Pablo Cano stole the show, if we are to look back at the night of boxing presented at the Hulu Theater in Manhattan, at Madison Square Garden, on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019.
Demetrius Andrade topped the card, against Artur Akavov, but because Akavov fought to survive, and Andrade is at heart a smart boxer and technical type who doesn't have much shark blood in him, their bout didn't achieve liftoff.
Now, that isn't to say their faceoff won't be recalled as wholly uninteresting—-the ending, in round 12, will stick in many minds of the 4,748 in the arena.
Andrade landed a hook, which maybe slightly buzzed the underdog, who was best known for losing in better than expected fashion to BJ Saunders a couple years ago. He backed up, and Boo Boo advanced. He landed another sweeping hook, wherein refereee Arthur Mercante stepped in, grabbed Akavov, and waved the fight off. Akavov threw a hearty WTF at Mercante who tried to explain what he saw to have him intercede.
Game over, with only a bit to go in round 12; the joint was collectively stunned, save for Akavov promoter Lou Dibella, who thundered at what he perceived to be an absurd choice by Mercante (seen in pic by Ed Mullholland).
Maybe focusing execssively on the ending is the wrong call; the bout was no classic, Akavov showed that video of him whacking around foes was out of context, because walloping C level hitters didn't pertain to how he'd work against Andrade. The Rhode Island native was too fast, too strong, too long, had too much in his quiver for the Russian to get any traction.
ED Mulholland pic for DAZN; Boo Boo going yahoo after getting the (weird) TKO win.
So, we turn to Cano. The Mexican journeyman gets to shed that label with his thorough drubbing of Linares.
This fight is a 50-50 tossup and don't be surprised if Cano stops Linares, said Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz two hours to me before this 140 pound showdown kicked off.
Take a bow, Mr. Diaz, because you were spot on. Most everything that Cano landed rattled Linares (as seen in above Ed Mulholland pic) and the Venezuelan's chin was turning to powder after three knockdowns. His chin checked, legs half wrecked, Linares now must ponder if his future holds more fighting, or if that modeling career is now higher on his To Do list.
Also, TJ Doheny left the building..
… with his super bantam crown around his waste and 5 stitches to let heal up. He had little trouble with Japanese challenger Ryohei Takahashi and can rest a bit, let his skin recoup, and train for a challenge from Danny Roman in April.
The tally for the turnstiles: 4,748 came to see the scraps, put together by Eddie Hearn and shown on DAZN platform. Here are quotes galore from the principals:
ANDRADE DEFEATS AKAVOV BY TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT
ANDRADE VS. AKAVOV QUOTES, RESULTS
Friday’s Fight Night from New York Now Available On Demand
NEW YORK, Jan 18. 2019: In front of 4,748 fight fans at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN, undefeated middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade successfully defended his pristine record and WBO World Middleweight belt against dangerous challenger Artur Akavov. Andrade scored his technical knockout victory with just 24 seconds left in the fight.
Friday night’s undercard proved be as thrilling as expected with three first-round knockouts among the five undercard bouts streamed live on DAZN. In the co-main event, Pablo Cesar Cano upset Jorge Linares by stunning first-round technical knockout. TJ Doheny retained his IBF World Super Bantamweight title, scoring an 11th round technical knockout against Ryohei Takahashi. Former world champion Chris Algieri survived a late surge by Daniel Gonzalez to win by unanimous decision. Amanda Serrano made history by knocking out Eva Voraberger in the first round to claim the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World championship, marking the seventh weight division she has claimed a title.
Below are quotes and official results from New York:
On tonight’s performance:
“I felt great, I displayed skills and how to use a hell of a jab for 12 rounds, baby. That’s it. I did what I had to do. I looked beautiful, I came out tall, black and handsome and I’m still. I look forward to getting in there with the best. Akavov moved, he used the ring real well. I wasn’t trying to force anything. The jab was working beautiful all night. At the end of the day, you put GGG in front of me and I am going to destroy him”
On tonight’s game plan:
“We wanted to display the jab and movement. Going to the body and slowing him down. He is a tough fighter, he came in here to win and do what he had to do but we just out-boxed him. That shit was beautiful.”
On the potential for big fights in 2019:
“I mean, all I can do is just keep destroying the top 15. After I keep destroying the top 15, they have nobody else but to say but GGG, Canelo, Danny Jacobs and all those great guys up there. That’s all we’re looking to do, make great fights, baby. That’s it. And may the best man win.”
On fighting Billy Joe Saunders:
“He’s unprofessional. I am not worried about Billy Joe Saunders.”
Pablo Cesar Cano
On his upset win:
“I am happy, I am very content. All of my career I have wanted a victory of this magnitude against a fighter of this caliber like Jorge Linares. And what better way to win it than in this fashion. Today in the best moment of my life and career, it was an honor to fight a three-time champion in Jorge Linares.”
On having an 11-month layoff last year:
“Well, I just thank God for the team around me and the people who give me advice to take a good rest. I appreciate it because it shows that it did me good.”
On a potential title fight with Maurice Hooker:
“Absolutely. We are Mexican. We are warriors and we are here to fight whoever.”
On the knockout loss:
“He surprised me with the big right hand. He had power in his punch.”
On fighting at 140 lbs.:
“It was so different. Five pounds is so different. But before at 135, I was feeling better but I moved to 140 because it was too hard to make. The weight is hard. His body is bigger. He has an amazing punch.”
On what’s next:
“I’ve got to think about it. I have to take some time and talk to my team to see if I should go back down to 135 lbs. or stay at 140 lbs. But most important is my health so I will take time and decide where to go next.”
On tonight’s performance:
“I was shaking off a bit of rust, coming off of a thumb injury. I was about a half of a second too slow on my counter punching but the main thing is I came here to defend my title for the first time and that’s exactly what I did. Every time I hit him, I felt I was hurting him. The main thing is we got the stoppage in the end and we are moving on now.”
On the cut from a clash of heads:
“It’s not a TJ Doheny fight without a cut. That’s only a scratch compared to the one I picked up in my world title fight. Every time I come out with scratches and bruises but that’s because I give it all in this ring. But I always want to give the fans a show and that’s exactly what I tried to do tonight.”
On unifying titles with WBA World champion Daniel Roman:
“That’s the fight I want next, that’s what we are all in it for. Danny Roman is a great fighter, he’s got the WBA. I’ve got the IBF. Let’s get it on. Eddie, you heard it. You got the order from the fighters (he and Danny in the ring together), let’s make it happen.”
On tonight’s performance:
“A lot of the things that I have been working on, I didn’t pull the trigger on. I am my biggest critic and this performance wasn’t my best. I got the win, I am moving on. I’ve got to take care of this eye which is a bummer. But honestly, I felt a little off today but it is what it is. You go back to the drawing board and look to come back better.”
On his conditioning:
“It wasn’t that I was tired. It was that everything that was happening led to a clash of heads and the eye was getting worse and worse. I want to make sure that I can come back and stay busy. This (eye) isn’t that bad so I should be able to come back soon. But I will get some much-needed rest and get a proper camp and get back.”
On what he needs to work on for his next fight:
“First and foremost, we need a longer camp. We have had two back-to-back fights in seven weeks. Coming off a camp with Daniel Jacobs, we need camps where we are focused on Chris Algieri. Camps where we are working on specifics.”
On a potential title fight against Maurice Hooker:
“The thing is I can turn it up when I need to. I’ve always been that guy who can prepare properly and pull off the unexpected. And that’s where we are looking to go from here.”
On tonight’s performance:
“I know, I can’t believe it was 35 seconds. I just wanted this so bad. Thanks to my trainer, he brings something out of me and it just rubs off on me. When I landed the body shot, I knew it hurt her. But after I landed that first punch and saw her back up, I knew I was going to go through her.”
On if she will seek a title in an eighth weight division:
“Seven is good, I want to keep this belt for a little while. I want to defend it against the ‘so-called’ real champion. But she saw what I did to her buddy here so she might not take the fight.”
On a potential fight with Katie Taylor:
“When that fight comes, I hope she is ready for it. Right now, I have other sights in mind.”
Demetrius Andrade vs. Artur Akavov
12-round Middleweight Title Bout @ 160 lbs.
Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) defeats Artur Akavov (16-3, 8 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 12.
Jorge Linares vs. Pablo Cesar Cano
12-round Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Pablo Cesar Cano (32-7-1, 22 KOs) defeats Jorge Linares (45-5, 28 KOs) by TKO at 2:48 of Round 1.
TJ Doheny vs. Ryohei Takahashi
12-round Super Bantamweight Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
TJ Doheny (21-0, 15 KOs) defeats Ryohei Takahashi (16-4-, 6 KOs) by TKO at 2:18 of Round 11.
Chris Algieri vs. Daniel Gonzalez
10-round Welterweight Bout @ 140 lbs.
Chris Algieri (23-3, 8 KOs) defeats Daniel Gonzalez (17-2, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision.
(98-92, 97-93, 96-94)
Amanda Serrano vs. Eva Voraberger
10-round Female Super Flyweight Title Bout @ 115 lbs.
Amanda Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KOs) defeats Eva Voraberger (24-6, 11 KOs) by KO at :35 of Round 1.
Boxing on DAZN returns next Saturday, Jan. 26 from the Toyota Center in Houston when WBO Junior Middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia defends his belt against Takeshi Inoue in the first Golden Boy Promotions event of 2019.
For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.