By David P. Greisman
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City - If ever there were such a thing as a mercy stoppage for the sake of the fans, it was the ending to the junior middleweight bout between Demetrius Hopkins vs. Charles Whittaker, which concluded after six largely dreary rounds instead of prolonging said dreariness for the duration of the scheduled 12.
Whittaker complained of not being able to see, according to ring announcer Joe Antonacci.
Most of the booing fans in attendance wished they hadn’t been able to see much of the bout. The greatest highlight of the bout was the third round, in which Hopkins floored Whittaker with a right hand and began to open up more with offense.
Hopkins, 32, of Philadelphia, is now 33-2-1 (13 KOs). Whittaker, 39, originally from the Cayman Islands but now fighting out of Miami, is now 39-14-2 (23 KOs).
Edner Cherry scored a thrilling knockout over Vicente Escobedo in a pairing of former notable fighters who were now meeting as junior lightweights in an untelevised undercard bout.
The end came at the end of the sixth round, following the second of two knockdowns in that stanza and the third flooring of the entire fight.
Cherry had put Escobedo down just before the end of the opening round, landing a left hand to the body and then connecting with a solid right hand as Escobedo began to throw a right hand of his own.
In the sixth, Cherry again landed a left to the body and a solid right hand upstairs. Escobedo wobbled before falling back to the canvas, barely beating the referee’s count. There wasn’t much time left in the round, but Cherry closed in and put Escobedo down again. The referee waved the fight off immediately as Escobedo was on all fours.
Cherry, 30, originally from the Bahamas but now billed as fighting out of Miami, improves to 31-6-2 (17 KOs). Escobedo, 31, of Woodland, Calif., suffered his second straight stoppage loss (he was finished in five rounds by Adrien Broner last July) and falls to 26-4 (15 KOs).
What do you get when you take a former Olympian who previously fought the best amateurs in the world in 2004, 2008 and 2012, and then put him in with an opponent who’d never even won a single pro bout?
A second-round technical knockout victory for Rau’shee Warren.
Warren’s advantages in hand speed, experience, skill and overall ability were obvious from the outset in this clear mismatch. Warren beat Hernandez around the ring throughout the entire first round, and then put him down twice with left hands in the second round. After the second knockdown, Hernandez’s corner man walked up the ring steps with a white towel in his hand, bringing an end to the bout. The time of the stoppage was 2:04.
Warren, 26, of Cincinnati, scored his first knockout as a pro and is now 3-0 (1 KO). Hernandez, of Lockhart, Texas, is now 0-6.
Lightweight prospect Robert Easter Jr. scored a technical knockout over Jose Valderrama, winning when the bout was stopped following the first round due to a bad cut over Valderrama’s left eye caused by what the referee said was a punch.
Easter, of Toledo, Ohio, improves to 3-0 (3 KOs). Valderrama, of , Manati, Puerto Rico, is now either 3-4 with 3 KOs (according to the bout sheet handed out to press) or 2-4 with 2 KOs (according to BoxRec.com).
Former Olympian Jamel Herring scored his first knockout of his pro career, pummeling Carlos Lopez en route to a third-round stoppage.
Herring increased his dominance over Lopez incrementally, beginning with the left hands he landed on occasion in the first, peppering Lopez more in the second, and then turning it on full force in the third. A left hand to the body visibly hurt Lopez, and Herring followed up by unleashing an unceasing barrage. Lopez lasted through the bell, but the bout was wisely stopped before the fourth and final round.
Herring, 27, originally from Rockville Centre, N.Y., but announced as now fighting out of Cincinnati, is now 2-0 (1 KO). Lopez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is now 4-3 (zero knockouts).