By: Sean Crose
Bantamweights Nikolai Potapov and Vincent Astrolabio faced off in a scheduled twelve rounder at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Saturday. Theirs was the opening fight of Showtime’s final card of the year, which featured lightweight Michel Rivera and Frank Martin in the main event.
The opening round saw the 23-2-1 Potapov go down from a slip, though the 17-3 Astrolabio seemed to think he had scored a knockdown early. The Filipino fighter got his wish later in the round, however, when he put Potapov on the mat, courtesy of a left. Suffice to say, Potapov got to his feet quickly. The second round was close, though Potapov received a cut over his right eye.
The third saw Potopov land effectively. By the end of the round, however, it was Astrolabio who was dictating the tempo of the action. By the fourth it was clear that, though Potopov was the slightly faster fighter, Astolabio was the more powerful puncher. With that being said, Potopov would wisely tie his man up when Astrolabio would come in close. It was a difficult fight to score.
That is, it was until Astrolabio dropped his man in the fifth with a crunching uppercut that sent Potopov stumbling backwards before settling on his knee. To his credit, Potopov got to his feet and went on to effectively employ his jab. Still, Atrolabio went hard at his man in the sixth, and sent Potopov to the mat yet again. This time Potopov was counted out.
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