By: William Holmes, Ringside
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) returned to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York as Amir “King” Khan faced Chris Algieri for the WBC Silver Welterweight Championship in the main event of the night.
The upper bowl of the Barclays Center was closed off to the public and there was a lot of empty seats in the lower portion at the start of the televised portion of the card. Amir Khan might be popular worldwide and Chris Algieri is a native of New York, but neither appears to be a big draw in Brooklyn, New York on a Friday night.
The first televised fight of the night was between Javier Fortuna (27-0-1) and Bryan Vasquez (34-1) for the WBA Junior Lightweight Championship.
Vasquez fought out of an orthodox stance and Fortuna was a southpaw. Fortuna’s lead left hand was connecting in the first round and he was able to use his reach to keep Vasquez at bay. There were some good exchanges in the opening round but Fortuna’s straight left hand was the most effective punch of the round.
There wasn’t much action in the second round as both boxers appeared to be just trying to find their range, but the third round featured Vasquez pressing the pace and do some damage on Fortuna when he was able to trap his back against the ropes. Fortuna however did momentarily stun Vasquez with a left to his chin near the end of the third.
Fortuna was landing at a higher percentage than Vasquez in the fourth round and was able to adjust to Vasquez’s switching stances in the fifth round and get the crowd riled up with two hard left hands near the end of the fifth.
Fortuna’s punches were having a more noticeable effect on Vasquez in the sixth round and he was getting the better of Vasquez when they exchanged. Both boxers were visibly tiring in the seventh round and Vasquez was largely ineffective when he was able to trap Fortuna by the ropes. Fortuna got the crowd on its feet in the seventh with a multi punch combination that had Vasquez backing away in an attempt to escape any damage.
The eighth round featured Fortuna pressing the pace more and landing several hard shots that tested the chin of Vasquez who was able to somehow stay on his feet. Fortuna simply out boxed Vasquez in the ninth round and didn’t appear to want to take many risks.
Fortuna started off the tenth round firing and clubbed several punches off the head of Vasquez, but Vasquez hung tough and took the punches well. It appeared to most at ringside that Vasquez needed a few knockdowns or a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but instead hos was growing visibly more frustrated and could be seen complaining to the referee whenever they tied up or clinched.
At the end of the fight the judges scored it 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111 for Javier Fortuna.
New York native Chris Algieri (20-1) faced off against Amir Khan (30-3) in the main event of the night for the WBC Silver Welterweight Championship.
Despite the fact Algieri’s home state is New York a majority of the fans in attendance were fans of Amir Khan and they were significantly louder than Algieri’s fan base at the beginning of the fight, but they were exchanging chants throughout the night.
Algieri was clearly the taller fighter in the first round but it was Khan who was able to land the first significant punch of the night with a clean straight right hand. Khan was showing the better hand speed early on and was connecting with combinations and had the crowd loudly chanting for him. However, Algieri was able to connect with a straight right hand near the end of the round that caught Khan by surprise.
Khan’s hand speed carried him throughout the second round as he was landing combinations on a constantly moving Algieri. Khan’s jab had Algieri frustrated in the second round. The third round was a tight one and Algieri was pressing the pace, but Khan appeared to be landing the cleaner shots.
Rounds four and five were Algieri’s best rounds of the night as he was pressing the pace and connecting with several hard straight right hands. Algieri had Khan backpedaling in the fourth and was landing power shots to the body and head. Khan was forced to back pedal again in the fifth round and even slipped at one point to the mat.
Khan was able to turn the tide of the fight back in his favor in the sixth round when he opened up with a hard left uppercut later followed by a left hook. Khan’s combinations were landing better in the sixth and he appeared to be settling down this round.
Khan’s check hooks kept Algieri at bay in the seventh round and he had the crowd loudly chanting his name at the start off the eighth round. There were several good exchanges in the eighth round with Algieri pressing the pace and landing heavy right hands while Khan was effective with his jab but backpedaling the entire round.
The ninth and tenth rounds were good rounds for Amir Khan as his jabs had a little more snap than Algieri’s and he had Algieri stunned in the tenth round. Khan connected with an uppercut that stunned Algieri but Algieri was able to survive the round without getting knocked down. The tenth round may have been Khan’s best round of the night.
Algieri’s left eye was swelling up before the start of the eleventh round and he wasn’t very active during it. The final round however was all Algieri as he was clearly the aggressor and was looking for a knockdown or knockout, but that never came.
It was a closer fight than expected, but the final scores were 115-113, 117-11, and 117-111 for Amir Khan.
Undercard Quick Results:
Luis Franco (13-1-1) stopped Guilllermo Sanchez (15-16-1) by TKO in the fifth round in the lightweight division.
Chris Colbert (1-0) defeated Marquis Pierce (1-6) by TKO at 1:31 of the second round in the featherweight division.
Wesley Ferrer (9-0) defeated Jose Miguel Castro (4-4) by majority decision in the lightweight division with scores of 56-56, 58-54, and 57-55.
Heather Hardy (13-0) defeated Noemi Bosques (8-3-2) by split decision in the featherweight division with scores of 77-75 Hardy, 77-75 Bosques, and 79-73 Hardy.
Keith Tapia (15-0) wins by knockout over Leo Pla (5-5-2) at 2:42 of the eighth and final round in the heavyweight division.
Marcus Browne (15-0) vs. Cornelius White (21-4) by unanimous decision in the cruiserweight division with scores of 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91.