Fight fans in the states may have noticed a lack of marquee fights on television over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t big bouts taking place around the world. Big name fighters such as Edwin Rodriguez and Kell Brook were in action, and each man scored a noteworthy stoppage victory which should propel him towards bigger and better things in the near future.
Here’s a roundup of the full weekend that was in boxing, including Edwin Rodriguez vs. Denis Grachev in the finale of their million dollar tournament in Monaco, Kell Brook vs. Carson Jones II from the U.K., and a Friday Night Fights card featuring Chris Avalos and Glen Tapia.
Rodriguez vs. Grachev
Edwin Rodriguez scored the most impressive victory of his career by dismantling Denis Grachev in the first round of their tournament finale. Rodriguez repeatedly hurt Grachev throughout the first round, sending him down to the canvas twice, and firing off vicious power shots and combinations to the head and body. He found a home for big left hooks which did a great deal of the damage, as well as uppercuts, and finally, looping overhand rights which forced the referee to call off the action with seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
For Rodriguez, with a $600,000 paycheck in his pocket and a very impressive win over Grachev, who went the distance with Lucian Bute and troubled him in the process, he’s finally in a position where he can demand a top opponent in either the super middleweight or light heavyweight division. Rodriguez improves to 24-0 (16 KOs) with the win.
Also on the card, undefeated WBA junior welterweight titleholder Khabib Allakhverdiev defended his strap with a stoppage win over Souleymane M’baye.
Brook vs. Jones II
It’s been a nightmare of injuries, fight cancellations and postponements for Kell Brook over the past year. He finally got back into the ring in Yorkshire on Saturday night, meeting veteran Carson Jones, who gave him all he could handle in their first encounter. This time, Brook’s class shone through, as he put Jones down in the second and then took him out in the 8th round of their fight. Brook, 30-0 (20 KOs), can now finally seek to get Devon Alexander in the ring, or perhaps look towards a different titleholder in the division.
On the same card, Luke Campbell made a successful pro debut, scoring a 1st round TKO victory, and fellow British Olympian Anthony Ogogo notched another W to remain undefeated.
Lee Selby won a unanimous decision against the previously unbeaten Viorel Simion. Selby is now 16-1 and looks to be advancing towards world class competition.
Derry Mathews kept his winning streak alive with a stoppage victory over Tommy Coyle.
Friday Night Fights
Chris Avalos outworked and wore down Drian Francisco in the main event of the Friday Night Fights card at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Avalos has now won three straight fights to improve to 22 (16) – 2.
In earlier action, Glen Tapia remained unbeaten by pummeling Abraham Han. Han was cut from an accidental headbutt, and with blood going everywhere, was sent down in the 7th round. Tapia is now 19 (11) – 0.