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21 NOVEMBER 2018


Quillin, Russell, Kirkland Highlight Vegas Undercard

By: Mike Sloan at ringside in Las Vegas: Peter Quillin, a very promising young middleweight contender from Brooklyn, NY, kept things rolling right along with an impressive and dominating fifth round TKO. Jason Lehoullier put up a worthy fight for as long as he could, but he was in over his head against the vastly more talented and powerful Quillin. Referee Robert Byrd had no choice but to stop the contest when Lehoullier’s corner threw the towel in at the 1:38 mark of the fifth round.

It seemed as though the duel would end quickly when Quillin hurt Lehoullier moments into the contest. He hurt his opponent with a powerful right hand and followed it up with a left, but the Dover, New Hampshire fighter (now fighting out of Australia) hung tough. Quillin dug several thudding hooks to the body as well and it appeared as though Lehoullier was on the verge of being taken out. However, the strong will kept him afloat and somewhat in the fight for the next few rounds.

Quillin slowed down his attack in the second round and decided to pick his spots from when to fire, a tactic that forced Lehoullier to try and counter. “Kid Chocolate” could do no wrong as he thoroughly and systematically picked apart his opponent routinely.

Lehoullier ate a few shots early in the fifth and it was evident that he was on his way out; he was tired, worn out and battered. He tried his best to keep up with and fight back against Quillin, but it was no use. Quillin dissected his crumbling defense and landed a few more stinging punches, a beacon that the fight was over. His corner intelligently tossed in the towel and saved Lehoullier from unnecessary further punishment.

The win bolstered Quillin’s pro ledger to 25-0 with 19 KOs and it’s obvious to anybody who watched his performance that he’s ready to take that next big step. Whether he’s truly ready or capable against the elite at 160 remains to be seen, but he’s clearly a few notches above the fighters currently in his roost of fellow contenders. Lehoullier, for his efforts, fell to 21-6-1 with 8 KOs.

Featherweight Gary Russell, Jr. took another step towards the big time as he thoroughly dominated the ultra tough Eric Estrada for eight rounds. Russell’s southpaw stance and blistering speed were the keys against Estrada, who just could not compete on the same level skill-wise. Whether it was the crushing body attack, pesky jab or eye-popping flurries, nothing Russell threw at Estrada didn’t work.

Estrada, from Chicago, was as game as they come, though. As much as Russell dominated, Estrada was equally as impressive for not folding and standing up to the hundreds of shots he absorbed. Estrada fought back with everything he had in his arsenal, but most of his offense was thwarted by Russell’s deft footwork and head movement.

By the end of the fight, Estrada’s left jaw line was grossly swollen (probably broken) and his eyes were puffed. Russell swarmed his foe with a barrage of head and body shots, but he couldn’t put him away. In the end, Russell walked away with a landslide eight round unanimous decision, winning 80-71 on all three official scorecards. Russell, who hails from Capitol Heights, Maryland, improved to 17-0 with 10 KOs and he’s clearly ready for the next step up the 126 pound ladder. Estrada dipped to 9-2, 3 KOs.

Bryant Jennings, a heavyweight prospect from Philadelphia, kept his professional record perfect by scoring a lopsided unanimous six round decision over the game but out-gunned Theron Johnson. Jennings used his vast reach and height advantage to pick apart the Chicago fighter and dominated him from start to finish. Jennings almost took Johnson out a few different times – specifically in the fourth after he scored a knockdown – but Johnson was too tough to succumb to the power and pressure. In the end, Jennings, now 9-0 with 4 KOs, coasted to a well-deserved victory via scores of 60-53 (twice) and 59-54. Johnson fell to 5-6, 1 KO.

Middleweight James Kirkland continued his road back to contention by scoring his second straight win. Kirkland destroyed the over-matched and timid Alexis Hloros; he dropped him three times and scored a second round TKO. Kirkland charged right at Hloros once the fight started and after a few minutes, he finally crashed a right hand onto the Mt. Clemens, MI fighter’s jaw. Hloros took a knee immediately and it was evident that he was in way over his head. Hloros continued but the Austin, TX bomber swarmed him again and scored what was ruled a second knockdown a few moments later (Hloros ate a few glancing blows and grabbed the ropes, but he never actually went down).

Kirkland closed the show with a short left hook twenty-four seconds into the second frame and at that point, referee Russell Mora stopped the thrashing. The TKO bolstered Kirkland’s ledger to 28-1 with 25 KOs while Hloros tumbled to 15-4-2, 11 KOs.

Ronny Rios, a promising junior lightweight prospect from Santa Ana, CA, was simply way too much for Noe Lopez, Jr. to handle. Rios, now 15-0 with 7 KOs, blitzed him with a swirling barrage of well-placed punches and forced a stoppage just 1:12 into the fight. Rios dropped Lopez, a native of Nogales, Mexico, with a thundering body shot less than a minute into the fight. Lopez (8-9, 5 KOs) was shaky in getting up; he clearly didn’t want any more from Rios. When referee Joe Cortez allowed the action to continue, Rios wasted little time in ripping hooks to the body and head. Lopez fell onto his backside against the ropes from a glancing right hand and Cortez immediately waived off the mugging.

Super middleweight Josiah Judah was awarded a majority decision over Rafal Jastrzebski in what was a tentative and sometimes sloppy six round affair. Judah was the more accurate of the two but the fight wasn’t as easy as some might have expected. The Poland native took the fight to Judah, but he was just a bit too inexperienced and not as skilled as the Brooklyn-born fighter. After quite a bit of clinching and mauling, it was relatively easy to see that Judah had landed enough punches to win over the judges. He was given the win via tallies of 57-57, 58-56 and 59-55; he now stands at 10-1-1 with 2 KOs. For his efforts, Jastrzebski fell to 4-7-1 with 1 KO.

Lightweight prospect Jamie Kavanagh outclassed Marcos Herrera en route to a unanimous six round decision to start the afternoon of action. The fight wasn’t full of exchanges, though Kavanagh, from Hollywood, CA, used superior speed and technique to dominate Herrera. Kavanagh improved to 8-0 with 3 KOs after being awarded the decision via scores of 60-54, 59-54 and 60-53. Herrera, from Arvada, CO, dipped to 6-6-1 with 2 KOs.

July 23, 2011

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