By Thomas Gerbasi
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York - Dmitriy Salita got a tough scrap out of Missouri’s Brandon Hoskins before closing strong down the stretch to take a six round unanimous decision in junior middleweight action.
Scores were 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
The fight was sloppy at the start, which served to work well for the aggressive Hoskins, who refused to let Salita get on track consistently in the first two rounds. Both settled down a bit in the third, each cracking the other with the occasional hard shot that drew a reaction from the crowd, but neither man was able to pull ahead in the first half of the fight.
Salita’s experience showed in the second half though, and while he wasn’t spectacular, he was doing decent work, even having his best round of the fight in the fifth, as he tagged Hoskins repeatedly late in the frame and bloodied his face.
With the win, Salita improves to 35-1-1 with 18 KOs; Hoskins falls to 16-3-1 with 8 KOs.
Daniel Jacobs screamed those words to the crowd as he stood atop the ropes in a neutral corner even before his first bout since March of 2011 was waved off by referee Eddie Cotton, but “The Golden Child” knew the second he landed a thudding left-right on Missouri’s Josh Luteran in the opening round that the fight was over.
And it was, capping off the first step in a remarkable comeback story that saw Jacobs return to the ring after a bout with cancer. The victory, which came 73 seconds into the fight, was the former world middleweight title challenger’s first since defeating Robert Kliewer 19 months ago.
With the win, the Brooklyn native improves to 23-1 with 20 KOs; Luteran, dubbed the “Existential Outlaw,” falls to 13-2 with 9 KOs.
Hot junior middleweight prospect Eddie Gomez made quick work of Phoenix’ Saul Benitez, moving to 11-0 (8 KOs) thanks to a blistering left hand in the second round that ended matters at the 1:23 mark. The overmatched Benitez falls to 2-3 with the defeat.
Former welterweight champion Luis Collazo looked sharp in his eight round unanimous decision win over Steve Upsher Chambers, handing the Philadelphia product his first loss since 2004 via scores of 80-72, 79-73, and 77-75.
In a solid first round, junior middles Collazo (32-5, 16 KOs) and Chambers (24-2-1, 6 KOs) fought in spurts, but when they did open up, there was some compelling action mostly led by the Brooklyn native, who drew the first significant local fan support of the night.
Apparently unbothered by Chambers’ power, Collazo went on the attack in round two, doing nice work to the body and head as his opponent simply held his gloves up and hoped for the best. The Philadelphian did eventually fire back, but his shots did little to deter Collazo, who was revealing some of his best offensive work in years.
Taking his foot off the gas in rounds three through five, Collazo still dominated with defense, movement, and sharp counters, but by the sixth, it was clear that while Chambers was still game, his serious attempts at winning the fight were dwindling by the minute. Collazo tried to potshot his way to the stoppage win, but after cracking his foe with flush shots and seeing him remain standing, the fight turned into a coast to the finish line capped off by a brief spurt of activity from the fan favorite that produced “Louie, Louie” chants from the crowd before the final bell sounded.
In the first fight to be held in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, local junior middleweight favorite Boyd Melson suffered an upset of sorts, as fellow Brooklynite Jason Thompson held him to a six round draw.
Scores were 56-56 in a bout in which the two traded knockdowns.
Thompson did good work in the first round, shaking off a hard straight left that rocked him to deliver a shot that dropped Melson for an eight count late in the opening frame. The pace dipped a bit in the second, but not enough for Thompson to get in a couple stiff right hands that likely carried the round for him.
In the third, Melson got on the board with a knockdown of his own, but even though Thompson rose on rubbery legs, “The Rainmaker” was unable to take him out. Melson settled into a groove in rounds four and five, but Thompson went for it in the final round, catching his favored foe several times in an effort to even his pro record. It didn’t happen, but in moving to 5-6-2 (4 KOs), it was a moral victory at least. Melson’s slate moves to 9-1-1 with 3 KOs.