By David P. Greisman
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City - Edison Miranda Decisions Rayco Saunders (very-much-over-the-limit light heavyweights) - Miranda, fighting for the first time in more than a year following a stoppage loss to Lucian Bute, returned to the ring at 182 pounds ,taking an eight-round unanimous decision over divisional measuring stick Rayco Saunders.
This fight was fated to go the distance. Along with his extended layoff, Miranda at 182 pounds doesn’t carry the pop that made him exciting at middleweight and, to a lesser extent, super middleweight. And Saunders had only been stopped once in his 13 previous losses.
Scorecards were 80-73 and 79-72 (twice). Miranda got in rounds, and now the question is which light heavyweight will pick him to be a sacrificial name for his ledger.
Miranda, originally from Colombia, improves to 34-5 (29). Saunders, of Pittsburgh, falls to 20-14-2 (8).
Zsolt Erdei TKO6 Byron Mitchell (light heavyweights) - Erdei wasn’t the main event, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that by the roars of the Hungarian fans in the ballroom, a fan base that might actually have made up a majority of those in attendance tonight.
Erdei gave them what they wanted, dispatching a long-past-his-prime Mitchell with two knockdowns in the sixth round. The time of the stoppage was 1:58.
Erdei was once the lineal light heavyweight champion that nobody in the United States knew about. Then he jumped to cruiserweight, retired, and came back once more as a light heavyweight. In his second fight back, he looked to have shaken off much of the rust that he’d shown six months ago on the undercard to Sergio Martinez’s knockout of Paul Williams.
The caveat, of course, is that Byron Mitchell, who long ago was a 168-pound beltholder, was essentially a punching bag standing in front of an Erdei with overwhelming hand speed and a willingness to put together combination after combination.
Erdei’s promoter, Lou DiBella, is hoping to insert his fighter back into the picture at light heavyweight. In the meantime, DiBella can use him to sell tickets to his faithful.
Erdei is now 33-0 (18). Mitchell is now 28-8-1 (22).
J’Leon Love UD4 Lamar Harris (middleweights) - The scorecards, 40-35 from all three judges, reflected Love’s ability to step away from Harris’ wide, clubbing punches, then jump in with straight, hard shots.
Love scored a knockdown on the St. Louis resident in the third round. Love, of Detroit, was easily able to handle Harris’ attempts to turn the fight around in the fourth, and Love turned the action around, pushing Harris back on the defensive until the final bell.
Love improves to 7-0 (5). Harris falls to 6-8-3 (4).
Ivan Redkach TKO6 Alberto Amaro (lightweight/junior welterweight) - This fight went six rounds but could’ve easily been stopped in the fifth. Amaro, who fights out of Catano, Puerto Rico, is the kind of guy who applies a wealth of determination to compensate for his deficiencies. He continually came forward against Redkach, a Ukrainian who now calls Los Angeles home.
The southpaw Redkach used right hooks and left crosses to strafe a target consistently in front of him. On those rare occasions when Amaro could get inside, he wasn’t able to do much effectively, allowing Redkach to rest.
The bout seemed to be in sparring session mode until the fifth, when Redkach landed a straight left to Amaro’s body that sent Amaro staggering back. Redkach closed in, mixing hard hooks to the body with heavy shots upstairs. Three lefts and a right put Amaro down toward the end of the round, and the bout reasonably could’ve been stopped then, if not earlier.
Steve Smoger let it go, checking in on Amaro in his corner before the sixth and final round. The bout would last for 106 more seconds.
Redkach is now 7-0 (6). Amaro is now 6-6 (2).
Badou Jack TKO5 Hajro Sujak (light heavyweights) - Jack is a prospect fighting out of Las Vegas who had advantages in speed, skill and technique over Sujak. That meant Sujak, of Bronx, N.Y., was often left weathering storms of quick flurries and strong shots and then lacing his responses in-between.
Eventually Jack’s advantages left Sujak at too much of a disadvantage. Jack pummeled Sujak in the red corner in the fifth round, then beat him against the ropes, then kept doing that for another several seconds after Sujak’s corner threw a towel in the ring.
Once the referee finally noticed the flag of surrender resting on the canvas behind him, he called a halt to the bout. The time of the stoppage was 1:30.
Jack improves to 6-0 (5). Sujak falls to 6-2 (2).