By: William Holmes
Tonight’s Showtime World Championship Boxing broadcast was televised from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio and featured a WBA Junior Welterweight Clash between Adrien Broner and Khabib Allakhverdiev.
The opening bout of the night was between title fight veteran Edner Cherry (31-6-2) and Jose Pedraza (20-0) for the IBF Junior Lightweight Title.
Cherry was the more active boxer in the first round and was throwing and landing his jabs and lead left hooks,. Pedraza began to find his range in the second half of the opening round and his straight right was finding it’s home.
Pedraza’s timing with his combinations was on point in the second and third round and some of his power shots forced Cherry to hesitate to come forward. Cherry was throwing and missing more, and Pedraza was connecting at a higher rate of accuracy.
The fourth round was close but Pedraza was showing the better movement. Cherry turned the tide of the fight in his favor in the fifth round with an active and accurate jab and he was able to maintain a safe distance.
Cherry had a dominant sixth round by fighting in tight and landing short uppercuts and clubbing right hands. Cherry had Pedraza momentarily hurt in the second half of the round with a right cross followed by an overhand right to the temple.
Cherry threw 112 punches in the sixth round and he kept up his activity in the seventh round. Pedraza’s chin was tested and survived the seventh round as Cherry was landing some heavy shots. Pedraza switched to a south paw stance in the eighth round and he focused on trying to outbox his opponent. Cherry however appeared to remain the more active fighter.
Pedraza remained in a southpaw stance in the ninth and tenth rounds which didn’t feature the amount of action in the fifth through seventh rounds. Pedraza was able to connect with a few clean left crosses in the tenth, but it didn’t have any power behind it.
The final two rounds were close, but it appeared Cherry was landing the more accurate and harder punches, Pedraza was showing more movement and was often ineffective with his punches, but Cherry’s active dropped in the final two rounds.
It was a close fight which Cherry appeared to have won, but the judge saw otherwise and scored it a split decision with scores of 116-112 Cherry, 117-111 Pedraza, 117-111 Pedraza.
The main event was between Adrien Broner (30-2) and Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1) for the WBA Junior Welterweight Title.
Allakhverdiev, a southpaw, was the taller fighter of the two but Broner had the reach and by far the quicker hand speed. Neither boxer was pressing the pace in the opening round, but Broner was connecting with his counter right hand in the final minute of the round.
Broner had a strong second round as he was landing his short right uppercut and counter Allakhverdiev one punch at a time. Allakhverdiev landed an occasional hook to the body, but he failed to land anything of significance.
Allakhverdiev finally connected with a clean right hand to Broner’s head in the third round which forced Broner to briefly tie up. Broner, however, dominated the round from that point on by pop shotting Allakhverdiev from the outside perimeter with jabs and straight right hands.
Broner looked very confident inside the ring in the fourth and fifth round as his right uppercuts rocked the head of Allakhverdiev several times. Allakhverdiev did well when he was able to get in tight and threw more than one punch at a time, but he stayed in Broner’s comfort zone too often and was tagged often.
Both Broner and Allakhverdiev were aggressive in the sixth round and Allakhverdiev was able to get Broner to engage in several risky exchanges in which both men landed punches, but it was Broner who was landing the harder and cleaner shots.
The pace slowed down in the seventh round, but Broner controlled the action with looping right hooks and vicious lead right uppercuts. Broner was so dominating that he could be heard asking on-air commentator Paulie Malignaggi. “What’s Up Paulie” while show boating and landing punches at will.
Trainer John David Jackson warned Allakhverdiev before the start of the ninth round that he may stop the fight if his fighter doesn’t show him inside the ring. Allakhverdiev came out aggressively and started of well, but Broner was able to land a head snapping right uppercut that Allakhverdiev was somehow able to take and stay on his feet.
Allakhverdiev clearly needed a knockout in the final three rounds in order to win the fight, but it was Broner who came close to stopping the fight several times in the tenth and eleventh round with crisp accurate punches that left Allakhverdiev’s face a swollen mess.
The ring side doctor warned Allakhverdiev that if he took one more power shot in the final round he was going to stop the fight, and the referee must have agreed as he stopped the fight after Allakhverdiev took another brutal body head combination from Broner.
Adrien Broner won easily with a TKO at 2:23 of round twelve.