The drama started at the Bubble in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas long before the first bell sounded in the latest Top Rank offering on ESPN.
The main event should have been an interesting matchup between former two-weight World champion Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre in a Welterweight ten rounder. However, the fight had to be shelved as Lespierre’s manager, Jose Tavares, had reportedly tested positive for symptoms of Coronavirus. The whole team were forced to vacate the venue due to current distancing protocols.
The bill carried on regardless, and the main event became the clash between young undefeated prospect Gabriel Flores Junior, and Josec Ruiz over ten rounds at Lightweight.
This was to be Flores’ first scheduled ten rounder, and he started off a stiff jab, picking his punches impressively with a good variety, while Ruiz was mostly chasing the action as he tried to find his range. The second saw more of the same, as Flores got off some good solid shots while being elusive to hit for the Honduran.
A hard left hook from Flores connected right on Ruiz’s chin that wobbled the visitor’s legs, and a follow up attack left Ruiz on the deck. It was the first time he had been down in his career. He survived the count, but was clearly still stunned, and did well to see out the session.
Ruiz was simply struggling to get close to Flores, and the Las Vegas based Californian was dictating matters with fast hands and feet. The pattern of the fight continued pretty much until the end, with Flores relaxed and remaining hard to hit, and Ruiz stalking and struggling to find much success.
Flores maintained his energy until the final bell, where the result was academic and unanimous.The three verdicts of 100-89 reflected Flores’ dominance, as he won every round on all cards.
The eye catching performance moved Flores to 18-0, and he was happy enough with his performance, especially after coming into the fight with an injury.
“I did great. I had to stay focused, hit and not get hit” said Flores post fight, and he admitted that he was hampered by a lower back injury suffered in sparring in preparation for this contest. “I only really showed 50% of what I’m capable of”.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters at Super-Middleweight, Clay Collard took a six round split decision win over Israel’s David Kaminsky, but in truth, this result flattered Kaminsky, who was largely second best.
Collard started like a train, connecting with power shots, and cutting Kaminsky’s left eye in the opener. Collard did tire late, but still should have done enough to take a clear decision.
One judge saw 58-56 For Kaminsky, but was over ruled by the remaining two judges, who thankfully tallied 58-56 for Collard. The tough fight took its toll on Kaminsky, who was rushed to hospital for observation post fight.
At Super-Featherweight, Frevian Gonzalez moved to 3-0 with a win over four rounds against the previously unbeaten Jose Martinez. Scores of 40-36, and 39-37 twice were enough for the Puerto Rican to get his hand raised.
Rounding off the preliminaries was Victor Rodriguez, who took all four rounds against Justin Horsley at Super Lightweight. All three judges saw the contest 40-36, as Rodriguez moved to 3-0 while his opponent dropped to 0-2.
The show opener saw a contest at Bantamweight, as Robert Rodriguez remained unbeaten, and inflicted the first defeat on Adrian Servin with a second round stoppage victory.
A short right hook did the damage at the end of a blurring combination, and the knockdown visibly shook Servin, who never fully recovered. Servin decided to meet fire with fire, by several hard, single left hooks tottered Servin enough for the referee to wave the contest over.