By Jake Donovan
Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Junior Fa looks to continue his ascension in the pro ranks. The 30-year old New Zealander plays stateside for the third straight time, as he faces 2004 U.S. Olympian Devin Vargas in a scheduled 10-round bout Friday evening at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The bout headlines a four-fight livestream show on UFC Fight Pass.
Also on the show is Fa’s countryman and stablemate, Hemi Ahio (15-0, 10KOs) who is also in a schedule ten-round heavyweight contest as he faces Joshua Tufte (19-3, 9KOs).
Ivan Golub picked up his fifth straight win, stopping Janer Gonzalez in the 10th round of a welterweight bout which at least one side believed was scheduled for eight.
The one-sided contest saw Golub control the action from the opening bell, boxing smartly and landing straight left hands out of the southpaw stance. The pace of the fight was stuck in one gear for most of the night, at least through eight rounds at which point Colombia’s Gonzalez (19-3-1, 15KOs) believed the fight was done as did his corner.
To their surprise, there were two more rounds to go, leaving Gonzalez—who was forced to stand in between rounds due to confusion and the corner stool never making it into the ring—to fend for himself as his corner argued with the commission and thumbed through the official bout agreement.
Golub was still very much in a fightning mood, emphatically closing the show against a checked-out opponent. A clean left hand put Gonzalez down and out, the fight waved off without a count at 1:56 of round ten.
The win is five in a row for Brooklyn’s Golub (18-1, 14KOs), whose lone loss came in a highly questionable eight-round decision defeat to Jamontay Clark more than two years ago.
Opening the show, Sacramento’s Mike Guy scored a major upset, outpointing Denis Douglin over eight awkward, clinch-filled rounds.
Douglin managed to win 77-75 on one card but was overruled by scores of 77-75 and 78-74 in favor of Guy (12-4-1, 5KOs) who picked up by far the biggest win of his career.
Action was sparse, with both boxers boasting conflicting styles which led to more clinching and holding than punches landed. The conventional versus southpaw pairing also led to multiple headbutts, with Guy often guilty of charging in with his head.
With the fight on the table, Guy picked up the pace considerably in the eighth and final round, letting his hands go versus an inactive Douglin (22-7, 14KOs), who took this fight as means to relaunch his career after having been out of the ring for more than a year.
The matchup had the exact opposite effect, as Douglin was a far cry from the serviceable gatekeeper who has proven to be a tough out for many top super middleweights.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox