By Ryan Burton
Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall inLas Vegas, Nevada - In the main event Alexis "Beaver" Santiago (21-3-1) of Mayweather Promotions defeated Erik Ruiz (15-5) via unanimous decision in their bantamweight fight. Both fighters landed big shots in the opening stanza with Santiago landing the cleaner shots. The 25-year-old had the crowd behind him as he jumped out to an early lead. Neither guy had much power but Santiago was very effective going to both the body and head.
The Phoenix native won most of the middle rounds and for the most part stymied Ruiz's offense with his jab and footwork. He attempted to close the show in the 8th as he landed several hard shots to Ruiz's head. Ruiz was game and took the shots well, motioning for more but the difference in skill level began to show as Santiago was able to turn it up to another gear that Ruiz didn't have. The final tallies were 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92
Mayweather Promotion's Lionel Thompson (16-4) lost a razor thin split decision to Paul "Pay-Per-View" Parker (8-1) in the evening's co-feature bout. The final scores were 76-75 Parker twice and 76-75 for Thompson with a flash knockdown proving the difference in the fight.
The fight was fought on fairly even terms early on until Parker surprised Thompson with a flash knockdown in the third round Thompson wasn't hurt and was able to finish the round strong. Thompson recovered well and controlled the fourth round. Parker then picked up the pace in the fight and landed some big shots in the sixth, visiting the canvas once himself although it was correctly ruled a slip. Thompson closed the fight strong with a big seventh and eighth but it proved to be too little too late. He used his jab to control the distance and to set up his power shots but should have adopted this strategy early on. To be fair the fight was very close from ringside with several swing rounds that could have went either way.
Parker had last fought in June when he was stopped in three rounds by promising prospect Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. The fight was noteworthy because Parker put Shabrankskyy on the canvas twice in the opening round.
TMT fighter Lanell "KO" Bellows (15-1-1) opened up the televised portion of the card with a bang by taking Antowyan Aikens' (10-1-1) "0" in an action packed fight. The super middleweight who now resides in Las Vegas started out fast, pressuring his much taller opponent. Aikens brought an undefeated record to the ring but with only 1 knockout in 10 victories, he didn't have the power to keep his opponent off of him. Bellows landed a big shot at the end of the third round and glared Aikens before going to his corner. Bellows had his opponent timed and put him down with a right hand in the fifth. Aikens rose to a knee but referee Tony Weeks reached a count of ten before Aikens got back on his feet.
Ladarius "Memphis" Miller (9-1) was shocked by Rolando Chinea (12-1-1) who picked up an unanimous decision victory in their super lightweight battle. Miller, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, had his lateral movement and speed advantage negated by the power and inside game of Chinea. The final tallies read 58-56, and 59-55 twice.
Promising welterweight Maurice Lee (6-0) looked impressive in shutting out Ronald Rivas (3-3-1) 60-54 on all three judges scorecards. Lee was simply too fast and too strong for Rivas. Lee used his jab to keep Rivas on the outside for the most part and the few times that Rivas was able to get inside, his offense was quickly smothered. Lee is also promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
Unbeaten super lightweight Trakwon Pettis (3-0) looked impressive in his dominating victory over Saul Montes (4-2). Pettis took control from the opening bell and cruised to an unanimous decision win. The scores were 40-35 on all three judge's scorecards.
Something had to give in the battle of 4-1-1 welterweights as Charvis Holifield got the best of Azriel Pael, stopping him in the third round of the evening's opening bout. Holifield (5-1-1) started fast and finished strong to kick off the night of fights. There are 10 fights in all on the card.