Nobody knew what to expect as we went to the scorecards in the main event on Fox Saturday night, from Barclays Center. After Jermell Charlo lost to Tony Harrison, in the main support bit, big bro Jermall went in against Matt Korobov.
Looked like a tight fight…Korobov showed a skills set that many pundits didn't see coming. His left hand was perky and his mobility was solid and so was his overall ring generalship. But one judge scored it 119-108, and the others 116-112, for Jermall.
“And stillllll,” we heard and many who had been thrown off by the previous fights' decision sat still and pondered. Korobov had looked more than sharp at times, and that 119-108 card seemed way off, no?
The CompuBox numbers, for the record, for what it's worth, upheld Mall as the winner…
“I used everything that happened tonight as motivation in the 12th round,” said Jermall after. “I haven't been that far in a fight in a couple of years. It felt good to be in there, get hit and bang with someone. He was an experienced guy who will make me better.
“I had fun in there with an opponent like that. I got the win and that's the main thing. I still feel I'm the best in the world. I just need to prove it to the rest of the world.
He also spoke on the shocker loss experienced by his bro: “I felt like Jermell made his fight harder than it was. I had a really tough opponent, but he wasn't better than me. There was a lot on my mind in the ring.”
The 28 year old Mall came in holding a WBC interim 160 title. Korobov, at 35, would he look old..rusty?
In the first, we saw the 27-1 Matt reach with the left. Mall (28-0) snapped a jab, and got out to a quicker start than his bro did.
In the second, the lefty Korobov (from Russia, lives in Fla.) came in squared up after finishing. Would Jermall take advantage?
In the third, we saw Mall (from Texas) unafraid to snap a jab, and not be afraid to eat a counter left. Which he did, late.
In the fourth, the left by Korobov was working, and the crowd noticed.
In the fifth, we heard from traine Ronnie Shields, who admitted Mall was affected some by his brother getting the short end of the stick against Tony Harrison right before the main event.
In the sixth, we saw more tactical boxing, and better foot movement than many thought Korobov possessed.
In the seventh, Korobov stayed smart, patient, cautious but still aggressive enough to maybe take the round. “That was good busy round that round,” said Shields after.
In the eighth, we saw Mall counter smartly at times. Another tight round, folks…To 9; Shields wanted more right hands, and his jab was no more on point. Was Korobov slowing down…was his right eye swelling up bothering him more so?
To the 10th; the left uppercut by Korobov scored smartly. A left hook, right follow was a swell combo for Mall. In round 11, Charlo’s combos had to impress. He was looking fresher, fiercer. Then a left landed clean by Matt, almost home run clean. To the 12th—Matt got buzzed. And again…He was holding on. Then he got the legs back. Hs right eye looked worse for wear but he made it to the final bell, after one more Mall sick flurry…