By Ryan Burton
MGM Grand Ballroom, Las Vegas, Nev. - Detroit native Tony Harrison (20-0) took another step towards contender status with an impressive victory over Antwone Smith (23-6-1) in the main event of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.
Smith went down hard towards the end of the first but made it to his feet. He also received a standing 8 count after the bell rang to end the round. Harrison went after the kill early in the second and referee Robert Ford waived it off at the 0:19 second mark after Smith was rocked again.
Fast rising middleweight prospect Ievgen Khytrov (8-0 8 KOs) kept his knockout streak intact by stopping another opponent in the co-feature attraction.
Jorge Melendez (28-4-1) was easily the most experienced opponent of the Ukranian's career.
Meléndez (28-4-1) was supposed to be the Ukrainian's first real test in the pro ranks and he obliged. The Puerto Rican fighter was able to take his punches and landed some big shots of his own until the 6th round.
Khytrov had Melendez badly hurt towards the end of the round but he made it to the final bell. Melendez was close to being stopped again in the 7th but managed to stay on his feet. Melendez took a knee early in the 8th but this time Tony Weeks waved the fight off when his corner threw in the towel at the 0:42 second mark.
Blue chip super welterweight prospect Erickson Lubin (13-0) shined again in his latest ESPN2 appearance. Lubin started off fast dropping fellow unbeaten opponent Kenneth Council (8-1) twice in the first minute of the opening round. Moments later Council went down for a third time and referee Russell Mora had seen enough and waived off the fight. The time of the stoppage was 1:33.
Up and coming middleweight Caleb Plant (6-0) won via vicious first knockout versus Daniel Henry (2-3-3). Plant dropped Henry early on and then had him stunned and finished him off with a combination that made Henry slump to the ground which promoted Jay Nady to waive off the fight. The time of the stoppage was 2:29.
Welterweight contender Phil Lo Greco (26-1) made his first ring appearance in nearly two years a successful one by defeating Rafael Cobos (15-6-5) by the scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. Lo Greco hadn't fought since May, 2013 when he lost to Shawn Porter.
2012 US Olympian Jamel Herring (10-0) impressed with his dominant victory over Héctor Marengo (7-8-4). The undefeated lightweight dropped Marengo in the first round and outboxes his opponent in route to a wide points victory. Scores were 80-71 twice and 80-70.
Newman fights under the Mayweather Promotions banner.