By Ryan Burton
Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall,Las Vegas,Nev. - In a battle of undefeated cruiserweight prospects, Andrew Tabiti (13-0, 11KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Keith Tapia (17-1, 11KOs) in a foul-filled fight. Tabiti captures the vacant NABF championship. The scores were 99-90, 97-92, 97-92.
The fight had a ton of accidental head clashes, which resulted in Tapia suffering a cut under his right eye and a bad cut over his left eye in the last round. Tabiti scored a flash knockdown in the eight round with a right uppercut when Tapia momentarily touched the mat.
Tabiti came out of the gate passively while Tapia was very aggressive in the opening round. After the feel out round, Tabiti came out more aggressive in the second but had limited success. Tapia landed a couple big shots late and was warned for throwing an elbow just before the bell sounded.
Tabiti had a great third round as he let his hands go more often and landed several power shots and caught Tapia leaning in. A big clash of heads brought a pause to the action in the fifth round but fortunately neither fighter was cut. Tapia began to grow frustrated by Tabiti's footwork and had trouble making his own adjustments as he began to fall behind. The clashes of heads would continue to a common theme throughout the fight.
Tabiti landed his biggest punch of the night to that point, an uppercut towards the end of the seventh round that shook Tapia. Tabiti scored a knockdown in the 8th but Tapia was able to recover almost immediately after he rose to his feet. Tapia mounted a late charge in the 9th but it was too little too late. Tabiti fought a tactical 10th and final round, perhaps sensing he was ahead comfortably to make sure he avoided getting caught by any of Tapia's wild shots
ON THE UNDERCARD
In the co-featured bout, Michael Hunter (12-0) handed Isiah Thomas (15-1) his first professional loss. Hunter started out fast and hurt Thomas several times in the first round. Thomas, to his credit, was able to adjust after the round was over and absorbed less punishment as the fight went on. However, as he became more defensive, he also decreased his punch output which cost him several rounds to the much more active Hunter. The final scores were 100-90 twice and 99-1. The victory is Hunter's biggest as a professional.
Super middleweight Ronald Gavril (16-1) dominated Juan Novoa (26-7-1), stopping him in the 6th round. Gavril controlled the action from the opening bell and dropped Novoa early in the 6th. He rose to his feet on shaky legs and seconds later referee Russell Mora waived the bout off. The official time of the stoppage was the 2:08.
In the opening televised bout, Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (4-0-1) of Uzbekistan battled Alfonso Olvera (7-2-1) to a split draw. The rising Mayweather Promotions welterweight prospect took the fight to Olvera from the opening bell. He absorbed some big shots and threw too many wide punches which led to the draw. The final scores were 58-56 Rakhmanov, 58-56 for Olvera and 57-57.
Super lightweight Ladarius "Memphis" Miller (10-1) bounced back from his first pro loss with a big victory over Carlos Castillo (4-2). The TKO was the 2nd stoppage victory in Millers career. Time of the stoppage was 2:57 of the 6th round.
Up and coming welterweight Maurice Lee (7-0) defeated Samuel Santana (7-11-3) of Puerto Rico via unanimous decision. The final scores were 59-53, 59-54 and 58-54. Lee dropped in the first round and cruised to the victory.
Kevin Newman (6-0-1) avenged his only pro blemish, a draw, with a dominant unanimous decision victory over Azamat Umarzoda (2-10-2) in their super middleweight bout. The final tallies were 60-54 twice and 59-55. Newman was in control from the opening stanza to the final bell.
Charvis Holifield (6-1-1) survived a knockdown to win a majority decision over Jose Castro (5-8) of Puerto Rico in their welterweight fight.
In the opening bout Ahmed Mahmmmod improved to 6-0-1 with a split decision victory over Alex Sorio (3-1) in a back and forth contest. Both featherweights had success in a fight that could have went either way.
In tonight's ShoBox main event, unbeaten cruiserweights Andrew Tabiti (12-0) and Keith Tapia (17-0) will face each other in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds or less. The rest of the televised quadruple header is rounded out by another undefeated cruiserweight battle between Michael Hunter (11-0) and Isiah Thomas (15-0), super middlweights Ronald Gavril (15-1) and Juan Novoa (26-6-1) and welterweights Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (4-0) and Alfonso Olvera (7-2).