Arthur Biyarslanov beat an undefeated opponent Saturday for the first time in his pro career.
The Russian-born, Toronto-based Biyarslanov landed the harder head and body shots during his eight-round fight against Israel Mercado and won a majority decision. The game Mercado earned a draw on the scorecard of judge Benoit Roussel (76-76), but he was overruled by judges Fernando Barbosa (78-74) and Michael Ross (77-75), who scored their competitive contest for Biyarslanov.
The left-handed Biyarslanov improved to 8-0 and went the distance for just the second time in this battle of unbeaten junior welterweight prospects on the Demetrius Andrade-Liam Williams undercard at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Mercado, of Pomona, California, lost for the first time as a pro (9-1, 7 KOs).
A right hand by Biyarslanov stopped Mercado in his tracks with just over a minute to go in the eighth and final round. Mercado came forward throughout the eighth round, and he landed several body punches once he backed Biyarslanov into the ropes toward the end of it.
Biyarslanov and Mercado let their hands go in the first 30 seconds of the seventh round. Biyarslanov belted Mercado with a right hook to the body approximately a minute into the seventh round.
Biyarslanov snapped back Mercado’s head with a left hand that landed just prior to the halfway point of the seventh round. Biyarslanov caught Mercado with another right hook to the body with about 50 seconds to go in the seventh round.
Mercado connected with a straight right hand about 55 seconds into the sixth round. Biyarslanov landed a sweeping right hook with 40 seconds left in that sixth round.
Mercado snuck in a right hand at about the midway mark of the fifth round. A right hook by Biyarslanov landed with just over 30 seconds remaining in the fifth round.
Biyarslanov connected with a straight left 1:05 into the fourth round. Mercado came back to nail Biyarslanov with a right uppercut and another right hand at about the midway mark of the fourth round.
Biyarslanov countered Mercado with a right hook about two minutes into the third round.
Biyarslanov belted Mercado with a straight left and a right hook up top with just over 30 seconds to go in the second round. Several seconds later, Biyarslanov landed a left to Mercado’s body that made him hold.
Biyarslanov drilled Mercado with a straight left 1:20 into their fight.
Before the televised portion of the card started, Jorge Castaneda (14-1, 11 KOs) pulled off an upset by winning an eight round majority decision over Otha Jones III (5-1, 2 KOs). The scores were
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing