By: William Holmes
Tonight’s fight card kicked off at 3:15pm to a near empty MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada. Fight fans who arrived early were supposed to be treated to four fights on the untelevised undercard, but the fight between Andrew Tabiti and Anthony Caputo Smith had to be cancelled due to Smith having high blood pressure.
The opening bout of the night was between Louisiana native Brad Solomon (24-0) and Illinois native Adrian Granados (13-3) in the super middleweight division.
Solomon was the slightly taller fighter and employed a shoulder roll defense that was effective early on against an aggressive Granados. Solomon was able to land some good left hooks in the first round, while Granados was circling towards Solomon’s right hand and had most of his punches bouncing off the shoulders of Solomon.
Solomon was able to control the middle of the ring in the second round and connect with some good right hands to the body of Granados. At one point, Granados had Solomon’s back trapped against the ropes, but Solomon did well in fighting back and landed the harder punches.
Granados kept up the pressure in the third round and was able to land some good shots to the body, but Solomon’s left hook was finding its home and he was scoring well from a distance. Granados kept up the pressure in the fourth round, but Solomon was landing the harder and more accurate punches.
The fifth round featured good actions with each fighter taking turns banging punches off each other’s body and head with their backs against the ropes. Granados was reaching a bit for his punches while Solomon was throwing the more accurate shots.
Granados began to turn the tide of the fight in the sixth round as he stayed in tight and appeared to be wearing Solomon down. When Granados was in tight he was able to land more and he was beginning to clearly outwork Solomon.
The seventh round opened up with a vicious exchange with both boxers landing hard punches, but it was Granados that was backing up Solomon near the end of the round, ending it strong.
The ringside doctor took a look at the left eye of Granados before the start of the eighth round and allowed it to continue. The eighth and ninth rounds featured Granados continuing to apply relentless pressure and walking through the pop shots of Solomon.
Granados’ best round of the night was the tenth round, as he had Solomon badly hurt and holding on to stay on his feet, but he never touched the canvas.
It was a close fight and one in which Granados did better than expected. The final scores were 96-94 for Granados, and 96-94 twice for Solomon, giving Solomon the split decision victory.
The second bout of the night was between Philadelphia knockout artist Jesse “Hard Work” Hart (16-0) and Mike Jimenez (17-0) for the NABO, USBA, and NABF Super Middleweight Championship.
Jiminez and Hart both fought out of an orthodox stance, but Hart had both a reach and height advantage on his opponent. Hart was digging hard hooks to the body and head of Jimenez and throwing bombs early in the first round. He connected with two consecutive left hooks to the head of Jimenez in the first round and Jiminez generally had a tough first round.
Hart continued to pound on Jiminez in the second round with good two punches combinations as well as hard uppercuts. Hart’s high guard was able to block most of Jimenez’s punches, while he landed clean, flush shots.
Hart’s domination continued in the third and fourth round as Jiminez somehow was able to stay on his feet, but his offense was largely ineffective against Jesse Hart.
Hart’s activity dropped a bit in the fifth round, but he still clearly won it as he out boxed and outmaneuvered Jimenez. The end finally came in the sixth round when Hart heavy punches had Jimenez stumbling backwards and unable to defend himself. The referee finally jumped in at 2:13 of the sixth round to give Hart the TKO victory.
The final bout on the untelevised undercard was between Chris Pearson (11-0) and Said El Harrak (12-2) in the middleweight division.
The opening rounds didn’t feature a lot of action as both boxers were trying to feel each other out and place their shots. El Harrak’s straight right was landing early, but Pearson was sharp with his jab.
Perason began to dictate the action in the ring better in the third round and was slowly beginning to outbox his opponent. Perason’s lead right hook was connecting in the fourth round, but he suffered a bad cut by his right eye in the fourth that had to be looked at by the ringside physician.
Pearson’s corner did an excellent job at patching up his cut before the start of the fifth round, and Pearson’s straight lead left started to land with increasing accuracy in the second half of the round. By the sixth round, Pearson looked very comfortable in the ring and was pressing the action more. El Harrak was tentative and attempting to avoid his opponent’s counters in the seventh round.
Pearson stumbled El Harrak with a right hook counter in the eighth round, but he was unable to capitalize on it and score a knockdown. Pearson’s cut was also re-opened in the eighth and was blood was dripping down his face.
El Harrak fought well, but needed a knockout in the final two rounds to secure a victory and he wasn’t able to get it.
The final scores were 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91 for Chris Pearson.
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