by Ryan Burton
Palms Casino, Las Vegas - In the main event Ishe Smith (27-6) pleased his hometown crowd with an unanimous decision win over Cecil McCalla (20-1). Smith started strong and sailed to a dominant victory. The final tallies were 97-93 twice and 98-92.
The first round was close as both fighters concentrated on going to the body. McCalla was the aggressor and Smith was content to counter punch.
Smith had a big 2nd round landing several scoring punches as the crowd cheered. He wobbled McCalla badly late in the round and poured it on until the bell sounded.
The pace slower in the third as both men appeared to rest after the fast pace of the
second. Both fighters exchanged big punches the last minute of the fourth. Smith appeared to get the better of the punches and a frustrated McCalla pushed Smith in the back after the bell sounded to end the round.
Smith followed up with a big 5th round and finished the round with a punch just after the bell. McCalla landed a late punch of his own as both fighters glared at each other.
The pace slowed in the 6th and 7th as smith controlled the fight with his jab. McCalla was trying hard but couldn't crack the Mayweather promoted fighter's defense.
Smith's defense proved to be a tough hit to crack as he pot shotted McCalla the final three rounds. He poured it on the final 10 seconds of the fight as he tried to close the show with a stoppage. He didn't get the knockout but put himself back in position for a fight against a contender.
In the ESPN televised opener Ashley Theophane (37-6-1) defeated Mahonri Montes (29-4-1) via disputed split decision in their super lightweight bout. The scores were 96-93 twice and 93-96. Many ringside observers felt Montes deserved the win.
Montes started out strong digging to the body of Theophane every time he would get inside. Early on the Mayweather Promotions fighter had trouble staying off the ropes as Montes appeared to be the physically stronger fighter. Theophane landed more shots in the third but received worse than he gave.
Theophane began to turn the fight around in the 5th with his footwork and jab which set up his power shots. Montes didn't go to the body as much as he did early on and Theophane was much more effective keeping the Los Mochis, Mexico native on the outside.
The fighters exchanged punches throughout the eighth round with Theophane landing a higher quantity of punches but Montes landed the heavier shots, drawing blood from his rival's nose. The ninth round was similarly fought but Theophane landed more hard shots in a fight that appeared to be close on the scorecards.
Theophane was landing several hard shots in the 10th round as he tried to close the deal but a big right hand by Montes in the closing seconds sent Theophane to canvas. The British fighter was able to rise to his feet as the final bell sounded to secure the victory.
Super middleweight contender Ronald Gavril (12-1) bounced back from his first career loss by pounding Oscar Riojas (8-1) into a bloody mess. Gavril beat Riojas from pillar to post and won by the scores of 80-71 on all three cards.
Kevin Newman (2-0-1), Juan Heraldez (7-0), and Lanell Bellows (12-1-1) all notched victories on the undercard.