Golden Boy Promotions took what would be a normal fight week in Vegas and made into what Eric Gomez referred to as “our Super Bowl.”
They did that by adding another championship fight card to start the Canelo vs GGG 2 fight weekend.
The event took place at the Hard Rock Casino and it was broadcast live on the regular ESPN platform, on Thursday night.
The main event saw Pablo Cesar Cano (30-7-1) go up against Ruslan Madiev (12-0). Although this main event was highly anticipated, the co-main event was the fight that the boxing world, specifically the women’s super middleweight division, was paying close attention to.
Main Event: Pablo Cesar Cano vs Ruslan Madiev
Pablo Cesar Cano (30-7-1) fought the Abel Sanchez trained Ruslan Madiev (12-0) in the main event on ESPN. There was a clear difference in the level of experience between both men as Cano was more of the polished fighter. Cano was working Madiev’s head and body however, Madiev was landing some big shots. The right hook opened up Cano’s left eye but it did not disrupt his rhythm. In the fifth, there was an accidental head butt which led to a nasty gash on his head. At the end of the fifth, while both men were in their corners, the referee called the fight and it went to the scorecards. The result was a technical decision victory for Pablo Cesar Cano.
Co-Main Event: Maricela “LA Diva” Cornejo vs Franchon “The HH Diva” Crews
Maricela Cornejo (12-2) fought Franchon Crews (3-1) for the vacant WBC super- middleweight title. The first round was a feel-out round. The action picked up in the third round when Crews started to land the more effective punches especially the huge right at the end of that round. Cornejo seemed flat most of the fight and did not have much snap on her punches. In the 8th, Crews had Cornejo on shaky legs and continued to dominate her through the end of the tenth round. The fight went to the scorecards and “The HH Diva” won by unanimous decision and is now the new WBC Champ.
Horacio Garcia vs. Isaac Zarate
Horacio Garcia (34-4-1) and Isaac Zarate (15-3-3) had a very entertaining fight. Garcia early, looked as if he was the stronger fighter and was landing hard right hooks through the first two rounds. Zarate adjusted, countered more and started to move to Garcia’s left neutralizing his left hook while landing a hook of his own. The adjustment worked but at times, Zarate stood in the pocket too long and made the fight closer than it needed to be. The fight went to the scorecards and Zarate came away with the split decision victory.
Bilal Akkawy (17-0), who is now trained by Eddy Reynoso, showed the reason why he was invited to Canelo’s camp for sparring this summer. The Aussie Akkawy is a very strong fighter with potential and he used those attributes to earn a unanimous decision victory against Cristian Olivas (16-2). Reynoso believes he can make him a world champion within a year so it will be interesting to see how he is matched in the future.
Golden Boy Promotions wanted to ensure that they capitalize on this already enormous weekend by giving fans as many quality fights as possible. The fans were the real winners tonight as they were treated to a great night of boxing to start off the weekend of arguably the biggest fight in the last five years.