By: Ken Hissner
At the Madison Square Garden Theater, in New York City, Saturday night Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO promoted the vacant WBO light heavyweight title fight.
In the main event former WBA, WBO & IBF light heavyweight champion Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 31-2-1 (27), of Los Angeles, CA, stopped Ukranian Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy, 19-2 (16), of Los Angeles, CA, regaining the vacant WBO light heavyweight title, at 2:36 of round two of a scheduled 12.
In the opening round both boxers exchanged jabs with Shabranskyy showing a harder one. A right hand from Kovalev on the left ear and down went Shabranskyy. Another right hand from Kovalev to the left ear of Shabransky and down he went again. In the second round a hard right from Kovalev to the side of Shabranskyy’s and down he went. Kovalev went right after Shabranskyy and was hurting him again with the right hand to the head forcing referee Harvey Dock to end the fight. Seems Kovalev’s new trainer made a big difference with Kovalev seemingly back to his old form.
Light heavyweight Cuban Sullivan Barrera, 21-1 (14), won easily over awkward Felix “Mangu” Valera, 15-2 (13), of Dominican Republic, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Barrera landed a good right to the chin of Valera. Halfway thru the round Valera turned southpaw momentarily. Switching back to orthodox Valera landed a left hook dropping Barrera. A questionable call by referee Mike Ortega ruled a knockdown against Valera by a glancing left hook by Barrera. In the second round Valera was warned for a low blow. Valera started show boating and got caught with a right hand from Barrera. Barrera suffered a cut over his left eye under the eye brow.
In the third round another low blow by Valera cost him a point. Barrera comes fighting back landing hard shots to the head of Valera. Valera again switches to southpaw and show boating. Barrera had a big round. In the fourth round Barrera landed a hard overhand right to the head of Valera. Hands to his side Valera from the southpaw stance landed a solid left to the head of Barrera who keeps coming forward with blood flowing from his cut from a right hook. Barrera ended the round landing a right to the head of Valera.
In the fifth round Barrera kept coming forward landing more punches though the awkward Valera landing the harder punches though moving around with hands to his side. In the sixth round another low blow by Valera cost him a point. Halfway thru the round Valera decided to stand his ground giving the most action of the fight with Barrera throwing back. Barrera landed a double left hook to the head of Valera just prior to the bell.
In the seventh round Barrera landed well with his right to the head along with an uppercut to the head. They traded hard body shots. Barrera continued landing hard rights to the head of Valero. In the eighth round another low blow cost Valero a point. Barrera landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Valero.
In the ninth round Barrera landed a low blow and lost a point. Again Valero started show boating. Valero dancing around the ring not throwing punches though well behind in the fight. In the tenth and final round Valero opened up with a solid left hook to the head of Barrera knowing he needs a knockout to win. Valero continues to dance around the ring not throwing punches again. Barrera lands final punch of the fight to the head of a strange Valero.
Judge Akerman had it 98-88, Feldman 97-90 and Schreck 97-89 with this writer 98-89. Referee was Mike Ortega. This should earn Barrera a title shot.
Former WBA super featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-3-4 (15), of Camden, NJ, lost a disputed majority decision to former IBF & WBA featherweight champion Cuban Yuriokis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa, 28-2 (17), of Miami, FL, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Sosa was the aggressor. Gamboa showed good hand speed in out working Sosa with counter combinations. A clash of heads showed a small red mark over the right eye of Gamboa. In the second round Sosa was warned for a low blow by referee Ron Lipton. Gamboa landed a double left hook to the mid-section of Sosa. Late in the round Sosa landed a left hook to the head of Gamboa where the head butt landed earlier opening a cut over the right eye of Gamboa. Sosa ended the round with a solid overhand right to the head of Gamboa.
In the third round Gamboa was warned twice for pushing off Sosa by referee Lipton. Sosa is throwing the right which is going over the head of Gamboa. Gamboa landed a left hook to the head of Sosa being the best punch of the round. In the fourth round Gamboa landed a good left hook to the body of Sosa. Gamboa warned for holding. Gamboa is landing 3-punch combinations on Sosa. Sosa keeps chasing Gamboa.
In the fifth round Gamboa landed a hard right hand to the chin of Sosa. Gamboa warned about holding for second time. Sosa lands a lead right to the mid-section of Gamboa. Both fighters exchanged right hands to the head. Sosa ended the round with a right uppercut to the chin of Gamboa. In the sixth round Gamboa continues to throw and grab Sosa. Halfway thru the round Sosa landed a good left hook to the head of Gamboa. Gamboa’s left eye started showing swelling.
In the seventh round Sosa landed a pair of left hooks dropping Gamboa with a delay knockdown when his glove hit the canvas per referee Lipton. Gamboa finally warned again for holding for the third time. Sosa landed a hard right to the head of Gamboa that was followed up by another seconds later. In the eighth round a Sosa right hand rocked Gamboa on the chin. Sosa followed up with a right to the body of Gamboa who may be tiring.
In the ninth round another warning to Gamboa for holding. Sosa landed a solid left hook to the head of Gamboa. Sosa ended the round with a good body shot. In the tenth and final round Sosa landed several good jabs to the chin of Gamboa. Referee Lipton finally takes a point from Gamboa for holding once again. Gamboa never stopped holding the rest of the round as Sosa did his best to punch him off of him.
Judge Taylor 94-94, McKaie 95-93 and Tella 96-92 with this writer 95-93 for Sosa. Gamboa took the fight on 3 weeks notice. This fight promoted by Golden Boy and Peltz Boxing.