By Derek Bonnett
On the pre-show to Showtime’s championship triple header, title shot bound contender Deontay Wilder and Jorge Linares kept busy with tune-up bout KOs over a pair of well-worn journeyman fighters. The action was televised on Showtime Extreme.
First up, former featherweight and super featherweight champion, Jorge Linares dropped Ira Terry in round two with a crunching right hand to the chin. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. waved the action off at the 1:21 mark without a count. Linares, a Tokyo-based Venezuelan, lifted his ledger to 37-3 (24). His win-streak was extended to six following back to back TKO losses to Antonio Demarco and Sergio Thompson. Terry crashed to 26-12 (16) with only two victories in his last thirteen fights over the last four years.
The win is said to be Linares’ final phase before challenging for the WBC lightweight championship. WBC titlist Omar Figueroa will be putting the title on the line later in the evening against Daniel Estrada, but has already alluded to a rise in weight after the bout, so it may be a vacant title which Linares vies for. Henry Lundy would be the next leading contender after Estrada and Linares.
In what was billed as a special attraction, Deontay Wilder put in four friendly rounds of work against Jason Gavern. Gavern regularly serves as Wilder’s sparring partner and was selected on six days notice. In his most recent appearance, Gavern defeated James Toney by decision in a three round bout during a Prize Fighter competition. Wilder is slated to meet Bermaine Stiverne for the WBC heavyweight title in November.
Gavern stepped into the ring admittedly out of shape, but still managed to give Wilder his longest contest as a professional. The Mark Breland trained Wilder dropped Gavern in the third and fourth rounds with right hands. Gavern finished on his feet, but surrendered on his stool in between rounds. The victory went in the books as a fourth round TKO. Wilder raised his resume to 32-0 (32). Gavern fell to 25-17-4 (11).
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