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21 JUNE 2018

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Beltran, Vargas Wins Highlight Undercard

Los Mochis native Ray Beltran proved to be a tad too big and long for Arash Usmanee to handle as he wound up winning a lopsided unanimous decision. Beltran stalked the Canadian throughout the encounter and forced him into a slugfest when he could, which wasn’t very often. Usmanee was rocked a few times early in the battle, which led to him backpedalling for the majority of the time.


Usmanee grew more and more desperate as the rounds wore away, but even when he tried to land some ferocious shots upstairs, they were either blocked or avoided. Some of his leaping hooks landed, but Beltran took them well, never being fazed by his fellow lightweight. There were a few times in the duel where it seemed as though Beltran might break open the dam, but as soon as Usmanee felt the power, he either clinched or retreated.


There were scattered moments of action here and there, but for the most part it was a workmanlike performance by Beltran, who ran away with the fight on points. The three ringside officials saw it for Beltran, who won via tallies of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice). Sherdog scored it 119-109 for Beltran as well, who improved to 29-6-1 with 17 KOs and took home the regional NABO lightweight belt. Usmanee dipped to 20-2-1 with 10 KOs.


Local super lightweight Jessie Vargas was a heavy betting favorite entering the contest with Khabib Allakhverdiev, but most figured it would be a tough fight for him to win convincingly. Considering that Vargas doesn’t possess vaunted power in his hands, the notion was that the fight would last the allotted twelve rounds and it did. Vargas wound up winning a unanimous decision over his Russian counterpart, but it wasn’t easy.


Vargas tagged Allakhverdiev with every punch in the book. The Las Vegas nearly closed Allakhverdiev’s right eye and opened a nasty laceration above his left that had to be checked by the ringside physician twice. Vargas tore into his opponent throughout the bout, but Allakhverdiev never relented and stood his ground the entire way. Allakhverdiev had moments of brilliance as well, particularly in the middle rounds, but he had difficulty in sustaining any real attacks.


In the end, Vargas (24-0, 9) was a step ahead of Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) throughout the encounter and was more accurate with his punches. The three ringside judges all scored in favor of him with margins of 115-113 (twice) and 117-111. Sherdog also had it for Vargas, but by the tally of 117-110; he took home the vacant WBA Interim super lightweight title.


What started out as an all-out war eventually turned into a tactical boxing match and that suited Bryan Vazquez just fine. His opponent in the WBA Interim super featherweight title tilt -- Jose Felix -- stormed out of his corner with guns ablaze and forced Vazquez to trade with him. For the first three rounds the two tore into each other with reckless abandon, but after routinely getting tagged by the counter right hand, Vazquez switched up his style.


The San Jose, CA, fighter boxed more efficiently, which perplexed Felix during the latter stages of the fight. When Felix couldn’t goad his foe into more toe-to-toe action, he grew more and more frustrated. That led to repeated low blows that eventually cost him a point from referee Robert Byrd in the ninth. Vazquez was countering the Los Mochis native beautifully and intelligently shied away from the inside war until the final 20 seconds of the contest. At that point, a desperate Felix tried to pull off a last-minute knockout, but it never materialized.


In the end, Vazquez’ superior boxing and better movement in the second half of the fracas allowed him to win a hard-fought but well-deserved unanimous decision. The three ringside judges saw it 117-110 and 114-113 (twice) for Vazquez, who improved to 34-1 with 17 KOs. For Felix, he lost for the first time as a pro; he now stands at 26-1-1 with 21 KOs.



Even with the great “Irish” Micky Ward in his corner, “Irish” Joe McCreedy had no answer for the powerful “Irish” Sean Monaghan” in their light heavyweight showdown. The pride of Long Beach, NY, Monaghan took his time in picking the shorter McCreedy apart at the seams. As the rounds wore on, Monaghan’s power proved to be too much and with how potent his hooks to the body were, the Lowell, MA fighter never made it out of the fifth round. Monaghan (21-0, 14 KOs) scored a knockdown in the third with a flurry that was punctuated by a left to the body. He scored two more knockdowns in the fifth; the first from a left to the liver, the last from a right to gut. When McCreedy (15-7-2, 6 KOs) crumbled onto his knees after the third felling of the contest, Jay Nady waived it off, officially ending the mugging at 2:25 of the fifth.


Middleweight prospect Esquiva Falcao peppered and battered the much slower Pubilo Pena and was never in any real danger. Falcao, who hails from Vitoria, Brazil, utilized a clear speed advantage and accurate punching to easily outpoint his opponent for every minute of every round. But while he landed dozens of clean, hard shots to the head, the Providence fighter never wavered and hung tough until the end. Falcao (2-0, 1 KO) was flawless against Pena (2-2, 1 KO) and was awarded a lopsided unanimous decision by the margins of 60-54 (twice) and 60-53.


Oscar Valdez, a promising young super featherweight prospect from Nogales, was brilliant against Adrian Perez in scoring a fourth round knockout. Valdez, who fought for the Mexican flag at both the Beijing and London Olympic Games, took his time with sizzling counter punching and blistering leads. But what set him apart from the Sarasota fighter were the thunderous shots to the body. Finally, after Perez missed with a loopy right hand, Valdez detonated a textbook left hook to the liver. Perez immediately caved in and collapsed onto his gloves and knees where Russell Mora counted him out. The official time of the knockout came at 1:23 of the fourth, allowing Valdez to improve to 10-9 with his 9thcareer stoppage. Perez dipped to 10-5-1 with 1 KO.


Oleksandr Gvozdyk made good on his pro debut by obliterating the overmatched Mike Montoya in the opening round of their light heavyweight tussle. The Ukrainian was too tall and much too accurate for the Colorado Springs representative to handle and it was just a matter of time before Gvozdyk ended the contest. Finally, after battering Montoya with every punch in the book - and after creating a grotesque mouse under his right eye – Gvozdyk flattened him with a crushing straight right hand. Referee Russell Mora immediately called off the bout and urged the ringside physician into the ring. Fortunately Montoya (4-3-1, 2 KOs) was able to get back to his feet and walk out of the ring on his own. The official time of the knockout came with a mere five seconds remaining in the opening frame.

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