Mayweather vs. McGregor PPV Undercard Results: Davis and Badou Jack Win by Stoppage, Tabiti Decisions Cunningham
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV attraction between all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC super star Conor McGregor.
Fight fans were treated to three bouts on the televised portion of the pay per view card, including two world title fights.
Photo Credit: USA Today
The first fight of the night was between Andrew Tabiti (14-0) and Steve Cunningham (29-8-1) in the cruiserweight division.
Cunningham is a former world champion in the cruiserweight division and Tabiti is prized prospect in the Mayweather Promotions stable.
Cunningham had the height advantage and looked to be in great shape. Tabiti was able to stay out of range in the first two rounds, but Cunningham was the more aggressive fighter and forced Tabiti to tie up often. Tabiti’s jab was landing in the second round and he landed a hard right uppercut at the end of a combination.
Cunningham’s punches were missing with increasing regularity from the first round to the fourth round and Tabiti remained an elusive target. Tabiti’s hands were faster and more accurate but Cunningham’s chin was able to take his best punches.
The fifth round featured two blistering combinations by Tabiti in the center of the ring. Tabiti was able to land his jab to the body and head of Cunningham in the sixth round. Cunningham’s frustration with his inability to mount an offensive attack continued into the seventh round.
Cunningham, to his credit, still came forward in the eighth round despite clearly being behind on the cards. He was able to force a few exchanges but Tabiti got the better of them.
Cunningham needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came.
Andrew Tabiti remained undefeated with a decision victory with scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 100-90.
Nathan Cleverly (30-3) faced Badou Jack (21-1-2) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Title.
Jack established himself as the more accurate puncher in the first round and was able to do land some good body shots in the opening round. Cleverly looked like the bigger fight and was able to land some hard straight right hands at the end of the round.
Jack continued his body attack in the second round and he was able to land hard right uppercuts in the third round. Jack’s assault was more vicious in the fourth round and he had Cleverly’s nose busted from numerous uppercuts and left hooks.
Jack came out aggressively in the fifth round and obliterated Cleverly from corner to corner. Cleverly was taking several hard combinations without answering back. The referee let Jack batter Cleverly perhaps longer than he should have, but he finally stopped it near the end of the round.
Badou Jack wins the WBA Light Heavyweight by TKO at 2:47 of the fifth round.
Afterwards, Badou Jack called out Adonis Stevenson.
The final undercard bout was between Gervonta Davis (18-0) and Francisco Fonseca (19-0-1). This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Super Featherweight Title but Davis failed to make the contracted weight.
Fonseca looked awkward in the first round and Davis was able to land hooks and uppercuts to the body. Fonseca ate some heavy combinations in the second round but was able to take some of Davis’ best shots and reply with punches of his own.
Fonseca kept a high guard in the second round but had to absorb blows to the body. Davis began to showboat in the fourth round and landed a few left hooks after putting his hands behind his back, but Fonseca connected with enough punches to maybe steal the round.
Fonseca pressed the action in the fifth round and landed some good combinations to the head and body. Davis was telegraphing his punches and may have lost this round solely based on Fonseca’s activity.
Davis stopped showing off in the sixth round and stuck to a traditional boxing stance and was able to land sharp jabs and hard straight left hands. Davis finally stunned Fonseca in the seventh round with hard hooks but Fonseca stayed on his feet.
Davis opened up the eighth round with a stunning straight left hand and had Fonseca stuck in the corner. He connected with a left hook that may have landed on the back of Fonseca’s head, but Fonseca went to the mat holding the back of his head and was unable to get up.
Gervonta Davis wins by knockout at 0:39 of the eighth round.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Cleverly vs. Jack on the Mayweather McGregor Undercard Should Shine
By: Eric Lunger
Lost amid the cacophony of coverage surrounding the Mayweather vs. McGregor “crossover” fight this weekend in Las Vegas is an intriguing undercard clash in the light heavyweight division between Sweden’s Badou Jack (21-1-2, 2 KOs) and Nathan Cleverly (30-3-0, 16 KOs) of the UK. While Cleverly picked up the WBA “regular” light heavyweight belt by stopping Germany’s Juergen Braehmer in six rounds last November, the Welsh fighter knows that the Jack fight might be his last shot at reaching the championship heights of the division. In statements to the UK media this week, Cleverly admitted as much. With two close decision losses to Tony Bellew and Andrzej Fonfara on his record, as well as a fourth round TKO loss to Sergei Kovalev in 2013, Cleverly can’t afford anything but a win on Saturday night.
Badou Jack, on the other hand, is moving up in weight class, having held the WBC super middleweight title since defeating Anthony Dirrell in 2015. Most recently, Jack fought IBF title holder James DeGale to a rare split decision draw in Brooklyn in January of 2017. I was at the Barclays Center that night, and I was extremely impressed with Jack. He is a tight, controlled fighter with superb defensive skills. But his offense is accurate, explosive, and he can really generate power on a short throw. How DeGale weathered the twelfth round storm unleashed by Jack is still incomprehensible to me.
So you have a hungry, proud, and perhaps desperate Nathan Cleverly facing off against Badou Jack, a technically sound but underrated power puncher who is stepping up in weight. This is a story line that should produce a riveting bout.
Most likely, you have already decided whether or not to shell out for the Mayweather vs. McGregor PPV, and it is understandable that some fans are not turned off by this cynical novelty show, but – should you decide to buy it – feel free to console yourself with the notion that Jack vs. Cleverly might turn out to be a real diamond.