By Rick Reeno
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas - In a minor upset, Jarrett Hurd (17-0, 11KOs) made a statement with a dominant sixth round stoppage of previously undefeated Frank Galarza (17-1-2, 11KOs).
After a close two rounds, Hurd started taking over the fight in the third and landing more of telling blows, and Galarza was feeling the incoming damage.
In the fourth, Hurd dropped Galarza for the first time in his career with a right uppercut. Galarza was able to survive to the bell, but he never fully recovered.
During the sixth, referee Russell Mora had seen enough, feeling that Galarza was taking too much punishment and stepped in to wave off the fight after another big right uppercut connected.
“I knew he was an experienced, tough fighter, but I stuck to my game plan, listened to my corner and came out victorious,” Hurd said. “Once I was able to set up my counter shots, I knew I could hurt him."
"This was my first time on national TV and I knew how important it was to be successful. I'd like to fight again soon, hopefully early in 2016. I’m ready to take my next step.”
Showtime analyst Steve Farhood was very impressed by Hurd's win.
“It’s a crushing blow to Galarza’s career,” said Farhood. “Because of his late start in boxing and his age, he can’t afford a loss like this. After the first round, he didn’t show any adjustment and lost every subsequent round.
“With that said, the story is obviously Jarret Hurd, who hadn’t fought a high level of opposition coming in, but stuck with a sound game plan, executed it well and showed no nerves in his national television debut. He made a name for himself in stopping a legitimate tough guy in ‘The Brooklyn Rocky.’”
ON THE UNDERCARD
Hot middleweight prospect Sergiy Derevyanchenko (7-0, 5KOs) was bolt of lightening, throwing a variety of power punches to stop Jessie Nicklow (25-8-3, 8KOs) in three rounds.
Sergiy started slow in the first, but his skills were on display in the second. He was putting his punches together, showing accuracy and finding openings with a variety of punches. Sergiy was landing some heavy shots in the third and had Nicklow in all sorts of trouble. He was busting him up with combination after combination after trapping Nicklow against the ropes, forcing referee Jay Nady to jump in and wave off the contest.
“This was a great performance by me,” Derevyanchenko said. “Jessie was a very tough opponent. I feel like I showed another element to my game tonight. No one has done to Jessie what I did to him tonight.
“I’m improving every time and I feel like I’ll be ready for a title shot by the end of 2016.”
Light heavyweight/super middleweight prospect David Benavidez (10-0, 9KOs) made his ShoBox televised debut and demolished overmatched Felipe Romero (15-10-1, 9KOs) in one round. Benavidez was letting his power punches fly, to the head and body, and sent Felipe down three times before referee Robert Byrd stepped in to wave off the contest.
"I know how strong my body shots are and I knew they would be effective,” Benavidez said. “I wanted to make a great impression in my first nationally televised fight. I'm ready to get back in the ring gain as soon as possible."
David is the younger brother of WBA interim-junior welterweight champion Jose Benavidez. He recently signed a multi-year promotional agreement with Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing.
In his first bout since the decision loss to Deontay Wilder in January, former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21KOs) had to get off the floor and had all he could handle in winning a ten round unanimous decision over Derric Rossy (30-11, 14KOs). The scores were 95-94, 96-93, 96-93.
Rossy started well, throwing a jab off the back-foot and stunned the crowd by scoring a knockdown at the very end of the first when he caught Stiverne coming in and sent the former champ down on his back.
They were trading big punches in the second, with Stiverne letting his hands go and becoming more active. Rossy was giving as good as he was getting during the third. They continued to go toe to toe during the fourth round, with Stiverne landing the harder shots and busting Rossy's nose.
Stiverne was applying pressure throughout the entire contest, bringing the fight to Rossy, who had his moments in brief spots. Stiverne's combinations and eye-catching connects were piling up points. By the end of the seventh, Stiverne's left eye was starting to swell up.
Rossy had no problem trading with Stiverne on the inside and took the incoming punches well, but quickly held when Stiverne would start to get both hands going. Stiverne hurt Rossy bad near the end of the ninth. A body shot had Rossy trying to coast as Stiverne was putting together his punches to the head and body.
Stiverne went back to work in the tenth, landing some very hard shots to the body and had Rossy circling the ring to kill the time remaining in the contest.
Junior welterweight prospect Charvis Holifield (4-1-1, 3KOs) went to a six round majority draw with Dwain Victorian (5-3-1, 3KOs). The scores were 58-56 for Victorian, 57-57, 57-57. Some of the rounds were close and hard to score. Holifield seemed to do enough to squeeze out a close win, but the judges felt otherwise.
Sanjarbek Rahkmannov (3-0, 2KO) battered and stopped previously undefeated Sommer Martin (4-1, 2KOs). The fight was held at a contract weight of 144-pounds. Martin took punishment to the head and body from corner to corner, until referee Robert Byrd stepped in and waved off the fight.
In a battle of undefeated junior welterweights, Trakwon "Superman" Pettis (2-0, 1KO), who is part of Floyd Mayweather's Money Team, won a four round unanimous decision over Marquis Hawthorne (1-1). All three of the ringside judges scored it 40-36.