By Matt Richardson
It was an excellent night at the fights on Thursday at the Millennium Theatre in Brooklyn, New York as perennial welterweight contender Dmitry Salita promoted an eight-bout card. In the main event, unbeaten cruiserweights Stivens Bujaj (12-0-1, 9 KO’s) and Junior Anthony Wright (10-0-1, 9 KO’s) fought to a 10-round draw. Judges scored the bout 96-94 for Wright, 96-94 for Bujaj and 95-95. Boxingscene also scored the fight even, 95-95. It was a fitting result for both boxers as neither fought like the loser.
It was one of the best local main events in recent times. Both men showed tremendous heart and skill. Bujaj started the fight well boxing from the outside. He would dart in and punch and bounce back before getting caught in return. As the fight progressed, however, he began to slow and Wright came on aggressively. Wright busted Bujaj’s mouth in the sixth, prompting Bujaj to petition his corner to pull his loose tooth from his mouth. The corner didn’t oblige their fighter and the bout then evolved into a bloody brawl that had the crowd cheering.
Wright continued to do well in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds as he repeatedly jumped in with wide left hooks. Some of those landed and some of them did not, but it was exciting to view either way. Incredibly, in the tenth, Bujaj made a huge comeback as he hurt Wright with left hooks. Wright almost went down and the fans in attendance went wild, prompting the security to hold them back from running toward the ring. It was that type of fight. A break in the action to fix the tape of Wright’s gloves slowed Bujaj’s late momentum, however, and the fight wound up going to the cards without a knockdown.
In the co-featured fight, heavyweight prospect Jarrell Miller stopped Joshua Harris in two dominant rounds. Announced as the “future of the heavyweight division,” Miller easily had his way with Harris. He dropped Harris with an uppercut in the second. Harris rose unsteadily but didn’t appear to want to continue. When the action resumed, Harris ate another combination, albeit in a different corner from where he was originally dropped but the fight was obviously over and referee Steve Willis stepped in to call an ending at the 1:53 mark. Miller is now 9-0-1 with all of his wins via knockout; Harris is 9-8-1.
Junior middleweight Steve Martinez (15-1, 12 KO’s) stopped Antonio Chaves Hernandez in five rounds. Martinez, who promoter Salita is high on, threw a ton of shots and stunned Hernandez in the first and third rounds. After hurting Hernandez with a right in the fifth, Martinez moved in for the stoppage. After scoring with a combination along the ropes, referee Eddie Claudio stopped it at the 2:04 mark.
“He was a durable fighter but we did what we were supposed to do,” Martinez said afterward. With the loss, Hernandez saw his overall ledger fall to 4-18-2. Martinez, meanwhile, will look to move into a higher profile fight within the next two to three months, Salita said.
Dimash Niyazov beat the much taller Jose Del Valle via four-round decision. Judges scored the fight 40-36 (twice) and 39-37. The fight fell into a pattern of constant punching by Niyazov only occasionally punctuated by flush punches to the skull of Del Valle. Niyazov (6-0-2, 4 KO’s) badly hurt Del Valle (2-6-3) in the corner in the final seconds of the fight but there wasn’t enough time left for him to secure the KO.
In a welterweight fight, Mikkel Lespiere (5-0-1, 3 KO’s) outworked journeyman Raphael Luna to secure a six-round unanimous decision win. All three judges submitted identical shut-out scores of 60-54. Luna (4-8-3, 1 KO) tried to force his way in but mostly got punched in the head for his efforts. By the end of the six rounds the tough Luna was a bruised, bloodied and swollen mess.
Middleweight Akil Auguste made quick work of Juan Zapata, knocking him down three times in less than two minutes. The final knockdown along the ropes prompted referee Eddie Claudio to call the fight off at the 1:59 mark. Auguste, who had a small but vocal fan base in attendance, move to 4-1, 4 KO’s. Zapata is 3-8-1 with two.
Lightweight Marcos Suarez defeated Ian James via four-round unanimous decision. Judges scores read 39-37 (three times) for Suarez (3-0-1, 1 KO). James is now 2-7-1 with two knockout wins.
Cruiserweight Alexey Zubov stopped Glenn Thomas in the first round of the opening fight of the night. Zubov (3-0, 3 KO’s) banged Thomas repeatedly to the body and head while Thomas (1-3) didn’t even attempt to fight back. After Zubov broke through Thomas’ guard with a right, referee Steve Willis called a halt with Thomas still standing. Time of the stoppage was 1:45.
Matt Richardson covers boxing in New York. He is the secretary for the Boxing Writers Association of America, a voter for the International Boxing Hall of Fame and a former writer for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter - @MRichardson713 or e-mail him at [email protected].