Verdejo Gets Victory; Krishan, Adames, Berlanga, Newton & Fryers Win in NYC



Verdejo Gets Victory; Krishan, Adames, Berlanga, Newton & Fryers Win in NYC

Shakur Stevenson played better safe than sorry, snagging a UD10 over Christopher Diaz, who didn't take many risks.

By scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92, Shakur added a W to his ledger, but didn't jazz the masses. Many thought he'd maybe steal the show, or come close..but it was a seasoned showing, not one that got the masses at MSG roaring on Saturday night. The IBF inter continental crown is now the Newark natives.'

He in fact drew many boos as he said he wanted a title crack and bragged abut his defense post-win.

Some (dis)credit has to go to Diaz, who was not in aggressive mode.

Shakur is 11-0 and Diaz drops to 24-2.


Kicking off the PPV part of the card, Felix Verdejo tangled with Bryan Vasquez, in a battle of ligthweights. It was not a classic; Verdejo snagged the win, via scores of 97-93, 97-93, 98-92….but the crowd largely sat on their hands.

Felix did get a nice hand when the winner was announced. And he gets a win. But would he and his peeps have liked to put a more emphatic stamp on the night? Rhetorical query…

Both men aren't power brokers and so the action didn't have much in the way of ebbs and flows.

After, Felix said that he is ready for whoever Top Rank has for him, “but I do want to fight the best. It was an honor for me to get a big victory in front of my fans at Madison Square Garden. I defeated a great fighter in Vasquez. I worked hard for this fight. The jab and body punches were key. I’m going to keep working harder and harder to get even better. I am looking for a world title opportunity soon.”

Vasquez came in the B side with Felix the A side, with the question mark asterisk. He'd lost to an underdog Antonio Lozada last March, was he now back on the right and meteoric track?

In the first, BV looked shorter, by a few inches. He moved smartly, and dipped and ripped, with a left hook to the body. Clever pugilist. Felix backed up, slid left, got caught with a couple counters, snapped a jab.

In the second, we saw Felix come out more aggressive and the slickster Vasquez press more late. In the third, the Felix jab was snapping. BV kept on stabbing to the body, then Felix returned the favor, strafing with the right to the torso. Vasquez can work outside or in, and generally looks like he's having fun in there.

To 4: we saw the same pace, pretty busy, but measured, by both. A cut under the left eye sprung on Felix. In the fifth, Vasquez bounced, and covered up when he saw Felix loading up on the right. In the sixth, we saw Vasquez slipping smartly. He has good in ring vision, though he sometimes relaxes, because he's loose and having fun. The action looked very similar in the seventh, and the crowd wasn't jazzed up. Usually you get a wise guy yelling somethin' to break monotony…nope. Nuthin. And I expected to hear boo birds do their verbal droppings, at any second.

Neither man has A power, so you got the sense that this tone and pace would stay as is. Then Felix ripped a body shot flurry…and Vasquez drew chuckles whe he put his right arm on the top rope, like he was leaning on a fence.

Round ten…The action heated up. Was Felix buzzed? They flurried, haphazardly, to end the tussle.


Up ‘n coming Carlos Adames showed hand speed and power, and at MSG on Saturday evening, he downed Frank Galarza, the 33 year old vet who was looking to regain momentum.

Adames is ranked as high as No. 7, by the WBA. He's No. 9 to the IBF and WBO, so yes, he's sniffing a title crack.

In the fourth, a left hook dropped Galarza. He got up, but Adames sensed his edge, and he pressed, to great effect. A flurry had the ref pull the plug, and Adames got the TKO win in support of #CrawfordKhan.

“The Brooklyn Rocky” Galarza (age 33) entered at 20-2-2 and Adames (age 24), from the DR, was 16-0.

In the first round of the super welterweight clash, we saw FG moving, sliding on the lefty for now Adames, who popped a quick jab. A right by FG landed clean. It was a feel 'em out round for both.

In the second, Adames was righty. FG moved, stayed smart, cautious almost. Then, back to lefty for Adames. Again, a slow round.

In round three, Adames started quicker. The sharp left looked to snake around the guard. FG worked to the body, in tight, and upped his pace.

In the fourth, down went Frank, off a left hook. He was on his butt and up, then, to beat the count. He fought on, but Adames flurried. About seven shots, 8, 9, 10, 11…then the ref hopped in. Game over. Some of the flurry missed but better safe than sorry, so that was end of the road on this night for FG. Benji Esteves called it at 1:07 of the fourth.

“This was a message to all of the 154-pounders,” said Adames after.  “I want to face all the best. I’m coming hungry, and I’m determined to fight for a world title by the end of the year. I don’t care who has a title. I want it.”

He talked about meshing with trainer Robert Garcia. “I believe Robert Garcia will get the most out of me. I felt great with him. He told me I was winning the fight, and he told me to pressure him because he was ready to go. We had a tremendous training camp.”


In the second bout of Saturday evening, two time Olympian Vikas Krishan, from India, took on Noah Kidd, trekking in from Missouri.

Krishan is a junior middleweight, and works as a cop in India. On this night, he maintained law and order and focus and cruised, basically, to a UD6 victory.

The scores were tallied and announced: 60-54, 60-54, 59-54 at Madison Square Garden, in support of the Crawford vs Khan main event, which would screen on PPV.

In the first, the lefty from India snapped a jab, pumped a right hook, used the legs a good deal, and seemed like he came to the ring loose. Kidd offered aggression, and tried to sneak in power rights, but Krishan stayed smart defensively.

In the second, we saw the lefty get even more comfortable. He used neat body work, and looked to be in command. In round three, Krishan got more aggressive, and he was again smart with the work to the body. Total command, again, as long as he stayed aware of the now and again Kidd launch.

Body work was the theme again, in round four, for the Indian boxer. He was again looking relaxed, light on his feet. To the fifth–we saw VK moving smartly, sliding to he left, mostly. He'd just need to stay smart with the D, and he'd coast to the win. In round six, he stayed smart. His activity rate stayed solid, he didn't neglect the O, and he didn't forget to move his head, either. And then he did…a left hook landed late, and Kidd tried to press the issue. Not enough time, though, the clock ran out.

Krishan can boast a 2012 win in the 2012 Olympics over Errol Spence, though that W was snatched form him hours later, after officials decided he'd fouled too much. He also beat pro Charles Conwell in his 2016 Games stint and advanced to the quarterfinals. Now, he's presumably like to make up some ground, and catch up to Conwell, if Spence, in the pro ranks.


Edgar Berlanga, who fought under the Real Deal Boxing banner, is now with Top Rank. He rose to 10-0, by taking out Samir Barbosa (now 3716-3), who came from Brazil.

Berlanga is now 10-0, with 10 Kos. Every damn one has come in round one.

Berlanga is now 10-0, with 10 Kos. Every damn one has come in round one.

Berlanga was 163.8, and Barbosa 160, on Friday; this tango was set for 8, or less. Less…

Flurrying hurt the loser, who wasn't defending himself. He was on his feet but too buzzed; the end came at 46 seconds elapsed. All ten of his KOs have come in round one. This is the ninth time the Brazilian has been stopped.

Berlanga is slated to fight for Top Rank May 25, for the record, in Florida.

Said the winner after: “I know this will open up a lot of opportunities for me. I want to make my people from Brooklyn and Puerto Rico proud.”

Berlanga goes to 10-0, with 10 KOs...all first round. Mikey Williams pic

Berlanga goes to 10-0, with 10 KOs…all first round. Mikey Williams pic


Lawrence Newton, managed by Terence Crawford, went to 12-0, with a UD6 win over Texan Jonathan Garza, to kick off the night at MSG. Newton is a 118 pounder; Garza drops to 7-3.

Newton had been attached to Real Deal Boxing, now defunct.


Larry Fryers, an Irishman…

..went to 10-1, as he bested Dakota Polley, from Missouri, who dipped to 5-3. Fryers, from Clones, was 140 on Friday, and he liked hearing the scores: 60-53, times 3, with a point deduction hurting Polley.

He looked to take it to Polley, a lefty, who offered a few stern right counters that had the crowd appreciating the ebb and flow, in round two. Polley moves pretty well, and had some luck darting and popping and then slipping away. To the fourth..we saw Fryers bull Polley to the ropes, and the mouse under his right eye wasn't affecting him excessively. In round five, a slice on the right eye, from a butt, touched Polley. The ref by now was warning each to keep em up, not clinch, etc. Fryers' work jazzed the crowd, off a flurry, but then Polley re-set and used his legs to get clear. Round six was the last round—Fryers kept up his strong work rate.

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.