By: Sean Crose
Rising welterweight Blair Cobbs improved his record to 13-0-1 on the Canelo-Kovalev undercard at the MGM Grand in Vegas Saturday night. The scheduled 12 rounder was no walk in the park for the Vegas native, though, for the 11-5 Carlos Ortiz was able to drop his man in the 1st. Cobbs was able to get back to his feet and perform well…well enough to drop Ortiz in the 6th. The ring doctor then advised the referee to stop the proceedings in between rounds.
Fans were next treated to a women’s match which featured as much real blood as it did bad blood. Seniesa Estrada, 10-0, was no fan of Marlen Esparza, 7-1. Needless to say, the feeling seemed to be mutual. Although the two fighters gamely traded shots throughout the competitive match, a savage accidental fifth round headbutt changed the entire nature of the bout. With blood streaming down her face, Estrada fought as well as she could. Still, referee Robert Byrd wisely stopped the fight after the ninth, leaving matters in the hands of the judges.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
They gave the nod to Esparza by a wide margin. Even with the win, Esparza refused to speak well of her opponent after the fight. So much for sportsmanship.
The final fight on the undercard saw rising star Ryan Garcia face Romero Duno in a lightweight affair. The 18-0 Garcia was looking to impress, considering his last fight was cancelled. Yet Duno was looking to impress, as well. A win over a rising star, after all, can be a true career booster. Yet Duno was simply not to shock the world on Saturday. For Garcia looked absolutely ferocious in completely wiping out his opponent in the very first round.
At least Garcia was gracious in his post fight interview, in contrast to Esparza after the previous fight. “All respect to Duno,” he said. “He came out to fight. He came in shape.”
Earlier in the evening, Bakhram Murtazaliev, 17-0, bested the 20-2-1 Jorge Fortea via decision.The Russian fighter is now in line for an IBF junior middleweight title fight.
Another junior middleweight made his mark on the undercard when Evan Holyfied, son of heavyweight great Evander Holyfied demolished Nick Winstead, 0-2, in just over 16 seconds He may not reach his father’s Olympian heights, but it was still an impressive debut for young Holyfield.
The entire undercard was covered live by DAZN.