By Jake Donovan
Tevin Farmer extended his win streak to 14 in a row following a lopsided unanimous decision win over former super featherweight champ Gamaliel Diaz in their 10-round battle Wednesday evening at BB King Blues Club & Grill in New York City.
Scores were 97-90 (twice) and 95-92 in favor of Farmer, who scored knockdowns in rounds one, six and ten.
Farmer has come a long way since a knockout loss to Jose Pedraza in Oct. '12, when both were in the early stages of their respective careers. Pedraza has since captured a super featherweight title, while Farmer hasn't lost - but has been lost in the shuffle.
Aggressive legwork from promoter Lou DiBella coupled by the fighter's own social media campaign has raised awareness, but not producing televised appearances. Efforts to return the Philly-bred southpaw to Showtime's Shobox series - which carried his aforementioned loss to Pedraza - proved futile, leading to Wednesday's clash with Diaz.
Farmer made things much harder on himself than necessary by opting to stand and trade at times when he could have easily boxed his way to victory. Still, he found Diaz' leaky defense far too inviting, gaining additional confidence from an opening round knockdown produced by a counter left hand.
Diaz (39-14-3, 18KOs) shook off the blow and did his best to make it a fight. The visiting former 130 lb. titlist from Mexico traveled to Japan to win his crown from Takahiro Ao in a major upset at the time of their Oct. '12 clash - 15 days after Farmer's last loss. Hitting the road has never been a concern at any point in his 18-year career.
What was concerning was the surprising power of Farmer, which is masked by his deceptively modest knockout to win ratio. Diaz was able to get off his shots throughout the night, enjoying a surge in round five and rocking Farmer at the start of a wild round six. A right hand shot flew across Farmer's chin as his hands were held dangerously low, causing him to briefly lose his footing while along the ropes.
Any threat of an upset evaporated seconds later, with Farmer snatching momentum by digging down deep and fighting hard. A toss-up round dramatically swung in Farmer's favor in a big way thanks to a last-second knockdown, courtesy of a leaping left jab just at the bell to end round six.
The sequence should have been enough to put the fight well out of reach, but Diaz refused to go away quietly. Farmer slowed down in the latter rounds, all but taking off round nine before enjoying a strong surge to close the show. Diaz twice lost his mouthpiece in round ten, also suffering a third knockdown courtesy of a left hand.
As it turned out, the knockdowns provided the margin of victory on one card for Farmer, who appeared to have won the fight with room to spare. Nevertheless it's now 14 in a row for the 25-year old southpaw, who improves to 21-4-1 (5KOs).
It remains to be seen what the future has in store for the resurgent yet still tough-to-match featherweight. His promoter decided to utilize the airtime to think out loud on one possibility.
"I'll put him in with (unbeaten lightweight contender) Felix Verdejo in a heartbeat," DiBella claimed during the webcast. "I'll even pay his purse. He can fight for free as far as (Verdejo's side) is concerned. I'll even have Bob (Arum, Verdejo's Hall of Fame promoter) draw up the contract that way."
SCORING ERROR GRANTS LEE AFTER-THE-FACT SPLIT NOD
Chris Galeano and Devaun Lee practically dared each other to take Wednesday's fight, going back and forth on social media even before the bout was signed.
Official scores were 96-94 and 97-93 in favor of Lee, with the dissenting judge scoring the bout 96-94 in favor of Galeano. The original cards read 96-94 Galeano, 98-92 Lee and 95-95 even.
Ironically, it was discussion behind closed doors that ultimately produced a winner in their main event. The bout was originally ruled a split decision draw, only for the New York State Athletic Commission to discover a scoring error that ultimately produced a split decision victory for Lee.
Galeano - an unbeaten southpaw from the Bronx - opted to hang around at middleweight for this one more fight before dropping back down to super welterweight. With just one career knockout now through 11 career fights, shedding six more pounds is perhaps a wise idea for the future.
For now, he had to deal with the far more aggressive Lee, a stubborn slugger from Jamaica, Queens. It was a tale of two fights in every sense of the word - Galeano's smooth boxing versus Lee's power game, and with both fighters enjoying success at different points of the fight.
Galeano jumped out to a quick start, piling up style points through combination punching and avoiding Lee's heavier artillery. It was a sound strategy for about three rounds before the Queens product began to close the gap in rounds four and especially five, officially making it a fight.
The two never stopped trading leather over the second half of the fight, a style that benefited Lee but which didn't truly swing in his favor until the final three rounds. The late momentum shift was ironic, since Lee had previously never been past round six in his young career.
It was in the middle rounds where the judges were stumped, coming down to volume versus pressure punching. The bout proved entertaining for the standing-room only crowd on hand, making it that much more disappointing that a winner wasn't produced until 30 minutes after the original draw verdict was announced.
Lee picks up the biggest win of his career, as he improves to 7-2 (3KOs). Adding to the disappointment of not receiving the good news first-hand was the fact that the Queens native was being taken to a local hospital for observation and precautionary measures as word was made official on-site.
Galeano is now 10-1 (1KO), insisting he is done at middleweight until forced to grow back into the division. His next fight will take place at super welterweight, though likely still on the Broadway Boxing circuit.
Cindy Serrano powered her way to a six-round unanimous decision over a game opponent in Hungary's Renata Domsodi. Scores were 60-54 across the board for Brooklyn's Serrano (24-5-3, 10KOs), whose younger sister Amanda is a reigning featherweight champ - and a potential future opponent.
While the shutout scores were accurate, Domsodi showed tremendous heart throughout the six-round affair. The always-jovial boxer - who took the fight on six days notice - suffered a gruesome cut around her left eye in round two, but demanding that the doc "wipe it clean" and allow her to continue.
Her wish was granted, only for Serrano to pile on points with her two-fisted attack to the body and upstairs. Domsodi (13-9, 6KOs) took the one-sided beating in stride, dancing after every round and constantly playing to the local crowd in front of whom she performed in a competitive but clear loss to Shelly Vincent this past January.
Serrano and her sister Amanda - the latter widely regarded as among the very best pound-for-pound female fighters in the world - are presently one weight class apart, but have openly discussed the possibility of having to one day face each other.
Shemuel Pagan learned the hard way to not judge an opponent by his record, barely getting past Ryan Picou over six rounds at super lightweight.
Scores were 57-56 (twice) and 58-55 in favor of Pagan, who was rocked in round two and dropped in round four before rallying to pull out the win.
Pagan was in control when utilizing lateral movement and boxing from the outside. Where he ran into trouble was the moments where he provided a stationary target for Picou (2-8-1, 0KOs), who doesn't win often but has been a handful for every opponent he's faced to date. A clean right hand caught Pagan midway through round two, only for the unbeaten prospect to regain his composure and retake the lead by round's end.
It appeared to be smooth sailing until a right hand forced Pagan to drop to his hands and knees midway through round four. He beat the count and made it out of the round, only to catch a verbal beating from his father and trainer in between rounds. Pagan heeded the advice given to him, taking rounds five and six to move to 8-0 (4KOs).
Artur Akavov picked up his 11th consecutive win following a 6th round stoppage of Louisiana's Todd Manuel.
The middleweight matchup produced an awkward affair through four rounds, with Akavov stalking but not showing much in the way of cutting off the ring. The Russian southpaw was finally able to pin down Manuel in round five, scoring a a pair of knockdowns, both courtesy of left hand body shots.
Manuel - who has now dropped seven of his last eight starts - was able to beat the count on each occasion, but took a beating for the remainder of the round and complained of his head hurting prior to the start of round six. The ringside physician took a long, hard look at the now .500 fighter before allowing action to continue, but instructing referee Harvey Dock to keep a watchful eye.
Another left hand to the body put Manuel (11-11-1, 1KO) on the deck for a third time, forcing an immediate stoppage at 0:37 of round six. Akovov moves to 16-1 (7KOs), scoring his second straight win in the United States. The 28-year old prospect made his stateside debut last November, scoring a 2nd round stoppage over Freddy Lopez in Brooklyn.
Travis Peterkin scored an eight-round shutout over journeyman Larry Pyror in the opening bout of the evening. Scores were 80-72 across the board in a truly one-way fight, as Pryor fought merely to survive.
Peterkin entered the bout following a near nine-month break, last seen fighting to an eight-round draw with fellow unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Lenin Castillo last August. Despite the bout serving as the lone non-win of his career, it was perhaps his best performance to date considering the opposition.
The Brooklyn-based light heavyweight was able to dictate the pace the entire way through versus Pryor (9-13, 5KOs), a 34-year old opponent-for-hire from the greater D.C. area who has now lost four straight. Peterkin (16-0-1, 7KOs) did what he could to carry the action, but was left to simply go rounds against an opponent not at all interested in letting his hands go.
The six-fight card aired live in its entirety on Go Fight Live.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com, Twitter: @JakeNDaBox