Light-weight contender Felix Verdejo delivered a message to the 135-pound division by stopping Will Madera within the first spherical of Thursday’s Prime Rank on ESPN predominant occasion on the MGM Grand Convention Heart. It was an explosive efficiency that reminded all people in boxing of why Verdejo was such a extremely touted prospect after the 2012 Olympics.
Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) first harm Madera (15-1-3, 8 KOs) with a proper uppercut, then as Madera wobbled into the nook, one other uppercut harm him once more. A tough proper hand after which a left uppercut despatched Madera crashing to the canvas close to the impartial nook.
There was no want for referee Robert Hoyle to manage the obligatory eight depend. This battle was referred to as off at 2 minutes, 59 seconds of the primary spherical.
PunchesVerdejoMaderaTotal landed2412Complete thrown5947P.c41%26%Jabs landed74Jabs thrown2321P.c30%19%Energy landed178Energy thrown3626P.c47%31%– Courtesy of CompuBox
“I took my time, I actually got here out right here settled,” Verdejo mentioned of his strategy to this battle. “I needed to measure what he got here out with, and the way laborious he hit. As soon as I figured that out, I did it. I simply let my palms go — however at all times below management, and that knockout got here.”
Up to now, Verdejo has been tentative in punching off his entrance foot and taking management contained in the ring. On Thursday, he confirmed a mix of composure and urgency. As quickly as he noticed Madera harm, he did not hesitate to ramp up his assault and get Madera out of there in fast, eye-opening style.
“Keep prepared as a result of Felix Verdejo is again,” mentioned Verdejo, who was intent on sending a message to the remainder of the light-weight division. “I am able to battle towards the very best.”
Verdejo, 27, referred to as out unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, who defeated him within the 2012 Olympics. “Now we have unfinished enterprise,” Verdejo mentioned.
Whereas it is a bit unrealistic to even take into consideration such a matchup at this level, the victory towards Madera was a constructive step ahead for Verdejo below the route of Ismael Salas, who started working with Verdejo in the beginning of 2020.
“When it comes to the technical and tactical work we did, we labored explicitly on sure issues in camp. However extra importantly, I used to be simply listening to [Salas],” Verdejo mentioned. “He advised me, ‘Look, keep prepared, keep calm, go on the market and do what you understand how to do.'”
Light-weight contender Felix Verdejo, proper, scored a first-round TKO of Will Madera on Thursday. Mikey Williams/Prime Rank
Takeaways: Make no mistake. With a surprising first-round knockout of Madera, Verdejo made his largest assertion since his lone loss, in March 2018. And now it is time to see how the once-hyped prospect stacks up towards a few of the prime names within the light-weight division.
Madera (15-1-3, 8 KOs) was arguably the hardest opponent Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) has confronted because the loss two years in the past. However Madera made an important mistake towards the tip of the evening that led to the early stoppage. With about 20 seconds left within the first spherical, Madera left his left jab out a bit of too lengthy. Verdejo countered with a thundering left uppercut that despatched Madera first stumbling backward and ultimately into the nook, the place Verdejo delivered the mixture that ended the battle.
Thursday’s victory was Verdejo was his first stoppage since his first battle after shedding to Antonio Lozada Torres. The 27-year-old Puerto Rico native felt so good after dispatching Madera that he referred to as out Vasiliy Lomachenko, ESPN’s prime pound-for-pound fighter and No. 1 light-weight.
At this level, that is a big request. Verdejo nonetheless hasn’t been a real contender and wishes to check himself towards lots of the notable names at 135 kilos earlier than difficult for a title. A bout towards fellow Puerto Rican Alberto Machado (22-2, 18 KOs) could possibly be actually fascinating if each males are up for it. — Ben Child
Lets make this clear — Verdejo is meant to be beat a man like Will Madera. However not many anticipated him to take action within the fast style that he did. The way you win on this sport is typically each bit as essential as the tip end result.
Since round 2015, at the same time as Verdejo was undefeated and notching one victory after one other, there was one thing lacking. It was laborious to pinpoint, however his bouts grew to become lengthy and monotonous affairs that had been usually instances devoid of something noteworthy.
In victory, he wasn’t precisely conjuring up recollections of Felix Trinidad or Miguel Cotto.
It was clear that his progress had hit a wall. As soon as a blue-chip worth as he got here out of the 2012 Olympics, Verdejo grew to become a penny inventory after he was stopped by Antonio Lozada Torres in March 2018. However below the steering of Ismael Salas, you see what many others hoped Verdejo could possibly be initially. By transferring out west to Las Vegas, Verdejo has an actual construction and self-discipline that merely wasn’t there when he was coaching in Puerto Rico.
With Salas, he has a revered coach with a protracted observe document of rebuilding fighters, together with Jorge Linares, Yordenis Ugas and up to date addition Robeisy Ramirez. Actual skilled sparring will sharpen fighter’s instruments. You could possibly argue that Verdejo ought to have made this transfer a couple of years prior, however higher late than by no means. If Thursday evening confirmed something, it is that Verdejo, who’s simply 27 years previous, remains to be price keeping track of. — Steve Kim
Jules takes a majority choice win
Martino Jules, proper, scored a majority choice victory over Aleem Jumakhonov, left, of their featherweight battle. Mikey Williams/Prime Rank
Martino Jules remained undefeated as he scored a majority choice victory over the scrappy Aleem Jumakhonov in a tough fought eight-round featherweight contest. It was a battle of kinds between the southpaw boxing of Jules and the regular strain of Jumakhonov.
Each males have their moments, however on the finish, it was Jules (10-0, 2 KOs) main on the scorecards 76-76, 78-74 and 78-74.
Jules started the battle transferring and boxing effectively, utilizing his footwork and benefit in pace from the skin to maintain Jumakhonov (8-3-2, 4 KOs) away. However when the bout was contested on the within, Jumakhonov received the benefit. By the third spherical, Jumakhonov had Jules bleeding from the nostril.
Most of the rounds had been shut, however whereas he wavered a bit in the course of the battle, Jules was in a position to collect himself and did simply sufficient to win, preventing at a distance, whereas tying up Jumakhonov whereas in shut vary. Jumakhonov landed some heavy overhand fights that visibly affected Jules, however might by no means string collectively a set of punches that swung momentum in his route.
Jules outworked and outlanded Jumakhonov, touchdown 217 of 565 complete punches. Jumakhonov landed 91 of 406.
Takeaway: Thursday’s battle was probably the greatest form of victories that a younger prospect like Martino Jules can earn. The undefeated featherweight picked up the bulk choice over Aleem Jumakhonov to stay spotless as an expert, in a bout that confirmed Jules has loads of issues to work on if he desires to be severe contender later in his profession.
Whereas Jules (10-0, 2 KOs) boxed effectively on the skin, he gave up his distance benefit too usually and struggled on the within towards Jumakhonov, who discovered success by throwing hooks that related. Fortunately for Jules, Jumakhonov (8-3-2, 4 KOs) was unable to set these hooks up with different photographs — he did not land a single jab within the closing 4 rounds — and simply wasn’t correct sufficient to drag out a victory. In line with CompuBox, Jules outlanded Jumakhonov 38.4% to 22.4%. It additionally did not assist that Jumakhonov threw almost 160 fewer punches than his opponent.
As he positive aspects expertise as an expert, Jules will acquire a few of the ring savvy he lacked on Thursday evening. He’ll want much more polish at any time when he fights somebody of a better caliber. However at this level in his profession, a win is a win, particularly throughout a pandemic, and any classes discovered at this stage are tremendously helpful. — Child
Anderson scores one other TKO win, stays unbeaten
Jared Anderson improves his document to 5-0, all through KO, with a right-handed finisher vs. Hector Perez.
It was a brief and straightforward evening for extremely regarded heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson, who scored a first-round knockout of Hector Perez. Anderson, making his second look inside ‘”the bubble,” began rapidly and let his palms go liberally early on. A chopping overhand proper finally knocked Perez out, as referee Russell Mora waved off the battle simply 1:45 into the spherical.
Anderson (5-0, 5 KOs) is taken into account a blue-chip prospect. At simply 20 years previous, he has a deep novice background and loads of time to develop. Perez was coming off a four-fight profitable streak and was anticipated to offer Anderson some rounds. On June 16, Perez defeated Juan Torres by choice in a six-round battle.
Requested what’s in his speedy future, Anderson mentioned, “Anyone who’s good. I would like Olympians, I would like former world champions, challengers, all of it, anyone I can get, actually.”
PunchesAndersonPerezTotal landed52Complete thrown1610P.c31%20%Jabs landed22Jabs thrown77P.c29%29%Energy landed30Energy thrown93P.c33%0%– Courtesy of CompuBox
Takeaway: There is not any doubt that Anderson is the very best pure American heavyweight prospect at this second. Not like many different U.S.-based large males, he is not a man who stumbled into boxing after exhausting his different athletic choices. Anderson really grew up boxing, and it reveals.
Anderson made brief work of Perez, which in all honesty he was anticipated to do. However he continues to cross the attention check.
At simply 20, you may see the probabilities with Anderson. He has a deep novice background, strong fundamentals, the requisite dimension at 6-foot-4, 240 kilos, and above-average athleticism. And he is simply scratching the floor. Search for Anderson to proceed to be stored lively, and do not be stunned if he makes a 3rd look inside “the bubble,” in August. — Kim
Davis outpoints Sanchez
Kenny Davis Jr. gained a hard-fought four-round majority choice over Eduardo Sanchez in a fast-paced light-weight battle. When it was all mentioned and accomplished, Davis got here out on prime by scores of 38-36, 38-36 and 37-37.
Sanchez (2-3) seemed to be taking management within the second spherical and far of the third, till Davis struck him with a left hook to the physique that despatched Sanchez to 1 knee. Davis was lucky to not be penalized for hitting Sanchez whereas he was down. After the knockdown, Davis (3-2-1) was energized and commenced to choose up the tempo.
Davis and Sanchez battled laborious for the remainder of the battle, and there have been instances when Sanchez was the extra lively fighter. However down the stretch, Davis’ punches had extra affect. Within the fourth spherical, Davis was penalized by referee Robert Hoyle for shedding his mouthpiece for the second time within the battle, however finally it did not value him.
Takeaway: It was a very strong opening bout. Each males let the leather-based fly and there was loads of back-and-forth between the 2. Davis received his palms raised in victory, however it wasn’t with out controversy.
Within the third spherical, he turned the tide as he hit Sanchez with a left hook that floored Sanchez and despatched him to 1 knee. It was at that time that Davis blasted him whereas he was down. To the credit score of Sanchez, he did not attempt to win an Academy Award, however as an alternative beat the depend and fought on.
You could possibly simply argue that Hoyle ought to have penalized Davis. He did not, however the query needs to be requested: If Nevada is using prompt replay for knockdowns (which is a good rule), why not additionally use it in circumstances like this the place fouls may need occurred? — Kim