By Cliff Rold
25-year old Ghanaian Welterweight Fredrick Lawson (24-0, 20 KO), 146 ¼, of Chicago, Illinois, went the distance for the third time in four fights and got a stiff challenge from 31-year old Colombian veteran Breidis Prescott (27-7, 20 KO), 146 ¼, of Miami, Florida, winning a split decision in ten rounds on Thursday night at the Hialeah Park Race Track in Hialeah, Florida. It was Prescott's second straight loss and third in his last four. The referee was Samuel Burgos for the action-packed affair.
Both men took turns landing heavy shots in the first two rounds. In the third, a Lawson right dropped Prescott. Prescott quickly beat the count but his right eye was beginning to swell. Prescott bounced back with a solid fourth, backing Lawson up as the round wore on.
With both eyes now swelling, Prescott dug deep, winning his share of rounds through to the finish. Lawson, often going backwards, kept firing back and fans were treated to a solid blue-collar outing. At the end, the valiant effort of both men was rewarded in a narrow split decision. Two judges favored Lawson at 95-94, the knockdown in the third the difference in the fight. The third judge tallied 96-93 for Prescott.
“Prescott wasn’t an easy opponent to fight,” Lawson said of the game veteran. Lawson said he had trouble acclimatizing to Florida for the fight and was pleased to keep his undefeated mark intact.
Cuba’s 28-year old former IBF 130 lb. titlist Rances Barthelemy (22-0, 13 KO), 137 ½, of Miami, Florida, scored two knockdowns in the first and another moments into the second for the easy stoppage of 31-year old Angino Perez (18-7, 6 KO), 137 ½, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It was Perez’s third knockout loss in his last six fights. Barthelemy was fighting at Jr. Welterweight for the first time since a successful defense at 130 lbs. against Fernando Saucedo last October. He vacated his title, unable to make the weight limit any longer. The referee was Frank Santore Jr.
In the televised opener, 24-year old undefeated Egyptian Light Heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali (10-0, 9 KO), 175 ¼, of Miami, Florida, won a lopsided but sometimes competitive affair against 33-year old Mike Stafford (13-3, 3 KO), 173 ½, of Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom. Stafford took a lot of big shots but kept his feet for all six rounds, though he did lose a point for a low blow. The scores came in at 59-54 and a shutout 60-53 twice. The referee was Samuel Burgos.
The card was broadcast on in the US on ESPN2 as part of a special edition of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Warriors Boxing.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]