Eric Priest went the eight-round distance for the second straight fight.
A much stronger performance was offered this time around, as the unbeaten middleweight pounded out a majority decision win over Simon Madsen. An even score of 76-76 was overruled by cards of 80-72 and 79-73 for the 24-year-old Priest in their DAZN opener Saturday evening from Commerce Casino in Commerce, California.
Much of the fight was spent at close quarters. Priest was determined to make a statement after being disappointed with his performance in a May 27 eight-round, unanimous decision over Ricardo Villalba. The unbeaten middleweight—originally from Wichita Falls, Texas who now lives and trains in Los Angeles—went straight at Madsen with right uppercuts and hard body shots.
Madsen was committed throughout the fight to throw and land his left hook downstairs. The 28-year-old middleweight was issued hard warnings in rounds two and three for leading with his head. Priest made it difficult for the Cancun-based Danish boxer to avoid the tactic as he stood directly in front of his foe and loaded up with right hands upstairs.
Madsen roared back with a left hook upstairs during two-way action in round four. Priest reset and scored with a lead left hook and looping right hand before he targeted the body. Priest adjusted to Madsen’s attempted smothering tactics and landed a right uppercut from long range in round five. Neither boxer veered from the original script in a competitive round six.
Priest continued to enjoy the edge in each round but did not fully honor his corner’s instructions to win more convincingly as Madsen remained in the fight every step of the way.
Madsen dropped his second in a row as he fell to 13-2 (10KOs). The bout was his first since a ten-round decision defeat to unbeaten Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams last December 3 in Glendale, Arizona.
Priest advanced to 11-0 (7KOs) in his second win since he signed with Golden Boy Promotions earlier this spring.
Headlining the show, unbeaten lightweight contender William Zepeda (28-0, 24KOs) faces former title challenger Mercito Gesta (34-3-3, 17KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox