In early action from Las Vegas, the Spence Crawford undercard got underway in the early afternoon with four fights off the broadcast, and two in a preview offered by Showtime Boxing's YouTube channel.
While few fans are in the T-Mobile Arena seats when it's still triple-digit temperatures outside, NY Fights considers it a sign of respect to be present and watch the prospects. You never know when you might see a future star.
Steve Nelson Gives Team Crawford Strong Start
Steve “Too Cold” Nelson of Omaha (19-0, 15 KOs) scored an early win for Team Crawford. The stablemate and sparring partner Crawford delivered an assured power punching performance over Rowdy Legend Montgomery of Victorville, California (10-5-1, 7 KOs). Nelson wins the WBA Continental Americas Super Middleweight title by decision. Scores were 99-91 X 2 and 100-90, just short of a complete shutout.
Nelson is likely disappointed he didn’t stop Montgomery, who took the fight on nine days’ notice. It seemed Nelson would send Montgomery to the showers early, landing power punches nearly at will due to Montgomery’s sluggish movement and lack of defense which gave Nelson plenty of openings to work with.
Nelson had Montgomery breathing hard by the middle of round two. Trainer Brian McIntyre shouted to Nelson to keep up the pressure. He pinned Montgomery to the ropes, going to the body.
But as the fight continued, Montgomery dug down, dug in, and began to engage successfully with Nelson, landing hard hooks of his own. He wasn’t ready to give in just yet.
Referee Mark Nelson kept a close eye on the pair. Nelson kept working to the body, catching Nelson under a lazy right hand with a good uppercut. Montgomery managed to avoid getting caught with worse temporarily, his footwork keeping him in the fight. He proved more durable than expected. Nelson dealt out plenty of punishment, but Montgomery made it on his feet to the final bell. Nelson will benefit from putting in the work.
Nelson is a stablemate and sparring partner of Terence Crawford. The pair have known each other since childhood. Nelson is a U.S. Army veteran who fought on the Army boxing team and served in Afghanistan, a Renaissance man who actually helped co-pilot the private jet flight out to Las Vegas for Team Crawford, and designs his own ring attire.
Jose Salas Reyes of Tijuana moves to 13-0 with 10 KOs after a TKO win over veteran Aston Palicte of the Philippines (28-6-1, 23 KOs). Reyes was in constant motion, running rings around Palicte who tried to clown the movement off. Reyes hit the target with smart combination punching.
In the fourth round, Reyes landed a series of shots including a hard left hook to the head, dropping Palicte to a knee. He beat the count, and Reyes poured it on. Referee Robert Hoyle didn't like what he saw and called it at 1:30 of the fourth round.
Reyes is a promising-looking super bantamweight. It’s Palicte’s second straight TKO loss, the last to Jason Moloney in June 2022. At age 32 Palicte needs to give serious consideration to his future.
Before the Broadcast Action
It's a quick TKO win for lightweight prospect Jabin Chollet of San Diego (8-0, 7 KOs), who pins Michael Portales of Hayward, California (3-2-1, 1 KO) into a corner and unloads until referee Robert Hoyle stops it at 1:58 of R2. Nice win for The Boogeyman to end the early group of off-camera fights.
Demler Zamora of Las Vegas (12-0, 9 KOs) had little trouble with Nikolai Buzolin of Brooklyn (9-5-1, 5 KOs) getting the shutout decision by scores of 80-72 in an eight-round lightweight bout.
Kevin Ventura of Omaha (11-1, 8 KOs) loses in an upset to DeShawn Prather of Kansas City, Missouri (16-1, 2 KOs). Ventura is a stablemate of Crawford’s and is also trained by Brian McIntyre. Scorecards all read 57-56 for Prather, who prevailed despite a knockdown on a straight left hand from Ventura in the fourth round.
Promising super featherweight prospect Justin Viloria of Whittier (3-0, 3 KOs) opened the card early in the afternoon with a fourth-round TKO of Pedro Borgaro of Sonora, Mexico (4-2, 2 KOs), his first loss. Viloria is the nephew of former world champion Brian Viloria.