RENO, Nevada – Joshua Greer Jr. won another unpopular decision Saturday night.
Three months after his controversial victory over Nikolai Potapov, Greer beat Antonio Nieves by unanimous decision in their 10-round bantamweight bout. Chicago’s Greer (22-1-1, 12 KOs) overcame a 10th-round knockdown and won on all three scorecards thanks to a strong showing during the second half of their battle on the Shakur Stevenson-Joet Gonzalez undercard at Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
Judges Max DeLuca and Lisa Giampa scored the fight 95-94 for Greer. Judge Eric Cheek scored seven of the 10 rounds for Greer (96-93).
Greer retained his regional NABO and WBC Continental Americas 118-pound championships by beating Cleveland’s Nieves (19-3-2, 11 KOs). The crowd booed the decision and cheered Nieves as he jumped up on the ropes and pumped his fists.
Fans loudly disagreed with Greer’s previous victory, too.
He defeated Russia’s Potapov (20-2-1, 18 KOs) by majority decision in their 12-rounder July 13 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Potapov’s handlers filed a protest with New Jersey’s State Athletic Control Board following that close loss, but the decision wasn’t overturned.
Greer came on strong during the second half of his fight with Nieves, but Nieves made it interesting in the final round.
Nieves’ left hook got Greer’s attention early in the 10th round. A right hand by Nieves then sent Greer to the canvas about 25 seconds into the final round.
A smiling Greer got up quickly and went right after Nieves as soon as the action resumed. Neither fighter could hurt his opponent prior to the final bell.
Greer and Nieves had to be separated by referee Robert Byrd and Nevada State Athletic Commission officials right after their bout ended. Greer shoved Nieves as Nieves went nose-to-nose with him, which briefly caused commotion in the ring.
A straight right hand by Greer knocked Nieves into the ropes toward the end of the ninth round. A right uppercut by Greer also landed just before the ninth round ended.
Greer landed what appeared to be a blatant low blow with 1:38 remaining in the eighth round. He hit Nieves with a right hand before Byrd was able to separate them and gave Nieves time to recover from Greer’s foul.
Earlier in the eighth, Greer drilled Nieves with an overhand right and immediately went after Nieves’ body.
Greer and Nieves talked trash to each other after the seventh round ended. A right hook by Greer snuck around Nieves’ guard and amounted to the best punch landed in that seventh round.
A short, left hook by Nieves caught Greer with just over 40 seconds to go in the sixth round. Nieves also landed a right to the body and followed with a left to the body toward the end of the sixth.
Nieves nailed Greer with an overhand right about 1:10 into the fifth round.
A straight right hand by Nieves landed with just under 30 seconds to go in the fourth round. A left hook by Nieves caught Greer off guard and off balance, and his punch knocked Greer backward 10 seconds into the fourth round.
Greer’s left hook backed up Nieves at the halfway point of the third round.
Nieves put Greer in a front face-lock and dragged Greer to the canvas just after the midway mark of the second round. An overhand right by Nieves connected cleanly about 35 seconds into the second round.
Nieves nailed Greer with a hard left hook to the body just before the first round ended.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.