By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions’ series was televised tonight from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas as former super middleweight champion Andre Dirrell looked to bounce back from a tough loss to Badou Jack by taking on former middleweight title contender Marco Antonio Rubio.
The opening televised bout of the night was between Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1) and Tomoki Kameda (31-1) for the WBA regular bantamweight title.
This bout was a rematch from May of 2015 in which McDonnell was able to recover from an early knockdown to win a close decision on the judges’ scorecards.
McDonnell was taller and longer than Kameda and tried to use his reach throughout the bout by staying active with his jab. Kameda had trouble with McDonnell’s reach early on in the first, but he appeared to have solved it after a minute and was mixing combinations to the body and head of McDonnell in the first.
Most of McDonnell’s jabs were landing on the gloves of Kameda in the second round and he suffered a small cut above his left eye from the accurate shots of Kameda. Kameda did land a hard rising left hook in the second.
Kameda showed good angles in the third and fourth rounds and was able to land more combinations than McDonnell, but McDonnell was throwing more punches, but just wasn’t as accurate as Kameda.
Kameda opened up the fifth round with a hard right hand, and continued to land more combinations than McDonnell while McDonnell was throwing a high number of jabs.
McDonnell began to press more in the sixth round by throwing more combinations and landing short uppercuts. Kameda looked to be tiring inside the ring while McDonnell looked fresher.
Kameda landed a good combination to the body at the start of the seventh round, but his mouthpiece fell out of his mouth and showed that he was tiring. McDonnell’s best round of the night was the seventh as he connected with hard straight right hands and was outworking his opponent.
McDonnell may have won some of the mid to late rounds with his activity as his jabs were becoming more accurate and he looked like he was gaining confidence. Kameda was throwing the heavier punches, but Kameda was throwing more.
The announcers felt McDonnell needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, and he fought like it. He scored a knockdown in the final round with a straight hand to Kameda’s chin, but Kameda was able to get back to his feet and fight back to the final bell.
It was a tough fight to score and many could have gone either way, but the final scores were 116-111, 115-112, and 117-110 for Jamie McDonnell.
The main event of the night was between Andre Dirrell (27-1-1) and Marco Antonio Rubio (59-7-1) in the super middleweight division.
Dirrell was the naturally bigger man than Rubio, who has spent most of his career fighting in the junior middleweight and middleweight divisions. Rubio was reaching for his punches in the first round while Dirrell was connecting with combinations and at one point hard Rubio hurt and backing up into a corner.
Dirrell continued to go to the body and head of Rubio in the second round with hard combinations and had him stunned in the middle of the ring at one point. Rubio was unable to get off any punches in the second round and looked slow and sluggish in the ring.
Dirrell dominated in the third round and had Rubio hurt again by the ropes but failed to score a knockdown. Rubio had a solid fourth round when he appeared to land a good combination by the ropes, but Dirrell shrugged it off and motioned that those punches did not hurt him.
Dirrell re-established control in the fifth round with heavy body shots and a clash of heads forced a brief stoppage. Rubio was more active in the middle to late rounds by pressing the action and throwing more jabs, but his punches did not hurt his opponent.
A clash of heads occurred in the fifth round, but neither fight was cut or hurt. Dirrell coasted through the final rounds by landing the cleaner counter punches and staying out of danger, but he never went hard for the stoppage victory.
Rubio clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout but he was unable to do so.
In the end the judges scored it 100-90 on all three scorecards.