ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It doesn’t make any sense to pretend that this undercard is worth much, but talented welterweight Kell Brook is on it, and Edison Miranda and Yordanis Despaigne are on it in tune-ups for a potential rematch of last year’s excellent light heavyweight bout, so it’s worth a tiny something. Keep coming back for chronological updates in the event that Brook, Miranda or Despaigne are your favorite fighters, or just because you’re a completist.
Bowie Tupou took a unanimous decision from Donnell Holmes in a fight that had to have been meant to entertain the crowd with a couple high-knockout heavyweights, because it’s not as if either of these men were future prospects. They succeeded only in part; the early part of the bout was like a sparring session, the second half a bit more competitive and entertaining. The two best things about the fight had nothing to do with the fight itself. Holmes calls himself “The Real Touch Of Sleep,” no doubt finding Davarryl Williamson’s claim to the nickname lacking in authenticity. His trunks said “Mr. T” on the front, which matched his mohawk, and “Oprah Winfrey” on the back, which matched nothing. Tupou, for his part, kept spitting, on the ring apron, over the ring ropes, and even over Holmes’ shoulder in clinches. It was gross. Show some manners in there when you’re trying to beat a man senseless. Tupou was the aggressor early and Holmes was too inactive. Holmes decided to do some stuff in the 5th round, finally, and the fight was hard to score thereafter, except for the 7th when Tupou dropped Holmes with a right hand. Holmes tried to go for the KO in the 10th and connected on a lot of flush right hands as Tupou tried to run out the clock on his bicycle. No luck for Holmes. Final scores read 95-94, 96-93 and 95-94 for Tupou.
The aforementioned Miranda stopped his designated tune-up, Kariz Kariuzi, in the 5th round, but it wasn’t totally easy because Kariuzi landed a number of clean blows in each round. But Miranda was still doing a great job of ducking shots and then coming back with that big right of his. In the 5th, when Kariuzi landed some of those clean shots that had the crowd going “oooo,” Miranda dropped a counter left on him that sent his mouthpiece flying out and him flopping to the ground. After the count of eight, the ref motioned for the fight to continue sans mouthpiece, but Kariuzi wasn’t looking and Miranda zoomed across the ring to deck Kariuzi again, only for some reason the ref didn’t call it a knockdown; instead, he called time and had Kariuzi get a new mouthpiece. It didn’t save Kariuzi for long, having it — Miranda beat him up a bit more and had him wobbly before the ref stepped in and saved him.
Hey, the judges called an upset right! Cornelius White spoiled Despaigne-Miranda II with a unanimous decision over the Cuban. The fight was bloody as hell, with White cut near his left eye in the 1st and Despaigne cut in the 2nd round at the scalp; both wore white trunks, but by the end of the 3rd the only thing left that was white was Cornelius’ last name. White just outworked Despaigne and connected on the cleaner punches, often in combination to the body then the head. I only had Despaigne winning one round, although most of them were close. But the judges saw it 60-53 and 59-55 twice after six rounds, good enough for White to pull the thing out. It’s quite a rebound from the last time we saw White, on ShoBox, getting blown out in one round by Don George. That showing must’ve been why White was picked as the Despaigne opponent, because George hasn’t looked like as good a fighter as Despaigne to this point in their careers, but White just had an extra gear.
No surprise here: Brook totally outclassed his opponent, Luis Galarza, to get the 5th round stoppage. There wasn’t much cause for the ref to stop it at the time he stopped it ohter than Galarza was getting hit extremely cleanly and nearly fell through the ropes, but Galarza wasn’t hurt. He was game throughout, but it had the look, almost immediately, of a fight that could go on too long. Galarza was tough and getting hit a ton, and while the fans booed the stoppage, I can live with it. Brook really is a world class talent. Galarza wasn’t going to show us what Brook would look like if he stepped up the competition; he was only a reminder of what Brook has proven so far.
Club fighteer John Lennox and Jeremiah Witherspoon slugged it out for one round, played defense for the 2nd and then in the 3rd Lennox trapped a hurt Witherspoon on the ropes and nearly killed him, abetted by referee Randy Neumann stopping it a bit too late. Outside of Froch fans, the heavyweight Lennox might have had the biggest cheering section here; there are maybe 2,000 total in attendance as of this writing, moments before the broadcast begins, a pretty pitiful figure that could’ve been enhanced by putting more local talent on the undercard.