By Cliff Rold
31-year old Colombian Joel Julio (37-4, 31 KO), of Miami, Florida, returning to Welterweight for the first time since 2006, was almost flawless on Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, winning almost every round against a listless 31-year old Anges Adjaho (25-5, 14 KO) of Buffalo, New York. It was Adjaho’s fifth loss in a row and his lack of effort for much of the contest suggested a fighter growing too comfortable with defeat.
Both men weighed in under the Welterweight limit of 147 lbs., Julio at 146 and Adjaho at 145 ½.
Julio, pressuring, controlled the bulk of the first three rounds behind a snappy left jab and consistent body attack. Too often on the ropes, Adjaho adjusted in the fourth round, slipping shots and working hard to keep the action nearer the center of the ring as the frame progressed.
Adjaho started the fifth slipping a big left hook, the Benin native jabbing effectively as Julio’s pursuit increasingly bruised more air than flesh. Julio wisely went to the ribs, doubling up with the left and following the right. Adjaho used his elbows to protect but, leaning on the ropes, absorbed more than he’d have wanted.
Fatiguing in the sixth, Adjaho slipped less and mitigated more, Julio snaking the right through his guard more than once but lacking full force. Potentially being shut out, a victim of a failure to move his hands, Adjaho’s brief awakening appeared done as the fight settled into a numbing lull.
The lull remained, Julio working and Adjaho standing around letting him for the most part, until showing some flashes of spirit in the final round. It wasn’t enough to save off a defeat or save viewers the tedium they’d been subjected to most of the night. Julio’s nine rounds to one scores across the board, 99-91 on all three cards, was as academic as a score could be. Adjaho protested the decision. Viewers should protest with their remotes the next time he’s scheduled
The televised opener provided the evening’s thrill, a surprising interruption, and a solid test for developing 22-year old 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali (13-0, 7 KO), 146, of Brooklyn, New York. The young Welterweight got a real scrap from 27-year old John Revish (10-4-2, 8 KO), 146, of Golden Meadow, Louisiana.
After a brisk opening round, Ali looked like he might make short work, hurting Revish and scoring a knockdown. Revish gamely continued and stayed competitive. An unintended breather between the fourth and fifth rounds came about when the lights went out in the arena, both men able to catch their breath and gear up for a final three rounds fought with high energy. Ali, who had been caught more than once on the night, ate a counter left hook in the eighth that almost sat him down. He kept his feet, and Revish failed to follow up. Ali survived and showed some mettle, both positives as he works his way out of the eight rounders. Ali scored the unanimous nod at 79-72 across the board.
The card was televised on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Main Events.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]