By Keith Idec
VERONA, New York – Following Madrimov’s victory, Russian heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin edged Joey Dawejko by majority decision in a highly competitive 10-rounder.
The 6-feet-4, 248½-pound Kuzmin was effective enough to win six rounds apiece on the scorecards of judges Glenn Feldman (96-94) and Eric Marlinski (96-94). Judge Don Ackerman scored their fight even (95-95).
The 31-year-old Kuzmin used his jab to cause bruising and swelling around Dawejko’s right eye, but he couldn’t hurt the 5-feet-10, 250-pound Philadelphia native. Dawejko disputed the decision before leaving the ring because he felt his body work was effective and that, overall, he out-landed Kuzmin (15-0, 11 KOs).
The 28-year-old Dawejko (19-7-4, 11 KOs) landed some flush power shots to Kuzmin’s head, too.
In the second fight Saturday night, decorated amateur Otha Jones III overcame some shaky moments to win his six-round pro debut by unanimous decision.
The 19-year-old Jones, who won numerous national tournaments as an amateur, and his team demanded that his first professional fight come against a tough opponent in a six-rounder. Giorgi Gelashvili gave Jones everything he could handle in a thoroughly entertaining, competitive clash in which both boxers repeatedly landed flush left hooks and right hands.
All three judges – John McKaie (58-55), Eric Marlinski (59-54) and Don Trella (58-55) – scored the action for Jones, of Toledo, Ohio.
Brooklyn’s Gelashvili had a particularly strong second round. He twice caught Jones with punches that got the fast-handed combination puncher’s attention, once in Jones’ corner and once near the center of the ring.
Jones came back in the third round to land several combinations. Gelashvili still was able to counter him at times.
Jones scored a knockdown just after the midway point of the fourth round. Jones landed a right hand immediately before Gelashvili went down, but his left foot also stepped on Gelashvili’s right foot as Jones landed that punch.
The fifth and sixth rounds featured back-and-forth action, though Jones out-landed Gelashvili in those rounds to pull away in a very good undercard fight.
The 25-year-old Gelashvili lost a second straight bout (5-2, 3 KOs), but he fought for the first time in nearly 2½ years. In his last fight, he lost a six-round split decision to Detroit’s Larry Ventus (9-12-1, 4 KOs) in November 2016.
Later Saturday night, Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov knocked out Frank Rojas in the second round of a scheduled 10-round super welterweight fight.
The 24-year-old Madrimov (3-0, 3 KOs) knocked Rojas unconscious with a right-uppercut/left-hook combination. Venezuela’s Rojas (24-3, 23 KOs) eventually was able to leave the ring under his own power.
Nikita Ababiy still hasn’t reached the second round of a professional fight.
The hard-hitting middleweight from Brooklyn dropped Cory Dulaney in the first round Saturday night and stopped the game journeyman at the end of it. The unbeaten Ababiy, 20, recorded his third knockout in as many professional fights on the Dmitry Bivol-Joe Smith Jr. undercard at Turning Stone Resort & Casino.
The 29-year-old Dulaney (5-9-3, 1 KO), of Whitehall, Ohio, lost by knockout for the eighth time in a pro career that began only three years ago.
Ababiy blasted Dulaney with two left hooks to the body and a right hand up top with just under two minutes to go in the first round.
Dulaney landed a couple right hands, but Ababiy hit him with another vicious left hook to the body that sent him to his gloves and knees with about 35 seconds to go in the opening round. Dulaney bravely got up and tried to fight back, only to have Ababiy drill him with another straight left hand that sent him to the canvas a second time.
Dulaney got up again, but referee Gary Rosato didn’t like what he saw from Dulaney and stopped the fight with no time remaining in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.