TAMPA – J’Leon Love has limited expectations of his latest comeback.

So far, it has produced his first win in nearly five years as Detroit’s Love outpointed Marcus Oliveira over eight slow paced cruiserweight rounds. Scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 all landed in favor of Love, who returned to the ring for the first time since March 2019 to pick up the unanimous decision win Saturday evening at AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida.

The social media-influenced crowd grew disenchanted with the battle of middle-aged former title challengers in a hurry. Boos rained down in response to the lack of action during the moments when fans entertained themselves with alternating chants of ‘F--- Joe Byron’ (a running gag on Tik Tok) and ‘Let’s Go Brandon.’

Love—a chief sparring partner for Jake Paul, who headlines Saturday’s show—drew a rise of out of the crowd with a flurry midway through round five. Oliveira was doubled over in center ring from a series of body shots but managed to remain upright. The Kansas product turned the tide in round seven, catching Love with a right hand as part of his best sequence of the fight.

Love outboxed Oliveira (28-6-1, 22KOs) down the stretch to preserve the win, his first since May 2018. He had since suffered back-to-back defeats to former middleweight titlist Peter Quillin and former two-time super middleweight titlist David Benavidez, the latter sending him into retirement before picking up work in Paul’s training camp.

The 34-year-old Love—now 25-3-1 (13KOs) decided to give the sport one more try, though returning for no other reason than just to remain active.

Anthony Taylor failed to live up to the promise of providing the people’s fight of the night but managed to pick up his third consecutive victory. He also failed to extend his two-fight win streak, as Chris Avila prevailed via majority decision in their eight-round super middleweight bout.

Avila won by scores of 78-74 and 77-75, overruling a 76-76 scorecard to avenge a prior loss to Taylor in their MMA fight as part of the Bellator 238 card last January at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Taylor has since moved over to boxing, where he lost his first two bouts including a four-round decision to Tommy Fury on the undercard of the first fight between Paul (4-0)—Taylor’s high-profile stablemate—and Tyron Woodley (0-1) on August 29 in Cleveland. Two wins have followed, both at the famed Big Punch Arena in Tijuana, the only venue in the world with the Tim Boxeo seal of approval.

The return stateside didn’t produce the result expected by Taylor, who was outmuscled by Avila in the Stockton, California native’s first boxing match since 2014. Avila (1-1)—who was accompanied to ring by famed UFC fighter Nate Diaz—pulled away in the second half of the fight, visibly hurting Taylor with a right uppercut in the eighth and final round en route to pulling out the first win of his boxing career.

Jeovanny Estela continued his winning ways in the comfort of his home region. The unbeaten welterweight fended off a determined but overmatched Chris Rollins (5-3-1, 4KOs) to earn a four-round, unanimous decision. Scores were 40-36 on all three scorecards in favor of Orlando’s Estella in the opening bout.

Estela remained a step ahead throughout the four-round contest, his fifth of 2021 and sixth through 13 months as a pro. Rollins made for an easy yet durable target, willing to trade but often on the defensive as Estela landed several clean left hooks. Rollins was trapped along the ropes near the end of the fight but able to make it to the final bell.

All three bouts served as part of the non-televised undercard preceding the four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast. Headlining the show, Jake Paul (4-0, 3KOs) and Tyron Woodley (0-1) meet in an eight-round rematch to their August 29 bout, which Paul won by split decision.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox