By Thomas Gerbasi
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York - 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali got a tough fight out of Jeremy Bryan in their WBO intercontinental welterweight title bout, but when the 10 rounds were in the books, it was Brooklyn’s Ali picking up the split decision victory to keep his unbeaten record intact.
Scores were 96-93 twice and 93-96 for Bryan.
Ali controlled the action from close range with fast hands and good movement in the first two rounds, with a fight breaking out in the third, as Bryan began to tag the Brooklynite when he lapsed defensively. In the fourth, a flush left hook wobbled Ali, with the bell intervening before Bryan could follow-up.
Getting his legs back under him, Ali got back down to business in the fifth, and this time it was his left hook that did the damage, staggering Bryan with a little over a minute to go and putting him on the defensive until the Paterson, New Jersey product roared back before the bell.
The pace dipped in rounds six and seven, both fighters getting back to boxing while avoiding heated exchanges for the most part. That kind of bout suited Ali well, as he stayed out of trouble while keeping Bryan guessing.
In an eighth round packed with sloppy punching, a few flush jabs by Bryan could have meant something on the scorecards, but in the ninth, Ali dropped Bryan and was clearly taking control of the bout. Even a break to replace Bryan's lost mouthpiece and a subsequent trip to the mat as the two clinched couldn't halt Ali’'s momentum heading into the final round, and though he wasn't able to finish his foe, Ali did secure the victory.
With the win, Ali improves to 20-0 with 12 KOs; Bryan falls to 17-4 with 7 KOs.
The traditional Puerto Rico vs. Mexico boxing war was revisited in a heated junior welterweight six rounder between Zachary Ochoa and Luis Cervantes, with Ochoa taking a unanimous decision in a bout that was a lot closer than the judges would have you believe.
Scores were 59-55 and 60-54 twice in a bout that was nip and tuck throughout.
For a kid with a .500 record, Cervantes – Palm Springs by way of Guadalajara - showed up to fight, giving Brooklyn's Ochoa all he could handle in the opening round. In turn, Ochoa handled the pressure well and showed off some of the skills that have made him a highly-touted prospect in the NYC area.
Ochoa (8-0, 4 KOs) was content with letting Cervantes lead in the second, but as the round progressed, Ochoa’s counters grew more frequent while Cervantes’ output dropped, save for a hard right hand in the second half of the frame.
Cervantes (7-8-3, 2 KOs, 2 NC) got back on track in the third, with his swarming body attack keeping Ochoa on the defensive for three minutes, and the back and forth action continued into the fourth and fifth, the crowd getting into it each step of the way.
In the sixth, Cervantes appeared to stun Ochoa briefly when he had him in the corner, and in the final seconds the out of towner again surged, but unfortunately it would not matter on the scorecards.
In his second fight of 2014, Washington, D.C.’s Anthony Peterson had an easy night in Brooklyn, halting Mexico City’s Edgar Riovalle in a single round.
Peterson (34-1, 22 KOs) took his time in the opening frame, staying busy with peppering shots to the head and body. It looked like Riovalle (37-19-2, 26 KOs) was going to be in there for the long haul, but late in the round, Peterson ripped off a four-punch combination that ended with a left hook, and Riovalle fell to the mat. He attempted to rise, but was counted out by referee Tony Chiarantano. The time was 2:41.
2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne said before his fight with Oakland, California's Paul Vasquez that he wanted a step-up fight. After blowing through his overmatched foe in just 28 seconds, that step-up isn't just a nice option – it's necessary, as it's clear that the unbeaten Staten Island light heavyweight is ready for the next level.
Tearing after Vasquez (10-6-1, 3 KOs) at the bell, Browne (12-0, 9 KOs) was never challenged, and he had his opponent in immediate trouble, with referee Eddie Claudio stopping the slaughter with Browne landing unanswered blow after blow as Vasquez was pinned in the corner.
Orocovis, Puerto Rico’'s Prichard Colon (11-0, 10 KOs) was forced to go the distance for the first time as a pro, outpointing Washington, D.C.’s Lenwood Dozier (9-7-1, 4 KOs) over six rounds in a junior middleweight bout.
That’s not to say “Digget” was in any trouble, as he clearly earned the 60-54 nod on all three scorecards, pounding away on the game, but overmatched “Mr. Composure” from start to finish.
Temple Hills, Maryland’s D’Mitrius Ballard made short work of Missouri’s Barry Trotter in the light heavyweight opener at Barclays Center. An accumulation of clean and unanswered shots brought in referee Tony Chiarantano in to halt the fight at 2:35 of the first round.
Ballard improves to 6-0 with 5 KOs; Trotter falls to 2-2 with 1 KO.