Donnelly, Jalolov, Joyce, Day, Butaev and Mati Get Ws at MSG Theater



Donnelly, Jalolov, Joyce, Day, Butaev and Mati Get Ws at MSG Theater

Steven Donnelly of Northern Ireland got the night started at 6:05 PM ET, right after doors to the Hulu Theater opened at Madison Square garden in Manhattan.

He took on Ray Cervera (0-2 enterng; from CA), in a middleweight scrap. The Irishman scored knockdowns in the first and then the second, as well. Two in the second, in fact, and the ref let him keep going, despite the air of hopelessness. Donnelly in round three switched stances and head hunted, though his corner directed him to whack the body. I thought I heard someone in the Hernandez cprner tell the ref to stop the fight as the kid absorbed attacks but maybe I misheard. We went to round four

Donnelly upped himself to 4-0, via UD4, and he’s done it all in 2018, his first year as a pro.

Bakhodir Jalolov (now 3-0) out of Uzebekistan downed Tyrell Wright (9-3-2) of Jersey, after four complete. His left hand packs pop, and the Jersey guy did well to last. A left hand to the ear made Wright wince in the fourth and he went to his corner looking weary. They all decided to pull the plug. Promoter Lou Dibella likes Jalolov, and lauded Wright for having no quit in him.

David Oliver Joyce from Ireland rose to 9-0, against Jorge Rojas Zacazontetl, from Mexico.

The loser went down in the first, got up, and looked to have better luck in the second. Joyce has a snappy left hook, and likes to rip snappy combos, keep it tight. He keeps his left low, and he stalked the Mexican, befitting the name stitched on his trunks, “Punisher.” And then he got dropped on the seat of his pants at the end of the round. Trainer Peter Taylor told him to stay focused and not take the eye off the ball and he complied. Jorge has a decent counter right, times it well, and it landed in the fourth. There was more trading than you'd expect, on paper, to the final bell,  and Joyce got good work. The cards said: 58-53, 58-53, 58-54, for the Irishman.

Patrick Day (now 16-2-1) downed Elvin Ayala (29-12-1)  in a junior middleweight contest. Day is a Long Islander, trained by Joe Higgins. He looked sharp and quick in the first. In the second, Day moved his feet smartly to dodge incoming. Ayala looked to be first at times, and then rip counter hooks. He ate smacks to the body though as Day in round three was the sharper athlete, with better technique. To the 4th; Ayala would barrel his way in, and Day would evade. The LI boxer was looking very composed and dialed in, very much like a contender on the hunt, with an inkling that he will win in his step up scrap. 

We wondered, would Day stop Ayala, for the fifth time? He tried, mixing head and body work. His placement of rights to the body, from range, top tier stuff. He got caught sliding out hands down with a left hook in round 8. But he had things in hand and wouldn’t be put off course. By scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91 Day got it done.

Radzhab Butaev (from Russia) stopped out Azael Cosio after three rounds, going t0 10-0, and sending the loser from Panama to 21-8-2. Butaev is a lanky guy, whacks hard, on the come up.

Reshat Mati aka “The Albanian Bear”  had fans in the house who clapped hard when he won a UD4 from JC Sepulveda (0-2-1) from the Bronx. This was the last bout before the main card kicked off on HBO. Mati, signed to advisor Keith Connolly, like main eventers Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko, is 2-0.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.