Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Pedraza Wins by Decision, Russell Destroys Hyland
By: William Holmes
The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut was the host site for tonight’s World Championship Boxing telecast on Showtime. Two world title fights were featured as Gary Russell Jr. defended his WBC Featherweight Title against Patrick Hyland in the main event of the night and Jose Pedraza defended his IBF Junior Lightweight Title in the co-main event.
The first bout of the night was between Jose Pedraza (21-0) and Stephen Smith (23-1) for the IBF Junior Lightweight Title.
Smith started the bout off strong by taking control of the center of the ring in the first round and was accurate with his lead left hook, but neither boxer was threatened in the opening stanza and both were feeling each other out.
Pedraza came out firing in the second round and landed an early two punch combination followed by a straight right hand that hurt Smith. Smith was forced to tie up several times in the second round as Pedraza was able to land several hard shots.
Pedraza showed good head movement in the third and fourth round and boxed patiently. Smith was able to land a few blows to the body of Pedraza, but Pedraza remained in control.
Pedraza’s upper body movement appeared to confuse Smith in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Pedraza pressed forward more in the sixth round and was effective in landing from the outside.
Smith was able to offer some good flurries in the seventh and eighth rounds and may have stolen these rounds, but his shots were not hurting his opponent.
Pedraza finally scored a knockdown in the ninth round when he connected with a flush counter right hand. Smith was able to get back to his feet and held on when he could to try and survive the round, but not without taking some additional punishment.
Smith showed heart and clearly needed a knockout in the championship rounds to win the bout, but he was unable to do so.
The judges scored the bout 117-110, 116-111, and 116-111 for Jose Pedraza.
The main event of the evening was between Gary Russell Jr. (26-1) and Patrick Hyland (31-1) for the WBC Featherweight Title.
Patrick Hyland was a heavy underdog in this fight, and Russell’s hand speed was very evident in the first round as his jab was on point and he seemed confident in landing his combinations when he threw them.
Russell was able to score his first knockdown in the second round with a lightning fast right hook that sent Hyland to the mat for the first time in his career. He was able to get back to his feet but was knocked down a second time while falling back into the ropes. The referee allowed him to continue, but he only went down for the third and final time after a four punch combination for Gary Russell Jr. The referee, rightly, waived off the fight.
Gary Russell Jr. won by KO at 1:33 of round two.