By: William Holmes
The Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York was the host site for tonight’s ESPN Friday Night Fights card. Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing was the lead promoter and it featured a main event between top rated contenders Karim Mayfield and Emmanuel Taylor in the welterweight division.
The opening bout of the night was between Ariel Duran (7-6-1) and Anthony Karperis (6-2) in the junior welterweight division.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance but Karperis looked to be a good couple of inches shorter than Duran. Duran caught Karperis early with a check right cross, but Karperis answered with a lead left hook that stunned and momentarily wobbled Duran. The first round featured wild punches from Duran, but Karperis was landing the significantly harder punches.
Karperis came out in the second round ducking low and below Duran’s telegraphed punches. Duran was bleeding from his nose in the second, but he was more active than Karperis and was landing his left hooks and right crosses. The second round was Duran’s best round of the night but it could have been scored either way.
Karperis wobbled Duran again in the third round with a left hook to his chin, but Duran was able to stay on his feet and fight back. Duran was landing shots, but they weren’t doing any damage. The final round was another good round for Karperis whose best punch of the round was a right cross to Duran’s chin with about thirty seconds left.
The final scores were 39-37 on all three scorecards for Anthony Karperis.
The next bout of the night was between Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (13-0) and Bayan Jargal (17-5-3) in the welterweight division. Jargal is a three time Mongolian national amateur champion and has faced tougher competition than Seldin has at this point in his career.
Seldin came out very aggressive at the sound of the opening bell and attacked the body and head of Jargal. He was employing a turtle shell defense and landing heavy hooks to the body and was constantly moving forward behind his jab. He trapped Jargal in the corner in the second half of the first round, but Jargal was able to land a couple of decent right hands.
Seldin used his size to his advantage in the second round and was moving Jargal around the ring with his aggression. Jargal’s right eye was opened up in the second round and it was starting to swell up, but it may have been caused by a headbutt. Seldin continued to mix up his combinations to the body and head and was showing a willingness to take a punch in order to land a punch.
The ringside doctor took a long look at the right eye of Jargal before the start of the third round but allowed the fight to continue. Seldin stayed aggressive in the third round and was able to deflect most of the hard punches thrown by Jargal off of his shoulders. Seldin was winning the fight both on the inside and the outside, but he was doing more damage on the inside. Jargal’s right eye was closed shut by the end of the third.
The ringside doctor looked at Jargal’s right eye before the start of the third round and felt it was too damaged for Jargal to continue. Since the damage to Jargal’s eye was caused by a head butt and the fight only completed three rounds the bout was ruled a no contest.
The main event of the night was between Karim Mayfield (18-1-1) and Emmanuel Taylor (17-2) in the welterweight division.
Mayfield was ten years older than Taylor, but they were similar in height and reach. Mayfield, however, looked to be the more muscular boxer.
Mayfield landed the first combination of the fight by throwing combinations to the body and head of Taylor, but Taylor was not phased by his punches. Mayfield was backing up slowly for most of the first and looked like he was trying to set up traps for Taylor. Mayfield was more active in the first and focused on the body of Taylor.
The second round was a little dull in it’s action and Mayfield against focused a majority of his attacks on the body of Taylor. Taylor finally began throwing some jabs in the second half of the second round, but he was having difficulty landing any clean shots.
Taylor began boxing better in the third round and was able to block most of Mayfield’s punches to his head. Mayfield crowded Taylor in the third and tried to keep his head on his chest, but Taylor was able to land some good left hooks in the third. Taylor had a good fourth round too and was walking Mayfield down behind his jab and was starting to warm up.
Mayfield was on his horse in the fifth round and Taylor’s left hook was finding it’s way through Mayfield’s guard. Taylor’s power punches continued to land with more frequency in the sixth round and Mayfield’s body attack disappeared.
Mayfield counter punched more in the seventh round, but Taylor was still controlling the pace of the fight. Mayfield landed a right hand in the eighth round that sent Taylor to the mat but he bounced right back up. Mayfield jumped on Taylor with punishing body shots when he got back to his feet, but Taylor took them well. Taylor’s right eye was starting to swell up in the eighth round.
Taylor recovered well from the knockdown and had a dominating ninth round while Mayfield looked like he was starting to tire. The doctor took a hard look at Taylor’s right eye before the start of the final round but he allowed the fight to continue. Neither Mayfield nor Taylor went for the stoppage in the final round, but Taylor appeared to land the higher percentage of punches.
The judges scored the bout 97-92, 95-94, and 95-94 for Emmanuel Taylor.