Kingsley Ibeh continues to thrive in The Bubble.
The 26-year old full-time insurance salesman and now aspiring heavyweight earned his second win in seven days. The latest came in outpointing previously unbeaten Patrick Mailata over six rounds Thursday evening at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Judge Patricia Morse Jarman scored the heavyweight contest 57-57 even, overruled by matching scorecards of 58-56 turned in by judges Tim Cheatham and Ricardo Ocasio.
Ibeh carried the same energy level that propelled him to victory in this very venue just one week prior, when he avenged his lone career loss with a 4th round knockout of Waldo Cortes last Thursday. The Phoenix-based Nigerian heavyweight rode out Mailata’s early power surge, connecting with quick left uppercuts out of a southpaw stance. Mailata surged forward near the end of the frame, scoring with a right hand.
A fast-paced round two saw Ibeh wing power shots as Mailata—a locally-based unbeaten Samoan heavyweight—charged forward. Ibeh continued to land left uppercuts whenever fighting out of a southpaw stance, also connecting with an occasional right hand.
Mailata turned the tide in round three, plowing forward and drilling Ibeh with straight rights. Ibeh slowed down a touch, trying to recover from the fast pace established early as well as from Mailata’s straightforward attack.
The sizeable heavyweights continued to plow forward in rounds four and five, though fatigue appeared to be an issue both ways. Mailata appeared to seize momentum before beginning to gas. Ibeh, in search of a second wind himself, picked up his attack as he outworked the throwing Samoan before taking a slow, deliberate walk back to his corner at the end of round five—the deepest he’d been as a pro to that point.
A much-needed breather came at a price, as Ibeh was forced to take time after getting clipped with a low blow early in the sixth and final round. Mailata never quite found a way to gain momentum, save for a left hook which ejected Ibeh’s mouthpiece. Ibeh outworked Mailata down the stretch, connecting with rights and lefts from long range.
Ibeh has now won four in a row, though settling for his first career distance victory as he improves to 5-1 (4KOs). Mailata suffers his first career defeat, falling to 4-1 (2KOs).
The bout in supporting capacity to a junior welterweight clash between former two-division titlist Jose Pedraza (26-3, 13KOs) and former title challenger Mikkel LesPierre (22-1-1, 10KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox