By: William Holmes
Madison Square Garden was starting to fill up by the start of the televised portion of tonight’s pay per view, and three undercard bouts preceded the main event.
Michael Buffer replaced Lupe Contreras as the announcer for the televised portion of tonight’s card.
Hard hitting John Jackson (18-1) met Andy Lee (32-2) for the NABF Super Welterweight Title. Lee had recently dropped down to the super welterweight division after a long run as a contender in the middleweight division.
Lee was taller, longer, and bigger than John Jackson but a big question looming over the fight was how weight drained was Andy Lee.
Lee came out in the first round using his reach advantage while being active with his jab. Jackson was able to connect with a short left hand in the first round that backed Lee into the corner, but he was able to fight his way out with a good crisp jab. Jackson suddenly ripped a huge right hook onto
Lee’s chin that sent him crashing down to the mat. He was able to get back to his feet, but Jackson followed the knockdown with several right hands as the first round ended.
Jackson ended the first round fighting as a southpaw, but came out in the second round in the orthodox stance again. Jackson was able to block the straight left hand from Lee, but ate a counter right hook in the second. Jackson was overly relying on his right hook in an attempt to recapture the first round knockdown, but Lee’s chin was holding up in the second round.
The third round was tight, with Jackson landing his straight right hands and Lee accurate with his jab. The crowd was inpatient and was booing the action in the third. Lee came out in the fourth round with a two punch combination and had weathered the storm from the first round knockdown and was boxing well. Jackson continued to switch stances from orthodox to southpaw, but it did not appear to be an effective move.
The end came in the fifth round when Jackson had Lee on the defensive by the ropes as he was landing good right uppercuts. Lee fought back and hit Jackson square on the chin with a hybrid right uppercut/hook that sent Jackson crashing to the ground.
Jackson was out cold and the referee waved off the fight at 1:05 of the fifth round.
The next bout of the night was between Javier Maciel (28-3) and Jorge Melendez (28-3-1) for the USNBC Super Welterweight Title. Maciel took the fight with Melendez on three weeks notice.
Maciel had twenty knockouts and Melendez had twenty six knockouts to their records, so this bout was excepted to be action packed.
Melendez was the bigger fighter inside the ring, so Maciel wisely went to the body of Melendez in the opening round. He had Melendez’s back again the ropes several times in the first round and was landing some solid body shots. Melendez answered the body attack of Maciel with a two punch combination upstairs, but it was Maciel who was controlling the pace of the bout.
Both boxers continued to throw power shots in the second round, but Maciel again had Melendez’s back against the ropes several times. Several good exchanges in the second, but Melendez ended the round strong with good shots on the inside. Melendez was also warned for a low blow in the second.
Maciel looked to be more tired than Melendez in the third round and Melendez’s punches had more snap to them. Melendez landed another low blow in the third round and was warned by the referee, but he was the more active fighter in the third.
The fourth round was a wild one, as Melendez started off strong by pressing the pace, blocking most of Maciel’s punches, and landing short powerful shots. Melendez however landed another low blow and hard a point taken away. Maciel recovered from the low blow well and did damage on Melendez by the ropes.
An over the top right hand from Maciel sent Melendez to the mat. Melendez got back to his feet but continued to eat hard right hands from Maciel as the round ended.
Melendez had a small cut over his left eye in the beginning of the fifth round but came out firing as the round began. Maciel was trying to load up on his punches, but he was not landing with the regularity that he was landing in the fourth round. Melendez did better for a majority of the fifth round, but Maciel closed the round strong with combinations to the body.
Maciel began to show real signs of fatigue in the sixth round, but he was making Melendez miss and out boxing him. Melendez came out more active in the seventh round and was using his jab well, but was still hit with several good body shots by Maciel.
Melendez likely won the eighth and ninth rounds based on activitiy, but Maciel had his bursts of action whenever Melendez’s back was against the ropes.
The tenth round was a wild one as Melendez came out swinging and was fighting with a sense of urgency. Both boxers threw caution to the wind and were throwing bombs at each other. Melendez got the better of Maciel in the opening half of the last round, but Maciel closed out strong.
This was an incredibly tough fight to score, and the judges scored it 94-94, 96-92, and 97-91 for Javier Maciel.
The final bout of the undercard was a rematch between Marvin Sonsona (18-1-1) and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (23-3-1) for the NABF Featherweight Title.
Sonsona was taller, longer, and younger than Vazquez but he was knocked out in his previous bout with Vazquez and Vazquez looked to be more muscular than Sonsona.
Vazquez fights out of an orthodox stance and Sonsona is a southpaw. Vazquez tried to press the pace in the first round but Sonsona landed a straight left hand that stopped Vazquez in his tracks. Sonsona continued to land his straight left in the first and sent Vazquez to the mat with a hard body shot. Vazquez was able to get back to his feet but was met with combinations as the first round came to an end.
Vazquez appeared to have recovered well from a tough first round in the second, but was still outworked by Sonsona who did good work to the body. Vazquez had a tough third round and Sonsona was landing his left crosses and continued to do good work to the body. Vazquez had trouble getting his offense in gear in the third.
Vazquez had an excellent fourth round and was connecting with good body shots and short left hands. He momentarily stunned Sonsona in the fourth with a short right hand, and connected with several more straight right hands. The referee warned both boxers for excessive holding in the fourth, but it was Vazquez who likely won the round by being more aggressive.
Sonsona began the fifth round by missing wildly and eating straight right hands from Vazquez. He was missing wildly and received another warning from the referee for holding. Sonsona came out strong in the sixth round and was way more aggressive. He connected with a good left uppercut and pounded on Vazquez by the ropes, but he lost a point in the sixth round for hitting Vazquez behind the head.
The seventh round was an ugly one as Vazquez accidentally head butted the nose of Sonsona which caused a stoppage to the bout for Sonsona to recover. Sonsona was later hit with a low blow that forced another short stoppage to the fight to allow Sonsona to recover. The crowd booed Sonsona heavily as he may have been milking the accidental illegal blows.
The eighth round was close as Sonsona boxed well in the opening moments, but Vazquez closed the round with his best punch of the night, a hard straight right. Sonsona did well in the ninth round and out boxed Vazquez, but the crowd had lost all interest in this bout.
The tenth round opened up with both boxers falling to the mat, which ironically summed up the excitement, or lack of, of this bout. Sonsona appeared to have done barely enough to win the last round, but like every other round before it was an ugly and foul filled round.
The judges scored it 96-92 Sonsona, 96-92 Vazquez, and 96-92 for Sonsona.