ATLANTA – Leduan Barthelemy believed he had done more than enough to beat Viktor Slavinsky on Saturday night.
The cautious Cuban out-boxed Slavinsky, who spent much of their 10-round bout chasing the elusive Barthelemy around the ring. Barthelemy was reluctant to engage for most of this mundane matchup between southpaws, though, which apparently turned off two of the three judges of their non-televised fight on the Gervonta Davis-Mario Barrios undercard at State Farm Arena.
Judge Edward Kanner scored seven rounds for Barthelemy, who won 97-92 on his scorecard because Barthelemy had a point deducted for holding during the ninth round. Kanner was overruled by judges David Sutherland (99-90) and Nola Oliver (97-92), who scored nine and seven rounds for Slavinsky, respectively.
Ukraine’s Slavinsky remained unbeaten as a professional (13-0-1, 6 KOs). Las Vegas’ Barthelemy (16-2-1, 8 KOs) lost for the second time in his past three fights.
Slavinsky finally started landing hard left hands on Barthelemy with regularity during the 10th round. It appeared to be too little too late, until the scorecards were read.
Slavinsky’s left hand landed and made Barthelemy move away from him in the ninth round. Barthelemy switched to a right-handed stance later in the ninth round and blasted Slavinsky with a right hand.
Referee Jim Korb abruptly took a point away from Barthelemy for holding toward the end of the ninth round.
Slavinsky’s right hook connected in the middle minute of the eighth round. Barthelemy shook his head to indicate that shot didn’t hurt him and came back to land a left hand of his own.
Barthelemy began showboating during the seventh round, as a frustrated Slavinsky followed his crafty opponent around the ring. Barthelemy didn’t land many punches in that round, yet he seemed content to move around and avoid Slavinsky.
Barthelemy boxed well again in the sixth round, when the shorter, slower Slavinsky had difficulty landing jabs or power punches on him. Barthelemy landed a left hand that knocked Slavinsky off balance just before the fifth round ended.
Slavinsky caught Barthelemy with a flush, straight left hand early in the fourth round, his best punch of the fight to that point. That punch didn’t hurt Barthelemy, but it put him on the defensive for most of that round.
Barthelemy boxed effectively off his back foot for most of the third round, which he largely controlled with his jab.
Barthelemy knocked Slavinsky off balance with a left hand in the second round. Otherwise, there weren’t many clean punches landing during that three-minute period.
Slavinsky and Barthelemy both were cautious in the first round and spent much of it feeling each other out.
In the bout before Slavinsky’s victory, Andres Gutierrez settled for a non-televised, eight-round split draw with journeyman Angel Hernandez. The Mexican veteran was heavily favored to beat an opponent with 16 losses on his record, but the durable Hernandez took Gutierrez’s hardest shots well and out-landed Gutierrez in multiple rounds of a back-and-forth welterweight fight.
Judge Rick Sells scored their fight 77-75 for Hernandez, who lost by the same score on the card of judge Edward Kanner. Judge Zachary Young scored their highly competitive contest even, 76-76.
Guadalajara’s Gutierrez (38-2-2, 25 KOs) was at one point Premier Boxing Champions’ contracted substitute for Barrios, available in case Barrios was forced to withdraw for any reason from his Showtime Pay-Per-View main event versus Davis. The 29-year-old Hernandez (17-16-2, 11 KOs) is 2-4-1 in his past seven fights, but the McAllen, Texas, native has been stopped inside the distance just once in 10 years as a pro and fought better than his record indicated he’d perform.
The eighth and final round amounted to perhaps the most entertaining three minutes of this fight. Gutierrez and Hernandez each landed hard right hands in a lengthy, eye-catching exchange toward the end of the eighth round.
Gutierrez continued to out-land Hernandez in the largely uneventful sixth and seventh rounds. He couldn’t hurt Hernandez, however, or prevent his durable opponent from coming forward.
Gutierrez landed plenty of flush punches in the fifth round, only to have Hernandez waved him forward and ask for more.
Gutierrez and Hernandez traded flush punches inside for most of the fourth round. Hernandez couldn’t hurt Gutierrez, but he continued letting his favored opponent know this fight would be anything but a walkover.
Gutierrez went on the offensive in the third round after losing the second round. He consistently landed to Hernandez’s head and body in that third round, but he didn’t hurt Hernandez.
Hernandez blasted Gutierrez with a right hand that snapped back his head early in the second round. They traded on the inside for much of the remainder of the second round.
Gutierrez pressed the action for much of the opening round and landed the harder punches in those opening three minutes.
In the previous fight Saturday night, Dalton Bodie battled through a troublesome second round to remain unbeaten.
The 22-year-old super middleweight stopped Trever Bradshaw early in the third round of a fight scheduled for four rounds. Referee Thomas Taylor halted their fight 24 seconds into the third round, with a disoriented Bradshaw still on his feet.
Bodie – a southpaw from Trenton, South Carolina, who is promoted by former WBO welterweight champion Paul Williams – upped his record to 2-0 and produced his second knockout. Salt Lake City’s Bradshaw lost for the first time as a pro (1-1).
After a difficult second round, Bodie came out of his corner firing to start the third round. He backed Bradshaw against the ropes and hurt him with a left hand that left Bradshaw slumped between the second and third ropes.
Taylor counted it as a knockdown and began to count before he realized Bradshaw shouldn’t continue.
Bradshaw landed a flush right hand at the start of the second round. A right uppercut by Bradshaw soon thereafter backed up Bodie.
Bradshaw also caught Bodie with a left hook later in the second round.
Bodie dropped Bradshaw with a left hand barely 10 seconds into their fight. Bradshaw got up quickly and recovered well enough to take Bodie’s best shots for the remainder of that round.
In the first fight Saturday night, a prospect promoted by Davis delivered an impressive knockout.
Junior welterweight Stacey Selby dropped William Smith in the third round and stopped him in a scheduled four-round fight. A right hand by Selby sent Smith to the seat of his trunks and eventually led to the end of their bout at 2:26 of the third round.
Smith got up from that shot, but referee Jerry Cantu determined that Smith shouldn’t continue. The 19-year-old Selby, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, improved to 3-0 and recorded his third knockout.
The 24-year-old Smith, of Anchorage, Alaska, slipped to 3-7-1 (3 KOs). He is 0-4-1 in his past five fights, including two technical-knockout defeats.
Selby seemed well on his way to a knockout victory before the third round began.
Selby blasted Smith with a left-right combination in the second round that made Smith hold him. Several seconds later, Smith turned his back and complained to Cantu about Selby hitting him behind his head.
Selby previously wobbled Smith with a left hook late in a one-sided first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.