By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotions returned to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City tonight for the Adrien Broner and Gavin Rees WBC Lightweight title bout. Five fights were on the untelevised undercard and featured fighters such as Olympian Rau-Shee Warren and the nephew of Bernard Hopkins, Demetrius Hopkins.
The first bout of the night was between 2012 US Olympian Jamel Herring (1-0) and Carlos Lopez (4-2) in the junior welterweight division. Herring dominated the bout from the opening bell and his check right hook landed cleanly in the opening round. His straight left cross started to rock the head of Lopez backwards in the second round. Herring really unloaded on Lopez in round three when he started work his combinations on both the body and head of Lopez and had him hurt near the ropes. Lopez’s mouthpiece fell out in the middle of the round and it may have saved him from being knocked out. Lopez was clearly hurt when he went back to his corner and he appeared to have some blood coming out of his mouth. He failed to answer the bell for the fourth round; giving Herring the TKO victory at the end of round three.
The next bout of the night was between Robert Easter Jr. (2-0) and Jose Valderrama (3-3) in the lightweight division. Easter also had a deep amateur background and his opponent was clearly overmatched inside the ring. Easter was the taller fighter with a significant reach advantage and he made good use of it in the opening round by landing accurate jabs and crisp two punch combinations. A cut opened up over the left eye of Valderrama and it was briefly stopped for the ringside doctor to examine. The ringside doctor stopped the fight after the first round due to the blood that was streaming into Valderrama’s eye. Robert Easter Jr. improved to 3-0 with another TKO victory.
Rau’Shee Warren (2-0) stepped next into the ring against Richard Hernandez (0-5) in the bantamweight division. This was the biggest mismatch of the night on paper, as Rau’Shee Warren was a three time Olympian going against a professional boxer who was still looking for his first career win. It was also the biggest mismatch of the night inside the ring. Warren seemingly toyed with Hernandez in the first round and connected with his punches at will. In the second round Hernandez was knocked down by a crisp and lightning quick straight left hand, and was knocked down again later on in the round with the same punch. It was obvious that Hernandez was overmatched inside the ring and the fight was waived off. Rau’Shee Warren remained undefeated with a TKO victory at 2:04 of round two.
The next undercard bout was between Vicente Escobedo (26-3) and Edner Cherry (30-6-2) in the junior lightweight division. This was about between two veteran fighters who were looking to stay relevant in the boxing world. Cherry has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division and has only recently moved down to the junior lightweight division.
Cherry scored the first knock down of the fight in the second right with a crisp counter right hook. Escobedo was able to recover from that knock down and use his jab to neutralize the ever forward charging Edner Cherry and possibly win the some of the early middle rounds. Cherry however never relented in coming forward and stalked Escobedo around the ring and worked his punches both to the body and head of Escobedo. In round six the body work of Cherry paid off as Escobedo let his guard down to protect his body and opened himself up to another clear hook upstairs that knocked him down. Escobedo was barely able to beat the count, but Cherry immediately pounced on him and knocked him down again as the round ended. The round was over but the referee stopped the fight giving Cherry a big victory with a TKO victory at 3:00 of round six.
The final undercard bout of the night was between Charles Whittaker (39-13-2) and Demetrius Hopkins (32-2-1) in the junior middleweight division. Unfortunately this was also the least exciting fight of the night on the undercard.
Whittaker was clearly the bigger and taller fighter, but Hopkins was quicker with his jab and was able to dictate the pace of the fight and had Whittaker on the retreat. The crowd started booing heavily in the second and third round as the action in the ring was quite dull. An overhand right by Hopkins knocked Whittaker down in the fourth round but Whittaker was able to beat the count. The fifth and sixth rounds lacked any significant action and the bout was unexpectedly stopped by Whittaker’s corner at the end of the sixth round.
Demetrius Hopkins defeated Charles Whittaker by a 6th round TKO to win the USBA junior middleweight title.