Donte Stubbs returned to the win column the hard way, rebounding from a loss just nine days ago to upend a previously unbeaten prospect.
A pair of knockdowns paved the way for the Riverside, California middleweight to score a six-round unanimous decision over Fred Wilson Jr. (6-1-2, 2KOs) Thursday evening at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Judges Max DeLuca and Chris Migliore scored the contest 58-53, while judge Patricia Morse Jarman had it 58-54, all in favor of Stubbs.
A competitive bout early broke open in round three when Stubbs sent Wilson to the canvas. A straight right hand produced the first of what would be two knockdowns on the night, with Stubbs controlling the action over the balance of the contest.
Wilson—who was supposed to fight two weeks ago only for his opponent to test positive for COVID-19—struggled to regain his rhythm, finding himself back on the canvas courtesy of a right hand, left hook combination late in round five. The Cleveland-based middleweight came in unbeaten, but is winless in his last three starts as he suffered back-to-back draws in his previous two encounters.
Stubbs advances to 7-1 (2KOs), quickly bouncing back after suffering a narrow six-round loss to Isiah Jones in the June 30 edition of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN. Jones had also rebounded from a loss in the same venue to defeat Stubbs, who picks up his first win since a knockout victory this past March.
Corey Champion and Pedro Cortez took to the ring before the cameras went live, but made sure to at least make the highlight reel.
A contender for Round of the Year emerged from The Bubble, with Champion surviving a knockdown to score three of his own en route to a 1st round knockout in their welterweight bout.
Champion floored Cortez early, with both hitting the deck in a rare double knockdown before the 21-year old Virginia native closed the show for the upset win.
The welterweight heat was the lone entry among the five-fight card to not be featured on the main telecast, with the ESPN camera crew taping the bout in the event it is needed to fill time. Champion treated it like a main event, scoring his first win since his pro debut.
It required his surviving a double knockdown which made the ESPN SportsCenter highlight reel. Both boxers connected with right hands, with Champion hitting the canvas while Cortez struggling to steady himself before hitting the deck. Champion (2-3, 2KOs) appeared worse for the wear but summoned the wherewithal to close the show.
The bout served as the curtain raiser for a show headlined by a 10-round heavyweight scrap between former title challenger Carlos Takam (38-5-1, 28KOs) and southpaw Jerry Forrest (26-3, 20KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox