left hand that knocked Cruz down for a full nine count. Cruz was pushed to the ground again, but got blasted by Fortuna when he got to his feet. Fortuna continued to punish Cruz in the second round with hard left hands, and violently knocked Cruz down again and busted his nose in the process. Cruz was able to beat the count, but the referee wisely called the fight off.
Javier Fortuna remained undefeated with a TKO at 2:22 of the second round.