by Ryan Burton
Palms Resort & Casino, Las Vegas - Light heavyweights Isiah Thomas (15-0, 16KOs) and Murat Gassiev (22-0, 18KOs) battle to a three round no-contest in their light heavyweight eliminator. Gassiev hit Thomas with a punch, accidently, after the bell of the third. The ringside doctor deemed Thomas unable to continue and the fight was waved off.
Thomas controlled much of the three rounds with his jab, until Gassiev landed those two hard punches at the close of the third.
Highly regarded super welterweight Chris Pearson (13-1) was upset by the unknown Eric Walker (12-0) of Louisiana in a highly entertaining bout that featured strong two way action. It was Pearson's raw power against Walker's high motor and work rate. Walker came out strong throwing punches in bunches and out hustling his more well known opponent. Walker had a big fourth round, stunning Pearson on several occasions as the Floyd Mayweather promoter fighter appeared to be out on his feet.
Pearson came back strong in the fifth, landing several big shots to slow down Walker's assault. The sixth round was fought on more even terms with Walker again having the edge in total punches landed while Pearson landed the harder shots. Walker had a big seventh round, landing several uppercuts as Pearson loaded up and tried to finish the fight with one shot. Both fighters had moments in the eight round as they traded punches throughout but Walker took the round with his higher work rate. The final scores 79-71, 80-72 and 78-74.
Promising Mayweather Promotions lightweight prospect Gervonta "Tank" Davis (14-0) opened up the Spike TV telecast by viciously stopping Luis Sanchez (17-5). Davis had a big third round and appeared to be on his way to closing the show early but the game Sanchez battled back and landed some good shots of his own in the fourth. Davis would go on to overwhelmingly win the rest of the rounds but the gritty Mexican was able to stay on his feet until the 8th round when a big uppercut put him on the canvas. A huge left hand put Sanchez down for good in the 9th with referee Kenny Bayless immediately waiving the fight off. The official time of the stoppage was 2:05.
Former super welterweight champion Ishe Smith (28-8) bounced back from his loss to Vanes Martirosyan by defeating Tommy Rainone (24-7-1) with a shutout performance. The final scores were 100-90 on all three cards. Rainone didn't have the pop to hurt Smith and was continously beaten to the punch. The win should put the Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoted fighter in line for a bigger fight in his next ring appearance.
Former lightweight champion Mickey Bey (22-1-1) took another step closer to a second world title by defeating Naim Nelson (12-1-1) by unanimous decision in their lightweight bout. Bey returned from a long layoff and dominated from the start. The final rallies were 99-91 and 100-90 twice.
Ronald Gavril (15-1) opened up tonight's slate of fights with a crushing second round knockout of Mario Hilario (13-5) in their super middleweight scrap. Gavril, who is promoted my Mayweather Promotions, was simply too strong for his overmatched opponent.