Jorge Linares and Deontay Wilder both dispatched their tune-up opponents Saturday on Sho Extreme, the former more impressively than the latter.
Linares (above right), a super-talented lightweight still haunted by a trio of knockout losses, didn’t have to worry about his chin much against undersized journeyman Ira Terry (left), and only needed two dominant rounds to get rid of him. The big right hand that ended matters in the 2nd might’ve been a Knockout of the Year candidate if it didn’t happen in such a mismatch. There’s been talk of a Linares-Omar Figueroa showdown, should Figueroa win Saturday on Showtime proper, but Figueroa might be looking to move up in weight. It would be too bad if that one didn’t happen.
Young heavyweight Wilder could’ve learned something from watching Linares get rid of his tune-up, because Wilder was less than stellar, as though he was rusty. Jason Gavern, who signed the fight on six days’ notice, was craftier in his approach to Wilder than others were, moving and trying to get Wilder to start to throw shots before launching overhand shots, some of which connected. But Wilder’s size and speed were such that Gavern couldn’t get much done. He did respond to a knockdown from a punch to the back of the head (which came because Gavern bent down) by rallying the crowd in booing the knockdown call, and had a humorous response to referee Jack Reiss when he asked if anything was wrong: “You got any oxygen?” It was ultimately conditioning, not the pair of knockdowns in the 3rd and 4th, that ended things for Gavern, who retired in his corner at the end of the round 4. Wilder steps up big time against Bermane Stiverne next, in a once-postponed bout.
A third boxer, height-challenged junior welterweight Lydell (Haskell?) Rhodes, also won by stoppage, mainly because his opponent, John Nater, couldn’t couldn’t continue, complaining of a shoulder injury that his corner refused to acknowledge when he said he was unable to fight. Rhodes had zero trouble in the fight, cutting Nater and eventually knocking him down just before he ‘fessed up to the referee that he couldn’t fight on between rounds.
And a fourth, Irish middleweight prospect Jason Quigley, continued the trend of between-rounds stoppages, cutting Fernando Najara in the best punch-up of the Sho Extreme card and ending the contest at the end of round 3. Quigley was in just his second pro fight, one in which he was eager to trade shots. It worked for him Saturday. It’s still early in his career, when such things are easier to pull off.
(Photo by Showtime’s Esther Lin, via)