Middleweight madness led off an uneven undercard at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino's Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas Saturday as part of the Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter WBO World Welterweight Champion. NYFights.com was ringside to provide your Crawford Porter Undercard Report.
IBF Middleweight Title Eliminator Marred by Headbutt, Falcoa gets TD over Volny
In the co-main event, Patrice Volny of Montreal delivered a pre-fight staredown worthy of Medusa herself before the opening bell of his bout with Esquiva Falcao of Brazil. After the pair went through nearly seven ground and pound rounds, Volny then delivered a rock-hard headbutt to Falcao, opening a forehead gash and forcing the fight's end. With six complete rounds, it was scored for Falcao (29-0, 20 KOs) over Volny (16-1, 10 KOs) by technical decision, who suffered his first loss. Scores were 58-57 and 58-56 for Falcao and 58-56 for Volny.
Qazaq Style TQO or TKO by Alimhanuly over N'Dam
Janibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan (11-0, 7 KOs) would love to be the next great middleweight champion from his nation. He took another step in the right direction with a sixth-round knockout win over Hassan N'Dam of Cameroon (38-5, 21 KOs). Alimkhanuly dropped N'Dam at the end of round three with an uppercut followed by several hard hooks. N'Dam is tough and stayed in the fight, hanging in under the watchful eye of referee Kenny Bayliss who allowed N'Damtotaketwo hard left hooks snapping his head back in round five, drawing gasps from the fans. Things carried on much the same when Bayliss finally decided it was enough at 2:40 of round eight.
“I must give credit to N'Dam, a tough former champion who took a lot of punishment,” said Alimhanuly. “I am ready for a world title shot next. ‘Qazaq Style' is about to take over the middleweight division. Any champion, it doesn't matter.”
The 37-year-old French native has now lost four of his last six bouts, three by stoppage. He needs to think about retiring to his home in Monte Carlo with our thanks for the entertainment over 44 fights in 17 years.
Raymond Muratalla breaks out of the bubble
Pandemic bubble star Raymond Muratalla of Fontana, California (13-0, 11 KOs) finally got to fight in an arena in front of fans to kick off the pay-per-view card against veteran Elias Araujo of Argentina (21-4, 8 KOs). Just as Muratella was bearing down on Araujo in the fifth round with hard left hooks to the body and shots to both sides of the head, the referee waved off the bout. He was wobbling Araujo, but the Argentine hadn't been dropped or cut. The crowd roared its dismay as they were robbed of seeing Muratalla close the show. Araujo was enraged, shouting and insisting he was fine. In his corner, Araujo was in tears, and it was Muratalla who went over to comfort him. I'm not prone to second-guessing referees, but the outcome didn't make anyone happy. The time of the stoppage was 2:20 of round five.
Isaac Dogboe sneaks past Christopher Diaz in majority decision
Fans expecting an all-out banger between Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz of Puerto Rico (26-4, 16 KOs) and Issac Dogboe of Ghana (23-2,15 KOs) at featherweight came away disappointed by a cautious ten rounds ending in a majority decision for Dogboe. Scores read 95-95 96-94, 97-93.
Two-division champion Emanuel Navarrete put a whipping on both men at super bantamweight and twice on Dogboe. The after-effects left both banger wary, and it's hard to blame them. Dogboe is now trained by Barry Hunter, who urged him to be patient. Dogboe was a bit more aggressive and landed enough harder shots to walk away victorious. Diaz was sure he won and showed his dismay at the scores.
Carlos – or Karlos – Balderas back on track
Junior lightweight Carlos Balderas of Santa Maria, California (11-1, 10 KOs) reacted with emotion to his fourth-round TKO of Julio Cortez of Ecuador (15-4, 11 KOs). Balderas threw nonstop power shots. Cortez wasn't dropped, but referee Raul Caiz Jr. wisely stopped the bout when it became too much. It was his second straight TKO win since suffering his first loss and his second win since signing with Top Rank. Balderas uses the nickname “Karlos,” so either way, don't fault boxing journalists for a spelling error.
Sharp pro start for Olympian Tiger Johnson
Making his professional debut at welterweight, Tokyo 2020 Olympic team member Delante “Tiger” Johnson of Cleveland scored a fourth-round TKO win (1-0, KO) over Antonius Grable of Sarasota. Florida (3-2-1, 3 KOs). It was a dandy right hook to the head that did the trick, and when Johnson swooped in, the fight was waved off at 1:54 of the round.
Johnson suffered a slight cut but said it wasn't an issue. “I did my thing against a solid opponent in my professional debut. It was an honor to debut on a big pay-per-view card in Las Vegas, and I can't wait for my second professional fight,” said Johnson.
Lopez and Ochoa 2 rematch will have to wait.
After an aggressive start, Adan Ochoa of Compton, California (12-2. 5 KOs) suffered a wicked cut over the right eye from an accidental headbutt in round one with featherweight Adam “Blue Nose” Lopez of Glendale, California (15-3, 6 KOs). Ochoa continued as Lopez targeted the cut with jabs. Ochoa made it one more round before the referee stopped the bout on the advice of the ringside physician for a no-contest. “Man, I just getting started,” said Lopez. “I landed some good shots and was busting him up. He was looking for a way out.” Disappointing for the fighters and fans, but the wise move with too much at stake for these young fighters. The pair will have to wait to settle the score with a rematch of their 2017 fight.