By Cliff Rold
In a sloppy, rough battle of undefeated Lightweights, 22-year old Ugandan Shairf Bogere (21-0, 13 KO) of Las Vegas, Nevada kept his perfect mark with some big right hands en route to a third round knockout of 27-year old Dominican Francisco Contreras (16-1, 13 KO) of Irvington, New Jersey, on Friday night at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The last of the right hands caught Contreras in the back of the head and the defeated man would leave in medical duress.
Both men weighed in spot on the Lightweight limit of 135 lbs. The referee was Jay Nady.
Contreras came out from the corner at a light jog, hard feinting at Bogere before stepping to his left. Contreras landed a big counter right at a charging Bogere, the problem of height evident early. Contreras, at 5’10, had about four more inches of it. In the final minute, a long lead right caught Bogere, the shorter man trying to land a lead left hook and failing. A hard right to the body of Contreras snuck in before the bell.
Contreras slammed a hard left hook to the face of Bogere early in the second and, as was the case in round one, Bogere struggled in attempts to get inside and land clean. At the minute mark, a lunging Bogere was tagged with a hard right and then another left hook and as the seconds of the round ticked down it was Contreras continuing to pile on single points. Bogere’s moment would come a flash before the bell, a couple stinging lefts landing against a Contreras trying to hold while leaning on the ropes. Replays showed an elbow landing in the exchange as well.
Round three started as a Bogere round. It ended that way as well. Using every tool he had, including ample use of head first punching, Bogere did what he could to get close and make matters sloppy with Contreras. The tactics were clearly intended to create opening for haymakers.
The closing sequence was an awkward one. Bogere landed a glancing right and fell forward into a clinch. Bogere slipped out from beneath the elbow of Contreras. Contreras bounced off the ropes, neck snapping against the top strand, and pivoted with his back turning. Bogere threw a looping right that appeared to catch Contreras high on the back of the head. Contreras lurched forward, appearing to strike his forehead on the canvas and Nady dealt the count of ten, the fight waved over at 2:01 of round three.
Contreras would be down longer than ten seconds. He could be seen moving his hands and arms, but his neck was stabilized and Contreras would leave the ring on a stretcher, an ugly end to a ring evening. Bogere entered the bout rated ninth at Lightweight by both the IBF and WBO but title hopes take a back seat, for now, to hopes for a healthy Contreras. No updates were available as the bout went off the air.
The televised opener featured 21-year old Jr. Middleweight Jermell Charlo (16-0, 7 KO), 153 ½, of Houston, Texas, posting a lopsided eight round decision over 25-year old Francisco Santana (12-3-1, 6 KO), 154, of Santa Barbara, California. Santana, pressuring throughout, had some moments and made Charlo work, but never really threatened the slick Charlo. Charlo just missed the shutout on two cards at 79-73 twice, along with a 78-74 score in his favor.
The bout was televised in the U.S. on premium cable outlet Showtime as part of its ShoBox series, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org