By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Fazliddin Gaibnazarov continued the impressive start to his pro career Saturday night.
Gaibnazarov, a 2016 gold medalist from Uzbekistan, picked apart Agustine Mauras throughout an eight-round, 140-pound bout on the Terence Crawford-Felix Diaz undercard at Madison Square Garden. The left-handed Gaibnazarov improved to 2-0 and scored a shutout in what amounted to target practice against a tough but out-classed opponent.
All three judges – Max DeLuca, John Poturaj and Don Trella – scored each of the eight rounds for Gaibnazarov (80-72).
Gaibnazarov knocked Mauras off-balance with left hands several times in the first round, a sign of what was coming over the next seven rounds. A confident Gaibnazarov spent rounds two through eight peppering Mauras with straight left hands and occasional right hooks, and often fought with his hands down against an opponent he knew couldn’t hurt him.
The 26-year-old Mauras, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, dropped to 0-3-2 in his past five fights and 6-3-3 overall.
The 25-year-old Gaibnazarov won his second fight in four weeks.
The southpaw suffered a knockdown less than 10 seconds into his pro debut against Victor Vazquez, though his trip to the canvas appeared to be the result of a push/trip April 22 in Carson, California. Regardless, Gaibnazarov gathered himself quickly and knocked out Vazquez (7-3, 3 KOs) in the second round, with Vazquez still standing.
Gaibnazarov won a gold medal in the light welterweight division at the 2016 Summer Olympics last August in Rio de Janeiro.
Before Gaibnazarov’s easy victory, Puerto Rican super featherweight Henry Lebron (2-0, 2 KOs) stopped Johnny Estrada (0-2) in the second round of a scheduled four-rounder. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stopped the fight at 52 seconds of the second round, with Estrada, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, still on his feet, because Lebron was hammering him with power shots.
In the first fight on the card, Omaha, Nebraska’s Steve Nelson (7-0, 6 KOs) scored a second-round TKO against Mexico’s Gilberto Rubio (7-6, 5 KOs). Referee Shawn Clark stopped their fight 36 seconds into the second round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.