By: William Holmes
The Adrian Phillips Ballroom in the Boardwalk Hall of Atlantic City gives fight fans an up close and intimate experience yet still maintains the setting of a big time fight.
The crowd was surprisingly rowdy for the untelevised portion of tonight’s card, and featured an impressive opening bout victory for Ismael Garcia and a crowd pleasing TKO by Polish fighter Adam Kownacki. Khurshid Abdullaev was knocked down in the first round by Wilky Campford while losing a close split decision. Radivoje Kalajdzic defeated Lionell Thompson in the last bout of the undercard with another close split decision.
Last night during the weigh ins Karim Mayfield (18-0-1) and Thomas Dulorme (20-1) nearly went to blows, but they get to settle it tonight as the opening bout of the HBO broadcast. On paper, this was the most competitive fight of the night.
The venue was close to capacity by the time Michael Buffer introduced Mayfield and Dulorme for their junior welterweight showdown.
Dulorme was taller and longer than the elder Mayfield, and he used it to his advantage early on. His kept Mayfield at bay with his jab and landed a looping left hook in the first round that momentarily stunned Mayfield. He followed that up with a crisp straight right hand that soundly won him the first round.
Mayfield was still having trouble with Dulorme’s reach in the second round and got stung by a hard straight right hand near the end of the round. Dulorme was able to make Mayfield reach for his punches and miss, but was open to a body attack in the third. There was a good exchange at the end of the third, but Dulrome appeared to get the better of Mayfield.
Dulorme effectively stayed on the outside in the fourth through sixth rounds and tied up with Mayfield whenever he threatened on the inside. Dulorme’s jab was becoming more effective and he made excellent use of it in the sixth round. Mayfield did momentarily trap Dulorme in the corner in the sixth, but Mayfield was able to fight his way out of it and regain control of the round.
Mayfield mounted a small comeback in the seventh round and had Dulorme on the defensive. Dulorme landed two low blows in the eighth round and received a warning from the referee. It appeared to most at ringside that Mayfield needed a knockout to win the fight in the final two rounds.
However, Dulorme was able to stop Mayfield from launching a sustainable offensive attack. The final scores were 98-92, 97-94, and 96-93 for Thomas Dulorme.
Sergey Kovalev (23-0) and Cedric Agnew (26-0) met in the main event for the WBO Light Heavyweight Championship.
Most in attendance were here to see Kovalev, and nobody felt that this fight would go the distance. Agnew, to his credit, fought well in the opening round by staying in a defensive shell and blocking most of Kovalev’s attacks. He landed a few quick counter punches, but was outworked by Kovalev in the opening frame.
Kovalev worked his jab to the body and head of Agnew, who stayed in a defensive shell and did not offer much offense. Kovalev was able to fight his way through Angew’s defense and sent him crashing down with a left cross to his temple. Agnew was able to survive the round.
Kovalev came out firing in the third round and had a lot of snap left in his punches. Agnew remained in a shell and still did not offer much offense. Kovalev was cut by his right eye in the fourth round from a head butt, but he still continued to dominate Agnew.
Kovalev continued to put a beating on Agnew in the fifth and sixth rounds, while Agnew could do little but cover up. Kovalev scored another knockdown in the sixth round when a left hook forced Agnew to squat near the ground. Agnew was bleeding from his mouth in the sixth round and his mouth was wide open.
The end came in the seventh round when Kovalev again pounded Agnew from corner to corner. A jab to the body finally sent Agnew down for ten, allowing Kovalev to retain his WBO title.
Kovalev wins by knockout at 0:58 of the seventh round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Ismael “Tito” Garcia (6-0) defeated Dushane Crooks (6-1) by decision with scores of 58-56 on all three scorecards in the middleweight division.
Wellington Romero (3-0) defeated Gerald Smith (3-1) in the junior welterweight division with scores of 40-35 on all three scorecards.
Michael Mitchell (3-3-2) defeated Rafael Jastrzebski (4-8-1) by TKO at 2:53 of the second round in the super middleweight division.
Adam Kownacki (6-0) defeated Excell Holmes (2-3-1) in the Heavyweight division by TKO at 0:41 of the second round.
Khurshid Abdullaev (6-1) lost to Wilky Campford (17-1) with scores of 77-74 Campford, 76-74 Abdullaev, and 76-75 for Campford in the junior middleweight division.
Lionell Thompson (15-3) lost to Radivoje Kalajdzic (15-0) in the light heavyweight division with scores of 78-72 Kalajdvic, 77-75 Thompson, and 76-75 Kalajdvic.
–78-72 Kalajdvic, 77-75 Thompson, 76-75 Kalajdzic
-Rad comes out aggressive. Thompson deftly avoids his straight right hands.