By: Robert Contreras
FOX Sports 1 had the action Saturday night as Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was live from Biloxi, Mississippi.
After Ahmed Elbiali opened the broadcast with a second-round knockout of a rather unorthodox Brazilian, who cited a broken jaw after the bout’s first knockdown, fans were treated to a demonstration of the sweet science between a pair of operators, former world champion Austin Trout and U.S. Olympic representative Terrell Gausha.
Photo Credit: Jamie Morton/Beau Rivage Resort Casino
Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KO) and Terrell Gausha (21-1, 10 KO) fight to a split draw (96-94, 95-95, 91-99)
The two junior middleweight contenders had themselves as close a contest as there can be Saturday night. While the PBC broadcast team saw a clear-cut win for Gausha, Trout’s complex attack and late surge left the ringside judges in a bind, resulting in a split-decision draw.
“We need to do that again,” Trout told PBC correspondent Jordan Hardy. “That’s after a year layoff. I need an immediate rematch.”
The time off did affect Trout’s approach. It took him a couple rounds to find his groove against Gausha, who employed a smooth, stylized long-range attack indicative of his amateur pedigree.
The center of the ring was Gausha’s in the opening round. Trout’s flickering jab did nothing to keep a right hand from stunning him along the ropes.
In Round 2, the 31-year-old Gausha began piling up a small lead in punches landed. Early on, his sharper punching was keeping Trout at bay but the action was for the most part at a standstill.
Trout, 33, refused to go away, alternating between southpaw and orthodox, and pressing forward and backwards. The former champion relied on his feet to disrupt his man: moving in and out, stray right hands found their home in Gausha’s belly.
But by the sixth period, Gausha began jabbing Trout’s face off. Familiar with southpaws, the former Olympian didn’t allow Trout to crowd him or land his left hand. Clean one-two-one combinations also secured Round 7 for Gausha before the two technicians continued their fencing match in the eighth round.
Trout had Gausha walking backgrounds in Round 8. Gausha found some success sitting back, and timing a slashing right uppercut but his inactivity provided an avenue to victory for his opponent.
In the penultimate round, Trout’s feinting froze up Gausha. And the final three finally provided a bang. The two met in the center of the ring and Gausha pitched big right hands at Trout but the southpaw evaded most of them. Trout closed the show with searing right and left hooks.
In all, the the nip-and-tuck affair was difficult to differentiate the two and, as expected, the PBC Fight Night stats was virtually identical. Trout landed 85 of 471 total punches (18 percent) while Gausha connected on 91 of 517 total punches (18 percent).
“I feel like I won’t the fight,” Gausha said inside the ring, before sharing the dark times he faced in preparation for the weekend. “I’ve been through a lot his camp. My father passed away during training camp but we got through it. Much respect to Austin Trout. He came out and fought but I came out with a victory, I thought.”
Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KO) def. Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO) by unanimous decision
Fighting for the first time over the 10-round distance, Booker passed the stiffest test of his career in the form of Omotoso. The American had a real puncher in front of him but was awarded a shutout decision for his tactical, flashy performance.
“I’m so happy—I used to dream about this,” Booker, nearly brought to tears, told Jordan Hardy after the fight. “To be here is amazing. It took me 10 years. I train everyday like I have a world title. Every fight means something to me.”
Booker, 28, chiseled away at his opponent’s head, delivering bolting left and right hands. He fought comfortably behind a southpaw jab, eventually sitting on winging left hands in the second half of the bout.
The 34-year-old Omotoso never really found his rhythm, following and hacking away at Booker, who remained in safe distance from long range. In the third period, he could only play spectator when his man began showing off with some high knees.
In Round 4, Booker continued the show, crushing Omotoso with a winging left hand and then began shimmying his shoulders. Omotoso was visibly tired by the fifth round and was on the receiving end of more fierce one-twos through the latter stages.
For a short time in the ninth stanza, both men traded haymakers. But going backwards, Booker caught Omotoso with a stiff left hand that clearly shook up the veteran. He followed Omotoso down and pounded away at him as the commentary booth debated over his chances of stopping Omotoso for the first time. The Nigerian-born puncher found some life by hurling right hands, falling over with all his weight into Booker, but it wasn’t enough to win even a single round.
According to the PBC Fight Night stats, Booker landed 179 of 647 total punches (28 percent) and Omotoso connected on just 90 of 574 total punches (16 percent).
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