Errol Spence def. Lamont Peterson via 7th round stoppage-20/01
In an utterly dominant performance Errol Spence Jr (23-0-0), stopped the former unified super lightweight champion Lamont Peterson, (35-4-1), in 7 brutal rounds. Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, rightly pulled his man out of there prior to the start of round 8. Spence had thoroughly dismantled his opponent, even dropping Peterson in the 5th with a left hook, by the time Peterson was withdrawn.
Conversely, Robert Easter Jr (21-0-0), retained his IBF lightweight title against overweight challenger Javier Fortuna, (33-2-1) with a laboured performance. The bout ended with a controversial split decision (115-112 and 114-113, Easter and 114-113, Fortuna). Fortuna constantly pushed the action but was deducted a point for holding and hitting his opponent in the 2nd round. Personally I had Fortuna nicking it by a round. Fortuna seemed to unsettle Easter, who never got his jab going or used his height advantage to full effect.
Oleksandr Usyk def. Mairis Briedis via majority decision- 27/01
The World Boxing Super Series (cruiserweight) semi-final between Oleksandr Usyk, (14-0-0), and Mairis Briedis, (23-1-0), saw Usyk edge a majority decision victory. The fight between these two elite-level fighters was absolutely enthralling. Every round was fiercely competitive, with Usyk given the toughest fight of his short pro career. Briedis gave as good as he got and forced Usyk to use every tool in his extensive skill set to edge the decision. Two judges scored it 115-113 Usyk whilst the third had the bout a draw, the bout was scored very well – which is excellent to see in today’s climate of poor scoring.
Lucas Matthysse def. Tewa Kiram via 8th round TKO- 27/01
Lucas Matthysse, (39-4-0), won the WBA (Regular) welterweight world championship by knocking out Thai fighter Tewa Kiram, (38-1-0), in the 8th of the scheduled 12 rounds. The heavy handed Argentine Matthysse finally managed the land the killer blows on Kiram after stalking him for the previous rounds, trying to cut down the ring.
Jorge Linares def. Mercito Gesta via unanimous decision- 27/01
Venezuelan WBA (Super) lightweight world champion, Jorge Linares (44-3-0), defended his title against Mercito Gesta in a relatively comfortable decision victory. Gesta made the contest lively but to the speed and skill of Linares, Gesta had no answer. I’d really like to see Linares face Mikey Garcia next. Both fighters feature on my own pound-for-pound list, I’d wager it would be one hell of a scrap.