By: Matthew N. Becher
Premier Boxing Champions put on a fight card live from the Palms Casino and Resort from Las Vegas on NBC Sports Network. From former world champions and undefeated records to young prospects. In the main event saw Beibut Shumenov defeat B.J. Flores. Here are the results from the four televised fights.
Andrew Tabiti (10-0 10KO) vs. Roberto Santos (12-1 5KO) Cruiser weight:
Tabiti came into this fight with his trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. a TMT t-shirt and an obvious chip on his shoulder. He came into the ring with a perfect record and a 100% knockout rate. His opponent Roberto Santos looked to be in not ideal physical shape, and rarely threw any punches in the early rounds, while Tabiti put in heavy body work.
Santos showed toughness in taking the amount of punches he did, but he threw his counters wildly and without much accuracy.
Tabiti dominated this fight, but Santos was able to do something that no other boxer has yet to do in Tabiti’s early career, he took Tabiti the distance.
Tabiti UD 80-72 (3x)
Rico Ramos (24-4 12KO) vs. Claudio Marrero (18-1 13KO) Featherweight:
Rico Ramos is a former world champion who was looking to get back into the win column and make a last effort towards the big fights in the division. His opponent, Claudio Marrero was looking to use Ramos name and network television exposure to do the same, and make a case to leap to the upper echelon’s of an extremely talented Featherweight division.
Marrero showed that he had a speed advantage from the get go, and was the more aggressive fighter. It did not take long for him to figure out his opponent, and in the first few seconds of the third round, Marrero was able to feint with his right, get Ramos to put down his hands, and connected with a devastating overhand left that dropped Ramos hard to the canvas.
The Ref did not even need to count, and the fight was over.
Marrero KO3 0:20
Jordan Shimmell (19-0 16KO) vs. Isiah Thomas (14-0 6KO) Cruiser weight:
Shimmell and Thomas both met before in their amateur careers. Shimmell was a National Amateur champ and Thomas came out of the famed Kronk gym, coached by Hall of Fame Trainer, Emmanuel Steward. Thomas took the Win in that previous meeting and said “it was a cake walk”. Tonight, would be a little different from the time they met as kids.
Both fighters came in as undefeated prospects and neither found a comfortable rhythm to start off the fight. Shimmell tried walking down Thomas but could not find a good distance for the majority of the fight.
Shimmell and Thomas are both big, strong men, and tried to use their big bodies to weigh down their opponent. But the fact that Shimmell fought orthodox while Thomas fought southpaw, kept both men tangled and clinching once they got up and close.
The second half of the fight is where Thomas took control. Thomas began to make Shimmell fight off balance, keeping him uncomfortable and unable to land his punches effectively.
Between the 7th and 8th round, Shimmell’s corner screamed at him that ‘they need the final three rounds”
Thomas stayed the more aggressive and more elusive fighter. Not necessarily getting the same ‘cake walk’ win he did as an amateur, but keeping his undefeated record in tact.
Thomas 99-91, 98-92, 97-93 UD10
Beibut Shumenov (15-2 10KO) vs. B.J. Flores (31-1-1 20KO) Cruiser weight:
Both of these fighters came in here with an opportunity to become the WBA “regular” Cruiser weight champion. The winner would get a chance to become the “super” champ against Denis Lebvedev next. Shumenov is a former champ that was looking to conquer another weight class. Flores is 36 years old and staring at his final chance at ever winning a world title.
Shumenov quickly came out with a flurry of punches and pumping his jab out early. He set the tone for what would continue for most of the fight. Shumenov used great foot work around the ring, and threw his punches at different angles to frustrate the bigger Flores.
Flores abandoned the jab early and looked to land just one big power shot. He never established any type of jab, which added to him abandoning any possibility of combinations.
In the third round. Shumenov became the aggressor, trying to bring the power shots to Flores. Flores did use his naturally bigger body to push Shumenov off.
But what Shumenov did was use the whole ring. Moving in and out, pot shotting and getting out untouched. Flores never cut off the ring, and continued to chase his opponent. Flores wanted a stationary opponent and he was frustrated, since Shumenov is mostly known as a fighter that mixes it up in fights.
Shumenov appeared to start slowing down in the 8th, but got his second wind in the late 10th, continuing to keep moving and working out.
In the end, Shumenov got the Unanimous decision in a close fight. Shumenov controlled the flow of the fight, and Flores never got his rhythm and always seemed frustrated by the pace.
116-112 (3x) UD12 Shumenov
Post Fight Quotes:
“B.J. is a strong guy but he was lunging while I was scoring points. I’m still in the learning process and I’m more comfortable as a cruiserweight.
“Boxing is an art. I used my skills, positioning, angles and footwork to win the fight.
“I feel blessed, I have a strong team that is like one. Without them I wouldn’t have won the fight tonight.
“I followed the instructions from my corner and thought I won the fight clearly.
“I had extra motivation to make history. I first did that when I wont the light heavyweight title in 10 fights and now I’m the first person from my country to win world titles in two different division. I’m very proud of that.
“Denis Lebedev is my main target. But I want to fight all the best and most dangerous cruiserweights in the world.”
“Beibut always comes forward, he’s very tough, but tonight he ran the whole night. It’s tough to win a fight when the guy is trying to run in circles.
“My punches were crisp and effective and I hurt him. He had nothing on his punches and never hurt me.
“I wobbled him in the twelfth round and then I went in to rush him. He kept moving back though.
“You have to want to fight. PBC is about guys wanting to fight. That’s what it’s all about.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring, I’m fine. It was difficult to catch up with him because he wanted to move around so much.
“I learned in those last few rounds that even though he was moving around so much, I could pick up the tempo and bring the fight to him.
“You can’t fight a guy who isn’t trying to engage. You have to fight to win the fight. He was throwing jabs while I was trying to hurt him.
“I’m so thankful to all my fans who came out tonight, I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. I will be back. Beibut, I want the rematch.”