On Saturday, June 21st, Showtime Boxing brings fans a tripleheader from the Stubhub Center in Carson, California. Headlining the event is Robert Guerrero’s return after a layoff of more than one year, facing Yoshihiro Kamegai, and opening the bill is Devon Alexander vs. Jesus Soto-Karass. The most interesting fight of the three though is sandwiched in between, Gary Russell Jr. vs. Vasyl Lomachenko. Right here, check out the results from tonight’s Showtime Boxing tripleheader.
Robert Guerrero vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai Results
In a pulsating two-way war that was a much closer fight than many forecasted, Robert Guerrero had to call on all his powers to overcome the courageous effort of Yoshihiro Kamegai, winning a unanimous 12-round decision. Guerrero is now 32-2-1 (21 KOs), with Kamegai falling to 24-2-1 (21 KOs). Scores were 116-112 and 117-111 (twice), all for Guerrero. Kamegai boosted his stock, while Guerrero was able to make a successful return to the ring after over a year out, albeit in an incredibly taxing war.
A slightly more muscular Guerrero dug in some nice shots to the body and head with hooks and uppercuts on the advancing Kamegai. Guerrero landed the straight left to the head, then turned his attention to the body. A class difference was evident, as Kamegai opened the fight looking ponderous and slow. A very dominant first round for Guerrero. The 2nd round featured more of the same, with Guerrero raking Kamegai with uppercuts, one-twos, and body shots. Kamegai, in his only good work, managed to land some hurtful-looking body shots with Guerrero against the ropes. For the last 45 seconds, they exchanged freely in great action, with Guerrero’s heavier shots punctuating the exchanges.
Nice exchanges in the third, with Guerrero obliging Kamegai on the inside and letting the Japanese brawler land some shots. But Guerrero’s shots packed more punch and when he let his hands go freely, Kamegai didn’t like it. Still, after a tough first round, Kamegai had some success in the 2nd and 3rd, especially with his uppercut and body shots. Good inside action in the 4th. It was turning into a rugged trench war with both men marked up. Kamegai landed some nice shots with his right hand and the two went at it with gusto for the final 90 seconds in a great round of action. It was turning into a classic back-and-forth brawl. Kamegai, for the first time, started battling on even terms with the heavy favorite.
More inside toe-to-toe in the 5th. Spirited and captivating stuff. Guerrero made it harder on himself by not using his legs and allowing the less-sophisticated Kamegai to run off combinations. Some long-range sharp-shooting by Guerrero battered Kamegai, who lashed back with fury. The end of the 5th was incredible. Some Guerrero bodywork seemed to hurt Kamegai, but then Kamegai turned the tables. A lot of punches landed and Guerrero emerged from it with a swollen and cut eye. Another great action round. Guerrero came out for the 7th with his left eye almost shut.
Fierce exchanges with an urgent Guerrero in the 7th. It had turned into a brutal two-way battle. Kamegai started really delivering some hurtful shots, but Guerrero fired back. Guerrero’s face started to bust up considerably. If anything, it looked like Kamegai had started to nose ahead. More phone booth warfare in the 8th, as Kamegai continued to walk through all of Guerrero’s offerings, unleashing combos to the head and body. The brutal pace seemed to have Guerrero sapped, until Guerrero snapped his head back with a lethal left hook! Guerrero, unable to see right hands with this left eye shut, kept getting tagged as this fight reached epic proportions.
While it was never easy at any point, Guerrero used his distance better in the 9th, creating space for his punches and creating some separation. But Kamegai kept heaving himself into battle, threatening to tip things in his favor. The 9th, however, was a far better round for Guerrero at a time when he really needed it. The 10th saw Guerrero using movement more. The bout continued to be a war, but he was creating a little room and re-established his supremacy to some degree.
More rock ’em-sock ’em robots in the 11th in relatively even action, punctuated by the warrior mentality of both men. Both swung for the fences. Guerrero seemed to hurt Kamegai, but as he had done the whole fight, Kamegai bounced right back into action, slinging punches in bunches at Guerrero. The final minute of this ferocious war featured more of the same, both men swinging at each other with venom, but with neither giving any quarter.
A definite frontrunner for 2014’s Fight of the Year.
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Vasyl Lomachenko Results
Vasyl Lomachenko, 2-1 (1 KO) defeated a game and capable Gary Russell by majority decision in a fascinating featherweight encounter. Russell falls to 24-1 (14 KOs). Scores were 116-112 (twice) and 114-114 and should have been unanimous. It was a solid performance by Lomachenko, who had to repel a spirited effort from the talented Russell to win a difficult fight.
The two 26-year old southpaws opened the fight with Russell firing rapid jabs, flashing great speed. Lomachenko nailed Russell with a nice right hook and started zeroing in in the latter half of the first round. Suddenly, Russell seemed a bit thrown and had to regroup. Lomachenko figured out how to time Russell’s speed in quick order. Russell answered well to begin the second, landing a few nice right hooks and defending Lomachenko’s advances better. Timing-wise, Russell did a lot better and seemed to control the round after a rough beginning. But Lomachenko was putting on the pressure and making it less-than-comfortable for the speedy Maryland native.
The fight continued to develop into a fast-paced and well-contested fight in the third round. Lomachenko better timed Russell, landing some hurtful shots. Russell began to show swelling over the right eye. Russell’s speed was impressive, but wasn’t holding off Lomachnko, who started to throw with Russell and get the better of the exchanges. At this point in the fight, it was clear Russell would need something big to hold off the skillful Ukrainian. Russell’s speed was indeed eye-catching, but Lomachenko’s shots were landing with a resounding thud. Even Lomachenko’s jab seemed to rattle Russell, who was still using his speed to win parts of rounds.
Lomachenko showed great craft as he timed Russell and got untracked with swift, but powerfully-delivered combinations to the head and body. The second of two big overhand lefts found their mark and seemed to have Russell in a bit of distress to end the 5th in a dominant exhibition of boxing from the 2-time gold medalist. Russell used his speed to keep Lomachenko on his back foot for most of the 6th in a good rebound round, but Russell wasn’t landing flush shots or anything remotely hurtful, but he did well in being aggressive.
Russell was doing great in pressing Lomachenko with his speed, getting off first and keeping Lomachenko off-balance. At the end of the 7th, Lomachenko unleashed a brutal body attack, putting everything into his shots. Russell was in definite peril, though he covered it up oretty well. Deftly stepping around and changing angles and distance, Lomachenko tattooed Russell’s midsection without mercy and it showed in the 8th, with Russell lacking some of the pep he had shown in the last two rounds. Still, a close 8th, with a game Russell scratching and clawing to stay in the fight while facing a dramatic firepower deficit.
Give Russell credit, as he worked like a dog to hang in there, using intelligence and speed. Just by getting off first and filling Lomachenko’s area with blustery shots, he kept Lomachenko from really getting off with this shots. Still, Lomachenko managed to land a slew of hard shots to make for a close round. Round 10 saw Russell backing up Lomachenko again in stretches. While it was unclear how the judges were looking at it, Russell was giving off the impression that he was working much harder. Lomachenko came on with body shots in the final half of the tenth, which bothered Russell. A huge right hand by Lomachenko with ten seconds left likely earned him the round–the most dramatic punch of the fight.
Russell had a bad 11th, looking the worse for wear, as he was strafed to the head and body by a surging Lomachenko. Russell’s left eye was closing and his body language suggested a man in trouble. The body shots had apparently taken their toll. An outgunned Russell was fairly spent by the 12th, but his effort-level was commendable. He did well in the first half of the round, but you could tell the Ukrainian’s shots were causing Russell great discomfort. It became a race to the bell for Russell, who made it the final bell, but only just barely.
Excellent effort for Russell, but a really good performance by Lomachenko, who despite losing to Salido, is clearly one of the bet at 126 after just 3 pro fights.
Devon Alexander vs. Jesus Soto-Karass Results
Devon Alexander, in his first fight since losing to Shawn Porter, scored a unanimous win over the always-tough Jesus Soto Karass. Alexander, now 26-2 (14 KOs) was exciting as he and Soto Karass, 28-10-3 (18 KOs) engaged in a crowd-pleasing and well-contested match. Scores were 97-93 and 99-91 (twice).
The welterweights bout started off with the southpaw Alexander jabbing actively and moving with Soto Karass in pursuit–no surprise there. Alexander opened up with combos that found the all-too-eager face of the underdog. With Alexander teeing off, Soto Karass caught him with a nice looping right. Fast opening round, with Soto Karass warming up, despite Alexander showing fluid combination punching for most of the round. Alexander continued boxing smoothly and countering Soto Karass in the 2nd, catching his man as he winds up his big blows. The speed differential was quite severe, both with the hands and feet.
Unable to close distance, Soto Karass pursued Alexander, unable to land more than some body shots. Meanwhile, Alexander was pelting him with shots, timing his counters well. Soto Karass got some nice work done in the third to the body, but was getting hit with a lot of snappy shots. For the speed-deficit he faced, Soto Karass was able to land on Alexander with surprising ease at times. He was just spending too much time defending against Alexander that he couldn’t get much momentum cooking. The 4th featured some hot exchanges. Alexander landed huge shots on Soto Karass, who walked through them. A straight left got a wobble out of Soto Karass at the midway point. The left cross found Soto Karass’ face throughout the 4th round.
Soto Karass unleashed a bunch of shots to begin the 5th, some of which found their mark to the head and body. Alexander was staying more inside, but began to return fire, landing some more flush lefts. After a close 5th, Alexander got more on his toes to start the 6th. Soto Karass, to his credit, was landing well the the body and his wild swings were actually landing, with him using such crazy angles. Soto Karass was using any time Alexander stayed still as an opportunity to lash out with shots. Some big Alexander lefts at the end of the round, with Soto Karass firing back gallantly in a spirited round.
And on it went. The superior speed of Alexander winning the day, with Soto Karass earnestly giving chase. Alexander was just stationary enough to give Soto Karass chances. A better 8th for Alexander, as he utilized movement better, following a few closer rounds where a case could be made for Soto Karass. Alexander had an active 9th round, peppering Soto Karass with clusters of shots, as it seemed the Soto Karass tide had finally begun to ebb. Both let it hang out in the 10th, with furious exchanges. The superior sharpness and speed of Alexander let him keep his nose ahead. And for a fighter criticized for not being entertaining, Alexander really gave all he had tonight in a much-needed rebound win.
Be sure to check back over the coming days for more post-fight updates, aftermath and analysis, and thanks for stopping by to check out our live coverage of the Alexander vs. Soto-Karass, Russell vs. Lomachenko and Guerrero vs. Kamegai results.