PBC on NBC Results: Lubin remains undefeated; Warren becomes World Champ & Smith Jr. KO’s Fonfara in One
By: Matthew N. Becher
Live from the University of Illinois in Chicago, Premier Boxing Champions put on a father’s day card on primetime NBC, featuring title fights, former Olympians and young prospects. The broadcast began with a rematch of last years, very closely contested Bantamweight championship between Rau’Shee Warren and Juan Carlos Payano. A bonus fight between fast tracked, 20 year old prospect, Erickson Lubin and Mexican Journeyman Daniel Sandoval. And a Main Event with championship implications in the Light Heavyweight division between the Long Island construction worker, Joe Smith Jr. and the hard hitting Polish Prince, Andrzej Fonfara.
Juan Carlos Payano (17-0 8KO) v. Rau’shee Warren (13-1 4KO): Rematch WBA Bantamweight Championship
The first fight between these two was plagued with point deductions on both sides and ended in a split decision that many were unhappy with. Warren, a three time Olympian, took his first professional defeat and lost his chance at becoming a world champion.
This time Warren came out working fast, showing his superior boxing skill and hand speed. Payano was left to stalk his opponent and try and make the fight rough when inside.
Warren used a fast jab, to the head and body, countering in the first half of the fight.
The usually more aggressive Payano was forced to fight at Warren’s pace. Payano had trouble getting into any kind of rhythm, never really landing more than one punch at a time. Whenever Payano tried to step up his aggression, he was either smothered or met with a barrage of punches from Warren.
Payano was throwing much more punches in the later rounds, taking the action to Warren. The championship rounds becoming very valuable to the outcome, as Payano predicted they would be.
In the end, it was a close fight, but a fight that Rau’shee Warren ultimately controlled from wire to wire. He was not able to win any Olympic medals in his three trips, but tonight he was able to become a World Champion.
114-114, 115-113 (2x) Warren MD12
Erickson Lubin (14-0 10KO) v. Daniel Sandoval (38-3 35KO):Jr. Middleweight
Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin was supposed to be getting ready to represent the United States next month at the Olympics in Rio. Instead, on his 18th birthday he turned pro, and today he added another win to his undefeated professional record. Lubin started the fight using a strong straight right handed jab that stalled any type of game plan by Sandoval and finished with a flurry, showing that he possesses power in both his hands, appropriately named “Jack” and “Sledge”.
Lubin TKO3 2:36
Andrzej Fonfara (28-3 16KO) v. Joe Smith Jr. (21-1 17KO): Light Heavyweight
In a fight that was in Fonfara’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois, which had Fonfara as an enormous favorite came crashing down within one round. The first round was both men trading a lot of blows, but the hard hitting Smith was able to land a huge overhand right, with one minute left in the round, that knocked Fonfara down. Smith attacked, once Fonfara was able to get up and the fight was stopped. The unknown, union laborer from New York will now become the mandatory to fight Adonis Stevenson for the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Smith Jr. TKO1 2:32