By: William Holmes
HBO World Championship Boxing presented two high level bouts on their broadcast tonight from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Only three bouts were on the undercard and the last one ended at 8:52 P.M., which meant fans had to wait for nearly an hour before the main card started.
Seats were only made available in the lower section of Madison Square Garden but by 9:30 P.M. they were close to filled out.
Bryant “By-By” Jennings (18-0) and Mike Perez (20-0-1) opened up tonight’s televised portion of the card for the right to face Bermaine Stiverne for the WBC Heavyweight Title. Jennings had a large and vocal contingent in attendance from Philadelphia to cheer him on and they dwarfed the small number of supporters that Perez had in attendance.
Perez was the thicker man inside the ring but Jennigs had the reach advantage and looked to be in better shape. Jennings was able to stay out of Perez’s range in the first round while Perez took the center of the ring but neither fighter landed much in the first.
Jennings used his jab as a range finder in the second and was able to land a solid counter right hand after several body shots from Perez. Jennings was able to land a good short right hand upstairs near the end of the second, but the second round did not have a lot of action.
Perez opened up the third round with a good straight left right hook combination, but Jennings was able to keep the fight in tight and land short combinations to the body. Perez landed two hard straight left hands in the third, but Jennings connected with more combinations.
Perez, inexplicably, stuck his tongue out at Jennings almost every time he got hit with a combination. Jennings was doing well when he fought in tight and had Perez’s back against the ropes everal times in the fourth. The fifth round featured some heavy exchanges in the center of the ring with Perez seemingly throwing the heavier punches but Jennings was throwing a higher volume of punches.
Jennings appeared to gain confidence as the rounds go on, but did not land any significant punches in the sixth rounds. Jennings connected with a couple of good body head combinations in the seventh, and by the eighth round Perez looked like he was gassed. Jennings momentarily knocked Perez off balance in the eighth round with a right hook upstairs.
Jennings was getting better as the rounds went on while Perez’s output was slowing down. In the ninth and tenth rounds Jennings was lighter on his feet and moving around the flat footed Perez with ease.
By the final two rounds most ringside observers had Jennings comfortably ahead on the scorecards, and Perez did not show any type of urgency inside the ring. Jennigns at one point in the eleventh round had Perez’s back to the ropes but Perez was able to fight out of it with solid body shots.
The crowd got on its feet in the final round as Jennings went right after Perez looking for the knockdown and throwing several hard combinations. Perez got frustrated and was deducted a point for what looked like an elbow after surviving Jennings opening blitz.
Neither fighter was able to score a knockdown and the fight went to the scorecards. The judges scored the bout 114-113 Perez, 115-112 Jennings, 114-113 for Jennings.
The main event of the night was between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (29-0) and Daniel Geale (30-2) for Golovkin’s WBA Middleweight title. Gennady Golovkin clearly had the support of the fans in attendance.
Both boxers fought out of the orthodox stance and immediately took the center of the ring in the first round. Golovkin’s jab was on point in the first while Geale was light on his feet. Golovkin connected with two good right hands on Geale by the corner and was able to dig some hard hooks into the body of Geale. Geale slipped to the mat in the first round while trying to avoid Golovkin and was unable to put up much of an offensive attack.
Golovkin came out firing at the start of the second round with several power shots and send Geale to the mat with an over the top right hand. Geale was able to get back to his feet and landed several punches on Golovkin to let him know he was still in the fight, but Golovkin was uphased. He ended the second round with a three punch combination that was ended by a left uppercut and he followed that with another hard right hand.
Geale cameout in the third round by showing some very good head movement and made Golovkin miss with several combinations. Golovkin had Geale momentarily trapped in the corner twice, but Geale was able to move out of harm’s way. Golovkin continued to walk Geale down and eventually forced Geale to exchange with him. Geale was able to land a straight right hand but Golovkin took it well and landed a straight right of his own that connected perfectly on Geale’s chin and sent him crashing to the mat.
Geale was able to get up to his feet, but was very wobbly and had a cut over his right eye and the referee decided to waive off the fight.
Gennady Golovkin wins by TKO at 2:47 of the third round.