By: William Holmes
It’s typical for promoters to put on a card on the day before a major pay per view in the city of Las Vegas.
Top Rank Promotions continued that tradition by promoting a card at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas featuring Jesse Hart (17-0), son of former contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and Aaron Pryor Jr. (19-8-1), the son of Hall of Famer Aaron Pryor Sr in the co-feature, and Chris Avalos (26-3) and Oscar Valdez (16-0) in the main event of the night.
Jess Hart was giving up two inches in height and about an inch and a half in reach to Aaron Pryor Jr., but Hart was eleven years younger than Pryor. Hart also had a significant power advantage over Pryor, and only three of his opponents have gone the distance.
Hart touched Pryor early with the jab and was coming forward aggressively, but he was throwing wild looping punches. He was warned for a rabbit punch at the end of the first.
Hard had Pryor backing up from the second round on, and held on whenever possible and made it an ugly fight. Pryor was missing most of his combinations, and looked hurt several times, including the third, fifth and sixth rounds.
Hart began to focus on body shots in the sixth round and it opened up Pryor’s head to looping right hands.
Pryor’s corner begged him to show them something or they’ll stop the fight, but Pryor somehow managed to survive until the ninth round.
Hart started off the ninth round by throwing stiff and heavy jabs, and he followed up one of them with a stinging straight right hand that connected flush on Pryor’s chin. Pryor was hurt bad and offered little resistance as Hart wound up and threw everything he had into his shots.
The referee, Tony Weeks, jumped in and stopped the bout at 2:51 of the ninth round.
Former world title challenger Chris Avalos met undefeated Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez in the featherweight division.
Valdez landed the first combination of the night and was very crisp with his jab in the first round. Avalos was pressing forward and taking some of Valdez’s best shots, but the difference in hand speed was apparent.
Valdez was landing first whenever both boxers threw punches, and Avalos was not able to offer an effective offense in return. Valdez scored a third round knockdown with a left hook to the head, and Avalos got back to his feet, on wobbly legs, as the round came to an end.
Valdez dominated the fourth round and sent Avalos stumbling back to his corner from another hook to the top of the head. The ring side doctor took a look at Avalos at the end of the fourth but allowed him to continue.
Valdez wasted little time in forcing the referee to stop the fight once the fifth round began, and a sharp combination in the center of the ring had Avalos wobbly when the referee stopped the fight.
Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 1:17 of the fifth round.